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Monday, December 24, 2012

Mark Faller: Nobody deserves my Hall of Fame vote this year

and my little dog, Faller.

My ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 election is in the mail.

It’s dutifully signed, has my Baseball Writers’ Association of America badge number recorded, all official.

What it does not have is a vote for a single player.

...I am choosing to speak loudly by using silence.

This is my way of expressing my anger to baseball. Angry that the powers-that-be turned their backs while this was going on. Angry that it took us so long to shine light on it.

If you think I’m being stubborn, illogical or naive, or you think I’m ducking the issue, you are welcome to those opinions. And here’s something else that might push you off the deep end: I probably won’t do the same thing next year.

...I don’t know what I’ll do next year, but I’m fairly sure I won’t send in a blank ballot. This one-year protest should make my point.

I admit to a tiny bit of guilt over possibly keeping out an innocent player by not voting, but I can live with it since there is no one I’d vote for who is in his 15th and final year of eligilibity. I’m not jeopardizing anyone’s legacy.

Frankly, I’d feel a whole lot guiltier checking the box next to the names of Bonds and Clemens and a few other guys. That can wait for another day — or never. Remains to be seen.

Repoz Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:16 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4331926)
Oh ####. What a friggin' tool.
   2. Lassus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4331927)
Jesus Christ, who the fuck are these people?
   3. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4331928)
This one-year protest should make my point.


</head asplodes>
   4. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4331929)
Idiot.
   5. winnipegwhip Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4331932)
If you think I’m being stubborn, illogical or naive, or you think I’m ducking the issue, you are welcome to those opinions.


"If you think I’m being stubborn, illogical or naive, or you think I’m ducking the issue, you are CORRECT WITH those opinions."

<fixed>
   6. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4331933)
I'm sorry, this seems more honest that not voting for Bagwell because he looks like he juiced. That said, maybe this would have been better done in 1998 than 2012.
   7. John Northey Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4331942)
And one step closer to no one getting in this year. But I do see his point about not knowing who did and who did not use PED's. The most honest votes are either voting while ignoring the issue, voting for those who were not caught via testing (Palmeiro being the only one on this ballot who was), or not voting at all. The 'I think so-and-so did it' line of thought is bound to be made to look silly when a guy gets in and says 'guess what, I used them too'. I'd love to see a player do a podium speech where they confess to using it and say that trying to guess by body type or late career results will result in nothing but confusion.
   8. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4331945)
I can live with it since there is no one I’d vote for who is in his 15th and final year of eligilibity. I’m not jeopardizing anyone’s legacy.


Unless it's someone who's going to get less than 5%.
   9. DL from MN Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4331948)
Beats voting for Jack Morris
   10. LargeBill Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4331949)
I admit to a tiny bit of guilt over possibly keeping out an innocent player by not voting, but I can live with it since there is no one I’d vote for who is in his 15th and final year of eligilibity. I’m not jeopardizing anyone’s legacy.


The problem with his attempt to assuage his guilt with that statement is this year there are players who deserve full consideration who will fall off the ballot for failing to get the minimum 5% necessary to come back. So, for a guy like Lofton this is his 15th year.
   11. tfbg9 Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4331950)
Wow, great thread!
   12. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4331951)
People, people, it's all going to be okay because we can still respect the consensus.
   13. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4331960)
I am choosing to speak loudly by using silence.
And an article in the 16th largest daily newspaper in the United States.
   14. Karl from NY Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4331961)

Seriously, what lesson are you going to teach with this? Let's put this ballot right in the time machine to 1988 and 1998 so that Canseco and McGwire will learn their lesson and not do steroids?
   15. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4331962)
I'm sorry, this seems more honest that not voting for Bagwell because he looks like he juiced.


I get that, and I'd applaud the principle if he said he'd NEVER vote for another HOF election. But choosing this one year to boycott is just grandstanding and juvenile.

While people who don't do this for a living are trying to rank the top 10 of about 12-15 quasi-worthy players this asshat decides that it's a good year to avoid the task altogether. This is my issue - that instead of deciding how he feels, how he should deal with steroids and his HOF vote this year, or even what his position is on the issue, he just passed. He took his ball and went home.

#### him.

It's lazy, unintelligent work from a person who doesn't deserve the opportunity to vote for something like the HOF.

</rant>
   16. John Northey Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4331966)
Last year there were 573 ballots cast. Lets assume 600 for this year (for sake of argument). How many does one need to be named on to stay around for Ballotgeddon 2? 30. So if Lofton can find 30 voters who make space for him then he sticks around, if not he gets the Lou Whittaker treatment.

Even if guys make the 5% this year, with no one getting in (unless a major surge comes up) you have ...
HOF Locks (if not for PED): Clemens, Bonds, Maddux, Glavine, Thomas (all crossed 'magic numbers' and were Cy or MVP winners)
HOF Quality (same disclaimer): Mussina, Bagwell, Schilling, Walker, Trammell, Raines, Biggio, McGwire, Piazza
HOF Caliber but some voters don't like (lack of peak seasons, DH, etc.) : Palmeiro, Lofton, Edgar Martinez
Guys who'd normally get in but will wait and wait and wait: Sosa (600 HR a lock, but nothing else there), Kent (most HR for a 2B would've been big pre-PED)
Loved by writers for some reason: Jack Morris

So that covers a total of 5 no doubters, 9 who should be no brainers (sadly some voters are lacking), 3 of high talent but missing 'something', and 2 more who normally would get in plus Jack Morris. 19 guys who probably will be in someday. Now THAT is a crowded ballot. Then 4 more come in via Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez (locks), John Smoltz (HOF quality), and Sheffield (509 HR) not to mention Carlos Delgado who would've got tons of support with those numbers a few years ago.

Just so nutty. If no one gets in this year and next year we get more protest non-votes we could see 20+ future HOF'ers on the ballot. It has happened before, but not with this kind of quality since the early ballots. Ah well, should make for interesting articles and threads here.
   17. Tripon Posted: December 24, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4331972)
Its just interesting how sports writers treat football, basketball and baseball. Nobody is even questioning that NBA players aren't juicing for instance, which is wrong on its face.
   18. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4331978)
Anyone who turns in a blank Hall of Fame ballot -- let alone someone who turns in a blank ballot and freakin' brags about it! -- should have their voting rights revoked. Period. (And horsewhipped, too, but that's probably not legal.) What a loser. What a tool. What an absolute, complete idiot.

Meanwhile, here's Willie Mays talking to a Muppet knockoff named Seymour back in '74. (Starts at 2:52.)
   19. esseff Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4331984)
I'm sorry, this seems more honest that not voting for Bagwell because he looks like he juiced.


Respectfully disagree, Edmundo. We may find the Bagwell non-voter wrongheaded, but he is at least attempting a judgment on whether the player belongs in the Hall. Mark Faller is not. Entrusted with the privilege of helping to write baseball's history, he's not merely declining but tossing in a hand grenade to thwart all the hard work of the conscientious voters who have studied the data, listened to the debates and agonized over their ballots in an attempt to get that history as accurate as possible.

If his goal is to rescue the integrity of the Hall, he has failed miserably, because his ballot is doing the opposite.
   20. Repoz Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4331985)
Beats voting for Jack Morris

Morris is now down to 58.3% and in 5th place.
   21. Peter Farted Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4331988)
As I mentioned (with a typo) in another thread, I don't mind this sort of blank-ballot thing if it reflects a widespread anger among the voters, but it needs more of an organized movement. If 5-10 voters send in blanks, it just doesn't have the "push" of, say, 40-50 voters doing the same thing. I think concerned voters *should* put pressure on the HOF to change their current voting rules, whether it's the criteria, the maximum number of votes, or both. But do it together. An isolated voice here and there won't do it.
   22. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4331991)
This is my way of expressing my anger to baseball.

You could quit writing about baseball. That would show those dirty cheaters that you're really angry, and it would protect the public from having to read any future articles about baseball.
   23. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4331992)
We may find the Bagwell non-voter wrongheaded, but he is at least attempting a judgment on whether the player belongs in the Hall.

But it's more than wrongheaded, IMO, if the voter is making a judgement that Bagwell's career is deserving if he didn't enhance his performance with PEDs but I'm not voting for him because I THINK he did them because he looked funny.
   24. esseff Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4332000)
But it's more than wrongheaded, IMO,


OK, but give me this: One is unwittingly doing harm to the integrity of the process, while the other is leading a (one-man?) charge against it.
   25. Peter Farted Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4332002)
Northey: Nice post. You can count on a little alleviation because Maddux, Johnson and Pedro will sail in first ballot, no matter how many "protest" ballots there are. They might have a lower percentage than they really should, but they won't have any problem because none are PED-suspected. Glavine also has a reasonable shot at being first ballot. Maaaybe Thomas, but he was big...of course, he was always big.

The others I suspect will very likely all be clogging the ballot.
   26. Kiko Sakata Posted: December 24, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4332003)
Morris is now down to 58.3% and in 5th place.


Do you track how voters' ballots compare to their own ballots from previous years? That is, has anybody in that sample removed Jack Morris from their ballot (or added Morris to their ballot) or is it just a slightly less Morris-friendly sample?
   27. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4332012)
The 'I think so-and-so did it' line of thought is bound to be made to look silly when a guy gets in and says 'guess what, I used them too'.

i continue to be confused as to why people think steroid users getting into the hall/already being in the hall is some sort of gotcha. Maybe this is how Ray feels all the time?
   28. Rob_Wood Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4332013)
I am entirely comfortable with this protest ballot. As someone said above, it would be more effective if there was some sort of protest movement that would actually stand a chance of being noticed and change the voting system, guidelines, etc., in the face of the steroids generation joining the ballot. But protest ballots seem reasonable to me at this time.
   29. Srul Itza Posted: December 24, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4332014)
Hitting the Egg Nog a little early this year, Rob?
   30. Repoz Posted: December 24, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4332016)
John Canzano waits his whole life for a BBWAA HOF vote and with his first ballot...only votes for Dale Murphy. I think.

   31. Baseballs Most Beloved Figure Posted: December 24, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4332019)
John Canzano waits his whole life for a BBWAA HOF vote and with his first ballot...only votes for Dale Murphy. I think.
And it just so happens that Dale Murphy is from Portland, OR which is also home to the newspaper Canzano writes for AND Canzano received emails from Murphy's father and son lobbying for Murphy's induction.
   32. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 24, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4332023)
The entire HOF system needs to re-evaluated. The voters are tools.
   33. Dale Sams Posted: December 24, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4332026)
When I get a HOF vote, I'm going to leave it blank the first time to protest the racist Crimean policies of the late 1700's.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: December 24, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4332037)
I agree. Voting should be a priviledge! and not taken lightly. I would rather have someone vote, even If I do not agree with them, I respect them more.


Disagree, I would rather see a protest vote than a guy who fills out a ballot and forgets that Rickey Henderson is on it. I can respect a protest vote, provided the person who is protesting writes SEVERAL articles on the protest. Gandhi didn't protest by fasting for one day, you can't protest by throwing out one article and then forgetting about it for the next 11 1/2 months.
   35. JE (Jason) Posted: December 24, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4332040)
Did Oscar Madison manage to submit his HoF ballot?
   36. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: December 24, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4332046)
No, but Oscar Madisox did.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: December 24, 2012 at 07:47 PM (#4332049)
This is my way of expressing my anger to baseball.

So ... there are players who deserve your vote, you're just refusing to vote for them.

Out of anger.

Out of anger against an institution over which those deserving individuals had little or no control.

Out of anger against an institution over which those deserving individuals had little or no control for actions the institution did not take 20 years ago but has since taken.

Man, the baby, the bathwater and the little rubber ducky.
   38. Rob_Wood Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4332056)
Well, a protest vote is an expression of feeling that a "normal" ballot would not convey. As a college student I voted for John Anderson for President as a protest vote, well knowing that I was "wasting" my vote. But I would gladly do it again.
   39. vivaelpujols Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4332061)
Well, a protest vote is an expression of feeling that a "normal" ballot would not convey. As a college student I voted for John Anderson for President as a protest vote, well knowing that I was "wasting" my vote. But I would gladly do it again.


So why not vote for Kenny Lofton (Stealing 23 bases in less than 500 PA his last year proves he didn't do steroids? Highest career ISO was .187 at age 27? Maybe not). That would certainly be an abnormal ballot.
   40. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 24, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4332066)
No, but Oscar Madisox did.

Oscar Madisoy did as well. Good thing we finally have an Japanese voter.
   41. Lassus Posted: December 24, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4332084)
Well, a protest vote is an expression of feeling that a "normal" ballot would not convey.

No, it's not. It's an expression of being an entitled baby throwing a tantrum, and nothing more. It's pathetic.
   42. The District Attorney Posted: December 24, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4332123)
These ballots are making me Oscar Madisob.
   43. esseff Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:08 AM (#4332167)
As a college student I voted for John Anderson for President as a protest vote, well knowing that I was "wasting" my vote. But I would gladly do it again.


But there was a good reason to vote for Anderson: With your vote and others, Anderson was able to exceed 5% of the popular vote, which qualified him for matching federal campaign funds. Proving that a third-party candidate could get that money was -- or maybe just could have been -- an important development.

   44. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 25, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4332185)
Beats voting for Jack Morris

Morris is now down to 58.3% and in 5th place.
Splendid. It would have been bad enough for no one to get elected; infinitely worse if with all the worthy candidates, Morris somehow managed to get in.
   45. beer on a stick Posted: December 25, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4332249)
[These ballots are making me Oscar Madisob./quote]

Nice to meet you. My name is Oscar Madashell.

Seriously, I am sick of this crap. The HOF is no longer relevant.
   46. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 25, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4332264)
But there was a good reason to vote for Anderson: With your vote and others, Anderson was able to exceed 5% of the popular vote, which qualified him for matching federal campaign funds. Proving that a third-party candidate could get that money was -- or maybe just could have been -- an important development.


Virtually all of my family and friends, including myself, voted for Anderson. I still don't see how he lost. :-)
   47. bjhanke Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:34 AM (#4332374)
"This is my way of expressing my anger to baseball. Angry that the powers-that-be turned their backs while this was going on. Angry that it took us so long to shine light on it."

In exactly what way does sending in a blank ballot do anything to address, shame, or express anger about this? The powers-that-be are not on the ballot. They are not eligible. Nor are "us." Nor is baseball. Hall of Fame voters, on the other hand, are, to a large extent, on trial in the court of baseball fan opinion. I think you've just voted against yourself. - Brock Hanke
   48. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4332544)
In the immortal words of Col. Sherman T. Potter, "Oh, poo-poo-pa-doo."

This guy thinks he's gonna bring the establishment to its knees by submitting a blank ballot? Here's a secret: nobody gives a flyin'...
   49. ecwcat Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4332586)
It is debatable if Bagwell should be a Hall of Famer. He was "one of many" sluggers in an era loaded with power hitters who took walks yet he still wasn't able to hit the magical numbers of 3,000 or 500, which have held many others back, including McGriff. The perception is that his success was based on weight lifting, he was one dimensional, and the question remains: was he THAT much better than Delgado or Giambi?

This writer, however, is remiss for not sending his ballot in to send a message for "guidance". Since this writer is so focused on character, punishing older guys with good character references on the ballot [Dale Murphy/Don Mattingly/Alan Trammell]is also lame.
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4332615)
he was one dimensional
I'm assuming you didn't watch Jeff Bagwell play baseball? He was an excellent defensive player at 1B, a converted 3B who probably could have played the hot corner for a while in his twenties. DRS rates his defense 50 runs above average for his career, UZR says +60. Further, he was a very good baserunner, both fast and intelligent early in his career, and still smart enough to steal bases at a good rate after his speed went. He stole 200 bases at a 75% success rate, and his extra-base taking and out avoidance on the bases rate 30 runs above average for his career.

If Bagwell had been a one-dimensional player, there could be a case against him for the Hall. Because in fact Jeff Bagwell was one of the great all-around players of his time, there is no plausible case against him on the merits.
   51. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 26, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4332627)
At least one major publication agrees with this guy.
   52. attaboy Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4332733)
He didn't say Bagwell was one dimentional, he said, 'The perception is that his success was based on weight lifting, he was one dimensional...'
   53. attaboy Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:27 PM (#4332737)
Bagwell was a stud! He also undoubtedly used Steroids. His body broke down just like other steroid users (ie Giambi, Nomar, Reyes - and I am a Mets fan - just to name a few). However, that was the culture and there was no baseball law against it, the majority of athletes used them, in all of the major sports. Let's just turn the page, vote in those who were truly great and be done with it all.
   54. Lassus Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4332740)
Reyes?
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: December 28, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4333467)
His body broke down just like other steroid users


What is the evidence his body broke down? He played 156 games or more from his age 31-36 season, had an injury, and quit... I'm willing to bet you could find 20-30 hofers that didn't play full seasons after their age 36 year.

   56. vivaelpujols Posted: December 28, 2012 at 07:17 AM (#4333511)
I can respect a protest vote, provided the person who is protesting writes SEVERAL articles on the protest.


Oh please god no, I hope this is sarcastic.
   57. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: December 28, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4333805)
-Nobody deserves my Hall vote this year

Correct version should be:

- I don't deserve my Hall ballot. Ever again.

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