The BBWAA…a bunch of frauds?
Well, I suppose we don’t need to go that far. But did you check out Hall of Fame voting results this week?
I think my induction thoughts were abundantly clear from my previous post. But some of the stuff I have been seeing from other writers this week has driven me bananas. So therefore you get to hear about it, like it or not.
First, you have all the ESPN guys…Jayson Stark, Scott Lauber, Jerry Crasnick, Tim Kurkjian…probably all of them for that matter. I’m sure they are all great guys and although I don’t read their stuff religiously, I have generally liked what they have done over the years. I could do without them on TV, but that’s a different subject entirely…and there’s a whole laundry list of people I could do without on television. So that’s not really any kind of bombshell.
But anyway, the big problem I have seen from those guys is that I think they want to add ALL the guys on the ballot to the Hall of Fame. That statement may be a stretch, however, they consistently complain that they are limited to voting for only 10 players and there are more than 10 qualified candidates on the ballot. In one recent year, Kurkjian actually said he wanted to vote for 21 players. TWENTY ONE!!! He’s out of his mind.
Maybe Kurk (and the others) are too close to the players and want to “reward” them. Or something. It has to be SOMETHING. Because if these veteran sports writers actually think there were more than 10 players worthy of a Hall of Fame plaque, then they are delusional.
Twenty one…holy crap…I have never been able to get that one out of my mind. Someone has to smack some sense into old Timmy Boy.
Then I ran into someone who tops these ESPN folk: Some character by the name of Matt Snyder, a writer for CBS Sports. Never heard of him, but looking at his bio tells me that he played college baseball and worked his way to CBS through various blogs and other websites. Seems like he paid some dues and ended up in a great position. Good for him. I may even admit that I have some jealousy that he can write about baseball for a living. But I won’t. In any event, he should know what he is talking about, correct?
Snyder’s bio also tells me that he is a member of the BBWAA. Uh oh. Don’t worry quite yet though, he has about 8 more years of service to go to get an actual vote.
But he would have voted for 10 guys (Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Raines, Mussina, Schilling, Pudge, Edgar, Sosa and Sheffield). If he had more than 10 votes, he would have also added Vladdy and Walker, wouldn’t be opposed to electing Hoffman, Wagner and Lee Smith and also would have given strong looks to Kent, McGriff and Posada. 18 guys right there. Posada?? Really?? And he also must be too young to have lived through Lee Smith. To make this a little more comical, he left Manny out and would have voted for Mark McGwire if he was on the ballot. McGwire?? Wow. I get that he has a personal PED rule where he leaves players out that were suspended while there has been a joint drug agreement in place. That’s why there is no Manny. And he has a right to his opinion. But you honestly can’t tell me Manny is out and ALL the other kingpins of the steroid era are in. Common sense has to take over at some point, no?
You have to read the actual piece to “appreciate” it, I think:
But wait, it gets better! Three days after that post, after the results came out, he writes another piece where he tries to dispel a couple of “myths”. The first being how the vote totals change each year. In theory, what he describes makes sense, for the most part anyway. I’ll give him some more love and you can read what he wrote here:
What he wrote doesn’t change the fact that he still wants to put like 18 guys in the Hall. Or that if you are changing your minds on guys over the years…more than once anyway…that probably means that he doesn’t belong. Or the fact Tim Raines went from 24.3% in 2008, dropped to 22.6% in 2009 and then got to 86.0% in 2017. That’s way too big a swing. Were ALL of the voters whose votes had lapsed not voting for Raines and ALL the new voters now voting for him? Hard to fathom.
The second myth is that the Hall is being watered down because of “lesser” players getting in nowadays. He presents some facts, that may be true in theory. But again, common sense needs to prevail here as well. A smaller percentage of players are getting in the Hall nowadays based on his numbers. But that only means plenty of mediocre players got in the Hall over the years. That bumped those old numbers up. He neglected to mention the Veteran’s Committee putting all kinds of unqualified guys in the Hall in the past. To the point where the Veteran’s Committee had to be completely revamped. If we took away some of those players, the numbers may be more in line. And that’s just one aspect of what happened in the history of Hall of Fame voting.
I’m very sorry for what seems to be a personal attack here, Mr. Snyder. But maybe you’ll get some more readers from me posting your links. So perhaps you should actually thank me. Regardless, this stuff is just a microcosm of the baseball writers of the day. I’m sure this covers a great deal of the BBWAA. We’ve already talked about the writer who voted for Schilling for years, but is now stopping because Schill started bashing the writers. And the guy who sent in a ballot a few years back with only Jack Morris’ name checked off and no one else. Because he felt “Morris’ career predated the steroid years, so he was voting for him and skipping everyone else because he couldn’t be sure who did ‘roids and who didn’t after that.” And the writers who won’t vote for certain players on the first ballot, because they aren’t “first ballot Hall of Famers.” And on and on. Just not ideal.
Cripes, I have read some preliminary thoughts from some of these writers about 2018 Hall of Fame ballot projections. Chipper Jones and Jim Thome lead the first timers and they certainly warrant consideration. But I have also heard the names of Johnny Damon, Omar Vizquel, Scott Rolen and Andruw Jones get some early love. What?! Why not throw Scott Podsednik and Guillermo Mota in there as well…
So now that I have gotten completely carried away on something not many likely care about, let me leave you with this:
Everyone has their opinion on who makes the Hall. I certainly have mine. No one is wrong, sad to say. But what’s the bottom line on determining a Hall of Famer? I can tell you that one time long ago, I was watching Pedro Martinez throw one of those complete game, 3 hit, 17 strikeout gems at a watering hole in Boston with a friend. Well, it started in the bar. In the 4th inning, my buddy said “let’s hop on the T over to Fenway and see if we can get into the game.” I actually agreed, even though the game was almost half over. We got there in the 6th inning and probably still overpaid a scalper for “seats”. And the building was rocking for the next 3 innings. Worth it. Now THAT is a Hall of Famer.
I can tell you for certain that not once have I said to anyone “hey, Mike Mussina is pitching tonight. Let’s drop everything and watch!”
But maybe I am just an “Internet Tough Guy”…
Posted on January 21, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged Baseball Hall of Fame, BBWAA, CBS Sports, Chipper Jones, Cooperstown, Curt Schilling, ESPN, Ivan Rodriguez, Jayson Stark, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, Major League Baseball, Matt Snyder, Pedro Martinez, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman, Vladimir Guerrero. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.