Sunday, January 11, 2015

Seems like the "wrongest thing that has ever been said about baseball" label could use another entry

Guys. Guys.  GUYS.  Fellow bloggers and baseball fans. Listen up. All of the Hall of Fame stuff you've read these last few weeks is great.  You've read about backne and BALCO and bWAR, but you don't realize that there's one simple fact out there that shows how bad HOF voting is bad. Good thing there's writer Chris Smith to point it out for us.  I won't discuss the whole article because you know the boring parts about Bonds and Clemens, but here's the crux of it:

There are plenty of arguments to be made about what’s wrong with the Hall of Fame, but there may be no simpler example of just how messed up the current format is than this one simple fact: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens received a different number of votes. This year Clemens received 206 votes, or 37.5% of the total, while Bonds got 202 votes (36.8%). That marks the third straight year that this has happened. In 2013, Clemens received 214 votes (37.6%) to 206 votes (36.2%) for Bonds; last year Clemens again outpaced Bonds, 202 (35.4%) to 198 (34.7%).

So guys: Chris Smith has disovered the one simple fact that shows how bad this voting is. The fact here isn't that the best-hitting catcher in baseball history wasn't elected, or that two writers actually (actually!) voted for one-time all-star Aaron Boone, two voted for one-time AL saves leader Tom Gordon, and one for this guy.  Heck, I would argue that it's more of a travesty that 15 actual human beings returned ballots that apparently did not vote for a guy who won four straight Cy Youngs and has the second-most strikeouts in baseball history.  OR that 49 actual human beings did vote for a guy with the highest ERA+ of any starting pitcher in history.

Apparently the real problem is that three writers, for some reason, don't believe that Bonds and Clemens have exactly the same steroid resume.  But you know - there's a lot of gray area there. In fact, Mr. Smith even acknowledges that Clemens was found not guilty of perjury and the charges againstn Bonds were dropped.  Maybe someone out there has a slightly different view of the evidence in these cases. That seems a lot more plausible than the terrible voting decisions I pointed out last paragraph, all of which are grounds for some justice.

Anyways, thanks for the enlightenment, Mr. Smith. Armed with this one simple fact, I will now go to the BBWAA and they will recognize the error of their ways, reform the voting system to be a beacon of justice and fairness and the American Way. 

Now that that's said, I also happen to think that John Smoltz should've been like a sixth-ballot Hall of Famer.  Has there ever been another guy whose HOF candidacy was indirectly boosted by an injury that forced him to switch positions and generate an unusual stat line?  But that's for some other post.

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