By Mike Harrington
The Baseball Hall of Fame will announce its 2014 induction class today, with coverage on MLB Network starting at noon and the actual results being released at 2 p.m. on MLB Network, BBWAA.com and BaseballHall.org. It is a ballot once again rife with controversy.
A personal refresher here: I am a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, the body that votes on players to the Hall. You have to be a member for 10 years to have a ballot and I will reach that point following the 2016 season.
So my first vote will come for the Class of 2017, which will include big first-time names like Manny Ramirez, Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada in addition to all the holdovers that will surely still be on the ballot.
Big issues this year:
---The size of the ballot, which limits you to voting for 10 players and is causing so much consternation among voters that a committee has been formed to study the issue and perhaps push the Hall to allow expansion.
---The continued question of what to do with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and other Steroid Era players
---What to do with former '80s ace Jack Morris, in his final year on the ballot and holder of a 3.90 career ERA that would be the highest ever for an inducted starter.
---The glut of big first-time candidates, who are pushing holdovers down the list or off ballots entirely. Many thought Greg Maddux would be the first unanimous Hall choice -- and he should have been -- but Dodgers beat writer Ken Gurnick of MLB.com voted only for Morris because he wasn't voting for any Steroid Era players. Foolishness.
So if I had a ballot, who would I pick?