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Vinny Castilla is getting at least one Hall of Fame vote

Dec 23, 2011, 9:01 AM EDT

Vinny Castilla

Dave Krieger of the Denver Post has a fine Hall of Fame ballot for the most part:  Jeff Bagwell, Larry Walker, Barry Larkin​, Jack Morris​, Tim Raines​ and Alan Trammell​.  I wouldn’t vote for Morris, of course, but I’d gladly take his induction if it meant Raines, Trammell and Bagwell got in, so it’s all good.

Well, not all. See, he’s also voting for a certain former Colorado Rockies third baseman:

Vinny Castilla and Eric Young Sr. make their ballot debuts this year. Considering that neither Dante Bichette norAndres Galarraga got the requisite 5 percent of the vote to return to the ballot a second time, the same fate seems likely to await Vinny and E.Y. this year …  I’m voting for Castilla because I don’t believe he deserves to be knocked off the ballot after one year, as Bichette and Galarraga were.

Hoo boy.  It’s hard to blame Krieger here, however, because the real culprit in this is the stupid “you must get 5% of the vote or else you fall off the ballot rule.”

That rule causes two problems. The first problem: silly votes like this one, in which a voter is admitting to voting for a player he admits is unworthy of the Hall of Fame for what amount to political purposes.  I really hate this. In terms of integrity of the ballot, it’s not all that different than those dudes who send in blank ones because they hate steroids or whatever.  Really, guys, you all have columns. Write your protests there. Leave the actual ballot alone.

The second problem: candidates who totally deserve much greater consideration falling off because, for whatever reason, that consideration was not given when they first appeared on the ballot. Lou Whitaker is the poster boy for this. He’s not just worthy of more consideration, he’s worthy of induction. But for whatever reason, no one really thought of him that way the first year he was eligible and now he’s done.

Someone needs to explain to me the purpose of the 5% rule. What good, if any, it serves that the fact of a player falling off completely after 15 years doesn’t serve.  Because for now all it’s doing is boning guys like Lou Whitaker and caused guys like Vinny Castilla to get Hall of Fame votes. And that drives me nuts.

  1. bobdira - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    Simply put, the 5% rule is to help keep players like Vinny Cashstella from being on the ballot and allowing his name to be along side players who belong. Come on man!!!! There are those who are locks that should be in on ballot one, those who should wait and those who should have been happy just playing the game. Guess which of those this guy should be in.

    • paperlions - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      That is a distinction without a difference, either guys deserve to be inducted or they don’t; there is no 3rd group (i.e. 1st ballot HOFers versus other HOFers).

  2. theonlynolan - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Obviously, the 5% rule is to avoid overcrowding on the ballot. As far as his vote for Castilla goes, I have no real problem with it because he’s not omitting anyone as a result of including him. Is Castilla a Hall of Famer? Of course not. His inclusion on this ballot is pretty inconsequential because it doesn’t prevent him from voting for a more worthy candidate.

  3. simon94022 - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Why is it important to keep Castilla on the ballot when everyone, including the guy voting for him, agrees that he does not belong in the Hall? That makes no sense.

  4. vikesfansteve - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Your B.S. about Morris not deserving the hall because he gave up so many runs during his wins & that his most wins in the 80′s is an over inflated stat during a meaningless time period is ludacris. Just admit it’s because he blanked your Braves for 10 innings in the W.S.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      Stop with this pitch to score nonsense….it is complete and utter bullshit.

      • 78mu - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        Bob Ryan spouted the pitch to score bs on PTI a couple of weeks ago. Where do these people get this stuff when the data clearly shows it’s bs.

    • Marc - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:56 AM

      Ummm, him not deserving the hall is a long way from BS, and maybe you should reel in the venom a little bit. He just wasn’t good enough. For reference read these articles:

      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1815
      http://joeposnanski.si.com/2009/09/12/pitching-to-the-score/

      Those two articles are written by some of the smartest guys in the business. They’re smarter than me, you, and just about anyone who reads this. Jack Morris was awesome. I’d give anything to be as good at any one random thing as he was at throwing a baseball. That said, Morris’ best two traits were durability and having really good teammates.

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        and having really good teammates

        How do you measure that skill? RGT+?

      • paperlions - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        wRGT+ and RGTAR

    • The Common Man - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:17 AM

      Speaking as a Twins fan who appreciates every excellent pitch Jack Morris threw in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, you’re an idiot, Steve. I won’t even bother to contradict your argument, since you don’t actually make one beyond “Craig hates Morris because he must be as much of a whiny child as I am.”

      • vikesfansteve - Dec 24, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        Go fuck yourself

    • bozosforall - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      Would you people learn how to spell “ludicrous” please when describing something that is amusing or laughable through obvious absurdity, incongruity, exaggeration, or eccentricity
      OR something meriting derisive laughter or scorn as absurdly inept, false, or foolish?

      Ludacris is a rapper from Atlanta.

      Ludicrous is what most of the drivel that the Boston fanbase posts on the Internet.

      LMAO

      • KC Downey - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM

        Jack Morris “may not be the worst or best, but you gotta respect my honesty.”

        -Ludacris

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Who gives a shit if this guy wants to vote for Vinny Castillo? Why does anybody care? If you ask me, people are taking this HOF selection process nonsense way too seriously.

    • ptfu - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      You don’t care who’s in the Hall of Fame?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        Nope…I really don’t care whatsoever. It is just for posterity voted on by fucking moron writers who all have their little agendas. I care about the Phillies and them winning the World Series. If any of them make the Hall of Fame as a result of an awesome Phillies career, that is great. However, when it comes time to see Rollins, Utley, etc. on the ballot, I won’t give a shit one way or the other whether a group of baseball writers think they are worthy. Fuck them, who cares.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        Although Dr. Monkey seems to be having a bad morning and is a bit grumpy, as I wouldn’t be so “*%% this and (&(^ that” about it. I totally agree. The HOF is basically a joke to me any more due to the people in charge of voting people in making it a joke for years now. Things need to drastically change in the voting process before I think about taking it seriously. Even then I won’t give a damn about borderline HOF ballot worthy players being included or excluded on the ballot due to the fact that they don’t deserve to get in anyway. It’s like being angry over who was voted out in 5th place on American idol when I think they should have been voted out 4th place. And I don’t give a crap about American idol either. I’ve been viewing the HOF lately as a platform for BBWAA member to make themselves seem important.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

        Haha…yeah Jonny, I love but hate this time of year. Work can be such a pain in the ass around the holidays. People getting ready to travel needing their Rx’s before they are due, customers not realizing that my Pharmacy is not just an extra check out aisle, people short on patience, etc.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        Happy Holidays Dr. Monkey, May you and yours have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.

  6. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Some plays are just so much more meaningful after we’ve had 7 or 8 years to think them over.

  7. Bill - Dec 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    I’m totally on board with throwaway “hey, I liked you” votes if a voter doesn’t think at least ten other guys on the ballot are legitimately deserving. The problem is that now and for the foreseeable future, that won’t be the case. I’d rather get rid of the ten-name limit than the 5% requirement (but both should probably go).

    • 78mu - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      Someday a really scrappy player will play for a lot of teams and make good friends with a lot of writers that all think they’ll do their friend a favor and give him a vote for the HOF. They never discuss it because everyone knows he doesn’t deserve it and they all do it just so he can see his name with a HOF vote.

      And next thing you know David Eckstein is in the HOF next to Ripken, Ozzie and Honus Wagner.

      • Marc - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        So, you’ve discovered Nick Punto’s secret plan………….

      • ptfu - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        Hey now! Jim Deshaies’ “one man one vote” campaign was awesome!

      • philliesblow - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        and Alan Trammell still won’t be in.

      • Bill - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        Yeah, this won’t happen. You could make a pretty funny 1950s-war-on-drugs style propaganda video with that scenario, though. “One day, little Timmy thought he’d be clever and vote for David Eckstein…”

    • Marc - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:13 AM

      agreed

  8. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Sets a bad precedent, especially with a loaded ballot coming up. it’s one thing to use an open slot to vote for someone like Castilla*, but if you leave a deserving player off to make a statement seems against your responsibility as a hof voter.

    *I personally am against this stuff.

  9. marshmallowsnake - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Who is Vinny Castilla?

  10. philliesblow - Dec 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    The only 5% rule that I abide by is the alcohol content for my beer.

    That said, the BBWAA should invoke a post vote WTF rule that allows obvious screw jobs to players like Sweet Lou to be overturned so that they can be put back on the ballot.

    • bravojawja - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      I think that’s what the Veterans Committee is for.

  11. snowbirdgothic - Dec 23, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    I have to disagree here, just a little bit.

    Yes, the Hall of Fame is a museum. Yes, the way the voting is set up screws some of the worthy and can artificially prop up some of the unworthy. Yes, some of the folks in the BBWAA are apparently “voting to the score”, and casting their ballots based on who got what number of votes last year.

    But at the same time, it’s a museum for what we treasure about the game, and a lot of what we often treasure isn’t cold hard certainty of excellence. Rather, it’s individual moments, events that were great to us because we were there, or because we were watching, or because it was a magical moment for our team. And I don’t mind a nod from a hometown guy in the form of one hopeless but earnest vote, as a tip of the cap to how once in a while, that guy had Hall of Fame moments for them. Would I be irritated if a token vote for Steve Jeltz kept a deserving guy out of the Hall – or knocked him below 5% and off the ballot? Sure. But the ten-vote limit sure as hell isn’t going to be a real restriction this year, at least, and one would hope a guy self-aware enough to give Vinny Castilla a consolation prize vote would also be self-aware enough to cut that stuff out once the ballot got crowded for real.

  12. garion14 - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Love any mention of Vinny. You could always tell how deep into the season we were based on the length of his mullet.

  13. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 23, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    They get to vote for 10 guys max, right? So who cares if he votes for 6 and one of them is Castilla? Really Craig…I know it’s a slow news cycle, but come on man. This is meaningless crying about a meaningless issue. Now, if he had 10 guys on his list, and didn’t have Bagwell…then I could see the argument. But he didn’t include Castilla over someone else, so what’s the beef?

  14. deepstblu - Dec 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    The rationale for the 5% rule, as I remember it: Years ago, there was a committee that decided who was worthy of getting on the HoF ballot. One year somebody was left off who was good enough to make some people raise a stink, so it was decided that all 10-year veterans would be placed on the ballot when they became eligible. Since they didn’t want players with no hope of getting in staying on the ballot for years, they came up with the 5% rule as a way of thinning the herd.

  15. pike573 - Dec 23, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    You know I came of age towards the middle to end of Trammell and Whitaker’s careers and there was never any mention or consideration of them being great or HOF players that I can remember. All I remember of Trammell is how steady and consistent he was. I read these posts and it doesn’t jive with the perception of him at the time, I don’t think. I always liked him and I’m not bashing him. I think time has been very kind to him, that’s all.

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