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Monday, January 12, 2009

Waiting for the Announcement

I pretty much know one guy is getting in. If he doesn't it will be a disaster of BCS proportions. Another guy got so close last time he's almost assured of induction as well simply because that's how the process works. Usually when 70% of the voters check off a guy's name, it's pretty easy for 5% more to succumb to peer pressure. While there's about a dozen on the ballot that I feel deserve to get in, I think there are two out of that group who have an outside chance of also making it. I know that's being horribly optimistic about a terribly flawed system, but with their high number of votes last year and the barrels of ink (or piles of pixels I guess is the modern equivalent) spilled about them I really think one of them might sneak in. Maybe the voters knowing that someone is getting in for sure will make them generous and prompt them to elect a few more. I know all three of those on the bubble guys won't get in, and I'm really nervous that some players will drop off the ballot completely but like I said, I'm being stupidly optimistic right now.

Every year it seems I am stupidly optimistic though, and then when the optimism goes out the window and the stupid happens I get in a funk. Not this time. The dumb Veteran's Committee vote has effectively jaded me to where nothing that happens today will faze me. Also, I just read some comforting words from Shysterball blogger Craig Calterra. He discusses Sam Mellinger's article about Hall of Fame voting that notes Bill Freehan and how even after an exceptional career as the premier defensive catcher of his era, he got two lousy votes for the hall. Two! A crime, but Craig had this to say about it:

I have a Hall of Fame in my head. Everyone in it belongs there, including Bill Freehan.

You know, that's exactly how I feel now that I come to think about it. And how a lot of people feel about the whole process, actually. The Hall of Fame is about who we know should be there. Not about who some writers think should be there. Writers who 'forget' to check off the biggest name on the ballot. Writers who refuse to vote for anyone they deem 'borderline'. Writers who turn in blank ballots so they can interviewed on ESPN and get some publicity for their podunk newspaper.

In my head, Buck O'Neil is a Hall of Famer. Ron Santo was elected years ago. Ernie Lombardi was alive to see his induction. Marvin Miller? No brainer. He's in. Even Pete Rose is in with a big neon red label on his plaque that says "GAMBLED ON BASEBALL". Shoeless Joe is in and Charles Comiskey, who caused that whole mess with his stingy ways is out. Kennesaw Mountain Landis? Excised completely from the hall and replaced with two teams worth of Negro Leaguers who never got a chance to play because of him.

I've gotten pretty pissed about Hall voting before, But like Craig says, it's no big deal. The system is flawed. They have baseball writers voting. They write about baseball because it's their job. We do it for the love.


AdamE said...

The Rant - Shame on baseball for not putting Buck O'Neil in the hall. That is the most tragic of all of the omissions that you mentioned. If not for him and his work there would not be a Negro League HOF. That last group of players that the veterans committee would not have been put in the MLB HOF either without Buck. Instead they now have a Buck O’Neil award. Ask me he should get he award and a spot in the hall.

This year's vote - Henderson and Rice should both be locks. For me only about 3 others (4 if you count McGwire) even need to be on the list of candidates. To me the Hall of Fame is about immortal players not really good ones. The veterans committee should only add glaring omissions and people that contributed after their careers were over.

Dave - Fielder's Choice said...

Adam - was Jim Rice an "immortal" player? And would you be supporting his election to the Hall of Fame if he didn't play for your favorite team?

AdamE said...

The thing that hurts him is his short career. Look at his numbers compared to ther rest of baseball for the time he played. He was the most feared hitter of his time. (except maybe Jackson)

The sewingmachineguy said...

Now that Rice is in, we have to consider George Foster, Darrell Evans, Kingman, Dale Murphy, K.Gibson, Mgriff, Dawson and guys like that.

Dave - Fielder's Choice said...

How do you determine who the most "feared" hitter was? I've never heard a single pitcher say that they were afraid of him.

The sewingmachineguy said...

I heard Mike schmidt say the he feared J.R. Richard the most.

dayf said...

JR Richard was a monster. If it wasn't for that stroke he would have been one of the all-timers. Damn, now I'm sad.