Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baseball needs to stop aggrandizing “The Hall”

Hey as a baseball fan, I have rolled with all the punches MLB has thrown my way, from the strike long ago, to juicing/cooling the balls, to All-Star games that end in a tie, and lastly to “roid rage”, and I’m on the train for life. However, one of the things that I’ve most admired about baseball is how its Hall of Fame is viewed as the most respected of the Big 3 (NFL, NBA, MLB) but is quickly losing its luster as the baseball voters continue the farce that has become the HOF voting process. It seems to function as a secret society where they collude amongst each other to set a separate standard to a select few to say they were “first time balloters”. Unfortunately, what it does is tarnishes the credibility of members that are in, and the future members as well simply because if ‘The Hawks’ numbers were good enough to get him in this year, what changed between now and 2009? Did they LOWER their standards? Is there a standard deviation component that forces the minimums to vary from year-to-year, or do they simply wait to make sure that the player isn’t involved in any scandals too close to the end of their career? Regardless of what the justification is, the end result contradicts the intention and the process is getting more scrutiny than hanging chads. What MLB needs to realize is that the “process” of getting to the Hall is what these players do over the course of their careers NOT to have that evaluated by writers who probably never competed at all, and certainly never at that level, under that kind of pressure, for that amount of time. To put a lifetimes worth of work in the hands of someone who could have a personal vendetta because of getting shunned for an interview, or ignored at a press conference is beyond reasoning. It’s like giving the geek that could never get the cheerleader a chance for redemption. The final word should be if they were good enough to be considered then they should be voted on by their piers, fellow competitors, and yes, some writers with enough tenure to have had an opportunity to see the players compete, because that’s the ONLY contribution they can justify making to the process. It’s time to revamp the system while there’s still time to retain what’s good about the game. With that said here’s the final tally of this year’s All-Star ballot. What do you think about how baseball selects the Hall of Fame? Let us know here and in any of the quick links:
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Andre Dawson will be inducted on July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were elected by a Veterans Committee. First-time candidates are in bold..

Candidates on the Ballot
Player Position Years Played Total Votes Percentage
Andre Dawson RF/CF 1976-1996 420 77.9%
Bert Blyleven SP 1970-1992 400 74.2%
Roberto Alomar 2B 1988-2004 397 73.7%
Jack Morris SP 1977-1994 282 52.3%
Barry Larkin SS 1986-2004 278 51.6%
Lee Smith RP 1980-1997 255 47.3%
Edgar Martinez DH/INF 1987-2004 195 36.2%
Tim Raines LF 1979-2002 164 30.4%
Mark McGwire 1B 1986-2001 128 23.7%
Alan Trammell SS 1977-1996 121 22.4%
Fred McGriff 1B 1986-2004 116 21.5%
Don Mattingly 1B 1982-1995 87 16.1%
Dave Parker DH 1973-1991 82 15.2%
Dale Murphy OF 1976-1993 63 11.7%
Harold Baines DH/RF 1980-2001 33 6.1%
Andres Galarraga1B 1985-2004 22 4.1%
Robin Ventura 1B 1989-2004 7 1.3%
Ellis Burks DH/OF 1987-2004 2 0.4%
Eric Karros 1B 1991-2004 2 0.4%
Kevin Appier SP 1989-2004 1 0.2%
Pat Hentgen SP 1991-2004 1 0.2%
David Segui 1B 1990-2004 1 0.2%
Mike Jackson RP 1986-2004 0
Ray Lankford LF 1990-2004 0
Shane Reynolds SP 1992-2004 0
Todd Zeile C 1989-2004 0
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