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

Jan 6, 2014, 3:22 PM EST

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. unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    It has ever been thus with sportswriters. Established newspaper writers are like tenured professors – 95% of them make it to their highest level and then just quit trying. Only to make this analogy work, universities would have to be hemorrhaging money, firing people left and right, and staring their obolescence straight in the face.

    The internet has challenged traditional media to the point where traditional media writers and talking heads now resemble a bunch of haughty, defensive, derisive dinosaurs in the first few moments after the meteor hit. The internet has imposed large-scale Darwinian changes with regards to intellectual rigor and debate standards. The Strauss’s and Chass’s of the world are sadly lacking in both, so we see more and more of these rage-filled, insensate, sophomoric responses to legitimate questions. Open competition has always been and will always be the sworn enemy of authority.

    • maikoch - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:52 AM

      Speaking as someone in academia (without tenure, as yet), it is definitely the case that some profs get tenure and then check out. But it’s nowhere near 95%.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 7:04 AM

        I respect your opinion and we can agree to disagree on the exact %.

        However – to my larger point, the American tenure systems defend the jobs of a great number of ineffective professors. I could go on and on about the questionable wisdom of the tenure system’s emphasis on publishing over teaching, but that is a conversation for a different blog.

        The main thrust of my argument is that a great number of the established names in journalism have a similar kind of protection which insulates them from effective quality control.

    • paperlions - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      There are a LOT of problems with the current academic structure in the US, tenured professors not trying is pretty far down on the list. There are plenty of things that besides being fired (which can still happen) that can occur to a professor that stops trying….and the ones that “stop trying” are those that abandon research, not those that don’t put in effort to lectures. Tenured faculty members at large institutions are researchers that create new knowledge, not teachers…they don’t have degrees in teaching, they don’t have training in teaching, their jobs are to get research money, to do research, and to mentor graduate students…then they have to teach as well, and sit on committees, and do a crap ton of paper work….it is an 80-100 hr/week job.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        I would argue that mentoring grad students is teaching.

        Also this is strictly sidebar to the larger & more important effort here, which is to shame Joe Strauss. ;)

    • metroplexsouthsider - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Yeah, you do wonder, do sports writers get “tenure” after a while in one location, where they can say about anything they want?

  2. dirtydrew - Jan 7, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    If ‘roiders like Cal Ripkin and Nolan Ryan are in, then time for Bonds and Clemens.

    • braxtonrob - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:01 AM

      … two ‘i’s in Ripken, really?!

  3. braxtonrob - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    Great article!!

  4. tominma - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    We dont need this controversy crap less than 2 hours after announcing the inductees!!!

    Congratulations to Maddox, Thomas and Glavine!!! Richly deserved!

  5. myopinionisrighterthanyours - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Think it’s time to revive the Pedro Gomez Never Denied meme.

    #PedroGomezNeverDenied He was Monica Lewinsky’s side dish.

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