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Lots of Hall of Fame voters: “Voting for the Hall of Fame is so hard and dreadful!”

Dec 28, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT


Just about every Hall of Fame column you read these days has some variation of the following:  “I used to love voting for the Hall of Fame, now I hate it and find it difficult and oh, my stars and garters, what am I ever to do with this Herculean task?!”

Criminy, put your big boy writer pants on and deal with it, will ya? Vote in the ‘roiders. Don’t vote in the ‘roiders. I may disagree with you, but for cryin’ out loud, quit bellyaching about how hard your job is and make a stand.  This stuff is important in the context of baseball, but we’ve had presidents wring their hands less over deploying the freakin’ army than some BBWAA members do over who gets a plaque in an old building in some sleepy little town upstate.

Anyway, the latest woe-is-me Hall of Fame voter is Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Daily News. After a bunch of that stuff he gets to the primary source of his consternation this year: Jeff Bagwell:

I’ve listened to the argument that Bagwell should be a Hall of Famer because there is no proof he used the same performance-enhancing drugs that inflated the heads, bodies, and resumés of some of his peers. I suspect, however, that there are a lot of players who cheated and never were caught … Here are the guys who got my vote: McGriff, Barry Larkin, Lee Smith, and Alan Trammell.

See? How hard was that? By virtue of my use of elipses, I was able to show just how direct one can be when giving credence to rumor over fact and fostering the whole McCarthyite guilt-by-association thing. No need to for all of that protesting. When you’re gonna be unfair and judgmental like that just do it and go on to the next thing. Saves everyone some time.

  1. marshmallowsnake - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Voting should be done by a computer that analyzes the players career…that way, all this back and forth can go away…

    • djpostl - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      Oh. God. No.

      • marshmallowsnake - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        Does no one catch sarcasm any more?

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        dj: Why not? It’s currently being done by sportswriters who are themselves largely failed athletes who got through school on athletic scholarships and therefore can’t count to five percent on their fingers and toes. An old Pentium Intel chip that finds the first even integer of π at the fourth decimal place can hardly do worse.

    • 78mu - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      Great idea! Then we can argue about what a bunch of stupid jerks those computer programmers are because they overvalued RBIs and undervalued OBP.

      Then we can replace Congress, the Supreme Court and President with a computer that will make all laws. Woo-hoo! All problems solved!

      • marshmallowsnake - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        See above post…since you posted with sarcasm, I thought you would have at least picked up on it.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:34 PM

        Hell, for what a bunch of morons Congress is, we could replace them with a bead abacus.

  2. nategearhart - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    The length of Bagwell’s career fits snugly into Larkin’s, and Bagwell weighed just 10 more pounds while being the same height as Larkin. So how the hell do all these writers who don’t vote for Bagwell because “we just don’t know who used steroids” vote for Larkin? How do they know that Larkin didn’t use steroids?

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      …because Larkin never saw his home runs jump from 9 to 33 in just two years while in his 30s.

      Oh wait…he did. But is that really any stranger than a player peaking between ages 26-31 and then declining like Bagwell? Oh wait…it is.

      But the only guys who used steroids were home run hitter. Except Fernando Vina, Marvin Bernard, Bobby Estella, etc, etc, etc.

  3. nategearhart - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Also, I’d be more than happy to take a vote off one of these guys’ hands. And I’d do a way better job of not leaving off Bagwell and Edgar.

  4. aronmantoo - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    People who cheated the game should not be allowed in the HOF. Pete Rose didn’t cheat the game
    Mark Mcguire and those other guys belong in the Hall Of Shame

    • nategearhart - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:47 PM

      I get not wanting McGwire in the Hall (though I don’t agree with it, mainly because he didn’t break a rule), but who, in your opinion, are “those other guys”? Are you referring to those who were caught using steroids? Rule breakers?

      • paperlions - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

        By other guys, he clearly means amphetamine users, like Aaron, Mays, and Mantle…..and every other still living member of the HOF.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      “Hall of Shame.”

      That, my friend, is brilliant. I wonder why no one thought of that before.

      Heh. Hall of Shame. It works on so many levels.

    • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      Yeah! No cheaters in the HOF: Gaylord Perry, you hour of judgment is upon you! To the Hall of Shame with you, cheater…oh wait, you don’t mean guys who broke actual stated baseball rules, do you? Its so hard to keep straight what people mean by “cheater”…

    • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      Nothing any steroid user did cheated the game nearly as much as Pete Rose did by wagering on it.

      Also, are you kicking out Gaylord Perry, Whitey Ford, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, etc? Because, uh, they all cheated.

    • jwbiii - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      Mark McGuire seems like rather a scumbag for setting up and managing the Cubs’ in-house scalping operation. There are no VPs for Business and Finance in the Hall, so it’s a moot point.

  5. paperlions - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    The voters that find this task difficult are conflicted because the facts suggest that they should vote other they they want to vote. They KNOW they are ignoring facts to just do what they wanted to do in the first place…..then, that stress is compounded because the more research they do the more clear it is that they are screwing up.

    Many people (whether they are BBWAA member or not) simply prefer not to change their minds on subjects, regardless of how much evidence mounts up showing that they are wrong…..and the more evidence there is, the more stress they feel because they know they are wrong but won’t admit it.

  6. sdelmonte - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    They make it easy in women’s pro golf. You win enough events, meet certain other criteria, and you’re in.

    No way to ever do that with baseball, but at least now now sportswriters have an option. Cover women’s pro golf, and never ever have to think about it.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:56 PM

      I already never think about women’s pro golf. I feel like that gives me a leg up.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

        Have a look at the legs on Paula Creamer or Natalie Gulbis…or in fact most any part of them if you like. You’ll think about women’s golf all damn day…

      • Kevin S. - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        I adore Paula Creamer. Don’t judge me.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        It’s fine to dream about them – until you imagine the conversation afterwards.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 5:04 PM

        Well Gator, I golf. Like, a lot. Part of golfing is that conversation you might have with your playing partner. Should fortune ever smile upon me to enjoy the company round my local of those fair ladies then I imagine (and fervently hope) that conversation will be about extolling the virtues of my 1 wood: it is long, black, and firm. Has an over sized head, large sweet spot, and a custom made protective cover. It is a weapon of war. When I pull it from my bag strong men curse and walk off. Women either faint or want to hold it.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:04 PM

        Oh okay, you win. You can take the last piece of pie.

        But I still go by Oscar Wilde’s description of golf: a nice walk, ruined.

      • cur68 - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:22 PM

        Depends on the pie, but sure. However, I shall eat cake if its left up to me. I’m sure if Oscar Wilde spent more time playing golf and less lusting after rich men’s progeny then we’d all be the richer for the increase in written material, even if all he did was write about how much he loathed golf.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2011 at 10:04 PM

        He’s also the one who wrote “Give me the luxuries of life; I’ll do without the necessities,” thereby immeasurably enriching our language and our literature.

  7. 18thstreet - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Why is Fred McGriff above suspicion? He was in decline until an odd rebound year in 1999.

    Sorry, never mind. I’m still laughing over that guy who came up with “Hall of Shame.” Just outstanding. Craig, would you hire that guy?

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    What is the point of having a “Hall of Fame” if they aren’t going to vote a guy with Jeff Bagwell’s resume into it?

    • trevorb06 - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

      Although I firmly believe the HOF needs to have high standards (unlike your wife) one of those standards shoudln’t be the assumption of guilt. We will probably never know if Bagwell was clean or not, but regardless he was a part of that era. I also agree with some of the other writers when they argue that guys like McGwire and Bonds were not breaking a set rule, only a federal law, much like the guys with cocaine and greenies who are already in the HOF.

    • jd1221 - Dec 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM

      From what I understand then it might become some sort of “hall of shame” and we can’t have that not can we?

  9. Matt - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Hall of Fame arguments for weeks on end wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t the exact same outrages over and over again.

  10. ta192 - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    After studying the effects of steroids, there is nothing that seems more suspicious to me than a freakishly long consecutive games played streak by a middle infielder. There I said it…let the “thumbs down” rain upon me…

  11. kaientai72 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Pete Rose may have said it best at in an interview there. The man with the most home runs (Bonds), most Cy Youngs (Clemens) and most hits (Rose) will not be in the HOF. Cooperstown has a mess on its hands with the amount of talent they won’t vote in. And make no mistake, the writers hate Barry Bonds.

  12. johndavidstutts - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    “Criminy, put your big boy writer pants on and deal with it, will ya? Vote in the ‘roiders. Don’t vote in the ‘roiders. I may disagree with you, but for cryin’ out loud, quit bellyaching about how hard your job is and make a stand.”

    My sentiments exactly. Well, maybe not exactly. I probably would have been foulmouthed about it. But I’m 100% with the content of the statement.

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