The BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) has come under fire more than once from the general baseball-loving population about it’s voting habits when it comes to electing players into the Hall of Fame.
Yesterday, I outlined the absurdity of not voting in Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez on 100% of ballots. Some of it was because writers new that they’d both easily get in, so they use a vote on another player in hopes that they will stay on the ballot longer, giving them more time, and a better shot, and enshrinement.
There’s also another reason. Personal feelings.
Either, you’re a Hall of Famer or you are not is the simple way to put it. But sometimes it can run much deeper than that, and it’s really not supposed to. You’d be naive to think otherwise.
Take for instance renowned baseball journalist Paul Hoynes from Cleveland.com. He did not put in a ballot this year because of an oversight. However, he goes into detail about why he grappled with the idea of voting for Pedro, whom he called a “punk on the mound.”
That’s beautiful. Because no other player he has voted for, or that has stepped onto a baseball field, has been an unsavory character.
Not Bob Gibson who would throw at your head whenever he felt the need.
Not Ty Cobb who, by many accounts, was one of the worst dudes of all time.
Not Reggie Jackson who was a notorious baby throughout his career.
Nooooo. Paul Hoynes NEVER would have voted for those guys! Was Pedro a punk on the mound? Sure. But did you ever think he needed that edge, coming from a 5’10’ frame that was maybe 175 pounds, soaking wet?
And now you’re seeing the issues with the BBWAA, front and center – which is really not all that new anyway. And while I applaud Hoynes for his transparency and truthfulness, it still sounds ridiculous. Vote for who deserves it. No more, no less.