For those of you who missed it, Doug Gottlieb, an ESPN guy located down in Miami lost his vote for the Hall of Fame by giving his vote to the masses, via deadspin. Deadspin had wanted a vote for the hall to, you know, let the people have a say in who gets elected into the Hall of Fame. This was a pretty crazy idea obviously because who would want the fans of a sport to have any say in who gets elected into a place thousands make a pilgrimage up to Cooperstown, New York annually. Now, the BBWAA had hinted that it would be frowned upon if the voters, who consider the write to vote for the hall of fame the highest honor, were to give their vote to deadspin, so Gottlieb knew what he was getting into when he gave his vote up. The disappointing part was that Gottlieb, despite turning his ballot over to the fans, turned in a ballot far better than some who filled theirs out on their own fruition. One voter submitted just one name (instead of the 10 allowed by the BBWAA) because he refused to vote for anyone who played during the "steroid era". While that is understandable, irritating, but understandable, another voter only voted for 3 players because he thought "that should be enough". Where is the punishment for him? He obviously is not taking his role as a voter seriously, can we, the fans, ban him from voting for the Hall in the future? He didn't want to sit through a long ceremony, so he didn't exercise his right to vote for more people... really?
These examples underline one of the major problem with the hall of fame voting process... the voters. The voters tend to make the whole process more about them than the guys they are voting for. Certain players aren't "first ballot" material, so they refuse to vote for them the first year on the ballot. The don't want too many individuals getting inducted in one year, because, I mean, that obviously matters. The question many of these voters need to ask themselves is if the player is a hall of famer or not. All that other stuff doesn't matter. Now the steroids issue is a major one that the hall of fame voters are obviously going to have to grapple with in the coming years, but they need to make a decision and move on, because the consequence of this on going mixed feelings about users getting into the hall is going to leave some very barren induction classes, much like last years vote that resulted in 0 players being inducted. I say all of this because of the injust that so often comes out of hall of fame votes. Craig Biggio 2 years in a row has been mere votes, 2 whole votes this year, short of making the hall of fame because either A) the voters didn't deem him first ballot material, or B) he played at the same time as some players who did Juice, so therefore he should be banned from the hall with the rest of them. Biggio is a hall of fame caliber guy. He did it playing both the infield and outfield and even catching a little during his career. He was a part of several playoff teams, made countless all-star appearance, has the stats to justify his inclusion, and there is no evidence he used steroids. He belongs in the hall of fame wearing an Astro's cap. He deserved that honor a year ago when he made his first appearance on the ballot, but now he has to wait another year. Why, because the voters have made the Hall of Fame about them, and not the guys who earned the right to be there. Because the guys who have the right to vote have forgotten that is an honor to be taken very seriously and instead, decided they want to make a statement with their ballot and not vote for anyone. Clearly Gottlieb is the BBWAA biggest problem.
Thanks for reading,
T.O. signing out.