Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hall of Fame Thoughts

Andre Dawson got in the Hall of Fame. Good for him. I figured he would at some point.

This blog is not about 'The Hawk.'

I was very surprised that Roberto Alomar didn't get in. Enough that I said WOW out loud at work while listening to the broadcast.

I can understand someone being upset about 'The Spitting Incident.' Being an O's fan, trust me, I know all about it. If John Hirshbeck can forgive Alomar and move on (they are friends now by the way), then I believe the spitting incident becomes a non issue.

My real problem is with the Hall of Fame voting process. There are a few arguments I am sick of hearing. I will break them down for you.

No one should be a unanimous choice
That's crap. I'm sorry someone back in the day was so stupid that they did not cast a vote for Babr Ruth, Lou Gehrig, or Walter Johnson. For Bert Blyleven to miss by 5 votes and 5 jabronis submitted blank ballots really causes one to step back and think.

I have heard the argument made in years past that these guys submit blank ballots because they feel that since some of those I mentioned above were not unanimous choices, then no one should be. I'm sorry, but leaving Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Nolan Ryan, George Brett, etc etc off a ballot is just nuts to me. Those 5 guys need their PRIVILEDGE to vote taken away. Rescinded. Buh bye.

[Insert Name Here] is not a 'first ballot' Hall of Famer
Another load of crap. Ok, now, if you think about all the 'first ballot' Hall of Famers, man, those are some impressive names. Did you know that Yogi Berra and Joe DiMaggio were not? I didn't until it was mentioned in an article yesterday.

If someone is a Hall of Famer, they are a Hall of Famer on their first ballot or their fifteenth ballot. Granted, some have taken some time to get in, Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage and Jim Rice come to mind.

I think Gossage and Sutter took so long because the voters had to weigh the impact they had on the game for some time, because those two pretty much revolutionized a new position, the role of the relief pitcher.

Rice retired right at the supposed beginning of the 'Steroid Era,' so in theory (my theory at least) is that had there not been a steroid era, he may have gotten more attention right when he became eligible (while McGwire and Sosa were smashing the HR record, etc). His numbers would have stacked up a lot better.

The Hall of Very Good?
Now, I'm not one of those that is all like 'Ohhhhhh nooooo I done gone and stung myself...' no, wait... 'Ohhhh nooooo, too many people are in the Hall of Fame... blah blah blah.' This is a very touchy subject and can cause good friends to hit each other with chairs, but here are my thoughts. No chair throwing please, just friendly debate.

The veterans committee selection process was so effed up for so long, pretty much anyone could get in. I think I heard a quote from Ted Williams (I think it was) one time about how the votes used to go down, for real. He said: It was a bunch of old men sitting around, ready to go to lunch. Someone said 'Hey what about that catcher who caught all those knucleballers?' 'Oh yeah, him... yeah he's in, lets go eat...'

I know all you Yankee fans love Phil Rizzuto. He should be in as a broadcaster. Because some sleepy old man put him in via veterans committee, now I have to be intoxicated to be able to tell myself I can afford his baseball card on ebay? Really? (another story for another day). His numbers don't stack up man. Good ballplayer. Not a Hall of Famer (in my humble opinion). Don't worry Yankee fans, I got a treat for you below.

Remember the old poem, Tinker to Evers to Chance? Yeah all 3 are in. All 3 were pretty much decent players, but Harold Baines has more career hits. He doesnt have a poem written about him. Sorry Harold, you gotta buy a ticket to get in buddy.

If Pete Rose isn't in, then [Insert Name Here] shouldn't get in
All-time hits leader not in. Fair enough argument. I think he should be. HOWEVER. Pete Rose signed an agreement that he would be banned from baseball for life. He did that. Sucks for him. Now, I'm all for time heals all wounds. I don't think a lifetime ban for anything is good. Times change, people change, etc etc. Pete Rose is not a saint. He profitted off of everything that happened after 1989. I do think he should be in there solely based on his accomplishments on the field. Character is part of the criteria one looks at when casting their vote. I've never been the greatest judge of character, so what do I know. I do know he was a hell of a player.

I also know that 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson should get in. Wouldn't matter much as he has no living relatives. The details behind the Black Sox scandal are so sketchy, I don't know if you really should hold him out because of it. Disagree with me if you want, but its my blog hahaha.

Its all about the numbers baby
Don Mattingly (see what I'm doing here?). You guys take note. I'm about to say something positive about a New York Yankee. Two of them actually. I think a Hall of Famer should be one of the best players of their generation. Donnie Baseball should be in the Hall. Once again, disagree if you please (and I do welcome the comments), but he was one of the best players of his era. He doesn't have prototypical 1st baseman numbers. He doesn't have World Series rings. He may have played one too many seasons. However, it is the Hall of Fame, and yes, Don Mattingly was one of the more 'famous' players of his generation. His numbers are very similar to Kirby Puckett. Mattingly has an MVP award. He should get in (and probably will at some point). Thurman Munson should too. Had he not gotten on that plane, he would (presumably) have had a pretty great career. He also had rings :)

The fans should vote
Oh hell no. Absolutely not. Fans (common fans, mind you) are stupid. Take the All Star vote. [insert random Yankee or Red Sox player here] gets in when clearly another player on another team outside of Boston or NY (where baseball doesn't exist, accoring to the 4-letter network) deserves it. I've seen that too many times. Fans will be voting in Jorge Posada or David Ortiz or JD Drew, etc left and right. Scary thought.

Does that make me a hypocrite? A troglodite? I don't even know what that means. No. The whole point of my rant here is this:

The Hall of Fame voting process is broken. Do I know how to fix it? Nope. I'm not an engineer. What it does do is create an endless amount of material for people to blog about, or to stand around a counter at a card shop and discuss in a friendly manner. No chair-throwing please.
Post a Comment