Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hall of What Are The Writers Thinking

The Hall of Fame voting was released the other day and only Goose Gossage made it this year. Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, and Andre Dawson were close but missed again.

Why No Blyleven?

How Bert Blyleven isn't in the Hall of Fame, I have no idea. When he was playing, I remember how the media sang about his curveball, he quite possibly had the best curveball ever in the history of the game, according to some that I read. He was only 13 games short of 300 wins, but that wasn't his fault, he started 685 games and had a 3.31 ERA when the league average was 3.90, giving him a career ERA+ of 118, which is very good.

Don Sutton is a Hall of Famer, and his ERA+ was only 108. Gaylord Perry, another famer, had an ERA+ of 117. HoF's Fergie Jenkins's ERA+ was 115, plus he didn't win 300 games either. The link between Blyleven and these pitchers? They are the top 3 in similarity score for Blyleven in Baseball-Reference.com's profile page for him. Other Hall of Fame pitcher in his Top 10 similarity score include: Tom Seaver, Early Wynn, Phil Niekro, and Steve Carlton.

Jim Rice and Andre Dawson, I can go either way. I put them in the Bobby Bonds category, they were good for a long time but not a very long time, and that hurt them. I've stated that I think Bobby Bonds belongs - and campaigned for it in previous years - but I don't think he's ever getting in. There was the slim chance that when Barry Bonds got voted in, there might be some sympathy vote that gets him in that same year, but with the whole steriods cloud hanging over Barry's head, he'll be lucky to get in himself now.

What's Wrong With the Media?

Other people voted in by the new Veteran's Committee (the last version had HoF players manning the committee, in hopes that they would be more inclusive, but instead they voted nobody in) include World Series-winning managers Dick Williams (the only one alive of this group) and Billy Southworth were elected along with Commissioner Bowie Kuhn and owners Walter O'Malley and Barney Dreyfuss.

In addition to Blyleven, how could Walter O'Malley and Dick Williams take so long to get elected? I know the media wasn't responsible for other group, specifically, but they are suppose to help champion causes, why no outrage over O'Malley not getting voted in. As much as I hate the D'gers, I respect the history and interlinking their franchise have with the Giants franchise in the past. And what more did Dick Williams have to do? He won two World Series, got into another, and was a winner for most of his career as manager.

I know that when you get a big group of people together, some people will disagree and vote no for the Hall of Fame. But when you have obvious players who deserve to go in, like Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, NOT get a unanimous vote to get in, you have to wonder about the mental abilities of the writers who chose to not vote for them.

I've never been able to figure out how to fix it so that people who clearly are not qualified - really, how can anyone not vote for those great players above and numerous other players into the Hall of Fame - but I am not ready to give up yet.

I had thought maybe that automatic expulsion if someone got 90% (or some high number) and they voted no would do it, but then you would have people voting yes for players in fear of getting drummed out. Another idea I had is having all the votes by the voters be recorded somewhere. That way, they will have to live with the public shame of voting no to obvious Hall of Famers. Again, that might lead some to vote yes when they wouldn't have.

Another idea I had was that each voter would get 10 gimmees (one for each year they were in the writers association in order to be eligible to vote), where they use up a gimmee for each time they vote no for a player who had 95% (or some high percentage) of the votes, and once they lost all 10 gimmees, they lose their voting rights.

Post your ideas, I would love to see if anyone has a way around this problem.

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