Monday, July 25, 2011
The calm before the Hall of Fame storm
I hope you enjoyed the Hall of Fame ceremony yesterday. Pat Gillick, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven all deserved to be voted in. I have supported Tim Raines, Jack Morris, Barry Larkin and Dave Parker in the past.
With the Cobra off of the ballot, there is good news for Raines, Morris and Larkin:
Next year's first time Hall of Fame ballot stinks.
I'm not kidding.
My dad and I went down the list of all the players who will be on the ballot for the very first time.
Heads and shoulders above all the other first time candidates is Bernie Williams.
Look, Bernie was a terrific player and a Red Sox killer. He was a champion who wore the pinstripes with honor and had clutch post season moments in the 1990s and the 2000s.
Nobody is denying that his #51 deserves to be retired at Yankee Stadium and he should get standing ovations in the Bronx for the rest of his life.
The only reason he should be at the Hall of Fame induction is if he is hired to be the musical act.
And he's BY FAR the best new candidate.
The other new candidates?
Not a valid argument for one of them. Other than Bernie Williams, what player deserves 5% of the vote to keep them on the ballot a second year?
Williams is the only person on that list that I think has a prayer of being on the ballot in 2013, and that will probably be because a lot of sports writers think he is a nice guy.
So with writers feeling like they should put SOMEONE on their ballots, Larkin, Morris, Raines and maybe even Lee Smith will get some more love than usual. Maybe 1 or 2 of them will be pushed over the top.
And I hope they do because next year will be the last normal voting year before the dreaded 2013 ballot.
Sure there were juicers on last year's ballot and Mark McGwire, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro will return for more (or less) votes next January. (So will Jeff Bagwell, a slender hitter with limited power who packed on muscle fast, hung out with Ken Caminiti and became a Hall of Famer. Not saying anything except facts.)
But the two big fish are eligible in 2013.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
(Throw in Sammy Sosa too for good measure.)
2013 will be the LEAST FUN Hall of Fame vote in history. The feats of Bonds and Clemens will be staring at us all in the face... and nobody will know what to do.
It's great news for Craig Biggio, whose 3,000 hits will get him in automatically (just ask Rafael Palmeiro and Pete Rose.)
And it will probably be great news for Mike Piazza (although there have been louder whispers about Piazza's physique than for Bagwell.)
Voters won't know what the hell to do. So the borderline cases might ALL get in as a way to procrastinate or put off the inevitable.
All I know is this:
The next few years of Hall of Fame voting will be so NOT fun that you will become nostalgic for debating over Robbie Alomar spitting in an umpire's face.