Well the writers spoke yesterday and their message was resounding! I must confess to being surprised, pleased and a little disappointed. For the first time since 1996 and only the eighth time in voting history, the BBWAA failed to find one worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame.
I thought that Jack Morris and Craig Biggio would make their way to a bronze plaque but Morris fell 42 votes short while Biggio needed 39 more for his walk to immortality. Although disappointing for the former Astro’s star, this strong first year vote insures his election in the not too distant future.
Morris, on the other hand, may have just witnessed his last chance at BBWAA election go up in smoke. He has but one more crack at it next year however things will not get any easier as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas join the 2014 ballot. None of them have been soiled with the steroid mess and are, in the mind of many, sure-fire bets for first time induction. A prospect that does not bode well for baseball’s winningest pitcher of the 1980s.
A message was sent yesterday from “that man behind the curtain” and now we munchkins of the Emerald City are left to decipher the meaning. After listening yesterday to baseball talking heads across the country this particular munchkin has deciphered a few things.
What became eminently clear to me yesterday was the fact that the BBWAA has in place an unspoken two tier system for the Hall of Fame and it revolves around the “First Ballot Inductee”. There is a school of thought which has grown during the past three decades that can be summed up in the phrase “he’s a Hall of Famer but not a first ballot Hall of Famer.” I am not here to argue the merits or foolishness of that mindset, merely to acknowledge it exists. It is that mind-set which, I believe, kept Craig Biggio from election yesterday. What it means to me is that Biggio will get in sooner (within five years) than later.
Bill James, the Father of Sabermetrics, ranks Biggio as the fifth best second baseman in Major League history. The BBWAA did not find him worthy of first ballot Hall of Fame induction.
Upon further deciphering I have concluded:
Sammy Sosa is reunited with old pal Mark McGwire forever on the outside looking into the Hall of Fame. He will NEVER get in!
Although Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens received more votes than any preceding first time juicers on the ballot, their low percentage of votes (37.6 Clemens, 36.2 Bonds) suggests the very real possibility they may not get in. Next year’s vote will be a much clearer indicator of the battle they will face.
Bud Selig came through in fine fashion when asked “Are you concerned about the vote today”? He replied, “Why should I be concerned”…..
Thus maintaining Major League Baseball’s official position on steroids and their impact on the history of the game.
Oh, and to answer your question sir, as to why you should be concerned? Well the Hall of Fame class of 2013, on its surface, had the potential to be the most revered class since the Inaugural Hall of Fame class of 1936. To refresh your memory, that class included Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson. You remember them right? Well instead sir, we have the ship of baseball sailing through a dark and murky sea of doubt and the crew is clearly unsure of what to do. You are the Captain of that ship Commissioner! You are the chief steward of the game’s best interest. You owe it to past and future generations of baseball fans to make sure the story of the soiled era of this greatest of games be told in all its ugly truth!
Other than that Mr. Selig, there’s nothing to be concerned about.
A significant number of the BBWAA think that Mike Piazza (L) and Jeff Bagwell (received 59.6% of the vote, up 3.6% from last year) used steroids.
I need to do more research on Lee Smith.
There are a significant number of the BBWAA who simply, personally, do not like Curt Schilling
Michael Weiner, the head of the Major League Player’s Association said yesterday’s vote was “unfair”. He was speaking specifically in terms of Bonds and Clemens. Really? His “Weining” statement is another simple indication of how out of touch he is with the reality of what has transpired.
Jack Morris, old schooler snubbed again, has one more year left on the BBWAA ballot and upon yet more review it has become clear to me, that he belongs! A case I will make tomorrow.
“What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage.”