Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Ten Things I Think About the Baseball Hall of Fame Results

  1. Congratulations to John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Craig Biggio on their induction into the Hall of Fame. Celebrating their election, not fist-shaking impotent rage over who did or didn't vote for whom and why, is the thing to take away from yesterday's results.
  2. Having four candidates go in without losing anyone with a reasonable case for induction off the bottom of the ballot (I'm looking at you, Gary Sheffield) is a good thing, as it means that next year's relatively thin crop of new candidates could allow some more worthies to make it in. And by worthies, I mean "Tim Raines". But I digress.
  3. All of the moaning and geshrying about PEDs and morals clauses and whatever else is semantically null, as the writers tend to cling to the foibles of the players they don't like and conveniently forget the peccadilloes of the ones they do. Case in point: we heard endlessly about Sheffield sulking his way out of Milwaukee and precisely zero about Randy Johnson doing the same to get out of Seattle. Morals and effort matter, or they don't. You don't flip the switch for one guy and not for the next, and expect to retain the respect of your audience.
  4. The post-announcement chatter was thankfully largely about next year's chances for folks like Piazza and Bagwell, and not about who was an idiot for distributing their votes one way or the other. That makes this whole thing a lot more palatable to the fans.
  5. The word "compiler" gets tossed around at times like this as an insult. If you're good enough to stay on the field long enough to compile to that level, you're pretty damn good regardless.
  6. Anyone who refuses to vote for Mike Piazza on the grounds that Murray Chass saw zits on his back twenty years ago needs to stand in front of a mirror and say, "I refused to vote for Mike Piazza on the grounds that Murray Chass said he saw zits on the guy's back twenty years ago." Then they should think about what they just heard themselves say. That should clear things up for them (excuse the phrasing) nicely.
  7. Jeff Bagwell deserves to be in the Hall for the sheer altitude of his home runs alone. He singlehandedly disabled six Russian communications satellites by getting a hold of hanging curveballs.
  8. In most years, I have no problem with local writers tipping the cap to no-hopers with a single vote. It's a nice gesture and it shows respect for a career, with the understanding that's all they're getting. However, in a year like this, when the ballot is overcrowded, it's inexcusable to waste votes in that fashion. 
  9. There is precisely zero chance that the writers will elect Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. Even if the vast majority of the anti-PED crowd were to change their minds, they've made that their hill to die on and they're not going to change their votes as well. Heresy though it is, it might be better to abandon the lost causes - no matter how worthy they are - and put those votes towards worthy players who aren't marked with the same scarlet syringe. Tim Raines could surely use the votes. Then again, odds are if you're voting for Bonds and Clemens, you've read enough advanced stats to be voting for Raines already anyway.
  10. Next year, Ken Griffey Jr. is a lock to get elected. But what are the odds he injures a hammy going to answer the phone call telling him he got in?
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