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Cooperstown was dead in more than one way yesterday

Jul 29, 2013, 9:44 AM EDT


With only the dead being inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday, the crowd responded in similar fashion. Bob Nightengale:

Sunday’s crowd count suffered greatly: 2,500 attended, the Hall announced, well off the typical crowd estimate of about 20,000.

Only 32 of the living 62 Hall of Famers were on hand. Probably because they didn’t have any new friends to welcome or old friends to greet.

To date the Hall of Fame has been 100% supportive of the voting tack the BBWAA has taken and has shot down any suggestion that something needs to change in either the voting criteria or the composition of the electorate.

But you have to figure that another couple of years like this would at least start to make them change their mind.

  1. thinkfirstthenspeak - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    You have to feel for the host of small businesses in Cooperstown. This weekend probably is close to their whole summer’s worth of business most years.

    • pjmitch - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      Obviously you are not thinking first, then speaking. Great idea, induct everyone on the ballot so we can take care of those folks in Cooperstown. Nobody wants to see them suffer, I agree, but at the sake of making the Hall more of a joke than it is??

      • raysfan1 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:12 AM

        All he said was he felt sorry for them. I’ve read interviews with some merchants who stated that induction week was 75% or more of their annual gross.

      • Old Gator - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Obviously, you are not reading first, then responding. Thinkfirst made no suggestion whatsoever about the voting process. All he did was remind us that the current situation left more casualties than just the Hall’s image. And he’s right.

      • thinkfirstthenspeak - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Where in my post did I suggest anything about inductions or who to induct?

    • nfieldr - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      While I’m sure that a crowd of only 10% of normal will have an impact on local
      businesses, according to this article, it may not be that bad:

    • hojo20 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Then move to a real city with more foot traffic.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        “Then move to a real city with more foot traffic.” Really Howard?
        Come on Man. You can see how ridiculous your post was can’t you?
        Even a little bit? Just a smidgeon?

  2. stoutfiles - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    So they should elect more people and big names just to draw a crowd on election day? That is literally the worst suggestion ever.

    The Hall should be the best of the best. Don’t taint the Hall with average popular players or cheaters because Cooperstown wants a good induction show.

    • paperlions - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      No, they should just elect guys who had career performance deserving HOF inductiong….of which there were MANY on this past year’s ballot.

      • stoutfiles - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Who are these people? What is deserving? Does everyone want this to be the Above Average Hall of Fame?

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:37 PM


        Okay then.

        Biggio, Trammel, and Bagwell are all top 10 players ALL-TIME at their respective positions. Tim Raines was a better player than Tony Gwynn. Schilling, while a giant ass, was a better pitcher than at least 1/2 the starting pitchers in the HOF…dude was a stud that was a better pitcher than Glavine or Smoltz or just about any other non-Clemens pitcher that will get into the HOF over the next few years (if any).

    • alltimebaseball - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      That isn’t remotely close to what he said

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Literally the worst suggestion ever? Maybe to you. I can think of a couple:

      “How about folding that rookie Eddie Murray card and placing it between the spokes of your wheel? That way your bike sounds like a car.”

      “How about selling your Apple stock and buy a thousand shares of Sirius? Howard Stern rocks.”

      “Why not live in Hoboken? It takes much longer to get to Brooklyn.”

      • cohnjusack - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        Those Eddie Murray rookie cards go for about 5 bucks on Ebay, so don’t worry, you didn’t lose out on any great investment.

      • stoutfiles - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:02 AM

        If you’re going to be the grammar police, at least pick better examples.

        -Eddie Murray cards are worthless.
        -Selling Apple and buying Sirius could be a good short term move.
        -I can think of worse places to live.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        So are you telling me to feel good about myself? Or that my life is too boring for you to comprehend? Either way, I wasn’t being a grammar cop; I was making light of somebody else’s hyperbole and chose to bring up incidents in my life that I find as being comical.

        But, yeah, the joke goes way over your head, so be a critical douche. That ought to keep working wonders for ya.

      • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        That’s some funny stuff right there.

      • stoutfiles - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:31 PM

        Your comment was “I don’t like your bad hyperbole, here’s some bad hyperbole instead”. If there was a joke in there I suppose I missed it.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      “…literally the wost suggestion ever.”

      ~”Sure, Jose Canseco, you should write a book about all this stuff and people will respect you for helping to clean up the game”
      ~”It will be fine to do that on Twitter; just make it a PRIVATE message, Congressman Weiner.”
      ~”My friend Bernie has some ‘can’t-miss’ investment opportunities for you, Mr Wilpon.”
      ~”Hey Napoleon, don’t sweat it, we can TOTALLY invade Russia in winter.”
      ~”Hey Hitler, don’t sweat it, we can TOTALLY invade Russia in winter.”
      ~”Hey Eve, don’t ssssssssweat it; these are the besssssst apples in the whole garden. What could go wrong?”
      ~”Does this smell like Chloroform to you?”

      • stoutfiles - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:04 AM

        The sad thing is, Weiner could have been elected Mayor had he not got caught…again. Actually, he could still be elected Mayor, that’s how messed up NY is.

    • 18thstreet - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      I don’t know what you think keeping Craig Biggio and Tim Raines (Or Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens) out is protecting: Tom Yawkey is in the Hall of Fame. There’s nothing to sully.

    • wpjohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Stoutfiles is absolutely correct. How do we know? Look at all the thumbs down. that normally indicates an intelligent post. Apparently, these fools want to provide social promotion and quotas for the Hall. The Hall is too watered down now. If the thumb boys want a Hall of Mediocrity, let them start one. they would have a lot of candidates for “induction”- like Jack Morris.

    • hojo20 - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Agree with stoutfiles. Guys like Thome, Biggio, Mussina are NOT HOF material.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        How the hell does Thome not make iT? lifetime .276/.402/.554 – 147 OPS+ hitter with 612 HR?

        I’d love to hear how Mussina isn’t qualified either.

      • hojo20 - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        When I think of immortal players, Jim Thome? C’mon.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        Are you going to offer any arguments of substance, or just speak in metaphors? Or do you want the Willie Mays Hall of Fame?

      • hojo20 - Jul 29, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        Sorry I don’t read stuff written by Paterno’s chief apologist.

  3. Old Gator - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    This is odd, because the dead have become such trendy pop culture fare over the last decade or so. Perhaps what we’re seeing at Cooperstown is just dead fatigue – kids and examples of arrested development may have had their fill of brains and now want their icons metabolising more or less normally. Then again, perhaps it was just a flaw in marketing – next year, try calling it Induction Day of the Dead and invite George Romero, Joss Whedon and Wes Craven to emcee.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      There ya go…

      A Walking Dead / Cooperstown cross promotion. Have Greg Nicotero make up actors to look like dessicated corpse versions of baseball’s greated.

      Ah hell, just move Comic-Con to Cooperstown and hold it there the same weekend…it’ll be a HUGE win-win for everyone.

    • JB (the original) - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      “Field of Screams”?

      • JB (the original) - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        “8 Men Out (When the 9th is a Brain Eater)”

      • bfunk1978 - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        Perfect. “If you build it, they will die.”

      • Old Gator - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:23 PM

        We’re talking about the Hall of Fame, not the Bhopal refinery. Then again, I guess the BBWA attitude is sufficiently toxic that it eliminated seventeen thousand fans this year.

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Well, if they stop electing people into the HoF, the attendance problem will extend beyond their flagship event. What child of the 90’s is going to come to the H0F to read about a bunch of guys who retired before he was born? The Hall is losing its connection to its living audience, and if that trend continues it will be entirely obsolete. No Bonds, no Clemens, no Sosa & McGwire, no Bagwell and Biggio…soon there will be no ARod, no Manny, no Ortiz

    At the end of the day it is a museum that chronicles the events that took place in the game. If it stops serving that purpose, what good does the “morality clause” do anyone? If you leave out most of the best players of an entire generation, what will be the point of visiting?

    • wpjohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      No. It is a hall of fame. It should include only the best of the best. If you want a hall for mediocre players or good players or players who cheated, start one. Don’t defame Cooperstown with rubbish.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        Bonds is more “famous” than Maddux. Bonds was certainly the best of the best, arguably the best player ever.

        Nowadays, it has recently become the Hall of The Morality Clause. I am not interested in the Most Moral Players of 1990-2010. I’ll go to the Mother Theresa museum for that. I want to see the pillars of baseball history, and Bonds, Clemens, Rose etc certainly qualify. Go ahead and write about steroids and gambling on their plaques, but keeping them out on moral grounds is silly, hypocritical and defeats the purpose of the museum.

  5. raysfan1 - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I understand the “small hall” guys and those who remain angry over PEDs, although I disagree with those who take it to the point that they allow innuendo without evidence to overrule what would otherwise be shoe-in careers for the HoF (Piazza, Bagwell).

    However, while wanting the HoF to be the elite of the elite, one should also remember that it is at its core a museum, an archive, and a research library. Induction week brings in a large percentage of the HoF’s annual income as well. Not brining in the money that normally comes during induction week adversely impacts its ability to preserve the history of the game we love. Going too far with small hall thinking could result in no hall, which would be a shame.

  6. philliesblow - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    I don’t think there’s a risk of the same thing happening the next couple years as there are plenty of players without PED suspicion becoming eligible the next couple years:
    2014: Maddux, Glavine, Frank Thomas & Mussina plus year 2 for Biggio
    2015: Pedro Matinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to also see Tim Raines Edgar Matinez and Curt Schilling get more votes over the next couple years. I also see writes eventually caving on Bonds as he was a likely HOFer prior to his head growing 2 sizes.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Isn’t that one of the tough things about this though? Sure, some of those guys are considered suspicion free right now. Once the writers start really considering them, what does it take, one or two articles wondering how exactly Maddux managed to be SO MUCH better than everyone else for so long. Maybe Glavine had a pimple on his shoulder one day when Murray Chass walked through the Mets locker room. How did Smoltz manage to build up his strength to switch back from closer to full time starter?

      Yes, these are all ridiculous, but not so ridiculous as to be unimaginable. And the sad truth is we can never know for sure with anyone. The only thing we are sure of is what happened on the field, so perhaps, the voters should stick to that.

    • stoutfiles - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      2016: Ken Griffey Jr.

      2017: Ivan Rodriguez

      2018: Chipper Jones

      For the extended future every year has a sure ballot HOF candidate that is popular with fans.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        In coming years, there will be two dozen players with plausible Hall of Fame cases. Voters can only vote for 10 of them. I don’t know why anyone would believe this problem is going to get better as the ballot gets more crowded. Sure, I think Maddux makes it in. And Griffey. But I doubt there’s a consensus around anyone else.

        What we’re probably headed for is a group of rich investors creating a rival Hall of Fame in Boston or Queens that actually allows the best players in. Their money will be able to afford an impressive collection of memorabilia, even if it’s not as good as what’s in Cooperstown now.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Pudge has been linked to PEDs, by both Canseco and Mitchell IIRC. Regardless of his merits and popularity, there’s no way this electorate puts him in.

  7. Kevin S. - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Pudge has been linked to PEDs, by both Canseco and Mitchell IIRC. Regardless of his merits and popularity, there’s no way this electorate puts him in.

  8. neoshweaty - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Why is Mike Piazza still out of the Hall? I can’t wrap my head around it. He has only been whispered about by some in the media about being involved with PEDs. Nothing has stuck and there hasn’t been any kind of media circus about it. I get the Bonds, McGwires, Sosas, etc. of the world because they have been strongly associated with PEDs. Is just playing in the era enough of an indictment to keep a person out?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Because sportswriters are terrified that a confirmed PED user will sneak into the hall. Then, all of their hand-wringing and panty-knotting will have been in vain.


  9. Walk - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Just throwing this out there but I am really sick of the he had acne so he must be taking roids thing. I had acne fairly bad as a teenager but I managed to escape without scars or other marks so I am a bit lucky there. I am nearly 40 and I had a pimple so big recently that I took three days off from work and had to get a doctor’s excuse to go back, guess I must have had some mysterious summer flu. Other than an occasional problem like that I have been clear of acne like that since my 20’s but I keep having some pop up on my back every couple months that I have to treat. The back acne thing is the dumbest indicator you can have for a ped association. You could probably look at the same peoples high school pics and see they had trouble as well. I know the backne is an indicator but if that is going to be used dig a little bit deeper and find something else to go with it or have the guts to tell us something else to justify what you think or saw.

    • Old Gator - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      It’s fine to be young at heart in middle age. Young in epidermis, not so much.

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