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Another Hall of Fame voter just can’t bring himself to vote

Dec 31, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT

cooperstown

Kudos to John Fay for not sending in a blank Hall of Fame ballot which actively harms candidates, but this is still rather depressing:

I simply can’t do it. I put off mailing in my 2013 Hall of Fame ballot until today’s deadline. It will not be sent … At some point last night, I made up my mind that I would vote Bonds and Clemens on basis that they would have been Hall of Famers if they used PEDs or not … But this morning, I was too torn to pull the lever.

In the past, Fay has voted for guys like Tim Raines, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker and Lee Smith. Now, because Bonds and Clemens vex him, those guys won’t be getting votes either.

If Fay feels this way, why does he simply not vote for Bonds and Clemens?

  1. vallewho - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    More Jackassery

  2. Charles Gates - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Imagine how fast this sentiment will change if a BBWAA leader offers a way for members to feel good about voting for those linked to PEDs. This isn’t about the HoF. It’s about not wanting to swim too far outside of the generally accepted school of thought thereby opening yourself up to personal criticism.

  3. contraryguy - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    John Fay couldn’t bring himself to echo Buster Olney’s “Better Living Through Chemistry” ballot. OK. But people are faced with uglier choices than this all the time, and they manage to step up to it. So, yeah, maybe Fay shouldn’t vote in the future.

  4. manchestermiracle - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    If they don’t send in a ballot, or leave it blank, why should they get another one next year?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      There are slight differences though. If you don’t send in a ballot, it’s as if a ballot was never sent so you don’t punish anyone. If you send in a blank ballot, it counts as a 0 vote so 3 people need to vote for a specific player to counter that blank ballot (for 75% purposes).

      • albertmn - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        It is a difference, but as noted in the article, not sending a ballot does hurt those that he would have voted for (such as Raines, etc.) as they don’t get that vote. If these people aren’t up to the task of voting, they should just be removed from the voting process.

    • Steve A - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      If a writer sends in a blank ballot, he still is voting. Thus, as much as I dislike the practice, he shouldn’t lose his ballot for that.

      I believe, though, that someone who doesn’t send in a ballot should go before a review board to argue for a ballot the following year.

  5. clydeserra - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    I mean, how could we have ever known these guys were doping? It’s not likr there were professional investigators with broad audiences following the around tbe country 8 months a year.

  6. hatesycophants - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    A giant douche bag.

  7. ndnut - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Selfish

  8. phillyphannn83 - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Stop crying because you don’t have a vote, CC. All these posts criticizing those that do have votes is really amateurish, sad, and pathetic. There’s an innate, high school girl whining quality to it that really tears at the validity of your man card. Honestly, while you’re crying over not having a vote while there are writers who haven’t covered baseball in a decade that still have one, the rest of us are wondering why athletically deficient journalism majors get to decide who is worthy of being in the Hall of Fame in the first place. Please tell me why someone who never held a bat other than a whiffle one is qualified to determine what makes a legendary ball player? The Hall should be something voted on by ones peers, not geeks that don’t know what its like to get a hit, score a run, make a diving catch, steal a base, smash into the catcher, or best of all, clear the fence.

    • Charles Gates - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      You are obviously not a good writer, yet you’re criticizing Craig.

      • phillyphannn83 - Jan 6, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        I’m not a writer, never claimed to be. I’m a firefighter you stupid ****** ***hole. Furthermore, there was not a single grammatical error in my post, so I don’t know where you came to the conclusion that I’m not a good writer.

    • realgone2 - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      I wish I could thumbs up phillyphannn83’s comment a million times.

    • mrfloydpink - Dec 31, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      This is asinine on many levels, but let’s just focus on the most obvious, namely the notion that you have to play baseball at an elite level in order to judge baseball talent and/or worthiness for the Hall of Fame.

      First of all, playing baseball and judging talent are two very different skills. Some people have both skill sets (Billy Beane), but more often than not the best talent evaluators–from Branch Rickey to Theo Epstein–have never been anywhere near a major league lineup.

      Second, elite baseball players are usually some of the worst, most ass backwards talent evaluators out there. See, for example, Joe Morgan, who seems unable to recognize the value of a player like, well, Joe Morgan. Whenever a Hall of Famer–or soon-to-be Hall of Famer–weighs in on who should be in the Hall of Fame, they almost always say something really dumb. Mike Schmidt, John Smoltz, and Goose Gossage leap to mind as recent examples.

      Third, and finally, current Hall of Famers have a significant conflict of interest when it comes to deciding who should join their ranks. Many of them make considerable money from selling autographs, and they all derive great prestige from being members. Every additional member dilutes both their prestige and earning potential, and so they have every motivation to keep the number of inductees as close to zero as is possible.

      • DJ MC - Dec 31, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        While I agree with you strongly, I do have to point something out for accuracy’s sake:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rickebr01-bat.shtml

        It’s easy to forget that Rickey did play in the majors (and later managed the Browns before moving on to the Cardinals and destiny). Really though, it just pushes him into the Beane camp of having both.

      • mrfloydpink - Jan 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Ah, thanks for catching that. Oops.

  9. paperlions - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Fay fails in logic. “I’d rather abstain than play judge and jury this year.” is a false dichotomy. The obviously third choice is to vote without playing judge or jury….just vote based on baseball performance.

    It isn’t like only a hand full of players were using steroids, it appears that the vast majority were using some combination of amphetamines, pain killers of varying strengths (which also enhance performance by allowing one to play will less pain), or steroids during some/most of their careers. Therefore, the best of the poorly labeled steroid era were competing against against hundreds of users as well and were still the best within the rules and standards of the time. If steroids really were a wonder drug, then why have roughly the same number of players passed 500 HRs the last 15 years as did during the 50s and early 60s?

  10. wpjohnson - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    He should send in a blank ballot. Of course, most of you seem to have no desire to protect the excellence of the Hall by advocating the election of mediocrity so my opinion, though sound, will not be liked.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Of course, most of you seem to have no desire to protect the excellence of the Hall by advocating the election of mediocrity so my opinion, though sound, will not be liked.

      Yes, let’s keep inducting the excellence of players like Andre Dawson and his career .323 OBP. We could definitely use more players like that in the HoF.

    • albertmn - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Hate to break it to you, but your opinion isn’t “sound”. It is just your opinion.

    • paperlions - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      Feel free to provide both what your opinion is and the evidence for its “soundness”. After all, unless we know both what you think and why you think it, the veracity of your contention as well as your understanding of what is mediocre and what is excellent are not established.

    • mrfloydpink - Dec 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      Given the number of posts and comments I’ve seen on this site that railed against the Hall of Fame case of Jack Morris, I think the last accusation you can levy against this crowd is “advocating the election of mediocrity.”

      Note also that arguing for the admission of steroid users like Barry Bonds is not the same thing as advocating the election of mediocrity. Bonds may or may not have been a jerk/cheater/unworthy scoundrel, but he most certainly was not mediocre.

  11. hushbrother - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Maybe he changed his mind and decided McGriff, Raines, Walker and Smith aren’t HOFers after all. He’d be right (except about Raines.)

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      I don’t get the hesitation about Walker? A slightly above average (literal definition of above) defender and a great hitter. Career .313/.400/.565 hitter with a 141 OPS+ over 17 seasons, almost 70 bWAR total? is it hitting in Coors?

      Even during that ’97 to ’99 stretch when he hit .369/.451/.689 overall, he hit .314/.408/.592 away from Coors.

  12. braddavery - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    How stupid. If you have to think twice about a player, simply leave them off the ballot. Don’t harm the players you are sure about by not voting at all. These voters should be “punished” for this type of behavior.

  13. john316459 - Dec 31, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Let’s just do without the Hall of Fame from now on. There doesn’t seem to have been a REAL Hall of Famer since Roberto Clemente.

  14. jonrox - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Well, on the flip side, if he believes Bonds and Clemens are deserving but cannot bring himself to vote for them, turning in a ballot without their names selected would hurt those two players in the same way turning in a blank ballot will hurt everyone.

  15. phillyphannn83 - Dec 31, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Kudos to CC for re-establishing his man card by approving my critical post.

  16. 1historian - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    My criteria for voting

    What is more important – that someone who played juiced for much of his career gets in there or that some dad who takes his boy through there can point to all the people in there with pride?

    • raysfan1 - Jan 1, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      Well, I’m a dad and I would never point at Ty Cobb, Tom Yawkey, or Cap Anson with pride. There are many others that are also definitely not what I would hold up to my son as role models in anything other than the ability to play baseball.

      The best players from each era should be in.

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