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.
Tags: Barry Bonds, Bobby Cox, Craig Biggio, Don Mattingly, Frank Thomas, Gred Maddux, Jack Morris, Joe Torre, Kenny Rogers, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Nellie Fox, Pedro Martinez, Rafael Palmeiro, Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, Tony LaRussa