Sutter leads HOF candidates

If anybody is elected to the Hall of Fame next week, the early returns say it'll be Bruce Sutter, writes Rob Neyer.

Updated: January 31, 2006, 4:27 PM ET
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
It looks like the early predictions were dead solid perfect: If the Baseball Writers Association of America elects anybody to the Hall of Fame next week, it'll be Bruce Sutter, and he's far from a sure thing.

One of the top denizens of the Baseball Primer Newsblog has done us the service of tracking the supposed ballots of the Hall of Fame voters who have written about their choices, the results of which can be seen here. For Bruce Sutter, the good news is that he's currently "polling" at 69.3 percent, not all that far short of the 75 percent he needs. The bad news is that he's probably not really that close.

In 2004 and '05, Sutter's "poll results" were 68 percent and 73 percent; his actual results were 60 percent and 67 percent. This time around, he's polling at 69 percent. Of course, it's possible that he'll actually do better than 69 percent. What's more likely, though, is that he'll do worse, somewhere between 60 and 65 percent, which would again leave him considerably short of the needed 75 percent.

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