Hall of Fame Picks TBA January 24th

 

Tis now the baseball part of winter season to be jolly, angry, relieved, or disappointed.

On January 24th, the BBWAA will announce their 2018 selections for induction into the Hall of Fame this summer and, as you may see from the choices that are probable, there is room for all the referenced emotional reactions to that outcome, plus a few others of less tempered exposition. All it takes,  after all, is for a candidate to gather 75% of the votes cast against standards that never have been established as the clearly objective guidelines for both performance and morality.

It may be a good idea to review the list of returning and new candidates here before proceeding deeper into your own thoughts in this matter,and how these impact your own choices for support or opposition. This link will take you to the least politicized presentation of the candidates – and that’s a good thing. Too much is getting in the way of clear decision-making and why should it not? When issues for choice are not clearly defined by objective standards, ambivalent reactions are to expected to “who gets in” and “who does not”:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/awards/hof_2018.shtml

So Who Gets In This Time? Anything any of us say is still a guess, but the obvious bets among previous ballot candidates are Trevor Hoffman (74.0%) and Vladimir Guerrero (71.7%) from last year.

Among the new guys, and based upon both their impressive batting stats and character reputations, and in my book, Chipper Jones and Jim Thome appear to own an arguable edge over all others.  I tried to stay away from all candidates that did not have strong arguable points of objection. Then I remembered. When a HOF induction contest lacks the clarity of “three strikes and you’re out” – that there is no such pick.

Given the front-loading fact that the Modern Era Committee picked Alan Trammell and Jack Morris in December for this same 2018 induction class, this could be one of the biggest player induction classes we have seen in years.

Is There a Way to Objectify Performance and Character Standards into Some Kind of Measurable Format for Determining Induction? The problem leaks all over the place. Mike Mussina can’t get in because his 270 starter wins leave him 30 wins short of the magical 300 win mark. – Roger Clemens has 354 wins – way over the magic pitching stat number – but he’s one of those whose steroid use has placed him on the “deny his existence and ignore” list with BBWAA voters, factual going on for six years now. – And here’s why. – It’s not because of any changes that the HOF votes on performance for both Clemens and Barry Bonds are now on the rise. It’s because more of the older writers who opposed the steroid boys are now either dead or retired – and the new, younger voters don’t seem to be as bothered as much by what happened as their predecessors were. The newer voters may also be aware that nothing new in the courts has transpired over time to clarify on a case-by-case proven basis what happened with each steroid-smeared player from that era.

Even a Couple of Black Sox Found Sympathy Over Time. Baseball’s two most famous gambling scandals belong to eight members of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox and much later, to Pete Rose. Over time, their own passing – and the passing of all those who condemned them – especially Commissioner Landis who condemned them, a couple of the old condemned Sox, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver, have been restored by writers into the “innocent condemned men” category. In Jackson’s case, it is pretty much into the special “innocent condemned Hall of Famer” category that Clemens and Bonds now occupy for very different reasons. Again, the passage of time and changes in the culture have contributed to a softening of attitude, but not toward the deeds themselves. It’s something sown into our American Spirit from early on. – Anything that denies, shortcuts, or replaces individual due process will be revisited. Even if it takes a later generation to see the need and to approach resolution with greater dispassion.

Maybe it’s time we had a broader dialogue going – beyond the select company of writers who do most of the voting now – and start searching for a better, clearer way of inducting people into the Hall of Fame.

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

Tags:

3 Responses to “Hall of Fame Picks TBA January 24th”

  1. Wayne Roberts Says:

    I still think the HOF should be a best of the best. Limit membership to, say 200. When someone gets voted in, someone gets bumped out. In my opinion, too many marginal players have been admitted.

    • Fred Soland Says:

      Wayne, that is not practical at all, although I understand what you are getting at. The problem is once enshrined, you can’t just say, “it was only temporary. The fact that there are many older players enshrined who were marginal players on great teams, the quality factor was weakened years ago. Then as the benchmarks fell, new players who destroy the stats of the older players already in, are being penalized because they are claiming different eras. Then you take in the steroids era and now they all want to be vigilant. A truer representative factoring might be the top 0.5% of players all time. Add up every player who played the game, multiply that total by 0.5% ( this would indicate your best of the best) and the HOF could never have a greater population than that. That way, the hall’s capacity would increase at the same rate over time, and the best players get in

  2. Wayne Roberts Says:

    That would be better than what we have now. To me the HOF is no more restrictive than the retired jerseys hanging at Minute Maid. It means nothing more now than you’re not Pete Rose, Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: