What to expect from Vizquel and Manny now?

CLEVELAND – What at one point seemed like a solid trajectory toward 75% of the votes needed to get into the Hall of Fame for Venezuelan shortstop Omar Vizquel now represents a drastic slump.

For the second year in a row, Vizquel fell in the Hall of Fame voting, receiving just 23.9% of the total votes (94 of 394) from the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), it was announced Tuesday. by MLB Network.

In 2018, in his first year on the ballot, Vizquel received 37% of the vote, before jumping to 42.8% in 2019 and 52.6% in 2020. That increase stalled last year, when off-the-ground issues came up. into the public eye a month before voters completed their ballot.

In 2020, The Athletic reported that Vizquel’s ex-wife, Blanca, had accused him of domestic violence. Vizquel denied the allegations, despite being in police custody in 2016, following an incident at the couple’s home in Sammamish, Washington, according to the report. There were no legal charges.

In the same publication, it was reported that MLB had opened an investigation into Vizquel, for an incident that occurred in 2019 in the cave of the Birmingham Barons, a Double-A affiliate of the White Sox, when the Venezuelan was manager. Although Hall of Fame votes are based primarily on a player’s baseball skills and contributions to the team, broadcasters are also instructed to consider a person’s integrity, sportsmanship, and character.

A year later, Vizquel reached his lowest vote percentage since his name appeared on the ballot. He has five years left to try to reach the necessary 75%.

After last year was the first time since 2013 that no one was elected to the Hall of Fame and the ninth time since voting began in 1936, the Dominican David Ortiz received the honor this year, being the only one elected by the BBWAA to Cooperstown with 77.9% of the vote, in his first year of eligibility.

While Vizquel saw his vote total drop, another former Cleveland player, Manny Ramírez — who received 28.9% in 2021 — saw a tiny increase to 28.9% this year. He still has four chances left on the ballot to hit the 75% mark. But as was made clear Tuesday with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens missing out on the Hall of Fame in his final year of eligibility, even with his impressive numbers, Ramirez’s history with using performance-enhancing substances makes your way to Cooperstown looks rough. (The outfielder tested positive twice and was suspended both times per MLB rules.)

Vizquel originally had the better of the two Cleveland players. And if it were just his defense, the Venezuelan would have been an easy pick in his first year on the ballot. He won Gold Gloves in each of the seasons between 1993 and 2001 and then picked up two more in 2005 and 2006 with the Giants, for a career total of 11. He ranks atop the fielding percentage lead among shortstops at .985 and completed the most double plays for a shortstop in major league history, 1,734. Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith is second with 1,590 over a 19-year career.

The doubt surrounding Vizquel’s vote – based only on what was done on the field – rests on his offensive numbers. In 2,968 games during a 24-year career, Vizquel batted .272/.336/.352 with 2,877 hits, 951 RBI and 404 stolen bases and was named to three All-Star Games. In 11 seasons (1994-2004) with Cleveland, he averaged .283, had 1,611 hits, scored 906 runs, hit 60 homers and drove in 584 runs. His best year was in 1999, hitting .333/.397/.436 with 42 stolen bases and a career-high 112 runs scored, earning his second All-Star call.

He’ll have to wait to see if he can overcome those hurdles on and off the field in the next five years.

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What to expect from Vizquel and Manny now?