Sunday, December 01, 2013

Mad Dog Down

Greg Maddux will not be the first baseball player unanimously elected into the Hall of Fame.

It's not that he's not worthy, whatever that means. And for all the high-horse maundering about how if Ty Cobb didn't get voted in unanimously then ain't no one going in unanimously, that's not what's going to do it. Because even the most self-righteous of Hall of Fame voter types loves them some Maddux, with his Mickey Mouse watch and his glasses and his ne'er a whiff o' steroids and his command (which is the sort of thing baseball writers dream about having when they finally realize they'll never through 98 with movement). 

What's going to happen is this. Some smart writer is going to look at the ballot and realize that there are about 18 worthy candidates on there (plus Jack Morris). That smart cookie is going to realize that if everyone votes for the ten best, then nobody's voting for numbers 11-19 (or Jack Morris, but that's another argument), which means those guys will drop off the ballot despite deserving induction, and, well, you get the idea. And so, our smart cookie is going to look at the top of the ballot, figure that Maddux is getting in with or without him, and take the vote he would have given to ol' 4 Eyes and slap it on Tim Raines or Alan Trammell or someone like that.

And then the results will come in, and maybe Trammell will stay on the ballot because of that one vote. And there will be a grand foofaraw over the fact that Maddux wasn't inducted unanimously, and there will be internet calls for the head of the voter(s) who didn't list him. 

But that's just how the system's made, and to do the Hall justice someone's going to end up volunteering to be the answer to the trivia question: Who didn't vote for Greg Maddux.  Not that it will stop the yelling and screaming and geshrying, of course. But those of us who can do math, we'll understand. 
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