Tigers manager Alan Trammell lost votes in the Hall of Fame voting process this year. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)
Detroit — On the surface, this Hall of Fame result made no sense at all.
Beneath the surface, though, it did.
In the baseball Hall of Fame results announced Wednesday, Alan Trammell lost 71 votes.
The former Tigers shortstop went from 33.6 percent last year, when he was named on 191 ballots, to 20.8 percent and 119 ballots this year.
Trammell, who has two more years of eligibility via the Baseball Writers Association process, finished 14th in the voting this time, compared to 11th last year (complete voting results are below).
But therein lies the reason for his lower vote total.
Because no player was elected in 2013, there was nobody above Trammell from the ballot last year who wasn’t on it again this year.
And with three first-timers being elected — Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas — Trammell was shoved further out of consideration because there are only 10 spots on the ballot.
When your starting point is 11th on a ballot of 10, and three quality candidates are added, you’re probably not going to move up.
Trammell became a victim of congestion.
All the same arguments on behalf of Trammell as a candidate apply, however — such as why did he receive only 20.8 percent in his 13th season when Barry Larkin, to whose career stats Trammell’s favorably compare, was elected in his third season of being eligible?
But, fair or not, it’s clear voters have slotted Trammell as a lower-ballot candidate and that this time he simply was pushed further down the list.
There were other mysteries in this year’s voting, though. For instance, Lee Smith — the all-time saves leader with 478 when he retired and third even now — was named on 50.6 percent of the ballots in 2012.
This year he was on 29.9 percent.
Chances are Mariano Rivera’s 652 career saves all but pulled the rug out from under Smith’s candidacy.
And Don Mattingly, who received 28.2 percent in 2001, his first year of eligibility, barely survived the 5 percent cut this time at 8.2 percent.
Among those who did not survive the cut were former Tigers Todd Jones, Kenny Rogers, Luis Gonzalez, Sean Casey, Hideo Nomo and Jacque Jones.
2014 Hall of Fame voting
571 votes cast, 429 needed
Greg Maddux 555 (97.2 percent)
Tom Glavine 525 (91.9)
Frank Thomas 478 (83.7)
Craig Biggio 427 (74.8)
Mike Piazza 355 (62.2)
Jack Morris 351 (61.5)
Jeff Bagwell 310 (54.3)
Tim Raines 263 (46.1)
Roger Clemens 202 (35.4)
Barry Bonds 198 (34.7)
Lee Smith 171 (29.9)
Curt Schilling 167 (29.2)
Edgar Martinez 144 (25.2)
Alan Trammell 119 (20.8)
Mike Mussina 116 (20.3)
Jeff Kent 87 (15.2)
Fred McGriff 67 (11.7)
Mark McGwire 63 (11.0)
Larry Walker 58 (10.2)
Don Mattingly 47 (8.2)
Sammy Sosa 41 (7.2).
Players on ballot receiving fewer than 28 votes (less than 5 percent), meaning they are no longer eligible for election by the BBWAA.
Rafael Palmeiro 25 (4.4)
Moises Alou 6 (1.1)
Hideo Nomo 6 (1.1)
Luis Gonzalez 5 (0.9)
Eric Gagne 2 (0.4)
J.T. Snow 2 (0.4)
Armando Benitez 1 (0.2)
Jacque Jones 1 (0.2)
Kenny Rogers 1 (0.2)
Sean Casey 0
Ray Durham 0
Todd Jones 0
Paul Lo Duca 0
Richie Sexson 0
Mike Timlin 0