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Friday, July 27, 2012

Wisch: Why Baseball’s Hall Of Fame Needs Its Own ‘Death Penalty’

Not before. Not later. Wischnowsky!

Rather, I think that having a void in 2013 would speak volumes.

A year without a Hall of Famer would be a sobering way to cleanse the baseball palate as we (hopefully) emerge from the era of steroid-marred ugliness. Along those same lines, I’d prefer to see the Veterans Committee not elect longtime Cooperstown outsiders Jim Kaat or Gil Hodges just to guarantee there’s a Hall of Famer in 2013.

That shouldn’t at all be the way a Hall of Fame works.

If Jack Morris truly is a HOFer, then he can enter the Hall in 2014 – his final year of eligibility. Same goes for Kaat, Hodges, Biggio and others who can join Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in Cooperstown two summers from now.

Don’t taint a Hall of Famer’s legitimacy next summer by voting him in just because. Let’s instead help legitimize the Hall of Fame by taking the summer off. Baseball, I think, will be better for it.

Repoz Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4193507)
This is about Piazza, Schilling and Biggio:

None of those three men have been directly linked to steroid use...but suspicion has swirled around each.


I don't think I've ever heard anyone connect Biggio to steroids.
   2. Sean Forman Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4193511)
He's teammates of Caminiti, Clemens, and Bagwell.
   3. Brian C Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4193515)
The logic of this article is flat-out incoherent. Blah blah blah Penn State blah blah blah steroids blah blah blah that'll show 'em.
   4. Moeball Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4193517)
Also eligible for first-time induction this fall are Craig Biggio (3,060 hits), Mike Piazza (427 home runs) and Curt Schilling (216 wins), who each have their own impressive resumes, albeit on a plateau below Bonds, Clemens and Sosa.



None of those three men have been directly linked to steroid use – Schilling has gone so far as to say steroid sers don’t belong in the Hall of Fame – but suspicion has swirled around each. And while I don’t believe that you can keep a player out of the Hall on suspicion alone, I’m also not convinced that any of the three are first-ballot HOFers, even if you removed the thought of PEDs from the equation.


I see, don't refuse to vote for Piazza, Schilling and Biggio because of steroid suspicions, refuse to vote for them because they're not good enough to be first ballot inductees.

Does this guy really get a vote? I sure hope not because he knows absolutely nothing about baseball...

I don't think I've ever heard anyone connect Biggio to steroids.


JJ - there are those that think just being on the Astros with Bagwell places Biggio under suspicion. I didn't say it made much sense, I just said there are those in the BBWAA community that have expressed that belief...
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4193520)
Biggio flew into a rage because of the hill in CF of the Astros' new park. What more do you need?
   6. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4193535)
An article Wischnowsky wrote about the new basketball coach at Illinois is a footnote on Miller Huggins's Wikipedia page, so he clearly knows baseball.
   7. Dale Sams Posted: July 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4193552)
Suspicion has swirled around Schilling?
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4193575)
In terms of columns straining to tie baseball with current events, this one is only slightly less heinous than this column.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: July 27, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4193590)
I'd be much more comfortable with capitol punishment in general if it was only for a year like it is in sports.
   10. TomH Posted: July 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4193632)
"If Jack Morris truly is a HOFer, then he can enter the Hall in 2014 – his final year of eligibility. Same goes for Kaat, Hodges, Biggio and others who can join Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas in Cooperstown two summers from now."
--
sure, like the BBWAA is gonna elect 6 guys in one ballot in 2014! RIIIIIGHT!

   11. Tubbs & Minnie Miñoso don't fear Sid Monge Posted: July 27, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4193714)
Also, the writer needs to get his facts straight. Hodges & Kaat are eligible when the Golden Era Vet Comm votes again in Dec 2014. This Dec the Pre-Integration Vet Comm votes & the Expansion Era votes the following year.

Plus, delaying votes really just seems to hurt the guys who aren't suspected (Raines, McGriff, Trammell, etc) by having an incredibly crowded ballot.
   12. SandyRiver Posted: July 27, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4193725)
Agree with #3, though I'd replace (or better yet, augment) "incoherent" with "utterly lacking". Even suggesting this type of "revenge vote" should get one dropped from the voter list, IMO.

It's not as if there's never been a year in which BBWAA failed to elect anyone, though the last such year was 1996. In the period 1963-67, the only player elected without that era's occasional "2nd ballot runoff among the leaders" was Ted Williams. (Ruffing and Boudreau got in via runoffs.) 1957-61 was another 5-yr no-electees-by-BBWAA period, though elections were held only in the odd-numbered years.
   13. McCoy Posted: July 27, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4193813)
Anyone know the attendance for Induction weekend this year?
   14. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: July 27, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4193827)
You know, if this guy did some speed dating with sexy Asian ladies, maybe he wouldn't such a sh!t.
   15. Mom makes botox doctors furious Posted: July 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4193828)
not every idea you come up with is worthy of being 'thrown out there'


oh, wait a minute
.. that IS the world we live in
   16. Dale Sams Posted: July 27, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4193833)
You know, if this guy did some speed dating with sexy Asian ladies, maybe he wouldn't such a sh!t.


Or joined the Air National Guard.
   17. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: July 27, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4193840)
this sexy Asian lady thing is impacting my ability to review BTF at work, as anyone who passes by can see them. Enough. (although she is hot.)
   18. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 27, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4193873)
From the title, I thought they would be recommending that HOF membership would have to be renewed after 50 years or so, so we could get rid of the underserving plaques.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4193875)
Suspicion has swirled around Schilling?

Well, Schilling was just a .500 pitcher until he had that career-changing "conversation" with Roger Clemens. Can there be much doubt that someone who would undergo performance enhancing surgery wouldn't have any qualms about an occasional injection?

   20. mex4173 Posted: July 27, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4193886)
Is Glavine, or even Frank Thomas for that matter, really more of a "first-ballot" player than Mike Piazza?
   21. bachslunch Posted: July 27, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4193941)
Is Glavine, or even Frank Thomas for that matter, really more of a "first-ballot" player than Mike Piazza?

Might depend on whether one

-thinks suspected PED users do not merit HoF membership and

-believes the Chass "bacne" nonsense or not.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4194126)
Is Glavine, or even Frank Thomas for that matter, really more of a "first-ballot" player than Mike Piazza?

Fair question. Probably depends on how horrid you think Piazza's defense was (not that you can't say the same about Thomas). I assume most of the BBWAA views Piazza as just a bat who gave back a ton with the glove. They're generally pretty hard on Cs although Piazza is one who has hit like an HoFer plus he made 14 AS teams. In a non-roid world he goes in easily but maybe not until the 2nd or 3rd ballot.

I don't think Glavine is getting in first ballot in part because I think some writers (consciously or not) will want to distinguish between him and Maddux. Plus you push Glavine back a year and you can put him and Smoltz in together which is just as warm and fuzzy as putting him in with Maddux. I think Thomas will get in first ballot but who knows -- this anti-steroid thing (for some writers) has become so illogical that even Thomas's contemporaneous anti-steroid stance might not provide enough cover to keep him from suspicion. The man's got two MVPs, 500 HR and a career 300 BA.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: July 27, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4194191)
I see, don't refuse to vote for Piazza, Schilling and Biggio because of steroid suspicions, refuse to vote for them because they're not good enough to be first ballot inductees.


How can a comment this ignorant be followed by this comment.

Does this guy really get a vote? I sure hope not because he knows absolutely nothing about baseball...


You do know there is no such distinction between first ballot and fifteenth ballot? Kirby Puckett was a first balloter, Eddie Mathews, Gary Carter and Yogi Berra were not.

And I'm not sure what type of world you live in that Piazza isn't a first balloter. I know with the idiots who have bbwaa badges, that only Johnny Bench is worthy of a first ballot for a catcher, but in the real world, Piazza is probably third best catcher to play in the Major leagues. You don't catch teams that finish top 3 in ERA every full season of your career without being able to handle a pitching staff. Whatever flaws he had with his defense he makes up with his ability to call a game, and his bat trumps every catcher to play in the major leagues.
   24. Bruce Markusen Posted: July 27, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4194210)
Good grief, Mike Piazza doesn't have the numbers to be a first-ballot HOFer? Under that criteria, only Bench and Gibson among catchers would have deserved first-ballot consideration for the Hall.

As if there was any significance to being a first-ballot HOFer to begin with. There's nothing in the rules about it, and there's no distinction made at the Hall of Fame about it. Writers really need to stop making up their own rules about the HOF election process.
   25. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 27, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4194217)
I only read the headline, but aren't most Hall of Famers dead already?
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: July 27, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4194248)
I decided to read the article, and that excerpt doesn't do it justice, it really is even worse thought out than the excerpt implies.

So many things wrong with this article that I don't know where to begin.
1. Here is a guy who wants to not have any ceremony at all, to signal a statement (mind you, I have read it twice now and can't find exactly what the statement is) So he is rooting for a financial devastation to a small town out of some misguided sense of fair play.

2. He thinks Piazza is a tier below Sammy Sosa...yes, not kidding, he actually thinks Piazza is a tier below Sammy Sosa. That boggles the mind, how can anyone who covered baseball for more than 5 years of their life believe that? Seriously he thinks with no roid taint at all, that Sammy Sosa is a better candidate than Piazza.

3. He used the NY times article as evidence against Sosa. That is like using my facebook status saying Jack Morris did roids as evidence against Jack Morris.

4. He thinks that there is any taint to Schilling. I'm anti-Schilling for the fun of it, and like to throw accusations his way (methinks he doth protest to much---or whatever) but seriously, Schilling is on your list of probables? Get real dude.

5. Biggio is the strongest case for hof between Piazza/Schilling and Biggio. I can let that slide I guess, I disagree, but not to the point that I would have a problem if someone said it, unless they said a #### ton of other stupid stuff.

6. He says he wouldn't have a problem with Jack Morris getting in the hof. I do not get this, you want to maintain the hall's integrity, then don't put clearly undeserving players in. Forget the roids, to get the hall back up to some semblance of standards, don't put everyone who plays 20 years in. My god, how can anyone say they would be alright with Jack Morris in the hof and actually know anything about baseball?

7. Somehow not putting someone in the hof will legitimize the hall of fame. Again, he never actually says why, just that it's a statement of some sort.

How about this, you want a statement, get a petition out, and ask every member of the bbwaa to sign the petition, the petitiion should say "we the members of the bbwaa feel that we completely neglected our duty to investigate and report on baseball, instead we were culpable in allowing the proliferation of steroids in the national scene, we take full responsibility for our actions by asking that the HOF not to issue any more Ford C Frick awards for any reporter who covered baseball from 1990-2010."
   27. Bob Tufts Posted: July 27, 2012 at 09:47 PM (#4194257)
I heard attendance at the HOF induction was 15,000 - not too good - but I only saw it from one source. The last time I went was 2008 (Gossage) and there were 10,00 people.

Once again, guilty until proven innocent claptrap. After Mariotti, Albom, Bryant and Conlin, sportswritersd should purge theiur own Augean stable before reflecting in such an ignorant manner on the morals of those that they cover.

I still wonder if writers openly speculate about a player's steroid use to deny them a vote for the HOF can sue? Yes, public figure standards probably apply, but a HOF inductee can make much more money through personal appearances et al. Loss of income and plain slander lawsuits (after all, they are accusing someone of a federal drug law felony? I'd like to hope so!
   28. Ron J Posted: July 27, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4194270)
#27 Bob I have to say that it's "Guilty until proven guilty" right now.
   29. DanG Posted: July 27, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4194303)
Let’s instead help legitimize the Hall of Fame by taking the summer off. Baseball, I think, will be better for it.
Why stop at one year? Tear the plaques off the wall, melt them down, then blow up the walls. Surely, the Coop could be improved by a "Do-Over".
   30. Sunday silence Posted: July 28, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4194329)
Yes, public figure standards probably apply, but...


I prolly dont like the public figure theory any more than you do but it seems that ship has sailed, legally speaking, a while ago. So they probably will always get away under freedom of the press. WHich I respect as a theory. IT's that as people get more sophisticated you see all sorts of ways the press can twist it to their advantage like that NY Times writer going to jail for being Carl Rove's mouthpiece.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2012 at 03:28 AM (#4194360)
Good grief, Mike Piazza doesn't have the numbers to be a first-ballot HOFer? Under that criteria, only Bench and Gibson among catchers would have deserved first-ballot consideration for the Hall.

Isn't Bench the only actual first-ballot C (BBWAA)?

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