Oh man, did MLB Network’s Brian Kenny tick me off last night, when he revealed his 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot. Here is what he posted:
My HOF ballot: Maddux, Thomas, Raines, Biggio, Schilling, Martinez, McGriff, Glavine, Mussina, Trammell. @CHConfidential
— Brian Kenny (@MrBrianKenny) December 20, 2013
You may have noticed that Mike Piazza is a glaring omission, as is Jeff Bagwell who was also slighted. But this isn’t about Bags for me as much as it is the lack of respect afforded to one of the greatest hitting catchers in the history of the game. One who was denied a rightful first-ballot enshrinement to Cooperstown a year ago.
For years, Kenny has wanted us all to believe that he is the champion of logic and reason on his baseball analytics-drenched show, Clubhouse Confidential. That’s the show where empirical evidence and statistical analysis reigned supreme – especially over innuendo, chemistry and grit.
It now appears that Kenny is no different than Murray Chass, and that perhaps the two may even share a brain. Kenny has made many a case for deserving players by championing their WAR or wOBA as the true Litmus test in determining just how valuable they are. But as evidenced by his ballot, he ran in the complete opposite direction this time, choosing instead to crucify players who have never failed a banned substance test or been publicly outed in the Mitchell Report or Biogenesis for that matter. He chose instead to embrace allegations rather than evidence of any kind. What a shame.
His credibility has taken a huge hit and it’s clear he’s just one of those braggarts who will twist his analytics to suit his argument, basically doing an injustice to those advanced statistics he once held so dearly.
The omission of both Piazza and Bagwell should strike at you at an emotional level and at a sabermetric level as well. Both of those players represent the upper echelon of production at their positions in over a century of the National Pastime.
To shut out Piazza, whose 427 career home runs alone should have sealed the deal, is an outrage. Throw in a career fWAR of 63.6 and a career .922 OPS while playing most of his career in such cavernous ballparks as Dodgers Stadium and Shea and it only makes his egregious slight even more infuriating.
Brian Kenny owes his fans an explanation on this one. This goes against everything he’s been preaching for nearly half a decade. Maybe it’s time to replace him with someone who stays true to himself and isn’t swayed by the likes of Chass. Maybe Kenny would be better off going back to Friday Night Fights, where he can say anything he wants and nobody will take offense to it.