A Bad Taste In My Mouth

Contrary to the ideas put out there by Ken Rosenthal, I did have an issue with the way things went down yesterday. In my eyes, anyone who did not have an issue with the shutout yesterday is blissfully ignorant. Rosenthal will not even catch wind of what I say though – I am a non-voter, someone who has an unimportant opinion anyway. But there were a few things that I really wanted to get off my chest…

  • The First Ballot Controversy: I struggled to get behind the line of thinking that a lot of players should be denied entry on their first go-around because they are trying to make the first ballot entry special. I never really understood it – the writers now had the chance to choose what year a player deserved to get in; suddenly, did his statistics looked better in his second year around? Some even go as far as to never vote a player in on his first ballot, which is asinine. 400 HRs will get you in your second time around, but not your first, Mike? The whole thing drives me nuts. It also leads into something else that bothers me, which is the whole 15-year chance.
  • 15-Year Itch: I understand that sometimes a ballot might have been star-stacked (like this one) and a good player could be left off, but what the hell really gets a writer to change his vote after seven years? Take the time on day one, deliberate, and stick to your damn guns. Some say that the time allows people to form new perspectives…and I get that, to an extent. Is the entire 15 years really necessary, then?
  • Exclusive Voting: I always liked giving thought to changing the HoF voting process, but the ridiculous end result of this year’s might prompt an actual change or two. Would it really be so crazy to allow players already in the Hall of Fame to vote, or to strip the rights of some writers who have not covered the game in years? I would even go to the extremes to say that the voters had to have covered baseball during the time period that the player played in or be actively covering baseball at the time of the vote. Men who never played an inning on an MLB field in their life have the ability to determine what is legendary in baseball. When the baseball players start deciding who the best writers of all time are, I will laugh.
  • How the hell did you not vote in Craig Biggio? That is a completely serious question. My MMO HoF ballot was: Piazza, Bagwell, Biggio, Raines, Schilling, Martinez, Morris, McGriff. I feel that each of those guys has their own reason for merit. I even gave Dale Murphy a long look, and it came up in an email discussion, where Xtreemicon wondered if Murphy should have gathered more respect because of the steroid era. The sad truth seems to be no, because all the players even remotely associated with that era have suspicion thrown all over them, and the older players still are not getting the respect they deserve. Crime Dog finished with nearly 500 HRs(493) and Martinez might have been one of the best balanced hitters the game has ever seen. Piazza was my damn hero. But looking back just a few years, can anyone put together a reason that Biggio did not get in outside of the fact that the BBWAA wanted to play god and determine who was guilty or truly deserving of a first ballot entry? I was pissed about Piazza, but the fact that Biggio did not get in was a joke. His nearly-unique stat line puts him in special company – one of only three men with 3,000 hits / 200 HRs / 200 SBs. In fact, with nearly 300 HRs(291) and over 400 SBs (along with defensive flexiblity, being the ONLY man in history to play two full seasons at catcher, center field, and second base), I struggle to find a case against him. He was also notoriously a great guy, but we all know that will not get you into the cherished Hall…

Yes, I know that in the long run, my opinion will not ever matter…but hell, it does not stop me from being disappointed.