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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Brookover: Baseball writer wrestles with a landmark Hall of Fame ballot

I need help here. Is Dale Murphy the full ballot for Brookover…or is this just some splattermatter left over after my Shaggy Faust-led Splatcat EP that fell into my swingin’ barbiegrill? Thanks.

I’ve read columns by voters who say they will support a player as long as the player was never caught cheating, and I’ve been questioned in the past about not voting for Bagwell, who has openly denied ever using steroids and whose name cannot be found anywhere in the 2007 Mitchell report.

I’m just not sure I believe him, and the reason is because I’ve watched players lie in front of Congress. If they can lie there, they can lie anywhere about anything. Schilling, one of the more outspoken players in his contempt for steroid users, once was asked if he was still dipping smokeless tobacco during his playing days with the Phillies. He assured the questioners he was not. It was a lie that was revealed by his wife, Shonda, just a few days later.

That’s questionable integrity and character. Many of Schilling’s teammates would tell you he displayed a lack of character, sportsmanship, and integrity more than a few times during his career. I still think he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but the rules on the ballot would argue against his case.

...For this year, however, I will cast one vote for Dale Murphy, who is on the ballot for the 15th and final time. He gets my vote because I believe he was a terrific player who showed great integrity, sportsmanship, and character.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2012 at 08:55 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ballot confusion, hof confusion

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   1. Downtown Bookie Posted: December 23, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4331367)
I need help here. Is Dale Murphy the full ballot for Brookover…or is this just some splattermatter left over after my Shaggy Faust-led Splatcat EP that fell into my swingin’ barbiegrill? Thanks.


While I can't answer the question definitively, having read the full article, that's my interpretation: a ballot with only Dale Murphy.

With that out of the way: What bizarre reasoning! Brookover is basically saying that, because other journalists have committed plagiarism, you must presume the he, Brookover, is also a plagiarist. Oh, wait; he doesn't say that. Apparently his conclusion that "Since some are liars, all are liars" applies only the baseball players. Except Dale Murphy.

DB
   2. bobm Posted: December 23, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4331368)
FTFA:

The biggest dilemma I have from a numbers standpoint is that if some players' numbers are artificially inflated and others are not, aren't the honest ones paying a huge price for showing outstanding integrity, sportsmanship, and character?

Remove those three words
and the Hall of Fame becomes a museum with the game's greatest players and nothing more, which is exactly what it should be. The baseball writers should push for that change and the Hall of Fame and Hall of Famers should agree to it.

Jack O'Connell, the longtime treasurer of the BBWAA and the man who prepares the ballot for the Hall of Fame, said a group of writers from Chicago once raised the issue of getting a clearer definition of how voters should interpret Rule No. 5. The motion was voted down, O'Connell said.

It's time to raise the issue again, and I will at the next BBWAA meeting. [Emphasis added]
   3. Repoz Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4331389)
Last year Brookover voted for Larkin - Trammell - McGriff - L. Smith.

but not Dale Murphy.

Link
   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4331395)
5. Voting — Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.


Why does he need a clearer definition? People are instructed to base their votes on six criteria. Do you need to be told explicitly that "integrity, sportsmanship, character" are or are not supposed to be elevated above "record, playing ability... and contributions to the team"? Voters in the past seem not to have had no particular difficulty deciding whether a player with exceptional ability but a somewhat thin record (short career due to injury or war or color line, eg) is deserving. What is so hard about deciding whether someone who has an exceptional record and made outstanding contributions to his team, but demonstrated less than stellar integrity, sportsmanship, or character, is worthy?
   5. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: December 23, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4331462)
(Schilling) once was asked if he was still dipping smokeless tobacco during his playing days with the Phillies. He assured the questioners he was not. It was a lie that was revealed by his wife, Shonda, just a few days later.

That’s questionable integrity and character.

I've really got to quit reading these threads. I can feel myself getting dumber and dumberer with each passing one.
   6. EddieA Posted: December 23, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4331468)
Are there any current Hall of Famers who make the Hall of Fame by his voting standards?
Hard to find a person who never told a lie.
   7. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: December 23, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4331500)
Curt Schilling lied about chewing, therefore Jeff Bagwell might be lying. Well who can argue with that?
   8. Walt Davis Posted: December 23, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4331589)
I still think he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but the rules on the ballot would argue against his case.

#4 hits it on the head. There is nothing in the rules that says "bad character" is a disqualifier. They are among a set of criteria. If anything, that they are listed after performance and ability, one might think they were of less importance but there's certainly nothing there to suggest they are of the greatest importance.

Meanwhile he's apparently perfectly OK with ignoring the "performance clause" and votes for Murphy.

So Schilling is out because he lied about smokeless tobacco (and vague assertions of other rumored faults) and Bagwell is out because Schilling lied about smokeless tobacco.

Well, Greg Maddux himself says that he once intentionally grooved a pitch to Jeff Bagwell and claims he did that sort of thing more than once, so he's right out.

If Tom Glavine were a true sportsman, he would have insisted that all those pitches 6 inches off the corner be called balls.

Ken Griffey had the temerity and gall to sign a big, multi-year contract yet still collected his paycheck even after he got hurt which was conduct detrimental to his team (see, I'm versatile, I don't need to rely just on the character clause).

Sure, Frank Thomas spoke out against PEDs and I'm not aware of any lies he told ... but he didn't rat anybody out by name, did he?

Randy Johnson -- when he finally had a chance to shine on the big stage with the Yankees, he choked. 'Nuff said.

Pedro Martinez -- speaks Spanish ... just like Sosa! How do we know he's telling the truth if we can't even understand what he's saying? He's right out.

   9. Bhaakon Posted: December 23, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4331719)
What is so hard about deciding whether someone who has an exceptional record and made outstanding contributions to his team, but demonstrated less than stellar integrity, sportsmanship, or character, is worthy?


Quite a bit, apparently, since there seems to be loud, intractable groups on either side.

But then the HOF voting process is designed to accommodate, perhaps even foster, an extended decision making process in most cases.
   10. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 23, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4331732)
Last year Brookover voted for Larkin - Trammell - McGriff - L. Smith.

but not Dale Murphy.
So, Smith, for example, must have been found in the last year to have used steroids during his playing career?

And Dale Murphy's "lost season" was discovered, giving him an extra dozen WAR?

What am I missing?
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:07 AM (#4331784)
I do not agree with the writer in any way on this issue in regards to how to handle the voting.... Having said that, great article.

I'm sure that the normal response on here is going to be to ridicule the writer for straying too far away from the rules, or putting suspicions on players who don't have any credible evidence, or even for not voting for guys who the writer himself said he would normally vote for such as Trammell and Lee Smith, but ultimately for the most part the writer raises a very valid point, and if his (and this is the way I'm interpreting it) protest vote for Dale Murphy, the one guy that almost everyone agrees exemplifies the character clause of the vote, helps raise awareness on this issue, then more power to him.

   12. John Northey Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4331846)
I have no real problem with using a slot to reward a player (esp in his final year) who you felt 'played the right way'. However, to only vote for that player does seem weird when so many future HOF'ers are on the ballot. I suspect it is safe to say that in 25 years we'll see Clemens, Bonds, Bagwell, Schilling, Walker, Trammell, Raines, Palmeiro, Biggio, McGwire, Piazza, Sosa and Morris in the HOF (13 players) and might have Loften, Edgar Martinez, McGriff and maybe Bernie Williams (vet committee decides he was key part of Yankee dynasty, once vets have a few Yankees of that era on it). That's 17 guys who have a real shot at being there someday but he only votes for unlikely HOF'er Dale Murphy. Ah well.
   13. Random Transaction Generator Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4331848)
Are there any current Hall of Famers who make the Hall of Fame by his voting standards?
Hard to find a person who never told a lie.

Maybe he'd vote for this guy?
   14. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4332043)
I'm sure that the normal response on here is going to be to ridicule the writer for straying too far away from the rules, or putting suspicions on players who don't have any credible evidence, or even for not voting for guys who the writer himself said he would normally vote for such as Trammell and Lee Smith, but ultimately for the most part the writer raises a very valid point, and if his (and this is the way I'm interpreting it) protest vote for Dale Murphy, the one guy that almost everyone agrees exemplifies the character clause of the vote, helps raise awareness on this issue, then more power to him.


So, the way to call attention to the issue is to punish players, by leaving them off the ballot, even the writer acknowledges are innocent?

If that makes sense, it would be the first time this kind of approach ever has.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4332045)
So, the way to call attention to the issue is to punish players, by leaving them off the ballot, even the writer acknowledges are innocent?


Yes. That is one of the things a protest is designed to do, bring awareness to the issue by accentuating the absurdity of the situation.
   16. Rob_Wood Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4332048)
Agreed
   17. Lassus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM (#4332087)
As stated in the other thread, it's more a way of throwing a tantrum.
   18. Repoz Posted: December 25, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4332234)
Bumped for Bitter Calculus Instructor.
   19. Srul Itza At Home Posted: December 25, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4332269)
Yes. That is one of the things a protest is designed to do, bring awareness to the issue by accentuating the absurdity of the situation.


Agreed



Wrong. Dead wrong.

A proper protest puts the burden on the protestor, not others. What Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus did was a proper protest. This is not.
   20. vivaelpujols Posted: December 25, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4332275)
So Schilling is out because he lied about smokeless tobacco (and vague assertions of other rumored faults) and Bagwell is out because Schilling lied about smokeless tobacco.


I laughed.

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