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Ken Gurnick’s Hall of Fame ballot is perhaps the laziest and most willfully ignorant ever

Jan 7, 2014, 12:06 PM EST

jack morris-thumb-250x375-4861

Still reeling at Ken Gurnick’s Jack Morris and no one else ballot. But I’m not reeling at the idea of Jack Morris being a Hall of Famer (if you think he is, good for you; I’ve stopped yelling at people for doing that). I’m also not reeling at the idea of a “protest against PED-era players” vote. I think that’s dumb, but if you have such convictions, by all means, vote your convictions.

No, I’m reeling at how feckless and ignorant a protest vote Gurnick has actually cast. Really, people who are big fans of protest votes should be angry at Gurnick for making them look dumb.

Once again, here’s Gurnick’s rationale:

Morris has flaws — a 3.90 ERA, for example. But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Players votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.

Jack Morris played through 1994. His career overlapped with nine of Greg Maddux’s seasons, including three of his four Cy Young seasons. So that either means that Gurnick thinks Maddux actually used PEDs while Morris did not or he has zero grasp on the concept of eras or what “the period of PED use” actually was. He’s making a distinction between Morris and Maddux (and Glavine and every other player on the ballot) that is not grounded in any sort of sense at all.

I don’t know when the first player took steroids, but it was certainly before Jack Morris retired. Indeed, Jack Morris’ signature accomplishment — winning Game 7 of the World Series with a ten-inning shutout — came in 1991. By 1991 Barry Bonds had an MVP Award and Roger Clemens had three Cy Young Awards and an MVP. Jose Canseco had hit 209 homers, won an MVP award and had been booed for steroid use. Mark McGwire had hit 178 home runs. Indeed, the Bash Brothers only had 97 games left together when Morris won Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Over half of Jack Morris’ wins came from Jose Canseco’s rookie year (1986) on.

That doesn’t mean Jack Morris did steroids, of course. But it does mean that no one who has a basic comprehension of time and simple logic can draw the kind of distinction between Jack Morris and the rest of the Hall of Fame ballot that Gurnick did. Because I assume Gurnick can read a calendar and because I’ve read his reporting and find it cogent, it can’t be that.

So what the hell is he doing here? Apart from just being near criminally lazy and flippant about a task that Hall of Fame voters like to tell us they take oh so very seriously?

  1. unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    So I ask y’all – where was the upside in Gurnick revealing his rationale?

    The BBWAA is hidebound and beyond saving. But there’s no reason that the HOF has to continue to use them if they continue to fail to prune the herd. It’s time to take the fight straight to the Hall.

    • alang3131982 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      I think he had to as part of being an write.

      Also, isnt the laziest and most willfully ignorant ballot ever the ones the last few years that have been submitted blank (i.e., a no-vote for everyone), with folks like Trammel, Raines and others who are “clean” and deserving?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        Ok, I’ll accept “keeping job” as upside.

  2. skids003 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    It’s amazing how these people not ony get to vote, but that they keep getting to vote. I agree with you, unclemoses, it’s broken beyond repair.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      It’s amazing that someone who hates baseball this much would have made it his career.

    • chinahand11 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Just my opinion, but I think Gurnick is a prime example of the people you meet in life where you say, “How the hell did that guy get his job?”

      • skids003 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        Or how do they function in a civilized society?

    • vm44 - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      Umpires are graded, football referees are graded. If they don’t measure up they are dismissed. Why not have a grading system for HOF voters?

      • jtorrey13 - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        The next rule change the owners should consider is for instant replay of HOF voter’s votes.

        Gurnick – FOUL BALL! One strike, writer returns to his typewriter.

  3. jonrox - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    C. Trent Rosencrans has a nice column up with the Cincinnati Enquirer about the process, and included a tid-bit about Gurnick:

    “Ken Gurick’s is so bad, I can’t even comprehend the thought (or lack of) process. He votes for Jack Morris and Jack Morris only, since he says he wouldn’t vote for anyone from the “steroid era.” My response would be that Morris played in the steroid era — and is likely getting votes based on one game that was squarely in the steroid era. Ugh.”

    • bcwildcat24 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Do you have a link to that article?

      • jonrox - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        (Though I have to, embarrassingly, admit that I spelled his name wrong in my post)

  4. cackalackyank - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Maybe some of these guys are trying to ***k up the process deliberately so it HAS to be changed. One can always hope. The alternatives are kinda scary.

    • km9000 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      I think we could swap the BBWAA and Congress and not notice any difference.

      • chinahand11 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        The most intelligent comment in the history of comments.

  5. tfbuckfutter - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    I suspect Jack Morris of PED use because that mustache is a sign of having way too much testosterone.

    • cackalackyank - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      Or watching way too much ’70’s porn.

  6. spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Craig, you still miss his point. I want to make it clear, his thinking is mostly inane, but I don’t think you explain his protest completely. The Morris vote, and Maddux exclusion are inexcusable in my opinion, but what Gurnick opined was that since some voters are not going to vote in PED hitters, and not take into consideration that pitcher’s were taking them too, then he isn’t going to vote for anybody during the PED era.

    Yeah they probably overlap, but not much, and so in order to maintain full disclosure he deserves to be heard out, regardless how ridiculous his thinking may be.

    • bfunk1978 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      He can’t vote for Morris if he’s not voting for PED pitchers. They don’t just overlap, there’s a huge concurrency.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        By most gauges, Morris’ career overlapped the PED era by about a 1/4 to 1/3.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Jose Canseco won his MVP award in 1988. Jack Morris pitched an amazing World Series game in 1991.

        But Jack Morris did not pitch in the steroids era.

      • alang3131982 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        Pitchers were taking PEDs as early as the 1970s. Tom House a pitcher in the 70’s said “So I tried it. Steroids were easy to get — this was California in the ’60s. It was before sharing needles was a problem. It was inexpensive: $40 to $80 depending on how many shots and how long you wanted to stay with it. I think the most I ever spent in a given winter was probably around $400. I was injecting Dianabol.”


        “House, perhaps best known for catching Hank Aaron’s 715th home run ball in 1974 in the Atlanta Braves’ bullpen, said he and several teammates used amphetamines, human growth hormone and “whatever steroid” they could find in order to keep up with the competition. So Morris played entirely during a time when people were taking steroids.”

      • steveinphilly - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        “By most gauges, Morris’ career overlapped the PED era by about a 1/4 to 1/3.”

        FALSE. Steroids generally are thought to have started in baseball in 1986. OVER HALF of Morris’s starts were in the steroid era, including the one that is his ticket to the Hall (if it gets punched). And if you believe they only started in 1987, then it’s still about 45% of his starts that were in the steroid era.

        Gurnick is a tool and a joke, and he should be fired by for ignorance. I honestly don’t trust that he actually does any research for his articles now.

      • bfunk1978 - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        And now my math kind of sucks, but there’s a pretty decent chance that this dumbass kept Biggio out all on his own. 570 voters and 74.8%, depending on how they round out that 74.8 Biggio could have wound up with 75 or 74.9.

    • daveitsgood - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      What are you arguing here? That while is logic is asinine, his opinion is okay because it’s his opinion and he’s taking the moral ground? C’mon man, the foundation of his logic is built on a straw man argument that overlooks flaws in his logic such as, like you mentioned, the career spans overlap and nobody knows when the “steroid era” actually began, so if he was going to take the moral stance against PEDs, he shouldn’t have even have voted for Morris either because Morris played in the steroid era as wel, even if it was towards the end of his career, it was still potentially a 3rd of his career. His point is stupid, his logic is stupid, you, trying to defend it because hey, everyone has a right to their opinion is silly. Yes, people have a right to an opinion, just as we have the right to call them out for being utter morons for their opinions and then point out why they are morons.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        Again, reading comprehension is a lost art. You read what you wanted to, not what I wrote. Since this is most often the trend, I expected arguments that ignored what I wrote to continue their narrative.

    • stex52 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Doesn’t help, Spud. Is Gurnick just discovering that pitchers take steroids, too? I think there was some guy named Clemens that clinched that issue several years ago. Does he think he is educating us? Give me a break.

      As I get older, I find that hearing out morons just wastes what time I have. Not interested.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        I agree, just believe it is better journalism to deliver the whole story, and not just the parts that make someone look silly. Gurnick still looks ridiculous, but everybody deserves the whole story.

    • jrobitaille23 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      I apologize for the idiotic downvotes from the peanut gallery. Nothing you said deserved that and it just goes to show you how f’ing stupid people are on here. It takes a little intelligence to understand what you are saying. And I agree, this guy’s votes suck but his rationale is that he thinks pitchers and hitters at a certain point all or most took steroids and he refuses to vote for any of them if a good chunk of their career happened during this time. I imagine he believes that the mid 90s was when PED use really took off. I tend to agree. Though I feel some players have been taking since the 70s and some also in the 80s..if you look at the massive jump in power numbers it generally began in 95/96 and lasted a full decade. So to this guy, Morris was exempt. Personally I cannot even believe people are considering him for the HOF as he had a pedestrian career except for that one great game. He was never dominant and to me, that is what you need to be, one of your eras most dominant, in order to make it in.

      • yahmule - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        You’re the f***ing stupid one. His point was obvious and nobody thought it was salient.

      • stex52 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Why are you apologizing for the down votes? Did you put them in?

        Best practice is to say what you think and ignore the thumbs. If you meant what you said, who cares? I only respond to the replies.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:30 PM

        Dianabol hit the market in 1958, and athletes across the board have been using steroids ever since. Even into the 1890s players used Brown Sequard solution (animal testosterone); Pud Galvin openly advocated it (and is in the Hall of Fame). Of course there were no laws against it until 1991, let alone baseball rules or testing. Just pointing out that use predates 1970.

        The power surge began with a spike in 1987 and was continuous from 1993 on; Matt Williams had 43 HRs when the strike began and might have made a serious run at Maris’ record, and Knoblach had over 40 doubles too. Even if the point were to exclude all that played when steroids became ubiquitous, and power production is used to try to define that, then the “steroid era” still clearly overlapped Morris’ career.

      • robb4242 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:27 AM

        I get the point, but by making this type of protest we’re going to end up with a Hall of Mediocrity instead of a Hall of Fame. Basic assumption, if a player had a HOF worthy career after 1960, or 1972, or 1988, or 1991, or 1995 (whenever you believe the “steroid era” started), they must have been doping. If they are a utility player who hit .225, then obviously they weren’t doping & they were the best of the non-dopers, so that’s who we’re voting for. We’re going to end up with a Hall full of Jack Morris’ and that’s not a good thing for baseball.


    • daveitsgood - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      No – I read what you said. Paraphrasing here – since some voters won’t vote for PED hitters, but don’t consider that pitchers might have been taking them too, Gurnick is going to take a principled stance and say, hey, pitchers took them too, so therefore we can’t vote for pitchers either, if they played in the “steroid era”.
      What you are missing since logical thought process is just as much a lost art form as reading comprehension – To only vote for Jack Morris makes the claim that he was above the steroid era shenanigans and that logic is flawed since a) we don’t have exact time frames on when it began (couldn’t have been late 80’s, early 90’s, early 80’s, etc), nobody knows b) Morris’ career spanned into the steroid era, if it’s assumed it began in the late 80’s – therefore Morris also pitched in the steroid era and should be lumped in with the rest of that crowd. He fails his own principled logic and reasoning when he voted for Morris because of A and B. He would have made a better stand on principle, abeit still moronic, had he not voted for anyone, including Morris – to reiterate, because Morris also pitched in the “steroid era”. That’s what Craig was saying here and what you seemed to have missed. Craig got his point, I got your point, you missed Craig’s point, you missed my point.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        What part of my comment “I want to make it clear…, the Morris vote and Maddux exclusion are inexcusable” is confusing to you.

    • daveitsgood - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Probably the part where you claim it’s inexcusable, but then try to defend it by saying we are missing the point of his argument/actions when we clearly we aren’t. We are simply pointing out the logical fallacy in Gurnick’s argument.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Never ever, did I try to defend WHAT Gurnick said, only that Craig didn’t report everything that he said. At every juncture, I opined that I disagree with the conclusions he promulgated, but believed his entire story should be heard. I stand by what I wrote in its entirety.

      • daveitsgood - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Yet in both posts, they did. In block quotes, both Aaron and Craig put verbatim, Gurnick’s quote as to his reasoning. They didn’t edit it or take any of it out of context, they took the exact reasoning provided on the website, posted it and pointed out his logical inconsistency. Do you feel/believe that Gurnick was misquoted/taken out of context/edited to look stupid or illogical/all of the above?

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        You continue to try and put words in my mouth. And I refuse to choose your bogus options. I called Gurnick’s vote both appalling and inexcusable, both of which seem pretty darn clear to me.

        Because I happened to be reading the “whole” story first over at SB Nation, I knew that part of Gurnick’s writing had been omitted. Which I pointed out. I don’t agree with anything he suggested, but I do understand the notion of his protest, which compared to the rest of his rationale for his vote to be somewhat less nutty. That is what I said, that is what I say now, and that is the extent of my point.

        You can choose to continue this, but nowhere can you find anywhere where I defended any conclusion that Gurnick came to. And my writing is very clear on the subject.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      but what Gurnick opined was that since some voters are not going to vote in PED hitters, and not take into consideration that pitcher’s were taking them too, then he isn’t going to vote for anybody during the PED era.

      Yeah they probably overlap, but not much, and so in order to maintain full disclosure he deserves to be heard out, regardless how ridiculous his thinking may be.

      Here’s my issue. I don’t think people with batsh!t insane reasoning should have their voices heard. When the news reports that science shows that vaccines don’t cause autism, it should end there, full stop. All that happens by bringing Jenny McCarthy and her ramblings on is confuse people into thinking, that she might have a point. Same with this guy.

      As you say, his argument is irrational. So why do we need to hear/read his thoughts?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        And if I’m misstating your argument, I apologize.

      • daveitsgood - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        Preach on Church.

    • paperlions - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      The PED era started at LEAST in the 1950s, and possibly before. Again, for the gazillionth time, steroid use in sports was so rampant in the 1960s that Sports Illustrated ran a multi-issue cover story on it, including the use of steroids in baseball. There are multiple players from the 1960s and 1970s that have admitted that they (and their team mates) would take anything they could get their hands on, which often included steroids they could get from veterinarians at race tracks. Amphetamine use in baseball was rampant for over 50 years. Anyone that has been a baseball reporter long enough to have a vote that is not aware of these basic facts is negligent in his duties as a professional.

      As far as I can tell, he has no point. He is choosing to ignore reality and to do so willfully.

    • alang3131982 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      There’s so much wrong in this. When are you claiming the PED era started? For Gurnick to have any validity the PED era had to start in the late 80s.


      Pitchers were taking PEDs as early as the 1970s. Tom House a pitcher in the 70′s said “So I tried it. Steroids were easy to get — this was California in the ’60s. It was before sharing needles was a problem. It was inexpensive: $40 to $80 depending on how many shots and how long you wanted to stay with it. I think the most I ever spent in a given winter was probably around $400. I was injecting Dianabol.”


      “House, perhaps best known for catching Hank Aaron’s 715th home run ball in 1974 in the Atlanta Braves’ bullpen, said he and several teammates used amphetamines, human growth hormone and “whatever steroid” they could find in order to keep up with the competition.”

      So Morris played entirely during a time when people were taking steroids. Making Gurnick incredibly intellectually dishonest

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        So what does this have to do with my comment?

      • alang3131982 - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        You wrote “By most gauges, Morris’ career overlapped the PED era by about a 1/4 to 1/3.” Which is just incredibly false.

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        Once again you fail to recognize the difference between Gurnick and me, and conflate the two. Gurnick like many, maybe most, believe that most PED use was after Morris’ heyday, and that is the prevalent view of most voters for the HOF, and the rationale behind his twisted logic.

        I cannot help you. No matter how many times I explain, you want to equate Gurnick’s opinion with mine. For some reason you cannot divorce yourself between the two, and insist on conflating the two, because I pointed out that Gurnick’s opinion was based on more than what Craig wrote.

        It really does come down to reading comprehension. Something that escapes you. I cannot explain it any more clearly.

      • alang3131982 - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Are you saying that you did not write “By most gauges, Morris’ career overlapped the PED era by about a 1/4 to 1/3.” ?

        You also wrote “Yeah they probably overlap, but not much, and so in order to maintain full disclosure he deserves to be heard out, regardless how ridiculous his thinking may be.”

        I am saying your contention is incorrect. If your point is that Morris barely overlapped with the “PED Era” and consequently we should at least give some thought to Gurnick, you’re dead wrong. one could easily argue that the entirey of Morris’ career was during some sort of PED era, which further weakens Gurnick’s argument and your argument that he deserves to be given his just due or whatever.

        Dude is bonkers and you’re saying he might have a slight point (or at least a point not worth dismissing without though) in the notion that Morris didnt overlap with PED era, which is false….

      • spudchukar - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Again, you twist what I say, misrepresent what write, and try to put words into my mouth. Never did I come close to saying “he should be given his just due”, or anything close to it. And you take the 1/3 and 1/4 comment out of context.

        Anyone who reads this blog, with any consistency knows I believe PED use has been going on for some time. And that I don’t believe it has much influence, not physiologically anyway. And it sure as hell cannot help one catch up to a 95 MPH fastball.

        The degree, who knows. Was there an era where it was more prevalent? Probably, but that isn’t the point. The point is that HOF voters generally place PED use at the tail end of Morris’ career. Gurnick seems to follow this line of thinking, which is exactly what I was pointing to.

        Nor did I ever claim Gurnick “has a point”, slight or otherwise. As written, his vote is inexcusable and appalling. But if it is a protest vote, based on the notion that if hitters are being denied HOF entrance due to PED use, then all pitchers in that era ought to be judged by the same criteria, then I follow his thinking, no matter how nuts that train of thought can justify inane voting.

        But no matter how many times I explain it to you, you find it necessary to meld Gurnick’s thought process toward those HOF choices with my own. And you are still dead wrong.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        because I pointed out that Gurnick’s opinion was based on more than what Craig wrote.

        You’ve mentioned this a few times, but a google search of Ken Gurnick and sbnation only links the articles blasting him and the MLB article. What else does he explain?

        Does he also explain why he voted for Smith last year as well as Morris, and didn’t vote him this year?

    • cur68 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      I get that you want him heard out, Spuddy, but damn, man. His logic is so flawed it’s in the category of “willfully ignorant”. I don’t believe the willfully ignorant deserve a platform like the one Gurnick has. BBWAA Voting Rights is an honour and us fans take the HoF seriously (or we used to).This year’s crop are a record of my formative years and reminds me of guys who were my age that I saw play and hoped they would never grow old and stop playing. Biggio, Bagwell, Trammell and on and on: some of the best ever. How dare this putz do this to them? On what evidence? Leaving them off his ballot in favour of Jack Morris, too? Jack Morris gave me ulcers! I never once watched Jack Morris pitch and said “I wanna get knocked all over the ballpark like that guy!”. If Lou Whittaker and Alan Trammell hand’t been fielding behind Morris, he’d have lost dozens more games and we wouldn’t be seeing all this wishcasting, “I saw it with my own eyes”, “The Wins, baby! He’s got so many Wins!” baloney we hear about him.

      Sure, I read his”logic”. That aint logic though. That’s stupidity. The ravings of imbeciles deserve to be heard? Yeah. Ok. Well I read it. I’m even more angry now than before!

    • Bill Parker - Jan 7, 2014 at 11:31 PM

      Love it. There’s a famous quote somewhere about the writer blaming the readers when all of them miss his point, but I can’t find it now. Anyway, the gist is that if every single responder is missing your point, you may not have made the point you thought you made.

      Anyway, I get what you’re trying to say, and it’s profoundly silly. It’s putting words in Gyrnick’s mouth–you certainly can’t conclude from his three-sentence commentary that that’s what he’s trying to do. And as you seem to have noted, even if you’re right, it doesn’t make Gurnick’s ballot any less reprehensible. So what exactly were we doing here?

      • alang3131982 - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:24 AM

        What Bill said.

      • spudchukar - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Reading really isn’t that difficult. No where did I suggest Gurnick’s opinion came from the three sentences you refer to.

        And “we” weren’t doing anything.

  7. chacochicken - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Its tough to get but I only huff leaded gasoline not that steroid era stuff.

  8. fanofevilempire - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    maybe the baseball writers will be happy if they just close down the hall of fame.

    • yahmule - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Obvious trolling bull**** like this is a real good way to get that done.

      • yahmule - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        I hope you know I meant Gurnick is the troll.

  9. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:21 PM


    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      I am cracking up laughing while imagining a cartoon version of J. Ro’s head exploding.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:50 PM

  10. bfunk1978 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Normally I’d try to put together something witty or intelligent (often failing to do either) but here I’m just too lazy and wilfully ignorant.

    What a dingleberry.

  11. imnotyourbuddyguy - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    I wish real baseball writers would rip up their membership to the BBWAA and stop writing about things that the BBWAA decides. Why anyone would want to be associated with this group is beyond me.

    If everyone just stopped paying any attention to the Hall, change would happen, it will never happen by complaints.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      No BBWAA membership = no press box or clubhouse access.

      Voting for the HOF is only one of their functions.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        So be it, you think MLB won’t be interested when the best are no longer covering their game. When noted members are freely giving up such access maybe then the powers that be will wake up and take action.

        Anyone who thinks that the BBWAA is going to do anything to fix this problem are in for a disappointment.

        If nothing drastic happens, this is exactly what the Hall is going to be about year after year after year.

  12. Darkoestrada - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    No one from the period of ped use? As a child of the 90s I appreciate these writers dismissing an entire generation of players I grew up watching and loving.

  13. unclemosesgreen - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    This is my imaginary protest vote of this protest vote.

    Barry Bonds, Sammy Sooser, Mark McGwire.

  14. megary - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Craig, Tom House (remember him?) has described steroid use as far back as the 60’s. There are certainly steroid users in the Hall right now.

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      absolutely true. And racists. And bigots. And cheaters. And amphetamine users. And womanizers. And on and on and on.

      But let’s not go back to those halcyon days of grainy black and white. Let’s strike this who generation instead.

      Ken Gurnick can lock himself in his car in his garage and huff exhaust fumes all day for all I care.

      • paperlions - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        C’mon now, there have to be greener ways for him to kill himself.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        Remember: down the highway, not across the street.

  15. rbj1 - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Amphetamines are PEDs too. They are currently banned and probably are more of a factor for enhanced performance than anabolic steroids. So by Gurnick’s statement, he needs to go to Cooperstown and take out Hank Aaron’s & Willie Mays’ plaques. And while we’re at it, take out all the plaques of those who drank alcohol when it wasn’t merely outlawed, but unconstitutional.

    So we might be left with a Hall of Christy Matthewson & Lou Gehrig, but they played in a segregated era, best to kick them out too.

    Or how about taking away Ken’s vote. Because some reporters have padded expense reports, so no reporter should have a vote.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      And don’t forget: alcohol was a banned substance in Babe Ruth’s time.

  16. sleepyirv - Jan 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Can these people even pretend that they take the HOF ballot seriously?

  17. schlom - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    MLB reporters have the strangest mix of cynicism and naiveté. On one hand they are happy to accuse any player (Bagwell, Biggio, etc.) of steroid use without any proof other than the fact that they played during a time when use was probably prevalent. Yet at the same time they will pronounce players from the same time as incontrovertibly clean without any evidence (like this guy is doing with Jack Morris). I can certainly understand having the former view but if you do how can you think anyone that played during the past 30 years is absolutely clean?

  18. Jonny 5 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    If you are to believe Tom House who pitched from ’71-’79 “steroids were used by 6-7 pitchers on every single ML staff. Soooo there really is no “overlap of eras” JM was a pitcher in the “steroid era” according to House. Why would he lie?

  19. ralphdibny - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    If Jack Morris is elected to the Hall, it will be because of spite votes like this. These votes have little to do with Jack Morris the ballplayer; rather, these spiteful men are voting for Jack Morris the symbol of the good ole days, before steroids and advanced statistics ruined everything. Which is just horribly selfish and unfair–not only unfair to all the deserving HoFers being ignored, but also unfair to Jack Morris, who really was an excellent (if not, in my mind, a HoF) pitcher who deserves better than to have his name turned into an ideological punching bag.

  20. NatsLady - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    LOL. As a protest vote, this is GREAT–except for the gratuitous insult to Morris. He had to vote for someone, because turning in an empty ballot, that’s so last year. Better protest even than the Deadspin thing.

    Lazy and ignorant?????? Nope, not by a long shot. A simultaneous protest against the HOF/MLB not clarifying the PED issue and ALSO against the baseball writers as arbiters of the HOF. I love it! Zingo!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      A simultaneous protest against the HOF/MLB not clarifying the PED issue

      Every year ballots go out the HOF clarifies how the BBWAA should vote based on the rules that have been around for decades. Just because some people think more language needs to be added isn’t the HoF’s fault.

  21. blzr409 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Check that same article for Tom Singer’s ballot/explanation. He votes for 8 players, but leaves Clemens and Bonds off his ballot. He does, however, include Rafael Palmeiro, and explains:

    “Palmeiro was a consistent marvel long before he was caught doping.”

    It’s like they’re intentionally doing it for comedic purposes at this point.

    • chip56 - Jan 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      I like how he puts in “before he was caught doping” not “before he started doping” but just before he was caught doing it…that’s special.

    • yahmule - Jan 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Seriously. Some of these goofballs got together and just said, “screw it, let’s troll the **** out of everybody, especially the number nerds.”

      Who was the beat writer who quit recently and said he was just burnt out with the job? These jaded pricks playing their little power games should read what he wrote when people asked him why he was walking away.

  22. thetruth702 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    WHY ARE THEY STILL ALLOWING THESW PEOPLE TO VOTE. all everyone does is bash them, they obviously do not. vote the right people in and use their power to spite people. it’s ridiculous. Biggio didn’t use but played with someone who might have so he’s not in. gimme a break.

  23. chip56 - Jan 7, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    The bottom line is this, some writers are tired of being the ones who tell the story about others and instead want to be part of the story themselves and this is a way that they can do that. Whether it’s by voting and then sharing their vote with the public, opening themselves up to criticism or praise; or by being the writer who takes other writers to task for their votes if (s)he should deem those votes “ignorant.”

    Writers, much like umpires, need to learn that no one cares about them – we barely care about the players. We’re interested in the game and teams.

  24. gpjohnso - Jan 7, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    What an absolute clown. Not voting or Palmerio or McGwire due to their proven ties is one thing. Casting a net like this is moronic. Morris most liklely pitched against and had teammates that were roid users.

    His rationale just makes his vote make even less sense. But, since he said he won’t ever vote for a roid era player, I guess his HOF voting career is probably over.

  25. cohnjusack - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    You know, one of the things pointed to with blind PED accusations are sudden jumps in numbers at a late age.

    Jack Morris at two abysmal seasons at age 34 and 35, going a combined 21-32 with a 85 ERA+. He was awful. His career on his last legs, he signs a 1-year deal with the Twins. And then goes 18-12 with a 125 ERA at age 36 and was a 20 games winner at age 37! Plus, he was teammates with Chuck Knoblauch who used ‘roids. Come on! He’s as obvious of a juicer as just about anybody!

    (Note: I in no way think Jack Morris did steroids, or didn’t. I don’t care, it’s just fun to point out that you can turn virtually anybody into “steroid user” using the criteria often spouted by people in these comments).

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