The 2013 ballot for the Hall of Fame was stocked with some of the best careers ever assembled on one ballot. The voting results of the BBWAA only solidifies my stance that the voting needs to be done away with forever.
Whether you condone steroids or other PED’s (Ryan Braun), it doesn’t give you the right to disqualify or otherwise punish a player. If MLB does nothing to invalidate or otherwise reject their careers, your vote should not be about their lifestyle. Call them cheaters if you wish, I do, but if they are not considered traitors to baseball, as apparently Pete Rose and Joe Jackson are, they should be scrutinized by their career. Was Barry Bonds worthy of the Hall of Fame? That is a rhetorical question I assume sir. If anyone had a career that was viable for Cooperstown, it was Bonds.
I am not a fan of Bonds, or Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro. Do I think their careers were admissible to the Hall of Fame? With the exception of McGwire, yes. Some speak of Bonds and Clemens record-shattering careers and overlook Palmeiro. He is one of only three batters to hit 500+ HR, collect 3000+ H and have 1800+ RBI, all three totals HOF worthy independent of the others. The other two men are Hank Aaron and Eddie Murray, both enshrined already.
In a four-year period Sosa averaged 62 HR, 152 RBI and slashed .310/.396/.662. If he is not banned from baseball, he should be in.
Some BBWAA members decided to resurrect the performance of Pontius Pilate and do nothing. You know, wash their hands of the whole thing.
That is BS, and I don’t care who you are. Some players were hurt by the lack of support attributable to the silence of the writers. Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza are the first three that come to mind. All three had HOF careers and are being unjustly punished. Bagwell and Piazza are because of unsubstantiated “rumors” that they had taken PEDs. I have no clue what the story behind Biggio is.
These may be strange remarks coming from a 62-year old baseball purist. The Hall of Fame is a hallowed place, or at least it use to be. Writers should not be allowed to play God with player’s careers. The only thing that should dictate whether a player is worthy or not, is his body of work, i.e., his career statistics. If an infraction of the rules has occurred, it is up to the governing officials to oversee it and act upon it.
The writers who are commissioned to vote, should be fired from that privilege instantly. Like, right now. We have seen enough of their antics to realize they are grossly unqualified to make decisions that are this important. In fact, nobody is qualified to do that. They remind me of judges who attempt to legislate from the bench. Nobody ever game them that authority.
I would propose that a set of statistics be structured in such a way as to represent the minimum standards for enshrinement to the HOF. For example, 10 categories could be chosen and if a player meets the benchmark in a certain percentage of them, he is qualified and enshrined when he retires. Not five years later, or 15 more if enough people raise enough hell to get him elected (sorry Bert Blyleven and Jim Rice, it had to be said). In or out, numbers would not have intangibles tied to them. This method would keep someone who just hits HR out, unless he was proficient in other areas such as OBP, BA, RBI, RUNS, etc. Not many batters would hit 500 HR, get 3000 hits, and drive in 1500 runs, but other stats could propel them through the gates. For you younger mathematics – driven fans some metrics could be dashed in for good measure (can’t believe I wrote that.)
If a man were judged on his life’s standards he would probably fall short. If you keep someone out because he was a drunkard, you would probably have to get rid of Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. If you don’t like bigots then Cap Anson must go. If you can’t stand rebel rousers, then the Georgia Peach (Ty Cobb) would be chopped off at the knees. Did they pay their bills, did they have extra-marital affairs? Who cares when it comes to assessing a player’s career?
My plan would also bring an end to the Veteran’s Committee as well. If those old players whom they discuss meet the minimum standards of the statistics prescribed then they would enter in.
Dale Murphy could be considered borderline, but he was imposing in the acme of his career, winning consecutive MVP awards. He is joined by the late Roger Maris as the only two players with two MVP awards who are eligible and not voted in during their 15 years of ballot existence. As a matter of fact Juan Gonzalez won a couple of them himself and was relegated to baseball hell after his second appearance on the ballot. This was Murphy’s last hurrah.
Some fans are all up in arms over the fact that Jack Morris still didn’t make the cut. Personally I don’t see that he is as qualified as many who have been rejected in the past. Without a statistical low-water mark established a case could be made for many who haven’t made the grade. There is a case to be made for Tommy John, the winningest pitcher not in the Hall of Fame with 288 victories. I would like to point you to a list of pitchers who have met some serious requirements. This august bunch of men have over 700 games, 285 wins, 160 complete games, 2200 strikeouts, and 4,600 innings, and at least three 20-win seasons during their career.
The answer you would receive is six pitchers in the history of the sport. Those pitchers are Phil Niekro, Walter Johnson, Gaylord Perry, John, Warren Spahn and Steve Carlton. Quite a group to be associated with, eh? My point is that if a bar is set, you either have to go over it or under it. There are no if’s, and’s or but’s. With that in place, arguments would be non-existent.
I am sure Bonds and Clemens will get through someday, but God only knows when. If the BBWAA continues to be the gatekeeper, maybe never.