I might be wrong. Perhaps Jack Morris slips in, but it seems unlikely that he can get 75 percent of the vote.
Even if Morris or somebody else gets elected, there will be questions about whether they were deserving. Did the voters simply vote for them because they didn’t want to turn in an empty ballot? Were these default votes?
This is a crummy situation. Hall of Fame day used to be a fun occasion for baseball. Not anymore.
Seriously, on a ballot that features normal first-ballot locks like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, and perhaps even Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza, it’ll seem like a letdown if somebody like Morris (3.90 career ERA is a no for me) or Tim Raines (short window of greatness) gains entry to Cooperstown today.
There’s too much angst and confusion over the entire process. And unless somebody defines the standards, it’s going to be that way until all the juiced stars from the steroid era move on down the road, which will be a long time from now.
Writes T.J. Quinn in ESPN.com:
An issue as serious as this deserves answers to those questions. If the BBWAA continues to serve as the Hall’s electoral body, the organization must develop guidelines with the Hall of Fame about how to handle it. Noting that character is a criterion simply isn’t enough, especially for any club that includes Ty Cobb as a member.
Quinn, who hasn’t covered baseball regularly since 2002, said he hasn’t voted during the last two years.
I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t my mess to solve, and I wouldn’t be qualified to solve it even if it were. I’m out.
I agree. Whenever somebody asks who should vote if the writers aren’t going to do it, I have a standard reply: “That shouldn’t be our problem.” I assume baseball has plenty of smart people who can figure that out. A panel of historians, broadcasters, even astute Hall of Famers should be able to get the job done.
Regardless, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Mike Piazza and other steroid users (hello, A-Rod and Manny) aren’t going away. Their names will loom over future Hall of Fame votes, taking some of the attention away from deserving players; 300-game winners Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are up next year.
Something needs to be done to clear up this situation. To see if the fun can be restored to Hall of Fame day.