There has been a hiatus on me complaining about baseball hall of fame voting the past two years. This is only because the last two years were no brainers that not even the most comatose BBWA writer could screw up. Guys like Griffey, Pedro, and Randy Johnson all got in and obviously all deserved their first ballot status. This years ballot was a little less obvious.
The “stars” going into the museum this year are Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan Rodriguez. On the surface, this doesn’t look to glaring an issue. Pudge was an all time catcher who was the best defensive catcher not only of his generation, but of all time. The eyes told you that but the metrics do too. He has a career defensive WAR of 317. For those new to the stat, that means he accounted for 317 more wins because of his defense than the average catcher over the course of his career. Tim Raines has the second highest baserunning coefficient of all time behind Ricky Henderson. I’m a little too young to have watched Raines, but people tell me he’s the best leadoff hitter ever not named Ricky Henderson. And then Bagwell. Not much to say about him. He was a borderline hall of famer at best based on numbers and by watching him, he never did anything of consequence or drastically affected the game of baseball. He would be first ballot “Hall of Really Really Good” not first ballot hall of fame if it were up to me.
The biggest issue is the people voting. Most of them use this ballot every year to stand on their soapboxes and preach about integrity and playing the game the right way and all that nonsense instead of celebrating the greatness that deserves to be recognized. It is multiplied by a thousand this year because of the hypocrisy of the voters.
This year. The BBWA voted in Bagwell and Rodriguez, both of whom have obvious links to PED use in baseball. Bagwell was on the same thing that McGwire was (which was not outlawed by the MLB at the time). Rodriguez was in the same locker room as notorious PED users Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco. The links are obvious yet the BBWA gets to pick and choose who cheated and who didn’t? If the BBWA wants to take a stance, take a stance. Too many people vote for guys like Bagwell but then leave off Bonds, Clemens and Manny? It’s embarrassing.
The BBWA can take all the stances they want one way or the other. Just don’t tell me you have no time for PED users and then vote in the ones that you like. Bonds, Clemens and Manny were thousand times the player than Bagwell was. Just vote for the best players! it’s about baseball, not stuffy baseball writers preaching about integrity.