I’m Not As Pissed Off About The HOF Voting As I Thought I Would Be

I’m pretty much always at least a little bit pissed off, so the fact that I’m only a little pissed off is probably as good a result as we could have expected.

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Craig Biggio, and John Smoltz were elected and will be inducted this Summer. Good for them, they all deserve it.

I’m a little pissed off that Pedro Martinez didn’t get 100%. Randy Johnson also deserved 100%, but I don’t give a damn about him. And sure, some of the folks who didn’t vote for them did so because it’s a crowded ballot and they wanted to vote for some of the guys down ballot a bit who weren’t locks to get in. I’m mostly cool with those guys.

But the guys who actually didn’t think Pedro Martinez was worthy of hall induction are just utterly divorced from reality. Sure, his career wasn’t the longest, but it was long enough, and his peak was obscenely high. There were five seasons where he was twice as good as the league average, including a 2000 season where he was almost three times as good as league average. In one of the most offensively dominant eras in the game, Pedro Martinez made the entire league hit like Mike Benjamin.

The moral policemen drive me nuts. There are people who aren’t voting for Jeff Bagwell because he looks like he used steroids. No failed tests. No evidence from steroid suppliers. Just whispers. It’s disgusting.

We have a situation right now where there is someone who has a credible argument to make that he’s the best hitter of all time who has been on the ballot and who is not in the Hall of Fame.

We have a situation right now where there is someone who has a credible argument to make that he’s the best pitcher of all time who has been on the ballot and who is not in the Hall of Fame.

We have a situation right now where there is someone who has more hits than anyone else in the history of Major League Baseball and he is not in the Hall of Fame.

With Pete Rose, there’s a good reason, and while I think a player’s placement on the ineligible list should expire when they die, that doesn’t yet apply to Rose.

But Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens aren’t in the Hall of Fame and it’s embarrassing. It’s obvious it’s the steroids. There’s good reasons to keep steroids out of the game, but I don’t think that means there’s good reason to keep out—as a class—the people who took steroids.

We have a pretty good idea when Clemens and Bonds started roiding up. If you look at their numbers before that, they’re Hall of Famers.

Perhaps more to the point, if you’re going to keep such monstrously talented guys out for steroids, why are you not keeping Rickey Henderson out because of cocaine? Or all the guys from the 70s who used amphetamines? They didn’t start taking those things just because they were fun, they started taking them to help them stay alert during the long grind of the season.

I heard Bob Costas saying that the coke and amphetamines didn’t allow anyone to improve as drastically as steroids and HGH, and that’s true, but do we really want to set the precedent that cheating is okay unless you’re really really good at it?

Of course not.

It’s too late to keep all the cheaters out. It’s too late to set a strict moral line. It’s too late to have a Hall of Fame that doesn’t have any players who aren’t completely immoral douchebags.

There are current Hall of Famers who are cheaters, drunks, racists, and every other thing you can imagine.

So…enough ranting.

The fact that four guys made it is fantastic. It relieves a ton of the pressure on the ballot to the point where it might be possible to turn in a 2016 ballot with less than ten names on it without being an assjack.

Trevor Hoffman and Ken Griffey, Jr join the ballot in 2016 and I think they’re pretty likely to get in on the first ballot. Just as an aside, the closer fetish the voters have is a little bit weird. With Mike Piazza at 69.9% this year, I think it’s pretty likely the class of 2016 will be Hoffman, Griffey, and Piazza, and putting in three more guys would be a very good thing.

I think it’s going to be interesting to see what happens to Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina in 2016. There are some who suggest that clearing Pedro, Johnson, and Smoltz off the ballot is going to lead to a very large jump in votes next season. I think I’d like to see it, as they both deserve it, but I’m skeptical that it will really happen. And if it does, I don’t think it’s going to be enough to get them in.

Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are the other guys who I’m going to be looking at in 2016. They’re at 54.3% and 46.1% respectively, which means getting up to 75% would take a gigantic leap that I just don’t think is going to happen. Since Raines only has two years left on the ballot, he’s got to get a lot of votes in a short amount of time.

We shall see.