|NY Times Thu-Ctsy: Kevin Neghandi|
Where do you start on such an idiotically stupid subject that pretty much everyone---except for the allegedly holier than thou group of Sportswriters who vote on it--is angry about.
For the 1st time in a long time, the Baseball Writers of America failed to gather a 75% coalition to vote any players into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
And quite honestly, that unto itself isn't really a tragedy. No, the tragedy is that there were actually quite a few guys worthy of the honor who were eligible.
Yes, we know that a lot of it was framed by the eligibility of supposedly tainted players such as Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmiero. And while all, arguably except Palmiero PED tainted or not, are Hall level players, the exclusion of guys like Dale Murphy, Jack Morris and Tim Raines is mind boggling.
The BBWA is saying that they have no regrets and all is fair with the voting process. And maybe it is. But the vote tally was odd, to say the least.
Somehow, Craig Biggio, a very good, but not MVP level player, was the closest to election with over 68 pct of voters picking him. But to say Biggio was more Hall of Fame worthy than Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Lee Smith, Allen Trammell, Fred McGriff and Dale Murphy? No, we aren't buying that.
Honestly, the one that mystifies us is Murphy's case. What more did he need to do? He's a 2-time NL MVP, he hit nearly 400 home runs, he was absolutely clean as a whistle and was the primary reason baseball stayed relevant in Atlanta during the 1980's when the franchise resembled a train wreck.
But Murphy's 15-years of being on the primary ballot has ended. His only chance, a vote by the "Veterans Committee".
Here's really what gets under OUR skin. The BBWA. We have a difficult time understanding how a group comprised of mostly irrelevant Baseball Writers have final say on this. We aren't blanketing ALL of them with the sanctimonious, holier than thou label, but there are quite a few who take themselves entirely TOO seriously.
Yes, we understand, getting into a Hall of Fame is a BIG deal. It should be. Not everyone SHOULD be able to make it. Yet only baseball has such strict criteria.
Heck, even the head of the BBWA admits they may have to revisit the voting process. 5 writers with ballots couldn't even be bothered to vote. And their blank ballots count against the nominees. That alone should tell you why the BBWA shouldn't be the FINAL voice in this. But yet they are.
No, what angers us, are the writers who are going on Twitter and patting themselves on the back for NOT voting for the "Tainted" players. Many of them were the same guys gushing and fawning over them during their prime. Quite a few, spoke of the legendary greatness of guys like Bonds and McGwire, Sosa and Clemens, none of whom have been actually proven to be guilty of anything. But yet the accusation and assumption is there, and that alone seems to be enough to convict.
And even if the "Tainted" players aren't considered worthy of inclusion, it's the exclusion of others who arguably are that has most of us angry. Why do they get penalized? If a Dale Murphy can't get in, what does it take to convince the beer swilling, free food eating writers that someone should?
Oh, by the way, next years eligible class includes two of my favorite players, guys who are incredibly worthy of the hall, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. It will be REAL interesting to see if they get in. As much as there is a general hate of the voting process now, it would be chaos if 2 of the most worthy guys in the history of the game don't get in.