But first, has anyone ever changed their URL? I assume you lose all followers. Any other issues? In any case, happy to be back. I never stopped collecting but I fine-tuned my focus. (More on that later).
With the Hall of Fame topic becoming old news, what better time for me to chime in.
As my wife always says, I love being invited to parties but I hate to attend them.
This year the attention surrounding the vote exposed several problems with the process. There are too many former sports writers who in the past decade-plus likely haven't followed the game as well as me you and the other guy reading this. Even some current writers surely know less about the game than us. Many cover one team.
Sure, they know about that team and how to put together a game story - but do they know the game's history, the numbers? Do they have the ability to put them into context with the era? More than the average fella, I suppose, but more than any given hardcore fan of the game? Iffy.
The Hall needs to figure out a way to revoke at least 10 to 20 percent (rough guess) of voting privileges. They can start with the writers who turned in empty Hall of Fame cards? That's a tragic joke.
Once done, commence carving out space for a select group of fans to vote - maybe 50, maybe more. I'm not talking about granting voting rights to just anyone a la the All-Star Game vote. There should be an application of some type, followed with interviews with these fans - basic questions about players through the years, statistics.
Those displaying considerable knowledge about the game would be grouped into a pool and chosen at random to vote for a five-year period. Then, the Hall can repeat that process. Throw into the fray a few former/current scouts, front office employees and perhaps a small group of players elected into the Hall in the past 20 years and I think we'd have a great mix.
As for me, a bit late to write here after the fact, but I had a decent read on the eventual voting. If we're Facebook friends, you saw my post early yesterday morning.
With the steroid guys gaining eligibility and creating havoc with the voting, I think it's very possible that nobody gets the required 75% of the vote for election to the baseball Hall of Fame. Craig Biggio just might make it but if anyone else is elected, I'll be surprised. Bonds and Clemens will be voted in in the next five years but surely not on prestigious first ballot or even second and third ballots as voters "punish" them but eventually reward them for their accomplishments that occurred allegedly before steroid use. Some guys have been robbed for years and should be in. I'd vote for: Biggio, Tim Raines, Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell - and probably Lee Smith and Jack Morris.
|Biggio doesn't feel too bad. He was a Fun-Time Hall first ballot inductee.|
I'll admit I'm torn on Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell. I think there's enough suspicion to wait another year but not enough cold facts to make them wait as long as some. If I truly did have a vote, it's quite possible I would have added them both this year - certainly Bagwell, no longer a first year guy.
Next year I'd vote for: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Biggio, Raines, Trammell, Piazza, Bagwell - and probably Lee Smith and Jack Morris. I keep saying probably with the last two because I'd need to do some more research. I'm torn.
|My heart says "yes" as my gut says "Hall of Very Good".|
Morris pitched for the Tigers - one of my beloved teams. I loudly hear the arguments for keeping both out. Biases are another reason I think a mix of voters is better than sports-writers only.
As for Trammell, how does Barry Larkin get 86% of the vote while Trammell still waits? And don't get me wrong, Larkin is deserving - so say my lifelong Reds devotion biases.
He bet on baseball. On his team. To win. Yes, you can argue as the manager he could have held back better players one game to rest them for the next (that he's betting on) but I'm not subscribing. It goes against the competitive grain of everything we know about Pete Rose.
Somehow, you know they'll make him eligible long after he's gone, so why not while he's around to enjoy it? Put him on the ballot and see what happens.
And, meanwhile, make Bonds and Clemens squirm into the next decade.