Hall of Shame Bakeoff: Joe Fitz vs. Dan Shaughnessy

January 12, 2013

No Hall of Fame inductees for you!

And – wait for it – very different takes in the local dailies.

Dan Shaughnessy’s Thursday Boston Globe  column:

46171382H6239713A Hall of Fame ballot without a whiff of PED usage

The poison ballot remained on my desk, unopened until Dec. 31.

I knew what was in there. Hardball anthrax. Nothing could be gained from tearing it open. Only bad things could come of it.

But I am a card-carrying member of the much-loathed Baseball Writers Association of America. I’ve been honored with a Hall of Fame ballot since 1987. It’s the most important responsibility that comes with membership.

And it has become the worst exercise of the year.

On Wednesday, one day before the Oscar nominations are announced, the BBWAA will announce the results of this year’s Hall of Fame election. It’s going to be another dreadful day for the BBWAA, for baseball, for Mom, apple pie, and America.

I voted for Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, and Curt Schilling.

I did not vote for the greatest home run hitter of all-time. I did not vote for a guy who won 354 games and seven Cy Young trophies. I did not vote for a guy who hit 60 or more homers in a season three times. I did not vote for a catcher who hit 427 home runs. I did not vote for a first baseman who hit 449 home runs. I did not vote for a guy who hit 569 homers and cracked 3,020 hits. I did not vote for a guy who hit 70 homers in a season.

 

Joe Fitzgerald’s Boston Herald  column today:

Hall of Fame BaseballWhy I cast Hall of Fame vote for Clemens

When a few folks discovered this writer had a vote in last month’s Hall of Fame balloting, there was not only an interest in the decisions he made, but also a demand to know what he was thinking if he wasn’t on the same page they were, as if a disagreement was intensely personal to them . . .

For what it’s worth, here’s why Roger Clemens received a vote here, a vote that had much less to do with baseball than it did with adherence to a principle.

First of all, if Clemens used a performance enhancer, it was not to have a Hall of Fame career, but rather to extend one.

The key word there is “if,” though very little doubt exists in the court of public opinion. Thankfully, the court of public opinion isn’t where we look for justice.

The law tried to nail Clemens twice and it failed both times.

But that made no difference to many of the writers who would ban him, explaining suspicions were sufficient to deny him induction.

Suspicions? Is that all that’s now needed to convict someone?

Sorry, boys, it doesn’t work that way, or at least it’s not supposed to.

Different strokes for different papers.

Good, yes?


Hall of Fame/Hall of Shame

December 16, 2012

Interesting split decision in today’s Boston Globe sports pages over Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, which is currently underway.

Commissioner Emeritus Bob Ryan makes his position clear from the get-go.

I’m not voting for Bonds, Clemens, or Sosa

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I am in possession of the toxic ballot.

It is the Hall of Fame ballot voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) have dreaded for the last five years. Our feet are finally being held to the bonfire. How will we as a body judge the candidacy of the all-time home run leader, the only man to win seven Cy Young Awards, and a man with 609 career home runs who is the only person to homer 60 times or more in three seasons?

Absent, shall we say, a complicating factor, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa would be ultra-mortal locks. Based on the numbers, there wouldn’t be the slightest hesitation in checking the box next to their names.

But what sports fan doesn’t know there is a complicating factor?

 

The rest of the piece has Ryan wrestling with/explaining his choices. The final score:

Summing it up: Yes to [Jeff] Bagwell, [Craig] Biggio, [Edgar] Martinez, [Jack] Morris, [Mike] Piazza, [Tim] Raines, and [Curt] Schilling. Sorry to anyone else not named Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire , and Palmeiro.

 

By contrast, Globe baseball scribe Nick Cafardo skipped the Hamlet stuff and just included this in his Sunday Baseball Notes column:

Roger ClemensBarry BondsSammy SosaMike PiazzaJeff BagwellCraig BiggioAlan TrammellTim Raines, and Jack Morris were all checked on my Hall of Fame ballot.

 

Reasoning, we hope, to come.

Crosstown at the Boston Herald, meanwhile, no mention whatsoever of the Hall. It’s not like there are no BBWAA voting members at the feisty local tabloid – Steve Buckley, Jeff Horrigan, and Michael Silverman are listed on Wikipedia‘s BBWAA roster.

We’ll let you know if they let us know.

 


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