Week 2 best & worst

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

Today is the day that we know the latest inductees to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

It’s a good thing that the 2020 leftover class, held over due to the COVID-19 pandemic, included shortstop Deter Jeter and outfielder Larry Walker will be on center stage this July in Cooperstown because no future prospective Hall of Famer’s phone will be ringing today.

In order to be selected for Hall of Fame enshrinement, candidates must be named on 75 percent of ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Jeter received the second-highest plurality in the history of voting at 99.7 percent, second only to former Yankees teammate Mariano Rivera’s 100 percent in 2019.

Former late players’ union director Marvin Miller and catcher Ted Simmons were also voted to the 2020 class.

Pitchers Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Mark Buehrle, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and outfielder Torii Hunter highlight the 11 additions to the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot, but none of these very good players will be first-ballot inductees.

That leaves the guys who failed to qualify in last year’s vote — most prominently pitchers Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, and outfielder Barry Bonds, who were named on 70.0, 61.0 and 60.7 percent of ballots, respectively.

Clemens and Bonds most likely won’t get in again because of their widespread, steroid-cheating tendencies during their careers.

Schilling, however, is an interesting story, now in his ninth year on the ballot.

The former Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox right-hander has a nice resume — a 200-plus-game winner, an 11-2 postseason record with a 2.23 ERA, 120 strikeouts, only 25 walks in 133 1/3 innings in 19 starts and a World Series ring that included a co-Series MVP award — but he has been a source of past political controversy, with his extremist, inflammatory remarks.

So this might be the year in which we honor the 2020 class solely on class and integrity.

Tranquility might be the theme for this year, considering what’s ahead for January 2022, when Clemens and Bonds will be each in their 10th and final year of eligibility, and David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez will be each in their first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.

n From Dwight Perry of The Seattle Times — Nets coach Steve Nash, to reporters, on why he’ll manage James Harden’s minutes early on: “We don’t want to run the batteries down on our new Christmas present this early.”

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

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