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.