Not surprisingly, I suppose, there is already a chorus of critics — none of whom, of course, have a vote — who are pontificating that if the Baseball Writers Association does not elect Bonds and Clemens in particular, on Jan. 9, then the Hall of Fame should dismiss them as the voting electorate. They’ll say they should replace them with a whole new body of supposedly more worthy, unbiased voters selected from the ranks of broadcasters, who are employed by the clubs (no conflict of interest there!) historians and selected writers and bloggers (like themselves?) who believe that overwhelming statistics, no matter how they were achieved, should be rewarded with a plaque in Cooperstown. Otherwise, they maintain, the Hall of Fame is a sham. There’s one problem with that — which goes to the heart of this dilemma for the Baseball Writers — and that is clause 5 under the rules for election, which the Hall includes with all the ballots: “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.”
...What is particularly annoying to me is that these same critics of the Baseball Writers Association (of which they would nevertheless dearly love to be members) cite a couple of dweeb writers, gleefully spouting how they can’t wait to cast their no-vote against Bonds & Co., as further proof the Baseball Writers think of themselves as vigilantes and therefore lack objectivity in voting on the Hall. To that, I would say let them form any committee of 600 voters — of former players, Hall-of-Famers themselves, broadcasters, fans, bloggers, historians, whoever — and I guarantee Bonds & Co. would not get 75% for election. At least not right now.
...A lot of those same critics of the Baseball Writers are the ones who have launched a Sabrermetrics campaign against Morris, based largely on his 3.90 career ERA, and have sought to somehow dispel the notion that he was a true No. 1 ace throughout most of his career. Considering that he started on Opening Day 14 years in a row, was handed the ball by his manager in Game 1 of six of the seven postseason series he participated in with three different teams, and was chosen to start three All-Star Games, I’d say that’s a hard case to make — especially when you also consider over the last 40 years, he ranks third in most starts (248) in which he pitched eight or more innings. But when it comes to Morris, who is in his 14th year on the ballot and finished second to Barry Larkin a year ago with 66.7% of the vote, I wonder how many of his detractors ever actually saw him pitch. If they had, they’d know a Hall-of-Famer when they saw him.
Posted: December 01, 2012 at 07:36 PM | 25 comment(s)
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