It’s HOF ballot season!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: HOF ballot tracking season!

Today, MLB and the BBWAA released the 2018 HOF ballot. It includes top new candidates Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, and Omar Vizquel. There are 16 other newcomers, including Johnny Damon, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, and Johan Santana, who will likely gain some support from voters.

According to MLB.com, the ballots are in the mail to the voters. They are due back to the BBWAA by the close of the year, with the vote totals announced live on MLB Network on January 24th.

Keep in mind that this year’s voting has a new wrinkle in it: All ballots will be made public by the BBWAA. In the past, the writers had the option to keep them confidential.

Will having the votes public change voting trends?

Only time will tell. As I’ve written before, of the 16 voters who did not vote for Greg Maddux in 2014, only one came forward to write about why and make their name public. I suspect that a kind of observer effect may impact how some people vote, but it’s also safe to assume that some voters won’t care if everyone knows they submitted a blank ballot or a ballot with only one name on it.

Over the next couple weeks, Patrick and I will be publishing columns that preview the new class and how they will impact Mussina’s HOF chances. This year, in an effort to make sure HOF voters are fully informed about Mussina’s career, we will also take time to address¬†cases made AGAINST Mussina by writers.

Next Monday, we will have a succinct, but thorough¬†column that spells out Mussina’s HOF case for everyone. Feel free to copy and paste into whatever media you choose

For updates about voting trends please check in with our friend Ryan Thibodaux’s (@NotMrTibbs on Twitter) amazing HOF Vote Tracker.

Here’s to seeing Mike Mussina build on his 51% from last year. Happy HOF ballot season, everyone! It’s going to be a fun two months.

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