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Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell have to wait til next year for Cooperstown

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Thursday's Say Hey, Baseball includes the Hall of Fame results, the Alex Gordon signing, and John Farrell's plans for the Red Sox.

Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

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Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza are your newest Hall of Famers. That's great! It would be even better if the podium were more crowded this July because Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell were also elected, but expecting that Hall of Fame caliber players will actually be elected to the Hall of Fame is asking too much sometimes. It's not like this is some day-after complaining about how not every single Hall-of-Fame-worthy player on the ballot managed to get in -- that number, by the way, is higher than the number of votes each writer can make in a given year. This is wondering how it's possible for a ballot with so many legitimate candidates to produce just two Hall of Famers.

But it at least seems like it's a temporary question. The 2017 ballot doesn't have an obvious future Hall of Famer on it thanks to what will surely be many, many questions about whether Manny Ramirez deserves to be enshrined. Vladimir Guerrero had an amazing career, but not so much that he'll be automatically separated from the players he's joining on the ballot who also had amazing careers. That means the voters can focus heavily on Raines and Bagwell (and probably Trevor Hoffman) while continuing to upset people who notice that the pitchers like Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling aren't extra getting credit from writers for an era where many believe the hitters were cheating.

Raines received 69.8 percent of the vote, and Bagwell 71.6 percent. Hoffman debuted on the ballot at 67.3 percent, so even if 2017 isn't his year, it's an inevitable outcome. The jumps for Raines and Bagwell from last election -- Raines had 55 percent of the vote in 2015 and Bagwell 55.7 -- are encouraging, too, as it seems that the dismissal of the 100 retired writers who still had a vote for a game they no longer covered had a major impact on their totals. That, or everyone realized how dumb it was to be mad at Bagwell without evidence that his muscles came from anything other than the gym and genetics.