A Baker’s Dozen Random Thoughts on the Newest Hall of Fame Vote

Here, in no particular order, are some thoughts on the just completed Hall of Fame voting cycle.

1. Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre. It’s certainly a much more formidable list than last year (and remember I like Deacon White).

2. Sorry for Craig Biggio. The Hall is the only place in baseball that doesn’t round-up. As I mentioned in the post just below it’s happened before (see Nellie Fox) so there’s no need to cry “foul” about not letting Biggio into Cooperstown “hallowed halls.”

3. Hey, Dan LeBatard, how about letting me have your vote next year? I know something about baseball and I’m willing to listen to the people who read me before I fill out the ballot. BTW, readers,  I can be bribed cheap.

4. So 16 people didn’t think Maddux was Hall of Fame worthy. Son of a gun. Actually, I can see something of a reason for it. If I had a ballot this year I might seriously consider leaving off Maddux. Before you scream, read on. Let’s say I have 11 people I think should be in and I’m afraid that one of them (let’s call him Don Mattingly) might drop off the next ballot without my vote. I know Maddux is getting in easily (unless everybody thinks like I do), so why not add the 11th guy and leave off Maddux? Maddux gets in anyway, and I get a chance to help one of my guys stay around until I can convince the others that Mattingly deserves to be elected. I have no idea if any of the non-Maddux voters thought that way, but I hope they did, because about any other rationale is absolutely stupid. And of course it also shows how damaging the 10 vote limit is at times.

5. I understand the BBWAA website indicates that 50% of voters chose 10 names for enshrinement. That alone should tell us how truly stacked is this ballot.

6. I also understand there was one blank ballot. I have two things to say to that person. First, quit sending in a blank ballot. If there’s no one worth voting for, don’t vote. And second, “You dope.”

7. To the guy who won’t vote for anyone from the “steroid era,” which I note he didn’t define by date, see the second part of number six above.

8. To the Hall of Fame I have the following piece of advice. Dump the vote only for 10 rule. Yutz.

9. I note of the holdovers, only Mike Piazza and Biggio actually saw their percentages rise. That’s probably good for both. It’s also very bad for everyone else whose staying on the ballot next year. Barry Bonds actually polled less than 200 votes (198).

10. I’m a big opponent of letting the PED guys in the Hall, but I also favored the election of both LaRussa and Torre. Frankly, I failed to connect the two men to the PED issue. I shoulda paid more attention. That’s my mistake, no doubt about it.

11. I’m sorry Jack Morris is now off the ballot, but not sorry that Rafael Palmeiro is also gone.

12. I’m stunned Kenny Rogers only got one vote. I thought he might end up right about the 5% line. I’m also stunned that Mike Mussina didn’t do better.

13. Next year should be equally interesting with Randy Johnson almost certain to make it and with Pedro Martinez showing up for the first time. It will be interesting to see how Martinez does in light of his low win total (219), a number that still matters to most of the writers.


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6 Responses to “A Baker’s Dozen Random Thoughts on the Newest Hall of Fame Vote”

  1. William Miller Says:

    To me, the biggest surprise was how poorly Mike Mussina did in this election. I expected him to get around 40-50 percent of the ballot. Your reasoning on item #4 is good, and I hope that really is the reason at least a few of those voters chose to leave Maddux of the ballot. I especially like your items #6 and #7. Exactly right on those.
    How far away is spring training? I’m ready to get the 2014 baseball season started already.

  2. Glenrussellslater Says:

    Item #4 makes a lot of sense, V, and is logical. I would have never thought of that.


  3. wkkortas Says:

    I can understand the reasoning for #4, but I can’t agree with it. To my mind, the only reason to leave Maddux off a ballot is if you think there are ten guys more deserving of enshrinement than he is, and I don’t think those ten guys are there. Granted, I’m a small-hall kind of guy, and I think you’re reasoning is defensible–but I don’t buy it.

    • verdun2 Says:

      Let me clear up one thing about #4, I can see someone doing it, but I, personally, would never leave Maddux off the ballot. I was trying to do two things: figure out why someone would leave Maddux off, and make a point about the stupidity of the 10 vote limit.

  4. wkkortas Says:

    Personally, I’m not bothered by the 10-vote limit; I wouldn’t rend my garments and gnash my teeth if the HOF abolished it, but, if I had a vote, I think it would lead me to focus in on and more carefully consider my vote if I had only ten candidates I could give the thumbs-up.

    I’m curious to what you refer to when you say that the 10-vote rule can be “damaging”;frankly, I can’t think of anyone whose candidacy has been derailed by the rule. I think much more damage is done by the Neanderathals who won’t vote for anyone at all or just one person to make a point.

    • verdun2 Says:

      I have two distinct problems with the 10 vote limit. First, I am personally opposed to limiting ballots. Around here you can’t write in and a third party is never on the ballot in either statewide or national elections. I think both of those are wrong.
      Specifically on the HoF ballot I mentioned in my post about who I’d vote for that I hated to leave off Raines, Mussina, McGriff, Trammel, Schilling, and Kent. That’s still true and I still think each of them is a potential HoF member. I use potential because I’d like to study the case of Kent and Mussina (the new guys) a little more before making a final choice. But with only 10 votes they were left off my hypothetical ballot. I know none of them fell off the ballot, but if it happens next year, Trammell will. It seems to me that BBWAA members should be allowed to vote for as many as they believe are worthy. I know that will lead to guys like Timlin getting a handful of votes, but I’d rather they get votes than guys who are worthy get left off or left out. As to your comment about the Neanderthals, as my points 6 and 7 show, I agree with you.

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