Strange Hall of Fame Votes by MLB.com Writers

On Tuesday MLB.com released the Hall of Fame ballots by its 17 writers who have a vote, and it revealed a remarkable lack of consistency by some of the individual writers.

hall of fameThere was some consistency — for example, a few writers apparently will not vote for any PED guys, so they did not. But then there were some writers who voted for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, but did not vote for Sammy Sosa or Mark McGwire. It seems one should either vote for all of them or none of them.

In fact, not one MLB.com writer voted for Sosa or McGwire for the Hall of Fame, yet two of them voted for Rafael Palmeiro, the only player on the ballot who actually failed a drug test.

The obvious highlight was the ballot from a specimen named Ken Gurnick, who is the Dodger beat writer for MLB.com. He voted for just one player — Jack Morris. Gurnick said he will not vote for any player who played in the PED era, so that means Greg Maddux will be denied the unanimous vote he so richly deserves.

Gurnick is allowed to vote for whomever he wants, but he is making it about himself and is denying worthy players a cherished vote for the Hall of Fame.

Overall, only Maddux and Glavine (16 vote each), and Craig Biggio and Jack Morris (13 votes each) got the 75% needed for induction from these writers. Frank Thomas got 11 votes and Mike Piazza eight.

When the final vote comes down Wednesday, it will likely be Thomas and not Morris who gets elected; another oddity by this group.

Not voting for Thomas makes no sense at all. Instead of voters doubting his ability, this is a product of the PED guys clogging up the ballot. With a maximum of 10 selections, several players who likely would have gotten a vote might not get one. This could lead to some players not getting elected. The Hall really needs to establish guidelines on how to treat suspected and proven PED players. Otherwise we will be getting disputed Hall of Fame results for years to come.

2 thoughts on “Strange Hall of Fame Votes by MLB.com Writers

  • January 8, 2014 at 6:33 am
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    Even though I hate Barry Bonds with a passion, he was widely considered the best player in baseball by many pundits during the pre-PED period when his head was not as big as a watermelon and his neck as thick as a tree trunk. Ironically, during this time, I considered a young skinny shortstop named Alex Rodriguez to be the best player in baseball, not Bonds.

    Same with Clemens – he was always a monster pitcher. Even though I hated him almost as much as I hated Bonds (and while he was a Yankee, just as much), there is no denying that he could do things with a baseball that puts him into legendary status. Steroids do not help you to put stuff on the ball. I would look at Schilling as a guy who gained too much from the Juice, especially considering they stitched his sock into his bleeding foot and he continued to pitch – THAT’S what the Juice will do for someone!

    Sosa, however, was never Hall of Fame material. He was a two-dimensional player at best, on par with (and maybe not even as good as) guys like Shawn Green. It was when he discovered The Juice that he became this monster hitter. The fact that he was caught with a corked bat should put suspicion on even his earlier stats.

    McGwire I am mixed on mainly because he admitted to taking some of the stuff at some point and it was obvious that when he and Sammy were competing for the single-season record that he was on SOMETHING, but he, too, was a major player even before that, more than Sosa ever was.

    Palmeiro was a great all-around player and worthy of the Hall if not for the Juice. I think even without it he would have had a worthy career. A shame…

  • January 8, 2014 at 7:27 am
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    I generally don’t buy into the “he was a Hall of Famer before he started juicing” argument. A player must be judged on the entirety of his career, and regardless of when he broke the rules, a player must face the consequences of his actions. Just my opinion.

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