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  1. 06 Jan '10 21:27
    I'll let the great Charles P. Pierce take this one away:

    I am engaged in something of a personal boycott of the Baseball Hall Of Fame, not because of who it lets in and who it keeps out, but because it's located in Cooperstown Freaking New York, which I believe settled its last Indian war three hours ago. Perils remain, however. There are outlet malls up there. The threat of antiquing looms around every bend. Is worth risking all that to see Babe Ruth's autograph on the menu from an old Back Bay brothel? I don't think so.
    And that's not even to mention that, every year, the Hall Of Fame holds its election and a festival of sanctimony and self-importance breaks out of a kind unseen since the last time Joe Lieberman saw himself in a mirror -- assuming he can, which I doubt.

    Let's start with the basics. Journalists have no business -- absolutely none -- deciding who should or should not be included in what is essentially a promotional scheme for the institution they cover. This has very little to do with competence, and much more to do with professional ethics. Baseball writers should no more be deciding on who should be in the HOF than some Pentagon correspondents ought to be awarding the Silver Star. The answer to the obvious question of who should vote is: I could care less. (If I hadn't lost my golden BBWAA ticket in 1989, two years short of eligibility, I planned to have my bartender cast my first ballot.) My own preference would be to have one Big Baseball Person decide every year, the way certain annual compilation volumes have guest editors.

    And that's not even to mention the horrible effect that voting for this thing has on many of the electors. My lord, people. This is a museum. It is for old things. It is for dead people. It is not a vehicle through which you can settle grudges, elevate enthusiasms, or remain 12-years old forever. What happened to Buck O'Neil was a disgrace, and what's happening to Marvin Miller now is an offense against history, which I take much more seriously than I do baseball.

    The only good thing about this year's election is that the sole inductee, Andre Dawson, only had a OBP as high as .360 once in his career. Any defeat for the sports-as-math-homework crowd is a good one. Elsewhere, well, let's just all agree that Bert Blyleven has about the same chance of ever getting in as Mark McGwire and I do. The reasons why are murky, which is another reason why this whole process -- and many of the participants in it -- needs a high-colonic. And anyone who sent in a blank ballot should be a subject of mockery and derision all the days of their lives. What, these guys couldn't find a bartender who wanted the job?

    http://www.boston.com/sports/columnists/pierce/

  2. 06 Jan '10 21:59
    I have been to the baseball Hall of Fame and I think it is an absolutely great place and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes baseball.
  3. 06 Jan '10 22:09 / 2 edits
    Yes. What is it about Cooperstown that provoked such disdain? It would be hard to imagine a better place for a baseball Hall of Fame to be located.

    As for the rest of the rant. I'm not sure exactly what this person's beef is. He seems to be taking this thing way too seriously. It's only a freakin' Hall of Fame. It's whole purpose is nostalgia for when you were 12 years old. Save the venom for "serious awards" like the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I assume the rage is because certain people like Blyleven have not yet been elected. One thing about the process is that everyone who has any argument for being elected is going to have a gazillion opportunities to get in. It's almost a lock that Blyleven will get in eventually. Maybe not this year or next year. Maybe it'll be 30 years from now from some Special Committee Set Up to Make Up for Past Injustice. But. Blyleven. will. get. in.
  4. 06 Jan '10 22:29
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    Yes. What is it about Cooperstown that provoked such disdain? It would be hard to imagine a better place for a baseball Hall of Fame to be located.

    As for the rest of the rant. I'm not sure exactly what this person's beef is. He seems to be taking this thing way too seriously. It's only a freakin' Hall of Fame. It's whole purpose is nostalgia for when ...[text shortened]... e Special Committee Set Up to Make Up for Past Injustice. But. Blyleven. will. get. in.
    I have to agree with you about Cooperstown and even if you like Blyleven you have to understand what people do not like about him (1) he did not ever win an MVP or CY Young (or even be a runner up) (2) in a 4 man rotation he only won 20 games once (and was 20-17 that year). (3) he only once led the league in strike outs (so he truly is a compilier), he only once led the league in WHIP, he never led the league in ERA.
  5. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    08 Jan '10 06:43
    It is truly a joke. Sportswriters are for the most part bloodsucking boneheads. Too many have the right to vote but have no clue on who is deserving. It has become their own personal vendetta. Why turn in a blank ballot?? Eat the ballot if you don't want to vote for anyone. Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar and Jack Morris should have gone in this year. I personally think Dale Murphy should have gone in since I think he was a better player than Andre Dawson.

    If you want this vote to mean something, take it away from the writers and give it to the veteran commitee and HOF members. They do a much better job IMO.
  6. 08 Jan '10 14:12
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    As for the rest of the rant. I'm not sure exactly what this person's beef is. He seems to be taking this thing way too seriously. It's only a freakin' Hall of Fame. It's whole purpose is nostalgia for when you were 12 years old. Save the venom for "serious awards" like the Nobel Peace Prize.
    Tell that to the players.
  7. 08 Jan '10 14:25 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by shortcircuit
    It is truly a joke. Sportswriters are for the most part bloodsucking boneheads. Too many have the right to vote but have no clue on who is deserving. It has become their own personal vendetta. Why turn in a blank ballot?? Eat the ballot if you don't want to vote for anyone. Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar and Jack Morris should have gone in this year. I p ...[text shortened]... the writers and give it to the veteran commitee and HOF members. They do a much better job IMO.
    There are players that are obvious HOFs - they almost always get in on the first ballot (or close to it).

    The big arguments involve people on the fringes. People like Dawson, Blyleven, and Morris. But none of these are people who jump out at you and demand comparison with Sandy Koufax or Ted Williams. When they were playing, I always regarded them as very good players but none of them were ever "awesome".

    I'm sure some sportswriters don't vote for anyone unless they were in the "awesome" category. They probably believe that half the current HOFs don't really deserve it. They are the ones that send in the blank ballots. I understand their position. Other sportswiters believe the HOF should also include all of the very good players. Most fall somewhere in between.

    The only people that "deserve" HOF status are the awesome players. I do believe the HOF should also include some of the "very good" players, but it's not really an outrage if some of them don't make it - or if it takes them decades to get in.
  8. 08 Jan '10 15:11
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    There are players that are obvious HOFs - they almost always get in on the first ballot (or close to it).

    The big arguments involve people on the fringes. People like Dawson, Blyleven, and Morris. But none of these are people who jump out at you and demand comparison with Sandy Koufax or Ted Williams. When they were playing, I always regarded them as v ...[text shortened]... y an outrage if some of them don't make it - or if it takes them decades to get in.
    I am amazed to about people's rage on fringe players. Just because someone else who does not belong in gets in does not mean people have cheated you for not voting for your guy.

    Blyleven is a two time All Star. He never finished first or second in Cy Young voting. Never led the league in Wins or ERA. Only once won 20 wins (but lost 17 that year as he did the year before and year after he won 20). Sure he was good on a good day but he gave up 96 homeruns in a two year span. I wouldn't call someone crazy who would not vote for him.
    Morris had an insanely high .390 ERA. He also never finished first or second in Cy Young voting and of course never led the league in ERA, ERA+, WHIP. His 254 wins are impressive but he too belongs on the outside looking in.
  9. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    08 Jan '10 17:13
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I am amazed to about people's rage on fringe players. Just because someone else who does not belong in gets in does not mean people have cheated you for not voting for your guy.

    Blyleven is a two time All Star. He never finished first or second in Cy Young voting. Never led the league in Wins or ERA. Only once won 20 wins (but lost 17 that year as ...[text shortened]... in ERA, ERA+, WHIP. His 254 wins are impressive but he too belongs on the outside looking in.
    Well, you tend to pick and choose your stats to make your case, but you fail to see the whole picture. In Blyleven's defense, he rarely played for a decent team. He played for a few years in Minnesota when they were good. The guy was tough as nails, and if you ask the players who faced him, they didn't enjoy doing so. Morris was a workhorse and a money player. He challenged hitters which is why his ERA was elevated. Furthermore, he usually finished what he started. Look at his IP per season. Now days, people think a starter is great if he goes 6 innings. Not so when Blyleven and Morris pitched.

    If you think they gave up too many HR's....see Don Drysdale in the HOF

    Alomar is a shock because if you do look at his numbers, he was the best second baseman of his ERA...hands down. If they think that they are punishing him for the spitting incident, then they have showed their ass the same way they have on Rose.

    If Alomar's numbers don't merit his entrance...see every second baseman in the HOF.
    If Rose and Alomar don't belong in the HOF for their transgressions, see Gaylord Perry, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays all of whom either cheated at the game, defrauded the government, were involved with organized crime or cheated on the wives. There are many other's if you want more.

    If you look at Dawson's numbers, tell me how they are favorable to Dale Murphy. Murphy played on last place Atlanta teams, won two MVP's doing so. His one downside is he quit the game to be with his family. He is the epitome of a HOF player. He was one of the best of his era, he played the game the right way, he was never in trouble with the law, women, drugs, booze or guns. If you want to hang him for the short career...see Sandy Koufax who is in the HOF.

    For the record, none of these men are "my guys". I am a baseball man, and as such I would like to see deserving people get into the hall. Alan Trammell is another guy as well as Dave Concepcion who deserve way more consideration than they have received. Ron Santo is another who should be in.
  10. 08 Jan '10 20:31 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by shortcircuit
    Well, you tend to pick and choose your stats to make your case, but you fail to see the whole picture. In Blyleven's defense, he rarely played for a decent team. He played for a few years in Minnesota when they were good. The guy was tough as nails, and if you ask the players who faced him, they didn't enjoy doing so. Morris was a workhorse and a money ay more consideration than they have received. Ron Santo is another who should be in.
    If Blyleven did not pitch for a good team, then he should have stood out and made more All Star teams. The fact that he made only two shows that at least at the time people did not think they were watching anything super special. The fact that he never came in the top two in Cy Young voting means the same thing. If he pitched so many innings and never won more than 20 (but had 17 losses that one year) then perhaps he wasn't that good overall for all those innings. He pitched in an ERA when many workhorses reached 300 wins. He did not. I just can't be enraged that others did not vote for him. These are real things that he lacked.
    Alomar is different. (1) I think some people don't like the Hershbeck incident -- some people are reluctant to honor someone who spit in an umpires face and other people are turned off by his personal life including the lawsuit that he knowingly had sex while having AIDS (2) he never finished in the top two in MVP, he only once led the league in any category (runs) (3) he went from a .336 hitting in 2001 to a .260 hitter for the rest of career the next year. It makes people strongly feel he used performance enhancers. He'll make the Hall next year he just won't be a first balloter. I am not sure why this enrages anyone?

    I certainly can't tell you how Dawson is superior to Murphy. I actually wouldn't put either in. But I certainly am not letting everyone in because people loved Andre Dawson game which to be had Hall of Fame style but short of that substance. None of these guys are Sandy Koufax who led the league in ERA five straight years, who won Cys in 3 of four years (one of them an MVP year), who led the league in wins three of four years and led the league in winning percentage the other year and led the league in strikeouts four years. Koufax really was the best pitcher in the mid 60s.
  11. Standard member Traveling Again
    I'm 1/4 Ninja
    08 Jan '10 22:37
    I did some searching and found this article I read a while back by Bill Simmons from ESPN. I
    thought it was very interesting about how we can compare inductees.
    [http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/020108]

    I think what's happening with the HOF is that when we start seeing Dawsons and Rices and Gary
    Carters put in, we automatically compare them (unknowingly, maybe) against the top tiered guys
    like Mays and Ruth and Aaron and DiMaggio, etc. To me, at least, it's these guys who define
    what the Hall of Fame means. To me they are the "real" Hall of Famers. The Rices and Dawson
    have become, in my mind, the "they were good and should be remembered" players.

    Are we getting to the point where it's become so deluded that we need to make distinctions?
  12. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    08 Jan '10 23:31
    Originally posted by quackquack
    If Blyleven did not pitch for a good team, then he should have stood out and made more All Star teams. The fact that he made only two shows that at least at the time people did not think they were watching anything super special. The fact that he never came in the top two in Cy Young voting means the same thing. If he pitched so many innings and never ...[text shortened]... the league in strikeouts four years. Koufax really was the best pitcher in the mid 60s.
    I think you got some of my references crossed. I compared Blyeven to Drysdale.

    I compared Murphy's short career to Koufax's short career.

    I think there are many different concepts as to the criteria for the HOF. I think when you copare the players of today with those of yesteryear, you will find the numbers are beeter on todays's players in many respects. because of that, the arguement rages, welll, this guy is in and his numbers aren't as good as that guy, so that guy should be in.

    Here are a couple of examples. Phil Rizzuto and Pee Wee Reese along with luis Aparicio. Rizzuto could hit a lick but he was a member of all the great yankee teams and was great with the glove. Pee Wee Reese was a little better hitter and was on all of the great Dodger teams. They got in because they were fixtures on great teams and among the best of that era. Luis Aparicio was a great glove man and a decent hitter, but nothing special, yet he is in. Ozzie Smith is aregueably the best gloveman of all time. He was a decent hitter and he stole a few bases, but offense was not his great forte'. Dave Concepcion was a great gloveman and the creator of the astroturf skip throw fron shortstop to first. It revolutionized the way shortstop played on turf. He was also a better than average hitter (better than Rizzuto and Reese and had better power than Smith). Alan Trammell was a far better hitter than all of these shortstops and was a respectable gloveman, although not flashy. Where do you make the distinction about who merits entry and who gets left out? Do you base it on how they did against their peers only? Are there benchmarks that ensure enshrinement?

    You mentioned # of All Star appearances. The All Star game has become a popularity contest more than a collection of the best players. Couple that with the requirement that every team must be represented. Now they even have to balance the rosters so even the best player of a particular bad club gets by-passed to fill a need spot. So how do take those slights? The rosters have even been expanded over what they used to be. Obviously if you were an All Star every year, you must have been among the best in your era, wouldn't you agree? Check out Dale Murphy. The same arguement for Dawson, Jim Rice, etc.....

    Now we are also having to deal with PED's and this arguement raises the question of who did and who didn't? Do they modify the standards now? You can't make the arguement that they cheated therefore they can't be enshined because they already crossed that road with Gaylord Perry, who not only cheated, he flaunted the fact and wrote a book telling how he did it.

    Interesting paradox we find ourself in. Then the writers think they have the right to punish someone who didn't give them enough interviews or who was not press friendly. They get to play gods, which is ridiculous. These are some of the things that need to be considered when making these choices. Everyone has different relative equations for the greatness they place on certain players. Hell, I am fortunate enough to know Nolan Ryan fairly well. For years he was the epitome of the strikeout pitcher. He played for many sorry California teams, tossed 4 no hitters there and no one considered him even close to a HOF. He came to Houston and tossed a 5th no hitter and they still scoffed that he was only a .500 pitcher who threw hard. He won a NL ERA title with an 8-13 record. Was that because he was a bad pitcher or that he was on a team that couldn't scratch out many runs? He also passed Walter Johsnon on the all time strike out mark and was actually toggling with Steve Carlton for the all time lead. Then he went to Texas and he got his 5,000th strike out. They said he was getting close but he need something more. So, he tosses his 6th no-hitter, picks up his 300th win and tosses a 7th no-hitter for good measure. Now he was in. Then he finished his career as the all time strike out leader. But you know what? He still isn't much better than a .500 pitcher lifetime. However, no one else ever pitched 27 seaons in the big leagues. No one else ever threw 7 no-hitters. No one else ever struck out 5,714 hitters. Go figure.
  13. 09 Jan '10 01:49
    Originally posted by shortcircuit
    I think you got some of my references crossed. I compared Blyeven to Drysdale.

    I compared Murphy's short career to Koufax's short career.

    I think there are many different concepts as to the criteria for the HOF. I think when you copare the players of today with those of yesteryear, you will find the numbers are beeter on todays's players in many ...[text shortened]... else ever threw 7 no-hitters. No one else ever struck out 5,714 hitters. Go figure.
    Says you
  14. 09 Jan '10 02:22
    Originally posted by shortcircuit
    I think you got some of my references crossed. I compared Blyeven to Drysdale.

    I compared Murphy's short career to Koufax's short career.

    I think there are many different concepts as to the criteria for the HOF. I think when you copare the players of today with those of yesteryear, you will find the numbers are beeter on todays's players in many ...[text shortened]... else ever threw 7 no-hitters. No one else ever struck out 5,714 hitters. Go figure.
    I agree with some of the things you say but not all of them. Phil Rizzuto went in as player but I think in good part it was because he was iconic announcer. It may not be right but they wanted the guy in. I think there was a point when Torre's managerial + player career also equaled a hall of fame career. But just because Rizzuto is in does not mean i think we should put Trammel or Concepcion in. They were good but not immortal.
    Ryan is a compiler but he had 2000 more strike out then Blylevin and 50 more wins. He also had 7 no hitters. Their were pleanty of guys who pitched in the 70s and 80s who won 300 games. Blylevin isn't one of them. t
    I agree with you that it is mistake to put a cheater like Gaylord Perry in. But performance enhancers have a different magnitude of effect. Clemens was winding down his career. All of a sudden goes to Toronto and become the young stud he once was; McGwire batted .201 then hits 70 homers. Bonds was hitting 30 homers a year then puts up Ruthian numbers; Sosa was trying to become a every day player then puts a numbers that rival Mantle. Palmero wasn't even a home run hitter. As far as I am concerned anyone who looks the other way makes the game a joke. I personally would rather see Wayne Tollenson or some other stiff be honored than complete cheaters.
  15. Subscriber shortcircuit
    The Energizer
    09 Jan '10 03:30
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I agree with some of the things you say but not all of them. Phil Rizzuto went in as player but I think in good part it was because he was iconic announcer. It may not be right but they wanted the guy in. I think there was a point when Torre's managerial + player career also equaled a hall of fame career. But just because Rizzuto is in does not mean ...[text shortened]... nally would rather see Wayne Tollenson or some other stiff be honored than complete cheaters.
    Repeat after me.....Dale Murphy