Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More Baseball Hall of Fame Nonsense

It’s exactly one year since we last provided our thoughts on the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and the holier-than-thou Baseball Writers’ Association of America who hold the keys to enshrinement.

Our views have not changed, but our rage was reignited after reading a Jayson Stark column explaining why his hall of fame ballot excludes names like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.  Does Jayson Stark believe that players associated with PEDs should be excluded from the Hall?  Nope.  He seems to hold views similar to ours.  It’s the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Morally Infallible Baseball Players.

Yet two of the greatest baseball players of all time are not on his ballot.  Why?  Because he doesn’t think others will vote for them, so he doesn’t want to “waste” a vote. 

Are you kidding me?  If you think Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame, how can you possibly submit a ballot that selects Jeff Kent and not Barry Bonds? 

Stark at least admits that the process of broken, but as the old adage goes, “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” 

Stark, and any other BWAA voter who employs the same flawed logic, is part of the problem.  A BWAA member who cared about the Hall of Fame would vote for who he believes should be in the Hall of Fame and provide a full-throated defense of those selections.  Not change his votes based on how he thinks others might vote.  THAT is a “wasted” vote.   

Anyway, with a very strong group of superstars eligible for election in 2014 for the first time, we present our ballot (if we had one):

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Greg Maddux
Mark McGwire
Sammy Sosa
Mike Piazza
Jeff Bagwell
Curt Schilling
Frank Thomas
Tom Glavine

Maddux is a slam-dunk first timer, and Thomas and Glavine were great enough to displace Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Rafael Palmeiro on our ballot.

Our prediction is that Maddux is the only player who makes the cut this year, with Craig Biggio, Jack Morris (unless he gets extra support on his last year on the ballot – another farcical BWAA phenomenon), Bagwell, Piazza and Glavine all painfully close to the 75% required for induction.  PEDs are likely to cost Palmeiro and perhaps Sosa further consideration as they will be very close to the 5% total that keeps you on the ballot for next year.    

The popular complaint by the writers is that they system is broken.  The system has worked just fine for decades, it’s the BWAA that is broken.  It’s a travesty that the all-time home run leader, one of the top 5 pitchers of all time, and for that matter, the all-time hits leader are not enshrined in the sports Hall of Fame.    

I’d rather the judgment be placed at the feet of the visitors to the Hall, not in the pens of the BWAA.    


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