If you spent too much of your Wednesday getting worked up about the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement — who got in, who was left out, who gave away their vote — we’d like to save you some time and effort.
You don’t need to read anything about the Hall of Fame for the next year because this is what is going to happen with the 2015 class:
• Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez are slam-dunk cinches to be elected in their first years on the ballot. Both were dominant pitchers in their era and have more than enough stats to back up their candidacy. Johnson, with 303 wins, nearly 5,000 strikeouts and five Cy Young Awards, should get as many votes as Greg Maddux did this year, but he won’t. Still, he’ll wind up around 95 percent, easily besting the 75 percent needed for election. Martinez, who was dominant for a shorter period of time and doesn’t have quite the same career numbers, will get somewhere between 85 and 90 percent of votes — still quite comfortable.
• Craig Biggio, who missed enshrinement by two votes on this year’s crowded ballot, will make it in his third try. He won’t overwhelm with his totals, but he’ll climb to somewhere in the 77 to 80 percent range. Biggio, with a .281 career average and .796 career OPS, is a marginal Hall of Famer aside from his 3,060 career hits, but that last mark is a milestone (aside from suspected PED users) that makes a guy a cinch.
• John Smoltz and Mike Piazza will be the most-debated players. Smoltz is fascinating because he was a very good starting pitcher, became a dominant reliever and then resumed being a very good starer. Not enough voters will know what to make of his disjointed statistical profile, and he’ll fall short at around 65 percent. Piazza, like Biggio, will be on the ballot for the third time. He climbed from 57.8 to 62.2 percent of the vote from his first to second year. He’ll climb again, but not enough to gain election in a still-crowded field. He, too, will get around 65 percent of the vote. Both likely will be elected in 2016 or 2017.
• Everyone else will float in the ether. None of the suspected steroids guys will come close to being relevant. Tim Raines and Mike Mussina will continue to be underrepresented. And life will go on.