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January 10, 2013

On the Beat

A Change in the Process

by John Perrotto

The result of this year’s Hall of Fame voting was a disappointment to so many people on so many levels. It was a disappointment to the fans, especially those of such players as Craig Biggio and Jack Morris, who both seemed to stand a good chance of receiving the minimum 75 percent of the vote needed to gain election. It was such a disappointment to people inside that game that both Commissioner Bud Selig and Players Association Executive Director Michael Weiner were compelled to release statements. It certainly had to be a disappointment to the merchants and residents of Cooperstown, who count on the induction ceremony to generate a large amount of revenue for the village. And, despite putting up a brave front, it had to be a disappointment to Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson because induction weekend plays a large part in supporting the non-profit foundation.

Being one of the 569 people who took part in the Hall of Fame voting this year, I feel kind of guilty to have let so many people down. However, not to pass the buck, it is guilt by association rather than anything I did wrong. I checked nine names on my ballot, more than in any of the other 14 elections that I participated in, and did not shy away from players who have been tied to PEDS, such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

Despite the uproar over the voting results that were announced Wednesday—I was afraid the great Casey Stern was going to have a stroke live and on the air on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM—I still believe the Baseball Writers Association of America should continue to be the solo proprietors of the Hall of Fame voting. However, I also believe it is time for the BBWAA and Hall of Fame to reform the process.

The requirements to be eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame are that someone must either be, or had been, a member of BBWAA for 10 continuous years. There is nothing wrong with that on the surface, but there is a problem once you dig deeper and find that a number of 10-year members haven’t written about baseball regularly for years. Furthermore, some haven’t stepped foot in a ballpark in years and others don’t even follow the game anymore. They continue to vote because they see receiving a ballot every December as a status symbol.

The BBWAA has spent a great deal of time in the last year in examining its rolls in an effort to weed out those who it feels no longer meet the guidelines for admission to the association. With that in mind, it is time for the BBWAA to begin weeding out the list of Hall of Fame voters. The association needs to figure out a way to make sure the right people are voting on the highest individual honor that a baseball player can ever receive.

Secondly, the BBWAA and the Hall of Fame need to change the rule in which members of the electorate can vote for no more than 10 candidates in a given year. The 10-man limit was never an issue for me before but it was this year. While I stopped at nine, there were 15 players to whom I gave strong consideration. The ballot will become even more crowded next season when Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, and Frank Thomas become eligible for election for the first time. The limit should be raised to at least 12 players, and perhaps 15.

To say the Hall of Fame voting process is broken is too strong of a statement. However, it is need of some repairs, which can be made with a little bit of willingness to change a system that has been in place since 1936.

---

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to have left hip surgery next Wednesday, which is a rather unique way for A-Rod to celebrate my birthday. It will be the second time Rodriguez has had hip surgery, as he had the right one repaired during spring training in 2009. Rodriguez returned to action in May that season but won’t be back until after the All-Star break this time because of the torque placed on the left hip when he rotates it during his swing.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has downplayed the idea that Rodriguez’s career could go into further decline following this surgery. Perhaps that is wishful thinking, since Rodriguez has five years and $114 million left on his 10-year, $270-million contract and the Yankees have been acting like a small-market team in their quest to reduce their payroll to under the $189-million luxury tax threshold by 2014.

One American League scouts says he doesn’t see the Yankees getting much of a return on the rest of their investment in Rodriguez. The numbers certainly support that idea, as Rodriguez’s WARP has gone down every season since 2007, from 8.3 to 6.7 to 5.0 to 4.9 to 2.8 to a career-low 1.2 in 2012.

“He hasn’t been a superstar for four years now,” the scout said. “He’s still an above-average third baseman, but that is mainly because it’s a weak position throughout the industry. To think he’s going to come back and be the A-Rod of his prime after having major surgery is ludicrous. The Yankees, if they really admit it, will be happy if he is still just a decent player for a few more years.”

---

The Nationals won their stare down with Adam LaRoche, re-signing the first baseman to a two-year, $24-million contact with a club option after he had held out for two months in hopes of three guaranteed years. La Roche had a career-high 3.6 WARP last year and a .303 Total Average.

LaRoche is one of the “victims” of the new free-agent compensation system that is part of the latest collective bargaining agreement. Any other team signing LaRoche would have been required to give up a draft pick after he declined the Nationals’ $13.3-million qualifying offer. One AL front-office type from a team that “kicked the tires” on LaRoche believes the Nationals made a good deal with the 33-year-old.

“He’s a reliable run producer in the middle of the lineup who plays good defense,” the FOT said. “I think two years is just the right amount for length of contract. You go beyond two years and I’d worry that he would be a drag on the payroll.”

The re-signing of LaRoche leaves Michael Morse without a spot in the lineup, and the Nationals are trying to trade the first baseman/outfielder for a left-handed reliever after failing to retain Sean Burnett as a free agent. However, one NL scout says it is buyer beware for anyone trying to trade for Morse, who can become a free agent at the end of the season.

“He’s a heckuva hitter, but he can’t play defense and he’s become very fragile, so you can only pencil him in for about 120 games a year,” the scout said. “Considering you’re only going to have him one year, I wouldn’t give up a frontline player or a top prospect for him. I think the best thing the Nats can hope for is an OK lefty reliever and some salary relief, which would give them some more money to play with if they need to make a move sometime during the season.”

---

That the Rangers guaranteed Lance Berkman $11 million on a one-year contract with a club option raised many eyebrows inside the game. Berkman will be 37 on Opening Day and is coming off a season with the Cardinals in which he had 97 plate appearances and two knee surgeries. While it’s tough convincing front-office types or scouts that the price is right, a surprising number of them do believe Berkman can have a very good 2013 for the Rangers.

“They are doing the right thing by DHing him,” an NL scout said. “They shouldn’t play him in the field at all with the shape his knees are in. If they keep him at DH and make sure he’s rested, he could do very well. He’s always been a good hitter, and the ballpark in Texas will only help him. I don’t know if he’ll have the kind of year he had with the Cardinals (in 2011), but I could see him having a good year … but $11 million is a lot of money to risk.”

Berkman had a .341 TAv and produced 4.0 WARP two years ago, though his Fielding Runs Above Average was an ugly -10.9 when the Cardinals won the World Series. His career TAv is .317.

---

The Indians are going to see if they can resurrect left-hander Scott Kazmir’s career after signing him as a free agent. The two-time All-Star will be given the chance to win a spot in the rotation even though he pitched just 1 1/3 innings in the major leagues in 2011 with the Angels, then spent last year in the independent Atlantic League with the Sugar Land Skeeters. (He was a rotation mate with sideshow act Roger Clemens late in the season for a franchise that brought back the bullpen cart.)

While it’s a little hard to believe because he seems to have been around forever, Kazmir will turn just 29 on Jan. 24. However, that is not enough to give hope to an AL scout who watched Kazmir pitch three times last summer.

“He doesn’t have anything left,” the scout said. “He’s just one of those guys who peaked very early in his career and flamed out. He hasn’t been a good pitcher since 2007.”

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

44 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

aaron229

The way to fix the backlog of players is not allow more voters to vote for more than ten players, it's to vote in the players who are vastly overqualified, by any measure, to be voted in.

Jan 10, 2013 02:15 AM
rating: 5
 
gdragon1977

Right I agree totally. The closest is Biggio and even he needs like 40 more votes, He might pick up a handful but I doubt that there are 40 voters who had him #11 on their list.

Jan 10, 2013 09:29 AM
rating: 2
 
SC

He's going to lose a bunch of votes too, presumably some voters had him at #9 or #10 on their ballots and will vote in Maddux and perhaps Thomas. And some may also have omitted Bonds/Clemens/Piazza as part of some sort of protest/preservation of "first ballot hall of famer" as a thing, and will be adding them to their ballots in future years.

And at least a few writers will add Morris next year because its his last on the ballot.

I don't see this clusterf ending anytime soon, even Maddux may find it tough in his first year (which is preposterous).

Jan 10, 2013 09:34 AM
rating: 1
 
jonathanaustin

The value of adding to the ballot is that it allows those that don't see PEDs as a disqualification to keep more players alive. Otherwise we're going to risk having many some guys drop off due to the 5% rule (Palmerio, McGwire, and Sosa all are at risk). Of course, this only matters if they will eventually get in which accepts the claim of many voters that they just need more time to get perspective on the steriod era.

Jan 10, 2013 12:31 PM
rating: 1
 
jtwalsh

John, with all due respect, it is the BBWAA that created this mess. The fact, as you pointed out, that voting for the HOF is viewed as a status symbol is a symptom af the rot and decay of a process that has not changed with the times. In the 1930's newspapers were the information platform that informed most of the population. There was no TV, no Internet, and commercial radio was in its infancy and a radio was a luxury not every household could afford. Newspapers printed two editions a day and the cost was purposely low so that it was the medium of information to the overwhelming literate populous. I can understand why Baseball writers were entrusted with the task in the 1930s. In the past 80 years the delivery of information as been revolutionized and in baseball, it the coverage has never been more plentiful and detailed. It seems ludicrous to me that a group ( 10 year BBWAA) that has created this mess through witch hunts, turf battles, indifference, obstinance, and in some cases a complete lack of understanding of the game and its history, now want to protect their turf and their own status as a voter. The HOF is a risk of being marginalized by its own gatekeepers. The number crunch is not a result of PEDs or a deep ballot. The number crunch is a result of hypocritical behavior ( journalists who missed or ignored the most significant story now punishing those who they protected) & personal agendas (no 1st ballot players, no on bad interviews or bad " guys", yes to nice players, or favorite sons, empty ballots). They were entrusted to vote in the best players, the BBWAA have made the process about themselves instead of the game and the players. Now you are asking to be saved from yourselves, but you still want to retain the status and exclusivity that is the root cause of the problems.

Jan 10, 2013 04:23 AM
rating: 37
 
Masshole

Wow, JT, you nailed this one big-time.

Jan 10, 2013 06:12 AM
rating: 3
 
Ogremace

And so what do we do? Make it a nationwide vote? There has to be some criteria for voting, in which case you can't even avoid the "status symbol" issue. What John is saying is that you hav to eliminate the extent to which voting is ONLY that, such as people who no longer follow or cover baseball. Of course this is not a perfect system either, and you'll always have obstinate and close minded folks involved in the voting. But it's not like the BBWAA is somehow overfull of ignorant or stupid people. I think your assessments are generally correct, but that changing certain elements of the process could quite well change the mentality, so that people will feel like it's a privilege yet still maintain voting rights within a (relatively) educated and informed group.

Jan 10, 2013 11:01 AM
rating: 2
 
Masshole

Would love to have John explain why he believes the BBWAA should be the "solo proprietors of the Hall of Fame voting". Makes no sense that broadcasters and internet writers have virtually no voice in this process. For God's sake, Vin Scully not being able to vote is a travesty when you have voters submitting blank ballots in "protest". The BBWAA is a joke, and many members are self-righteous, self-serving, self-promoting hypocrites.

Jan 10, 2013 06:18 AM
rating: 21
 
amazin_mess

Totally agreed.

Jan 10, 2013 09:59 AM
rating: 1
 
TADontAsk

Would writers even use the extra votes? From a lot of the published ballots I've seen, the majority of the ballots contained 4-7 names. They've said the average ballot contains about 6 names, and that hasn't really changed over time. Giving those writers 12/15 votes instead of 10 doesn't necessarily mean they'll use them. I'd have to think that the writers who used all 10 votes this year, and would use more if they were able to, are in the vast minority.

I also agree with the 1st poster. If they voted players in, this wouldn't be an issue. At some point in the future, maybe even 15-20 years from now, the ballot will probably shrink back down to normal size, and then we'll be arguing that 15 votes is too many.

I've never had a problem with the process. I actually think it works. My problem has been with the explanation given my some of the writers for their votes. MLB.com listen some of their writers' ballots, and one only voted for Morris with this explanation: "I've been swayed by evidence presented this year about his complete games and innings. Moreover, the Giants' postseason pitching last year reminded me of Morris' brilliant performance against the Braves in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series."

So in other words, he's saying that the San Francisco Giants pitched well in the World Series this year, so he's voting for Morris. And I'm glad we can now find innings totals and complete games online, because apparently those haven't been available for the previous 13 years. THIS is the problem. Not the process.

Jan 10, 2013 06:25 AM
rating: 5
 
DavidHNix

Right -- I don't think anyone was kept out because there wasn't enough room on somebody's ballot. They were kept out because of the ridiculous 75% rule and the disgusting sanctimoniousness of too many of the writers.

Jan 10, 2013 06:41 AM
rating: 0
 
SC

But it will become an increasing problem. All the guys who used seven or eight or nine slots this year, will presumably also want to vote for Greg Maddux and some of the others joining the ballot next year.

For the next several years, more hall of famers are coming onto the ballot than going off of it (assuming the BBWAA doesn't elect more than a few guys a year, likely because of vote splitting and sanctimony), so the need for more than ten ballot slots will only grow.

Moreover, at least some of the non-votes this year were punitive, and I'd hope that a significant percentage of voters who did not this year, will in the next few years, cast them for Bonds and Clemens, again increasing the number of slots needed.

Jan 10, 2013 09:31 AM
rating: 0
 
mikedee

This is an archaic process that needs to be completely revamped.

A writer is not the sole authority on a sport, but you will certainly see a lot of articles written this week claiming they are.

Jan 10, 2013 09:35 AM
rating: 0
 
mikebuetow

I'm not sure I see why "retired" baseball writers no longer have the wisdom or ability to decide who should be in a hall of fame for "retired" baseball players.

I'm not arguing that they always make good choices, mathematically someone with just the minimum 10 years experience as a baseball writer probably never saw Tim Raines play. If active participation (i.e., observation) is one way to achieve "good" voting, how is that person better suited than the retired writer to determine whether Raines' should be in?

Jan 10, 2013 09:44 AM
rating: 1
 
godfather

amen to the previous post from a retired sportswriter...the whole hall thing is sanctimony at its worst; how about a vote for rooms in the hall?

Jan 10, 2013 09:46 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

I truly believe BBWAA will destroy the Hall. Hey just ask the merchants in Cooperstown. Theyve suffered loses two years running and now no one
will go. Add that to the growing disgust towards the Hall by the everyday fan. The HOF really is in trouble.

Jan 10, 2013 10:02 AM
rating: 0
 
RedsManRick

Considering that the character clause had been virtually ignored up to this point, I think it's only reasonable that it be removed moving forward so that today's players are not being held to a different standard.

Jan 10, 2013 10:33 AM
rating: 5
 
Dodger300

I have never understood why the process allows players to be on the ballot for 15 years. Five years is certainly enough time for everyone to get past any emotional bias (for example, grief over Thurman Munson's untimely death).

Once a player becomes eligible, he should be on the ballot only one time, with no limit on how many players the elector can vote for. The voters would have to choose whether to vote for him or not. After all, the players career doesn't change from years 5 to 6 to 15.

Voters would no longer be able to rationalize that the player will still have 14 more chances, so what the heck does it matter if they are wrong, paying off a grudge, or just being totally lazy this year?

Each year's ballot becomes extremely important.

This should curtail the foolishness of "punishing" an unpopular but but historically great player, who one expects to vote for eventually. It would also eliminate the nonsensical practice of withholding a vote in the belief that only a few players should ever be first year Hall-of-Famers.

Some might complain that under this method, no one, or very few, would ever get enshrined in Cooperstown. If that is the case, then it reveals that the voting system and its voters are fatally flawed and need to be discarded completely.

I am sure it would not be difficult to come up with a system that eliminates much of the politics and pettiness that is now rampant.

Jan 10, 2013 10:45 AM
rating: 0
 
Ogremace

Still, the 15 year rule allows for changing mindsets not to become impotent. Think about Bert Blyleven, who would not be in given a 5 year rule and who I believe is undoubtedly deserving. Also, the 15 year rule means that the recent popularity and prevalence of sabermetrics was able to influence voting on players who played at times when this analysis wasn't practiced. I think that's a good thing, as well possible future revelations that could reconfigure how we analyze baseball value.

Jan 10, 2013 11:05 AM
rating: 2
 
Dodger300

Then I will go back to my default position:

"If that is the case, then it reveals that the voting system and its voters are fatally flawed and need to be discarded completely."

Jan 11, 2013 04:46 AM
rating: 0
 
Ogremace

But in what way? 15 years is no good, neither is 5, so we just throw our hands up? There's never going to be a flawless voting system, or at least one that suits the needs of everyone, voter or fan or player. Trying to set up the system so that others will be forced to vote as you might or would doesn't really fix anything, it just adds another layer of complication. And shortening the total number of possible ballots only hurts the players, who are the ones least deserving. If you want to shake up the system I'm not in disagreement but remember that it's the Hall of Fame itself that allows the BBWAA to vote and determines the specifics. The problem isn't just "stupid" or "obstinate" writers.

Jan 11, 2013 08:54 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Five years wasn't enough time to get past the emotional bias of the steroid era.

Jan 10, 2013 14:57 PM
rating: 3
 
Ogremace

I'm a bit scared 15 won't be either.

Jan 10, 2013 15:01 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

I'll just be selfish and say I'm glad Andre Dawson got in before this mess began.

Jan 10, 2013 19:31 PM
rating: 1
 
carligula

Has the BBWAA ever received more attention than in the last three months, between Cabrera/Trout and yesterday's voting?

If you're unhappy with their decisions, NOT talking about them is probably the best course of action - the BBWAA will change its ways when, and only when, it realizes the fans no longer care what they say.

Jan 10, 2013 11:22 AM
rating: 2
 
bozarowski

Three modest proposals to help fix the Hall of Fame.
1. Nobody may vote for the Hall of Fame that no longer actively covers or demonstrably associates with the game of baseball.
2. Writers may vote for as many candidates in a given year as they feel are worthy.
3. All ballots must be made public. All writers must explain their selection in a column that will run on the Baseball Writer's Association website and on their own paper/website/magazine.

Jan 10, 2013 14:39 PM
rating: 3
 
Llarry

I'd add some provision for announcers/other media types to be added under some conditions. As was noted above, not taking advantage of Vin Scully's experience is a shame. (In fact if you came to me with a plan where Vin was to be the *only* voter, I might have to think about it...).

Jan 10, 2013 16:10 PM
rating: 2
 
sbnirish77

Here's the change in the process that is needed ....

Major League Baseball and players have agreed to ramp up the battle against illicit performance-enhancing drugs by instituting in-season testing for human growth hormone.

The timing of the announcement comes the day after the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced that no former players were selected for induction from a ballot that included some stars who have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

Jan 10, 2013 14:53 PM
rating: 0
 
apollo

The HOF procedure has never been about logic or consistency.

Oh, the drama, Craig Biggio did not get in on first ballot!

Berra-got in ballot #2, Sandberg first ballot, 49%, Killebrew first ballot, 59%, Biggio 68%. Nothing is broken here guys-the HOF voting has been like this forever. I don't know what the real agenda is, but nothing is broken. Unless there is evidence Biggio did PED, he should make it in within 2-3 years.

And if any did do PEDs? Put someone in the HOF who you find out cheated to get great mumbers or make great numbers even better? Cheated on the clean players in the game! Wow, the ends do justify the means. Cheat the game, the fans, your fellow players and go into the hall of FAME! Rose and Shoeless Joe come on in, you had great numbers before you did bad stuff. If you care about baseball as a sport, for its history, for its opportunities for wholesome youth play, you will not celebrate people who knowingly cheated the sport. Sort of like voting someone father of the year for a list of good deeds when you know he cheated on his wife.

Jan 10, 2013 17:39 PM
rating: 0
 
Dodger300

Isn't Gaylord Perry in the Hall of Fame?

He "cheated on the clean players in the game! Wow, Do the ends justify the means? Cheat the game, the fans, your fellow players and go into the hall of FAME!"

OMG.

Jan 11, 2013 04:55 AM
rating: 2
 
Dave Holgado

Here's my $0.02 on a ballot rule change. Rather than simply increasinf the max number allowed a ballot, why not make it so that once a particular BBWAA member votes for a player, two things happen: (1) that vote becomes "locked in" and counts for all remaining years that the player is HoF eligible and that BBWAA member is entitled to vote; and (2) the member need not count that vote against his 10 (or change it to 5, or 3?) max ballot in future voting years. A player should never get squeezed off of a writer's ballot simply because other players become HoF eligible who that writer deems even more hallworthy. If you're over the bar, you're over the bar.

Jan 10, 2013 18:45 PM
rating: 6
 
BP staff member Doug Thorburn
BP staff

This is a great idea, Dave, and the first I've heard of it.

Each BBWAA member having a personal "locked in" ballot would serve the function of satiating the voter's ego, allowing each one to grandstand with a branded opinion of who deserves enshrinement. Each voter would also be held more accountable for his or her individual ballot.

This sounds like a pretty solid compromise to fit the interests of all parties, and it would accomplish several key elements relating to the overcrowded ballot, from the lack of annual entrants to the players that get squeezed. The only issue I see is that it's a one-way door, so voters might be reticent to commit to players if they know that they can never go back, causing the plan to backfire.


I would give you a round of applause, but the best I can do alone is to start a slow clap.

(*clap*)





(*clap*)

Jan 11, 2013 02:06 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Locking a vote sounds neat, but I can picture it causing problems. Let's say I voted for a guy the first year he was eligible and, a few years down, it's revealed he took steroids or beat his wife or something. I wouldn't be able to change my vote?

Isn't that kind of why they have people on the ballot for 15 years, to allow writers to evaluate them?

Jan 11, 2013 03:18 AM
rating: 1
 
Dodger300

"...beat his wife or something."

Or something, no less.

I would never condone beating a woman, or even a man. In fact, used to work as a woman's therapist at a domestic violence shelter. But it sure seems to me that you have jumped the shark here.

Do you believe that Kirby Puckett should be evicted from the Hall of Fame because a woman took out a restraining order against him for pushing her? And because another woman accused him of false imprisonmeent, assault, and fifth degree criminal sexual behavior?

How many people did Ty Cobb beat and stab, for the simple offense of being black? Do you believe Cobb's got to go, too?

Jan 11, 2013 05:22 AM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

Don't confuse my perceptions with the perceptions of the members of the BBWAA. I'm saying, if the writers vote on character and their vote is "locked in", then there's a chance they may feel wronged if something leaks out later. Note that a lot of the argument for Kirby Puckett had to do with his character.

Also, yeah, I saw "Cobb" but there are arguments that most of it was made up by Al Stump. Some argue he wasn't racist and that the media only portrayed him as racist after he died.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2004/05/21/let_416281.shtml

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/43506-ty-cobb-was-not-a-racist

http://www.freakonomics.com/2012/07/19/legacy-of-a-jerk-full-transcript/

Jan 11, 2013 10:43 AM
rating: -1
 
Llarry

Does it have to be a one-way door? Let the vote be locked, giving the voter ballot-size-relief for future votes, but allow the vote to be rescinded if later information warrants it. Making the user take a positive action to rescind the vote (rather than passively just failing to re-vote for the player each year) will tone down gratuitous fickleness. If need be move it beyond checking a box or writing in a name to be removed and actually require a comment be filled in. (I see no reason to require the reason be judged, just require the box to be filled in, and with actual relevant text instead of random characters)

Jan 11, 2013 09:31 AM
rating: 2
 
TADontAsk

Or you could make the writers use one of their 5 votes to remove an old vote. So in a sense, a writer is granted for "moves" each year instead of votes. With these, they could remove old votes or vote for new players.

Jan 11, 2013 10:34 AM
rating: 2
 
WaldoInSC

I'm surprised at the silence over Mike Piazza's poor showing.

I'd like to ask the 40% of the voters who passed him by: if the greatest hitting catcher of all-time isn't a Hall of Famer, who is?

Jan 10, 2013 19:04 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Murray Chass said he used steroids. Case closed.

Jan 10, 2013 20:02 PM
rating: 4
 
jtwalsh

Did Murray Chass say this while Piazza was playing in New York and Chass was the star baseball writer for the New York Times, or is thisa recent accusation by the blogger Murray Chass? If it walks, talks, and quacks like a hypocrite...

Jan 11, 2013 02:17 AM
rating: 2
 
Ogremace

No one seems to be noticing this. All these writers who are so upset and so judgmental now somehow never noticed any of this at the time it was happening. And now they're pushing this "we have to assume it was everyone, everywhere, the whole time". Well shouldn't you know? You were in the clubhouse, you talked to them, what's the deal? I have to believe that there are two other motivators: 1) they saw, they knew, but didn't want to say, and now they're using that knowledge without wanting to implicate themselves; and 2) they didn't know and never knew and are angry and resentful that they could have been duped, and now are trying to "get back" at the players who managed to hide this from them. Both are equally pathetic for different reasons.

The baseball writers are really losing this battle, whether they see it or not.

Jan 11, 2013 09:02 AM
rating: 4
 
Dodger300

I agree with you whole-heartedly.

But, obviously, some writers are dead set against voting anyone into the Hall who is rumored to have had back acne.

Or maybe having the audacity to marry a Playboy Playmate jezebel is sufficient evidence to judge that Piazza is a flawed human being under the "character" clause in the HOF criteria.

Jan 11, 2013 05:36 AM
rating: 0
 
John Douglass

You BBWAA guys don't need more than 10 votes. You need to use the 10 you have properly. There's no logjam if Bagwell is elected in either of his first two go-rounds. There's no logjam if you elect Raines any time in the last half-decade. There's no logjam if you elect Curt Schilling this year instead of piling up support for Jack Morris. Since, y'know, Schilling is so demonstrably better than Morris that not even the most old-school yahoo could make a case for Morris.

When you guys get your vote right, and when you're not causing a ballot pile up, you can ask for more votes with a straight face. Especially if the ask is coming from someone who only used 9 this year.

Jan 11, 2013 09:22 AM
rating: 3
 
asstarr1

John, I am glad to see we share three things; disappointment in the HOF voting, love of baseball and a birthday!

Jan 11, 2013 12:02 PM
rating: 0
 
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