Bowie Kuhn is in,
Marvin Miller is not.
Marvin Miller is not.
If ever there was an example of Americans' tendency to reward incompetence, there it is.
Still, the Hall of Fame induction vote is still very much a Big Deal to baseball fans, including myself no matter how much I grouse about it. Since this year's class will be announced tomorrow I feel compelled to say a bit about it. I'm not going to harp on the candidates that just flat out ain't getting in tomorrow whether they deserve it or not. So no discussion of Raines, Morris, Larkin or Trammell. I'm also going to skip over most of the first timers (except one) mainly because it unnerves me that guys like Todd Zeile and Pat Hentgen are on the ballot. Not because they shouldn't be on the ballot, but because it freaks me out that they are eligible to be on the ballot. Karros? Galarraga? Ventura? Retired for five years?? *shudder* Nope, there are three guys who have a reason to be near a phone tomorrow.
Roberto AlomarThere's a lot of people who think he's a lock and I just don't get it. Of course, I hate him. He's a great player and all, arguably the best all around second baseman ever (suck it, Morgan!) but I just loathe the guy. And not for the spitting thing either, it was for that smart-ass mock chop in the 1992 World Series. Screw you Robbie, you're gonna be a Hall of Famer but you're still a douche. I don't know if he gets in tomorrow but it's pretty much inevitable anyway so get him in quick so he doesn't steal a vote from someone deserving next year.
I've come to terms with hating Hall of Famers. While Hall members seem like mythical legends of the game, the fact is if I was born 100 years ago I'd probably hold a withering grudge against some seemingly innocuous player like Harry Heilmann or Burleigh Grimes for some stupid reason. Hey, it's sports. You have your favorite players and teams, and those you hate. That's how it works. Eventually a contemporary player you despise is going to get into the Hall. Alomar is a douche and I hate him. Joe Morgan is a pompous ass and I hate him. They're still Hall caliber players and that's ok 'cause I don't have to like 'em. Gary Carter bugs the crap out of me too, but I haven't quite figured out why. Sure, he was a Met, but I disliked him way before then. Mere Metsyness couldn't account for the sheer irritation he causes me, but I seriously don't know why. I guess that's a me problem and not a Gary problem. I've sort of gone off the rails here so let's move on.
Andre better goddamn get in. If Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer, Andre is a Hall of Famer. Why it's taken so long, I'll never know. Oh wait, I do know. Because the idiot writers who vote got dazzled by all the juicebuckets mashing dingers right and left and undervalued Dawson's 438 homers back when it was really really hard to hit home runs. And he wasn't just a home run hitter! He hit for a good average, stole a ton of bases and was an excellent outfielder. The only thing he didn't do was make a big splash in the postseason, but the man played for the Expos and Cubs. You can't expect miracles. I've always liked Dawson, I've thought of him as a Hall of Fame guy, and I'm thinking - hoping - PRAYING that the voters finally come around this time. I'm not going to count on it though. I'm too damn pessimistic for that.
He's got a legitimate shot this time. People are starting to wake up to the fact that the numbers can't be ignored. 3701 Ks, 60 shutouts, two World Series rings! And thirteen stupid games that got away from him. His broadcasting work and involvement with the Netherlands WBC team are also pluses. The guy's a Hall of Famer and people are finally recognizing it. I still think he doesn't get in this year. Sorry. I can hold out the tiniest bit of cautious optimism for Hawk, but I truly feel that the writers are still too stupid to actually vote for people who deserve it. Someone will vote for Kevin Appier because his cousin's brother in law went to high school with him. Some old-timer will spend days agonizing about voting for Bert for the first time, then accidentally check off Ellis Burks' name instead. Some moron from a tiny paper in Podunk, IA will send in a blank ballot, write a column about it and end up interviewed on a bunch of sports talk shows and get his paper's web site a ton of hits in the process. I have no faith in the system anymore so I simply can't expect that anyone gets in this year, least of all the most deserving.
After that depressing bit of whinery, here's a few Hall of Fame links you might find interesting.
Here's the Ballot if you're interested. For what it's worth I tried doing the cliche "If I had a Hall Ballot" thing and I just couldn't do it. There were twelve guys I couldn't not vote for and you're only allowed ten votes.
Chris Jaffe predicts the voting results. I'd be happy if his results were close to the final tally.
As usual Sully comes through with another excellent Hall of Fame post that helps me down off the ledge just in time. "First Ballot" means squat.
Another thing that has given me great cheer in this time of despair is the fact that Skip Caray is a finalist for the Ford Frick award. Skip's going to get in eventually - his trademark voice was mocked for years by comedians which is as good a measure of fame as you're going to get - I just hope it's in time to Pete to give the acceptance speech.
Finally, Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius posted Warren Spahn's plaque and I think you should all go look at it.
Oh one more thing. I can't stand Robbie, but that is a bona-fide Hall of Fame card of him up there. '94 Fleer is da bomb.
Ok, one more one more thing. I need to comment on this but I don't want to bump the HOF post I spent an hour and a half on off the top of the RSS feed. Braves sign Eric Hinske. What?! I mean, good signing... he's a solid bench bat who is both Chipper and Glaus insurance, but... What?!? Where the hell did that come from. Good job, Wren.