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“Most writers have a little bit of drama queen inside of them”

Dec 31, 2012, 7:26 AM EDT

Norma Desmond

David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News pens a nice column about the silliness and self-importance of Hall of Fame voters who seek to use their vote as though it were being cast in some referendum about the Steroid Era. His key point:

The reality of the situation is that baseball has already decided what voters should do, and any writer who attempts to argue otherwise is simply attempting to add a level of power to his vote that does not exist (and, frankly, that should not exist for anybody who considers themselves a journalist). The fact that baseball has deemed players like Bonds, Palmeiro, Sosa and Mark McGwire eligible of being on the Hall of Fame ballot means that they have deemed said players eligible for the Hall of Fame. It’s that simple.

And Murphy hits the nail on the head when it comes to the hand-wringers, who he says “have a little bit of drama queen inside of them”:

Writers who view this election as some sort of existential dilemma, many of whom I respect greatly, do so only because they want to experience such a dilemma.

I roll my eyes every time I see a Hall of Fame column in which the author talks about how difficult it is to vote.  About how dreadful the task has become. How he or she has had to wrestle with their conscience and how they feel the weight of blahdiblahdiblah, barf, barf, barf. In light of Murphy’s comments about writers-as-drama-queens, I’m less inclined to see these as legitimate complaints than I am to see them as baseball writers’ version of a humblebrag. “Hey, everyone, I have a Hall of Fame ballot. Now watch me grapple with the history I necessarily make!”

Pick the players you think should be in. Do what you want, but note that baseball thinks these folks are just fine, eligibility-wise. If that’s not enough for you and you think the character clause merits their exclusion, fine, exclude them. But don’t pretend that’s too hard for you. If you’re inclined to vote with your morals on this matter, do so with the conviction you would have about any moral stand and stop pretending it’s so damn agonizing.

  1. southofheaven81 - Dec 31, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Writing the first comment on an article is hard. The pressure is on because you beat everyone else to the punch.

    • Charles Gates - Dec 31, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      And like the BBWAA often does, set the bar so low.

  2. ditto65 - Dec 31, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Heavy is the head that must comment on comments about voting for the HoF.

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 31, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    Hopefully the Phillies will have a better 2013, so you can stop trashing HOF voters and go back to trolling Phillies fans

    I agree that the writers take themselves too seriously in many regards – but I don’t see what is wrong with them saying they have a hard time deciding what to do. If you or David Murphy want to put it in context of other votes these guys make, fine. But my suspicion is that if you took a hard look, you would find that guys who can not decide what to do about Bonds, Clemns, etc. also had a hard time deciding what to do about Roberto Alomar, Jim Rice, Bert Blyeleven as well.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Roberto Alomar

      Is the prime example of how petty most of the HoF electorate has become. They didn’t vote him in his first year of eligibility because they wanted to act like mommy and “punish” him for spitting in the umpire’s face. Magically, just one year later, they decided to vote him in with 90% voting yes (523/581) after he served his “punishment”.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        I LOVE baseball drama!

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        Okay, Alomar may not have been the best example, and yes, there was some pay back for that incident. Jim Rice and Bert Blyelven were better examples.

        My over all point is that these guys that have a hard time deciding on the ‘roids crew always have a hard time, so why single them out here.

  4. indaburg - Dec 31, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Here, let me fix that headline: Most writers have a lot of drama queen inside of them.
    Not that I fault them for it. If they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t be writers. They would be accountants or actuaries or something.

    I don’t get all the consternation either over this decision. Someone already made the hard decision for the voters by placing these players on the ballot. If baseball didn’t want them in the HOF, they wouldn’t even be on the ballot, like Pete Rose. Do their numbers and performance on the field make Bonds, Clemens, Piazza (rumors), Sosa, and McGwire eligible? Yes? Then quit yer whining and vote for them.

  5. Old Gator - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    You know what’s going to be fun? Watching all the squirming and shvitzing going on in the audience when any of these cheaters – Bonds especially – get up to give their acceptance speeches and their facilitators in MLB, all the greedy slugs like Bud Light and the player’s union leaders, have to sit there in the audience knowing they have now officially sanctioned the decades of statistical lies they knowingly facilitated and stamped the game with an indelible illegitimacy and a shame of which it will never be able to rid itself. That’s going to be one miserable, irony-infested induction ceremony, isn’t it?

    • woodenulykteneau - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      In other words, it’ll be like most small-town Chamber of Commerce luncheons…

      • Old Gator - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        …except no Lily Von Shtupp jumping out of a cake.

  6. paperlions - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Maybe it is really hard for a lot of these guys. Many appear to go through great mental gymnastics to arrive at their decisions, which must be exhausting. Many likely are terribly vexed by the knowledge that they are actively voting against clearly HOF caliber players based on assumptions of who did what and when as well as assumptions of the effects of those assumed actions.

  7. bleed4philly - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    The HOF is not a sacred religious institution and sportswriters are not its elders. It’s a bleeping museum.

  8. Francisco (FC) - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Murphy has a bunch of people with Pitchforks and Torches in his article’s comments section. Apparently the only records that were set “cleanly” happened before 1994.

  9. hisgirlgotburrelled - Dec 31, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    The damn morality clause. These stupid writers that use that as an excuse, that just say ‘well I can’t vote for Bonds because the rules say so with this clause,’ they’re cowards that can’t make up their own minds… (I hate the offseason)… So, Torii Hunter, unofficially not eligible for the HOF because of the morality clause??

  10. jwbiii - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    “I AM big. It’s the NEWSPAPERS that got small!”

  11. anxovies - Dec 31, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Tell that to Pete Rose, Craig.

  12. earlnash - Dec 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    The white players said the same thing about black players before Jackie Robinson arrived; they were “uncomfortable” with the black players and thought they would be divisive.

    Anyone who has read the whole Bible knows that the anti-gay statements were in the Old Testament; your Personal Savior, Jesus the Christ, never mentioned homosexuality, but was know to be accepting of all people; when he said “Love one another,” he did not make any exceptions. Perhaps the same God that created you, created the entire universe and all the things and sentient beings?

    Wake up, Torii

  13. hockeyflow33 - Dec 31, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    The same drama queens hold themselves up over the general sports public with their arrogant belief that they know more than anyone watching the game when in reality I would bet that there are a fair number of us on these boards alone, that are far more knowledgeable about the game.

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