On Tuesday the results from the BBWAA Hall of Fame voting was announced, as they inducted Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio.
The narrative we’re being fed is “blah blah blah, this is a great day for baseball… something something something, this is the first time since 1955 the electorate has voted in four different people.” Wow! Congratulations, baseball writers! Even Ken Rosenthal constructed a half-grounded, half-apologist defense of the process in saying:
The bottom line is that my fellow writers have elected seven players the past two years, and suddenly the impossibly overcrowded ballot is not so impossibly overcrowded anymore.
The above statement is a fact, yes, but it were the baseball writers who created the logjam in the first place. It’s like giving credit to an outfielder who took a terrible route to make a great catch; why should I give credit to someone, or some entity like the BBWAA, for making lemonade out of an adverse situation they themselves birthed?
But no, I can’t say yesterday was a “really good day for baseball,” as so many on television have been trying to convince me, because any Hall of Fame that has a problem voting in Mike Piazza — the greatest hitting catcher of all-time — or Curt Schilling — perhaps the most memorable postseason pitcher ever with +83.2 career fWAR and the best K:BB ratio in history — or Mike Mussina or Jeff Bagwell… isn’t exactly the smartest voting body. I won’t even get into Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens, two of the G.O.A.T.s at their positions, because the PED topic is a tired one and I’m tired of it.
The cap on each voting member only getting 10 players to vote for, per year, the same number it was in 1966 when there were only 20 teams — 37.5% less than today — so it’s clearly a flawed, antiquated process. People like Dan Le Bartard (last year) and Buster Olny (this year) have taken various measures to make baseball fans more people aware of this issue.
Personally, I just don’t find the Hall of Fame to be that relevant. Any voting body that can allow Jim Rice in and not Bonds, or any number of pitchers over Clemens, pretty easily shows the self-righteous path baseball’s gatekeepers cling to.
I hate to sound like such a casino employee but, c’mon MLB. Get real. Just embrace the 90s-to-middle-aughts as a mistake — just like the gambling scams of the early 1900s was a mistake, or keeping black people out of the sport for fifty-plus years was a mistake — and welcome the history those players made.
Lastyly, If you’ve been wondering what Randy Johnson has been doing with his life, here ya go, presented to you as only E:60 can.