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Great Moments in Hall of Fame Voting

Dec 12, 2012, 6:58 AM EDT

Pete Rose AP

Pat Hickey from the Montreal Gazette goes over his Hall of Fame ballot. He notes that voting is a difficult and involved undertaking, and says “If you’re doing it right, it should take three to four hours to fill out a ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

Then, after noting that he’s not voting for the PED guys on character grounds, he says this:

Pete Rose was ignored by a majority of voters for the 15 years he was on the ballot …

Pete Rose has never appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot as he is banned from baseball and is thus ineligible pursuant to the Hall of Fame’s rules. Which inspires one to ask what the hell Hickey is doing in those 3-4 hours he studies his ballot.

Hickey goes on to say that “The black mark against [Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens] is their arrogance in denying any wrongdoing.”  This comes a couple sentences after he notes that Mark McGwire garnered only 19.5% of the vote in his sixth year of eligibility. Given McGwire’s lack of denials — indeed, the complete opposite of denials — something tells me that the black mark changes depending on the candidate.

This is not unique. Expect to see a plethora of incoherent things like this from Hall of Fame voters in the coming weeks.


  1. skids003 - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:19 AM

    How do these idiotss get votes? It’s a shame the national pasttime HOF is entrusted to dummies like this.

    • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:49 AM

      Name me something that idiots don’t run.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:52 AM

        Is that a trick question?

      • stex52 - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:29 AM

        Damn, Gator. I thought, “No sweat, I can think of some organization that everybody likes.” So far I’m stumped.
        I started to say the American Ornithological Union. Nah. Always a war between the lumpers and splitters.

        Doctors without Borders? Something in me says that those guys are probably all jerks, too.

      • Roger Moore - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:34 AM

        Hardball Talk 😉

      • ezthinking - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        Nice nose to brown star, Roger.

      • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        Let’s think “Hardball Talk” over.

        It used to be called “Circling the Bases,” which was Craig’s name and which I still call it. Kinda like Alan Shepherd’s comment in The Right Stuff: “That sir is a spacecraft. We do not refer to it as a “capsule.”

        NBC decided to change it to “Hardball Talk.”


      • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        Actually, Gleeman came up with the name “Circling the Bases.” Came up with it before I was hired on in April 2009. That fall our boss changed it to HardballTalk.

      • Old Gator - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Okay, live and learn…sometimes. But the main point is that you don’t run it so my challenge remains open.

      • jwbiii - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        Craig’s blog was Shyster Ball.

    • yahmule - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Apple polisher. 😉

  2. bsbiz - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    “The black mark against [Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens] is their arrogance in denying any wrongdoing.”

    …As opposed to Rose’s charming willingness to be entirely forthcoming with details of his wrongdoings….

  3. simon94022 - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    The black mark here is on the Hall of Fame, which has squandered its credibility by turning over these decisions to public imbeciles.

    It is going to become the Hall of Really Good But Not Necessarily Great Players Who Were Nice To Reporters In Locker Room Interviews.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 12, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      I know this is a popular theory to explain why some players get in and others don’t, but reporters hated Jim Rice (and vice versa) and loved Steve Garvey.

      I have A LOT of problems with many writers’ ballots, but I’m not convinced personal grudges have all that much to do to explain the results. I think over-reliance on the basic stats (wins, batting average) most of the stupid mistakes.

  4. fredverd - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    I’m not an advocate for Pete Rose or gambling, but his on-field exploits are undeniable. As long as he is denied membership in this men’s club, membersh ip is tainted and diminished. You can’t tell me that all those super jocks in “The Hall” are model citizens. You get in “The Hall” because of what you do on the field, not because you were a super CEO, COO, OBGYN…

  5. proudlycanadian - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    The revenge of the Expos on MLB continues.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Dec 13, 2012 at 1:04 AM

      nobody ever liked them either just like your blowjays son, they never mattered period. go watch hockey ahole

      • abaird2012 - Dec 13, 2012 at 8:52 PM

        There isn’t any.

  6. bowens3181 - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    First of all, Hickey is a great sports writer, and referring to him as an idiot when this is the first time you have ever heard of him is ridiculous. He has been covering the Habs, Als, and formerly the Expos here for as long as I can remember. Second of all the fact that he even tried to write an article justifying his decisions is, in my mind, commendable considering the fact that he is under absolutely no obligation to do so. It’s his vote, he can do what he wants with it. Just because his logic doesn’t conform to what you expect of him does not make his vote count any less. I would like to see the columns people would write trying to justify their choice in the American election in Nov. It’s your vote, so what you will with it.

    • stex52 - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      Not so much his opinions. But it wouldn’t be too much trouble to fact check if you are writing an article for publication.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      First, I didn’t call him an idiot. I said he clearly did not notice that Pete Rose was never on his Hall of Fame ballot, which he was not.

      Second, I am not “disagreeing” with his logic. I am noting that it has an objective incoherence. Owning up to PED use has not, as a matter of fact, not opinion, not helped anyone’s Hall of Fame case.

      If you disagree with that great, but don’t let your love of a sportswriter prevent you from seeing when he’s clearing talking nonsense.

      • abaird2012 - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

        Bet you wish you had an “edit” function …

      • bowens3181 - Dec 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

        Well now I feel crappy. To clarify though my comment wasn’t directed at you Craig, but rather at Skids003 who referred indirectly to Hickey as an idiot probably without ever having heard of him or read anything by him until today. However since my initial comments was written on my cell phone on the NBC SportsTalk app, I wasn’t able t specify specifically who I was replying to. My bad on that.

        I never said I agreed with his logic, just that I didn’t see the point in ridiculing it in the first place, especially since journalists are under no obligations to explain their votes, and so the very fact that Hickey attempted to do so should be appreciated. I believe that often, when voting for anything, yes even the baseball HOF, that one’s reasoning for voting is a personal choice that might be devoid of logic that others would understand. I for one, if I happen to have a HOF vote, would have voted for Bond but not Clemens, don’t ask me why, I’m not really sure. Even though both handled the PED accusations poorly, something about the way Clemens did it just bothered me more then Bonds. Thats my personal opinion, and regardless of whether my logic makes sense to someone else, if I happen to have a HOF vote then it is my prerogative on how to use my vote.

        And, while I wasn’t replying to you, Craig, I just would like to say that compared to most of the year when HBT is a significantly more interesting, better written, and less biased blog then any of the other NBC sports blogs, this daily attacking of other journalists during HOF voting season has gotten old and tiresome.

    • kevinbnyc - Dec 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      Bigger issue: This guy still has a HOF vote 8 years after the team he covered left town. I’ve had to reapply for a DRIVERS LICENSE in that time, nevermind the right to name someone a Baseball Immortal.

  7. elwaysmilehighdenver - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    I’ll give Hickey the benefit of the doubt.
    Maybe he didn’t know Rose wasn’t on the
    ballet. Do they have the Internet in Canada? Just wondering.

    • cur68 - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Hey! We do have internets. Our dog teams power the wi-fi when they aren’t taking the kids to the school igloo.

      • fredverd - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        Hush, puppy, while I listen to…

    • schlom - Dec 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Maybe this guy is like Homer Simpson?

  8. elwaysmilehighdenver - Dec 12, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Auto correct sucks. Should be ballot.

    • cogitobaseballergosum - Dec 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      That’s okay, I’d rather not see Pete Rose in a ballet either.

      • jwbiii - Dec 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        Don Mattingly, on the other hand, looks rather fetching.

  9. notoriousbri - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    ahh baseball.. the sport that keeps their all time hits leader out of the hall of fame while pedophile Bill Conlin is in as a writer. Make sure we keep out the suspected PED users from the sports holy hall but child molesters.. mmmkay’

    • mustbechris - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      I mean Ty Cobb stabbed a dude too. But thank God we have the Moral Majority voting for who should be enshrined in the holiest of holy Halls of Fame and discerning who does not pass the ethical sniff test. The Hall would be a complete joke otherwise.

  10. yahmule - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Some of the younger people on the board who weren’t watching baseball in the last half of Rose’s career wouldn’t believe how overrated he was among fans and media. He was fixated on personal statistics and whined like a baby when he was held out of a World Series lineup for the Phillies in 1983 in favor of long time Reds teammate Tony Perez. That said, he deserved to make the Hall of Fame, although he most certainly earned a ban from holding a job in MLB.

  11. fanofevilempire - Dec 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    does Hickey have a problem when a juicer is the MVP of the National League.

    just asking ….

  12. jonrox - Dec 12, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    If the Hall of Fame has actually turned into the Hall of “Great players who are also good people and who didn’t use performance enhancing drugs” like many writers are suggesting, then why isn’t Fred McGriff in?

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