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Philip Hersh is gonna stick it to the “druggies”

Nov 28, 2012, 3:33 PM EDT

If I made up a fake Twitter account in order to parody Hall of Fame voters who oppose PED users being inducted, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as the real one run by Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune.

He’s an Olympic reporter, by the way. Hasn’t covered baseball since some of you have been born.  But once you get your BBWAA card and hold it for ten years you get a Hall of Fame vote for life. And you can use it any way you want.

Hersh is using it like this:

Which is his prerogative. Just as it’s the BBWAA’s prerogative to allow a person who has covered ice skating, downhill skiing and the like since 1987 to continue to vote on the Hall of Fame while it makes hard-working baseball writers who cover games for a living wait ten years after membership before getting the privilege. Phil Hersh: do your worst. Marc Carig, Adam Kilgore and Zach Levine: wait in line.

But it also must make some of the Hall of Fame voters mad that he treats a process which most of them take seriously as some sort of vindictive lark. And that’s true even if they ultimately get to the same place Hersh does.

  1. Stacey - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    I was having a conversation with some writer friends of mine last weekend about this issue. It’s ridiculous that writers who stopped covering baseball a long time ago still get to vote on who gets to go into the Hall and that the only way to get rid of them is basically to wait for them all to die off.

    That’s pretty sad when you think about it.

  2. sictransitchris - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    This guy seems like a real d-bag.

  3. a125125125 - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    You don’t see the logic in letting a former writer vote on the status of former players? Should someone that has been covering a team since 2007 really decide the fate of players that retired before they started working?

    You can agree or disagree with how this particular guy uses his ballot…..but the process for earning a Hall of Fame vote seems pretty logical. But feel free to watch as Craig kicks his feet and whines that his buddies don’t get to vote…..because new baseball writers are SOOO much smarter than old baseball writers.

    • banksatdixie - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      I believe that you are the one kicking your feet and whining, since you took the time to read it and then comment.

      You, sir, are a boner.

    • Alex K - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      The problem, as I see it, is that they never lose the vote. The process to obtain a vote does make sense, but for that vote to be theirs forever doesn’t.

    • bgeary8 - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      I think you missed the point (or maybe I did). But it seems to me that Craig’s biggest complaint is that someone who doesn’t take his ballot seriously is allowed to keep voting. That he no longer covers baseball just adds fuel to the fire.

    • jm91rs - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      If Craig’s comments are true that the guy hasn’t covered baseball since 1987 then all of these guys he’s not voting for were rookies or sophomores when he stopped covering. His knowledge of those players is no better than an average fan.

      I understand waiting 10 years to give them the privilege of voting. Then at the least the person has seen 5 years of playing time on the eligible players. Letting them keep the vote until they die seems a little silly.

    • larrytsg - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      I guess using your logic, we should let Phil vote on players who didn’t debut until AFTER he stopped covering baseball…..

  4. stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    C’mon Craig! Give the guy a break! It’s tough being the Guardian of All That is Right and True. /sarcasm

  5. uwsptke - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    And I woulda gotten away with it to, if it hadn’t been for you meddlin’ kids!

  6. jonrox - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    If he’s admitting to not following the voting guidelines, why is he permitted to vote? You are certainly not allowed to vote purely for personal vendettas.

    • yankeesgameday - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      The train back to Mayberry leaves at noon. Aunt Bee will be waiting at home with some apple pie and a hug.

      • bsbiz - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        I like pie.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 28, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        Cake is better

      • cur68 - Nov 28, 2012 at 8:20 PM

        Cake. Pi-eaters are irrational.

    • pjlowry - Nov 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      No, he’s not. Hersh is actually admitting to following the voting guidlines. There is a clause in the HOF Charter that demands voters consider ‘Integrity, character and sportsmanship’ when considering their choices. Refusing to elect cheaters into the hall isn’t against the guildlines at all… it’s adherant with them. Try reading up on what the guidelines are before flapping your gums, douchebag.

  7. richyballgame - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Though I disagree with gloating about it,it’s just the way the system works,but honestly,HoF voters will mostly hold their stance and keep steroid users out of the Hall,and they have every right to. The argument itself is baseless,they cheated,plain and simple. They knew what they were doing was wrong,but they did it anyway,and now their careers and legacies are tarnished and stained forever. I agree that they shouldn’t be allowed in,or rather,people who are subjected to /documented/ steroid use,should have to wait longer for Hall eligibility.

    • paperlions - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      So….the fact that fans, media members, coaches, trainers, managers, and front office people ignored and often actively supported PED use for decades means nothing to you?

      You are essentially saying that everyone said it was okay to do it….until it wasn’t, at which point, everyone that was supporting PED use suddenly had the right to crucify those that used PED and now considered their previously supported actions to tarnish all that is pure and good about baseball. That is called sanctimonious hooey.

      • richyballgame - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM

        Paperlions,my comment was posted purely in the situation of the /players/ knowing what they were doing. They did have complete control of their actions,therefore,should be held accountable. And no,I didn’t say that everyone said it was okay to do it,you’re just twisting words.

      • paperlions - Nov 29, 2012 at 7:32 AM

        You are right, you did not say everyone said it was okay. But the fact is that everyone DID say it was okay. There are dozens to hundreds of cases of players (especially minor league players) being told to bulk up during the winter, there are plenty of interviews from the 80s/90s in which players joked about taking special vitamins to pack on muscle….all the reporters laughed. No one cared and everyone knew or should have known because it was talked about publicly…until suddenly everyone did care. Why did they suddenly care? Because records were being broken, that’s it….that was the entire reason…because before that, no one cared. Not fans, not writers, no one.

        Steroid use has been talked about in baseball since the 1960s, when SI did a cover story on it. Players were encouraged by everyone to do it for a long time…until it was suddenly the worst thing a human being could possibly do.

    • bjbeliever - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      so by that logic should we also remove anyone in the Hall that has been documented as a “cheater” in other capacities? There may be a bit of a log jam trying to squeeze them all out the door. To say if people generally think you used PEDs means you absolutely can’t get in seems misguided. It can’t just be a black and white issue, the world is more grey than that.

    • 18thstreet - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      Gaylord Perry is in the Hall of Fame.

  8. drkincaid - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    I’ve been reading the Trib’s sport section for 25 years and didnt recognize Phil Hersh’s name. I hope Phil only gets on his soapbox to rip every Olympic athlete accused of steroids (There’s rumors about Michael Phelps so why not burn him at the stake?), and leave the baseball stuff to the other Trib writers.

  9. Mark Armour - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Hmm. Stepping back here for a moment, if you are going to have baseball writers vote then the best subset of them would be people whose time covering the game significantly overlapped the people on the ballot. In 2012, that would be people who covered the game 10-30 years ago, right? I have no idea if this guy qualifies. I can not see that someone who began covering the game two years ago has any real case, at least not any more than you or me or any baseball fan.

    The entire point of having the BBWAA as the electors is that the people running the Hall felt that they wanted eyewitnesses to be the judges of the candidates. I am guessing that most of the people in this thread do not believe that being an eyewitness to the players has any particular bearing. That is OK, but I think it deserves mentioning if we are going to disagree with the BBWAA’s policies to understand the rationale.

  10. kkolchak - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    This is what Twitter brings to our society, the ability to access the private “thoughts” of people stupid enough to share them on Twitter.

  11. kylewo - Nov 28, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Yeah, if I’m able to beat someone in a baseball trivia contest, and / or this person cannot name the majority of players on last year’s most common 25 man rosters, then he should be ejected from the system.

    • 18thstreet - Nov 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      I think some basic criteria for continuing to vote once one gets a ballot is appropriate. Specifically, the people who are the sole vote for undeserving members shouldn’t be able to do that one than once every 5 years or so. And if you’re one of the jerks who doesn’t vote for the players who get over 96 percent, you should need to explain why, because you’re ignoring the rules.

  12. simon94022 - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    It’s Hersh’s prerogative to vote for whoever he wants.

    It’s my prerogative to point out that any “Hall of Fame” that excludes Bonds and Clemens — two of the 10 greatest players in the entire history of the game — is a joke.

  13. 4d3fect - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM


  14. ballparkprints - Nov 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    This is why the writers should not be allowed to vote on who goes into the Baseball Hall of Fame….

  15. ys0023 - Nov 29, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Honestly, I have a hard time getting worked up about this.

    I just visited the HOF for the first time, and was somewhat underwhelmed by the gallery or whatever they call it, where the plaques are. I guess that would have been cool to someone who didn’t have all the stats and bios at their fingertips. Me, I just wanted to go upstairs and see all the old uniforms and bats and stuff.

    McGwire, Bonds, and Clemens are HOFers now, as far as I’m concerned; I don’t care about seeing their faces in the gallery.

  16. pjlowry - Nov 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Should we really be shocked that a writer who has been covering the Olympics, a sport that is extremely strict with drug enforcement is refusing to elected cheaters into the hall?

    I applaud writers like Hersh for not allowing known cheaters to get into the Hall. They should be held to a high standard and take a seat next to Pete Rose and reap the banishment they so rightfull deserve. None of the known PED users should be elected at all… they made a choice to cheat, they have no one to blame but themselves.

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