Dec 31, 2012, 4:02 PM EDT
Will Leitch of Sports On Earth loves the Hall of Fame, but fears that the nature of the Hall of Fame debate — which, given how intractable everyone is being is less of a debate than a shout-fest — has ruined the whole thing:
This is the Hall of Fame. This is the ultimate sports debate. This is how we’ve always classified guys, how we’ve organized the world of baseball for years … It was supposed to be fun. But not now. The discussions about the Hall of Fame, and the actual ballots, are turning into the fiscal cliff debate, with people operating in bad faith, abusing their power, making decisions for reasons that have nothing to do with how good of a baseball player a certain guy was. It’s like watching politicians. And sports should never, ever be like watching politicians.
He’s got a point. And even though I get a more or less approving mention at the outset of the piece, I realize that I’m part of the problem too.
In my defense, I care far less about any one voter’s choice and I complain far less about this guy or that guy getting in than I used to. Same goes for whether someone uses old school or new school analysis. I don’t think I’ve cited WAR with any bit of seriousness or conviction in my life, for example, and I’ve mentioned several times that I won’t lose much sleep if Jack Morris gets in or Barry Bonds is left out or whatever. I have my opinions on those matters and others have different ones and if all we have when it comes to Hall of Fame talk is a difference of opinions in that regard, fine. Let’s shout about it some and then have beers later.
What does bother me, however, is inconsistent and dishonest reasoning employed by those who are supposed to be the foremost experts and authorities we have. The double standards, the intellectual laziness, the personal vendettas and the grandstanding that passes for baseball analysis and, ultimately, historical judgment. You want Jack Morris and Dale Murphy in and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds out? Fine. Say you think the former were better (or at least more worthy) baseball players than the latter, cast your vote and stand by your judgment. But don’t ignore or invent history to do so and don’t pretend history and evil-doers are forcing you to vote in such a way and that you feel powerless and depressed about it.
That’s the hill I’ll die on. Not the “this guy should be in or that guy should be out and you’re a moron for thinking otherwise” hill. The “think rationally, be honest and take responsibility for your actions, even if they’re unpopular” hill. It’s a concept that is always worth fighting for, be it in baseball arguments or in stuff that actually matters in the real world.
- Bochy’s championship resume ranks among game’s best 4
- Alex Gordon would have been a dead duck had he tried to score 39
- Video: Pablo Sandoval catches final out in foul territory, Giants win 2014 World Series 9
- Madison Bumgarner pitches the Giants to their third World Series win in five seasons 79
- Madison Bumgarner named World Series MVP … obviously 20
- Pablo Sandoval sets new postseason hits record 9
- There’s nothing better than a Game 7? Well, maybe there is. 23
- Report: Cubs hire Joe Maddon as manager 66
- A veteran says enough is enough when it comes to tributes for the soldiers (277)
- Jose Canseco shot his middle finger off (146)
- Shocker! Joe Maddon to opt out of his contract and leave the Rays (142)
- Oscar Taveras dies after car accident in the Dominican Republic (140)
- 10-0! The Royals romp, tie it up at three games a piece (109)