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Some Hall voters juke and dodge, but sometimes dumb is just dumb

Jan 6, 2014, 3:22 PM EDT

We’ve reached the “Hall of Fame voters getting defensive” portion of the Hall of Fame season.

First, Pedro Gomez — a guy with a rich history of intellectual dishonesty and out-and-out idiocy when it comes to Hall of Fame voting — tells you that (a) he doesn’t have to tell you why he’s keeping a 3000-hit dude off his Hall of Fame ballot; and (b) tells you to take your complaints up with the Hall of Fame:

and

Given what he’s said about Jeff Bagwell in the past, I’m guessing Gomez suspects Biggio of PEDs but is unwilling to publicly comment about it. I mean, it can’t be standards themselves. He voted for Jay Bell once for the Hall of Fame. For real. Still, it’s awesome that a guy with a huge platform at a major sports network so stridently states that you’re not entitled to his rationale when it comes to his own news and history-making acts.

As for the second tweet, Gomez needs to appreciate the difference between people who have “a problem with Hall of Fame voting” in general and people who have a problem with his Hall of Fame votes specifically. The process may be flawed, but that’s a separate topic. The people he’s fighting with on Twitter today just think his vote is dumb. No matter what you do to the process there will be dumb votes. You’re not any more immunized from criticism for them based on an appeal to the Hall of Fame than a politician is from his acts in office based on an appeal to the Constitution. I mean, how would that even look?

President Obama: I have decided to issue an executive order declaring Nickleback the Official Rock Band of the United States of America.

People: THAT’S AWFUL!!!

Obama: Anyone with a problem with my Nickleback as America’s Band order should contact the the next-convened Constitutional convention. They’re the ones who made and set the rules.

In other BBWAA defensiveness, we have Joe Strauss, who deflects criticism of Hall of Fame voters with this old canard:

You got us, Joe. People don’t criticize Hall of Fame votes because they want to see players they believe to be worthy given the sport’s highest honor. It’s all jealousy. Totally. It’s exactly like how, when Congress passes a law I disagree with, I’m not objecting to policy, I’m just jealous I’m not a congressman. And when I look at the incarceration rates in this country and think they’re appalling, I am really saying that I wish I was a cop. And when I see the outcome of a game turn on a blown call, it’s actually all about me wishing I was an umpire. My dissatisfaction about the outcome and the idiocy that got us there is totally irrelevant.

Sure, the process may be messed up and the Hall of Fame and BBWAA should probably examine it. But this punting to that structural problem I’m seeing from Gomez, Strauss and others ignores the fact that it’s possible to call dumb Hall of Fame votes dumb without either (a) demanding change to the system; or (b) being jealous. Sometimes, they’re just dumb and criticism is warranted.

We’re allowed to still do that, right?

  1. Mark Armour - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    The “stars” of this whole process are the voters, rather than the players. I wish all votes were anonymous.

    • sdelmonte - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      They sort of do that in the football hall of fame, and it gets a bit contentious too.

    • chip56 - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      It’s yet another way that social media has backfired.

  2. Jeremy T - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    I still find it extremely difficult to believe that real life adult human beings use “you’re just jealous” as an argument without a trace of irony. That line of thinking was transparent and meaningless when I was 10, and it still is now.

    • Michael - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      Every time these guys open their mouths or put fingers to keyboard, they prove they’re not very good at the very things you would think are a part of their job descriptions.

      But that’s the state of sportswriting and especially “sports talking” in America – it’s a bunch of people who schmoozed the right folks and spend their days talking about crap that actually has little to do with the playing of sports but sounds good and (in their minds) no one can call BS like we would if they stuck to statistics and skills.

    • sabatimus - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      They do it because it’ll get them talked about. Period.

    • chinahand11 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Honestly, Jeremy, the “you’re just jealous” statement is like the marching song for hubris. So many of the talking heads consider themselves better or smarter than us poor lay people because they have access to locker rooms and free coffee in the press box. That statement also contributes to the dumbing down of America, wherein insults are used instead of plausible explanations.

  3. Robert H. - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Actually, Gomez left two 3,000-hit dudes off his ballot.

  4. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Thank god idiots like Skip Bayless don’t have a vote when the guys who do have no idea what they are doing most of the time.

  5. asimonetti88 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Nickelback can’t be the Official Rock Band of the United States of America. They are Canadian. Everyone knows the Official Rock Band of the United States of America must be a natural born citizen. Donald Trump is onto you Craig.

    • singingfriar - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      I bet Craig secretly wishes it were Rush.

      • bobwsc - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        make it Ted Nugent and you could have official rock band of the nation and president in one.

    • cur68 - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      Seriously, you can HAVE Nickelback. We give them to you. Free. They are yours now. Chain them in a basement somewhere.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        We’ll take Nickelback if you guys take back Justin Bieber, deal?

      • cur68 - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        No deal. Last I heard, The Biebster has retired. Our long national nightmare has ceased…for now. Please chain him up next to Nickelback.

      • nbjays - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:43 AM

        Nickelback and Justin Bieber can be included in the Ted Cruz deal. We ask nothing in return. We’re just good neighbours that way… eh?

  6. bobwsc - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    did he vote for Bill Mueller again instead?

    http://www.tedsarmy.com/blog/2012/01/pedro-gomez-thinks-bill-mueller-is-a-hall-of-famer.html

    • cohnjusack - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Mueller won more batting titles than Harmon Killebrew, had more home runs than Ozzie Smith and had a higher postseason OPS than Ernie Banks. How is he not a HOFer?

      • maikoch - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:11 AM

        He also went to as many All Star games as Ty Cobb, won as many MVP awards as Derek Jeter, and had more Silver Slugger awards than Babe Ruth and Willie Mays combined.

  7. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Jack Morris: VOTERS: Bryant, Caple, Edes, Gomez, Graziano, Kurkjian, O’Connor, Olney, Rubin, Stanton, Stark
    Mike Mussina: VOTERS: Crasnick, Graziano, Matthews, Stark

    Someone please take Bryant, Caple, Edes, Gomez, Kurkjian, O’Connor, Olney, Rubin, and Stanton to task for this. Outside of one game, there’s zero argument you can make that Morris > Mussina. Moose had a better ERA, better adjusted ERA, more wins, less losses, more K’s, less BB’s.

    I mean, WTF!

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Quit making so much damn sense!!

    • xdj511 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Save some of the vitriol for 2023, when the debate of Mike Mussina’s HOF credentials will heat up as his time on the ballot draws closer to year 15.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      But the one game happened. Don’t ignore it.

      What the top set of voters is saying is, “One outstanding game is more important than being worse in all other facets.” It’s not a pretty defense. And, honestly, Mussina’s performance in the Grady Little Game was pretty damn amazing and clutch.

      • rje49 - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:07 PM

        Then why didn’t Roger Maris ever get elected, for a great entire season, along with a good career? What about the 16 players who have hit 4 homers in a game, or the pitchers who pitched a perfect game? Bottom line, Jack Morris’ best game isn’t enough on it’s own, and the rest of his career wasn’t “great enough”.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        I think I’m being misread by rje49. I’m anti-Morris. At least, I’m far more pro-Mussina than I realized I was during his career.

        Morris was basically an above-average pitcher whose value came from being a workhorse. The only way that a person can vote for him is to say that his performance in that one World Series game is, in fact, more important than everything else he did. And it isn’t more important.

    • Paul Zummo - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      Ah, but did he win a game 7 of the World Series? Then you’re argument is invalid. /sarc

      The thing about Mussina and Morris is that you don’t even need all nerdy saber stats to tell you Mussina was better.

      • pastabelly - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        The real intellectual argument is Mussina vs Schilling and those two are pretty close. Jack Morris will “go away” soon and the debate can be between two starters who are borderline HOFers. That’s actually a great debate that should happen next year (since neither really has a shot this year).

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        I’m curious what your criteria of worthiness is if you think Moose/SChilling are borderline.

      • mca99 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        @pastabelly – It’ll also be interesting to watch that debate in the context of its surrounding debate, which is: “Look, there are like 3 starting pitchers from the entirety of the late ’70′s through ’80′s in the Hall and it took Bert Blyleven 14 tries, and now we’re inducting Maddux, Glavine, Johnson, Martinez, probably Smoltz, and refusing Clemens entry. That’s a lot of guys and we’re fatigued.” Whether there’s merit to that, I don’t know, but I think it will color the discussion of Mussina and Schilling both – regardless of their numbers, they were both overshadowed almost their entire careers by some clearly better, and in a few cases transcendent, players at their position.

    • largebill - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      Mussina was also much better in the post season.

    • bigbuffguy95 - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      Ok, I can think of one semi-legitimate reason why a voter would vote for Morris and not Mussina in this election only. I agree that in a vacuum, Mussina’s case is just better, with the exception of Morris’ three World Series rings to Mussina’s zero. But it’s possible that one might believe that both Morris (I’d take the arguments against him a lot more seriously if the BBWAA hadn’t voted Jim Rice in a few years back–I have a very difficult time making a persuasive case that Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer, but Jack Morris has no case whatsoever) and Mussina are Hall of Famers, as well as at least nine other guys.

      Since there’s a limit of 10 players the voter can vote for, he or she is going to have to make some decisions. Morris is in his last year of eligibility. It’s now or never for him with the BBWAA. Mussina is in his first year and appears to be drawing enough support that there’s really no danger in him falling off the ballot. So if one believes that both are Hall of Famers, one can justify voting for Morris and not Mussina this year because of the limit and the deadline on Morris’ candidacy. I could buy that if that was the argument being made. Of course, there appear to be people who voted for less than the maximum 10 and still voted for Morris and not Mussina, so I can’t defend them.

      • halfthemoney - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:21 AM

        I agree with the comment with the exception of the ring argument. Steve Carlton proved that a starting pitcher cannot alone carry a team to a World Championship.

  8. wonkypenguin - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Do we have to really give credence to anyone who uses #Burn with their baseless taunt? I’m not usually envious of idiotic decision-making and I don’t plan to start today.

  9. idolized1 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    The more and more I see from some of these “voters” the more I wonder if this process is actually about voting for those who deserve it, or about making a spectacle/mockery of the whole thing for publicity.

    There should be a board of past managers, owners, players, respected media, etc… who will take a “Yay or Nay” approach with every possible candidate. With no limit on how many make it in a year!

    Just like a court. They should be judged by their peers. Not that my opinion is always right or the best, but I think that way would make a lot more sense and quit giving jagaloons like these guys a pedestal to stand on…

  10. Paul Zummo - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Jealous? Yes, if only I could be a largely unknown and unheralded guy who writes about sports for a mid-level newspaper. I cry every day that I have not reached Joe Strauss’s stature.

    No, it’s not jealously, just a bit of sadness that guys like Strauss have a say in who gets into the Hall while other people who actually have some semblance of brains and writing ability are left out of the process.

  11. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    “I know you are but what am I?”
    - Pedro Gomez

  12. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 6, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Thank goodness I have the IBWAA to cure my jealousy

  13. paperlions - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I don’t know which is more sad. The fact that these guys understand so little about the sport they are paid to cover, or the fact that they don’t realize that their understanding is so poor. Hooray for meta-ignorance (ignorance of ones own ignorance).

    • chip56 - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Without knowing why Gomez voted the way he did I don’t think you can say he’s ignorant about the sport.

      If Gomez feels that the anecdotal evidence is there to make him believe that Craig Biggio did PEDs (one possible reason for his non-vote) then that doesn’t show a lack of understanding about baseball. If, on the other hand, he didn’t vote for Biggio because he misunderstood a statistical evaluation (Ken Davidoff did this last year with regard to Mike Piazza) then THAT shows a lack of understanding.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        Gomes voted for Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Morris, Trammell, McGriff, and Lee Smith. 3/7 votes I’d say aren’t rational considering the other far more qualified players on the ballot.

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10231471/craig-biggio-tom-glavine-greg-maddux-frank-thomas-elected-espn-2014-baseball-hall-fame-ballot

      • chip56 - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:23 AM

        I don’t agree with his votes, but I wouldn’t label them as irrational.

        Certainly I wouldn’t label them as ignorant choices…it’s not like Jacques Jones is on the list.

        I think you can infer from his ballot that he’s not voting for anyone who he believes used steroids whether there’s proof of use or not. Again, I don’t agree with it, but it doesn’t show an ignorance about the sport.

      • paperlions - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:40 PM

        I didn’t need any new information to know that Gomez is ignorant (or Strauss for that matter). All you have to do is listen to him talk (Gomez) or write (Strauss) about baseball. Each knows a lot of people in the industry and a lot about the people that play/manage/coach in MLB, but neither has bothered to keep up with the game.

        Many people love to rip stat nerds, well….guess what, decisions for most MLB teams are informed by people doing stat nerdy stuff….even when it comes to drafting and player development. Advances in analysis and understanding have been important, but these guys can’t be bothered to keep up.

      • chip56 - Jan 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM

        It’s true that advanced scouting has become a major part of the game and some people have been slow to keep up. But I’m not sure how this impacts a guy like Pedro Gomez. Full disclosure, I haven’t paid much attention to ESPN in years since MLB Network and NFL Network debuted and provide a much better, less schticky, service. But from what I remember of Gomez, he’s not a player evaluator, he’s an insider who is more used for breaking news stories related to the players (ie covering the BALCO investigation) than he is a guy who evaluates players’ on the field abilities.

        Given that, I don’t think that an in-depth understanding of statistical metrics is something that would greatly impact his ability to do his job.

      • mca99 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        @chip56 – fair enough on your last post in this subthread, but you may have made the most salient point against people like Gomez having a vote in the first place. Beat reporters and special news investigators should not be endowed with the power of choosing who gets enshrined, only one reason for which is precisely because they don’t actually know anything about player evaluation.

        Which, of course, gets us all back to the primary problem with the baseball HOF process generally: it’s entirely run by sportswriters (no offense to Craig Calcaterra).

      • chip56 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        You’re absolutely right. But that goes to Gomez’s point that it’s not his fault he has a vote, it’s the HoF’s decision.

        I can’t blame him for not immersing himself in advanced metrics for the sole purpose of being a better Hall of Fame voter.

      • mca99 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        We’re on agreement on the basics and the underlying problem, I think. But, I think you’re being too charitable in your interpretation of Gomez’s reference to the HoF and its rules. “I’m an idiot who shouldn’t have a vote, but that’s not my call, really” was hardly what he was saying. This started, recall, over someone saying Gomez should explain his “no” vote on Biggio, implying the rationale likely wouldn’t hold water. He pissily replied without any explanation for the vote at hand. So the more obvious interpretation of his tweets is more like: “I don’t have to explain myself to you, peon, and if you have a problem with that why don’t you go talk to the HOF and make them make me explain my vote to the plebes.”

      • chip56 - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        You may be right that I’m giving him too much credit in his “go talk to the hall of fame” comment. End of the day, Gomez gets what he wants, which is people talking about Gomez and not about actual baseball players.

        That said, the only point I objected to was when he was deemed ignorant of the sport. He may be ignorant of advanced metrics, but the advanced metrics aren’t necessary to the aspect of baseball he’s responsible for covering. Which goes back to what you said – that he shouldn’t have a vote. To which I probably agree.

      • mca99 - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        Got it.

        Putting aside the separate matter of putting some rightful blame on the HoF for allowing people like this to be the determinant of who gets enshrined: I guess it’s still annoying to me that, while saber-knowledge and all that aren’t necessarily required for Gomez or others not working for a publication involved with selling that sort of information and analysis to do their job, I, casual fan who works in a wholly separate industry very far removed from professional sports, can keep up with it by spending a couple minutes a week on the intertubes drinking my morning coffee, while Pedro Gomez, who ostensibly is paid to report on, among other things, BASEBALL, apparently can’t be bothered with, you know, learning about how to evaluate baseball players. Or applying it rationally, if his head isn’t completely in the sand. Then he gets all haughty that some amateur asks his rationale, without even putting it forth. Work harder, Pedro. You don’t absolutely have to be conversant in this stuff, but why wouldn’t you be? Show some pride and intellectual curiosity. We can’t all be Posnanski, but jeebus, give it some f’ing effort instead of being a dismissive, willfully obtuse douche. A lot of fans may seem to you like they’re jealous, Strauss, but in truth they’re by and large better educated than you are, so what you see as jealousy is actually condescension and sneering at your idiocy and apparent refusal to go the slightest bit above and beyond in the role that’s been partially entrusted to you.

      • halfthemoney - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:33 AM

        Not sure if this comment fits here, but anyway….

        For all the sabermetrics folks, if sabermetricians are so great, why hasn’t one been given a managing job at the MLB level?

      • chip56 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:35 AM

        I’m someone who tends to believe that the best approach is a middle ground between gut instinct and statistical evaluation, however there are quite a few managers who do use statistical evaluation very heavily in their decision making process. Joe Girardi is one who comes to mind right off the bat. Buck Showalter is another. Though to both of their credits, they also understand the value of instinct and will use both in their in-game decision making.

    • sabatimus - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      I don’t think they’re ignorant. I think they’re just trolling.

  14. Walk - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    So pedro gomez is not only unwilling to say why he left biggio off but says that we must asks the hall of fame why. I propose that we do just that. There must be some way for us to address tha hall of fame board, pedro gomez has directed us to them to answer why he left biggio off, so i want to know what their stance on this issue is. If it is steroids and he know then why have i never heard of it?

  15. scatterbrian - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    I’m not chafed that I don’t have a voice that counts. I’m chafed that guys like Gomez or Strauss have voices that count.

  16. clydeserra - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    Question: Why does the HoF still have the BBWAA vote? These writers have taken over the process making it about them instead of the players.

    Second question: How can we convince the HoF to take this privilege away from the BBWAA?

  17. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    God I wish players would turn this around on Pedro in his next interview.

    GOMEZ: Why did you throw that meatball over the middle of the plate to your opponents best hitter?

    MLB PITCHER: You will have to go ask Abner Doubleday. He made the rules.

    • jonrox - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubleday_myth

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        I know, I know…but it is funnier my way

      • jonrox - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:54 PM

        works for me

    • km9000 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      I dunno, when players rip “stat nerds,” it often involves the fact that they “never played the game,” ie they’re just jealous.

      • halfthemoney - Jan 8, 2014 at 1:36 AM

        When a “stat nerd” is named a manager and subsequently wins a World Series…..

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        a person can be jealous, and still have a valid argument. This is not an ‘either/or’ kinda thing.

  18. chip56 - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    The fact is that Gomez is correct. He’s under absolutely no obligation to justify his ballot to anyone. In fact, as recently as ten years ago, most of us wouldn’t have known what writer voted or didn’t vote for what player because they didn’t share that information.

    Having said that, if Gomez is going to use his platform to tell us who he voted for, then yes, it would be nice if some explanation went along with that vote. Though even had he given some insight into his thought process, my guess is that he would have still been raked over the coals on this site should his rational gone against that of Craig – which is completely within Craig’s right to do.

    That said, if Gomez knows he’s going to get trashed whether he gives the background or not, I can’t blame him for not wanting to waste his time.

  19. daddyargue - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    So a reporter feels he doesn’t have to provide an answer? If a team/manager/player told him that they don’t have to answer then he would cry to the union and they would be fined because he didn’t get what he wanted, but when he’s the interviewee he feels as if he is entitled to say nothing. Talk about hypocrisy.

    • chip56 - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:08 PM

      That’s not true at all. We’ve often seen players and managers end interviews in a similar manner.

  20. detectivejimmymcnulty - Jan 6, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Since advanced metrics are so popular now, I wish someone out there would have an “Ah Ha!” moment and create something similar to WAR that could all be agreed upon (I can dream..) and players that score above a certain number for their overall career WAR (or whatever my new future stat will be called that would also include career playoff stats) are put into the Hall of Fame. Those who are a certain percentage within the number needed could then be voted on whether they should make it or not so the Pedro Gomez’s of the world can still have a Twitter for some odd reason to get offended when a random person asks them a legitimate question.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      Look up Jay Jaffe’s JAWS stat. Here’s his latest articles on all the current HoF:

      http://mlb.si.com/author/jayjaffe/

  21. themadzak - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    As a life-long, die-hard baseball fan I have to say that HoF voting has gotten to be a joke. There has never been an inductee that received a unanimous vote. In recent years, it’s gotten even harder to get in. Being a Reds fan, let me give you an example from one of my guys.

    When Johnny Bench retired he was the all time HR leaders for catchers. His style of catching changed the way all future catchers played the game defensively. He was a two time season MVP and a World Series MVP. He was in 14 All Star games and won 10 Gold Gloves. Many people (including me) consider him to be the best catcher in the history of MLB. If he’s not the best, then almost everyone would consider him in the top three.

    Despite all of this, Bench did not receive a unanimous vote. There were some idiots out there who did not vote for him. You heard people say things like, “Sure, he deserves to get in, but he doesn’t deserve a higher percentage of votes than Hank Aaron.”

    Baseball is a game. Voting for those worthy of the Hall is not. If a guy deserves to get in, then freaking vote for him! It’s as simple as that! When I hear guys say, “Sure, Biggio deserves to be in, but he shouldn’t be a first time inductee,” it makes me want to punch them in the nose!

    As a Reds fan I hated to see Biggio in the other dugout because he was one hell of a baseball player. He was solid in all parts of the game. Biggio deserves to be in the Hall.

    • cohnjusack - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      As a life-long, die-hard baseball fan I have to say that HoF voting has gotten to be a joke.

      I object to this statement because it has always pretty much been a joke.

      Some examples.

      –When Eddie Mathews retired, he was hands down the greatest third baseman of all-time. He got just 32% of the vote his first time and it took him five ballots before he got elected.

      –It took Mel Ott until his 3rd ballot and Jimmie Foxx until his 6th to be elected

      –Gary Carter, among the greatest catchers in baseball history, didn’t get in until his 6th ballot.

      –Yet Catfish Hunter, who boasted a lowly 104 ERA+ went in on ballot #3.

      • missingdiz - Jan 6, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        I tried sending this before, but it disappeared in the ether. I agree there have been weird HOF votes for some time. But Jim Hunter’s inclusion was not one of them. He had a different job from pitchers today and he excelled at it. In 1975 he threw 30 complete games, 328 innings total. For ten years in a row he never threw less than 234 innings per season and never had less than 9 complete games. Pitchers today aren’t asked to do that and, fine, good for them. But does ERA+ really capture Jim Hunter’s contribution of 270-300 innings year after year of excellent pitching?

      • cohnjusack - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        But does ERA+ really capture Jim Hunter’s contribution of 270-300 innings year after year of excellent pitching?

        Catfish Hunter wasn’t the only pitcher throwing 270-300 innings a year in the 70s. Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, Nolan Ryan, Fergie Jenkins, Garylord Perry, Steve Carlton, Don Sutton…at the end of the day, they all threw a ton MORE innings than Hunter over the course of his career and still had significantly higher ERA+s. Why only the excuse making for Hunter?

  22. tfbuckfutter - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Goddammit Craig.

    Until I read this article, I hadn’t thought about Nickelback all day. I didn’t realize I hadn’t thought about them all day until I read your mention of them. And that made me think of them.

    Thanks for Nickelbacking on my otherwise awesome day. Dildo.

    • km9000 - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be surprised if baseball players themselves voted in support of making Nickelback the official rock band of the America.

  23. eagles512 - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Gomez is a joke.

  24. tfbuckfutter - Jan 6, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    And so we’re clear….the guy who has issues with PED users voted for Jay Bell, who is probably second only to Brady Anderson in the unlikeliest-probably-roid-fueled-season category?

  25. kylewo - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    I live in St. Louis. Joe Strauss is such a hack. A lot of people around here act like he is a legend. He appears on local sports shows, and shows a surprising lack of baseball knowledge. Face palm worthy stuff, consistency.

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