… is probably the best, most reasoned, least hyperbolic explanation of a Hall of Fame ballot that I’ve read, probably ever.
Its ESPN Insider, but if you’re a true baseball fan you should be paying the $2/month or whatever pittance it is in order to get Buster Olney and Keith Law‘s stuff.
He voted for Rafael Palmeiro but not Mark McGwire (I’d tend to disagree here but he reasonably explains why). He voted for Jack Morris but not Curt Schilling or Mike Mussina (again, even up comparing Morris to either of these guys I’d disagree, but I also like Morris for the Hall despite all the vehiment arguments that people make against him). Olney explains his thoughts about the “character clause” that seems to be catching so many voters in the most clear and concise way i’ve seen.
Its just a nice read in the face of the just over-the-top criticism on the baseball blogosphere (which is heavily slanted towards the use of metrics above all else) of writers and their votes.
Like you, i’ve had my annual fill of reactionary blog postings to those writers who make their ballots public, with titles judging whether or not the ballot was “good” or “bad” based on whether or not the voter did or did not include someone’s pet name. Olney simply dismisses these criticisms by saying that “he understands arguments but disagrees.” I’m tired of some kid writing blog posts in his mommy’s basement acting as if he knows more than a guy who has been covering the game, in the clubhouses and on the road, for 25 years. (Yeah that’s a total cliche but it isn’t far from the truth; if you found out that some blog post was written by a college freshman who just took a stats class and thinks he knows everything, would you give it more weight than by a veteran beat reporter for a major newspaper? I didn’t think so). I’m ready for the announcement of the 2014 class to come, one way or another, so we can get back to preparing for next season.
Pitchers and Catchers in 37 days. It won’t come a day too soon.