No surprise that Rickey "The Eternal 3rd Person" Henderson is going to Cooperstown. And good for Jim Rice. I grew up in the tail end of his career, so can't judge his impact properly. But enough people bemoaned his exclusion every year so I'm glad we won't have to hear from them anymore. I'd love if Andre "The Hawk" Dawson, Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven get in some day as well. They could be the last great "old school" players that get in before we enter the glut of steroid era candidates. I was a little surprised to see Mattingly only get 64 votes. There's not more New York voters who've been drinking the Yankee Kool-Aid that think the 'stache belongs in the Hall? I would've thought he'd get at least 100 votes just for wearing pin stripes.
As for the rest of the nominees, it cracks me up to no end to see some of the names that garner votes every year, let alone make the final ballot. Is it really necessary to include Ron Gant, Greg Vaughn and Dan Plesac to tempt a voter to cast a vote? The list can't be pared down to eliminate the obvious hall rejects? So there's 539 ballots cast from the 10-year veterans of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Of those, two voters think the following stats deserve a bust in one of the most prestigious halls in America:
Runs - 1123
Hits - 1963
2B - 394
3B - 67
HR - 195
RBI - 860
Avg. - .265
OBP - .343
Slg - .416
SB - 91
CS - 60
On baseballreference.com this "Hall of Famer in their eyes" compares favorably to the likes of Ray Durham, Benito Santiago and Devon White. Who is this man who somehow couldn't drum up enough support from the rest of the writers? The spectacled one, Jay Bell. Did anything about Jay Bell's career EVER give you pause to think, "Geez, if strings together another few above-average years like this, he might be heading to the Hall of Fame?" His name isn't even HOF material. Jay Bell was lucky enough to make 2 All-Star games, 1 Silver Slugger and 1 Gold Glove. The closest he ever came in any MVP race was 12th. His Hall of Fame Monitor and HOF Batting Standards fall well below the cusp. Maybe the voters were enamored with how he led the majors in sacrifice hits back-to-back years in 1990-91.
I'm puzzled at this, but not quite as puzzled as the lone ranger voting for Jesse Orosco's "Hall of Fame" career. Did this lunatic lose a bet? Is the voter Orosco's crazy uncle? Orosco also went to 2 All-Star games over his 24 major league seasons. I'm surprised he went to any. Was the fact that Orosco pitched in more games than anyone in history a stat that jumps off the page at you? Or that Jesse was the oldest man in the big leagues five years running too much to ignore? Just because the man's arm was capable of getting 1-3 outs 60 times a season longer than anyone in the sport doesn't imply that what he did when he was on the field was Hall of Fame worthy.
All three of these voters should be stripped of their duties and never allowed to vote again. What business do they have wasting their time honestly checking the box next to Jay Bell and Jesse Orosco's names? At least make them sit out a year or two to sober up. That's ridiculous.
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