Monday, January 12, 2009

HALL OF FAMER JAY BELL!!!! The only way these writers can learn a lesson!

Rickey Henderson is in the Hall of Fame... and it wasn't unanimous.

Some voters... 28 of them... didn't think the All Time Stolen Base king, the All Time Runs Scored leader, the second All Time leader in walks, the 1989 ALCS MVP, the 1990 AL MVP, the greatest leadoff hitter of all time isn't worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Jay Bell got 2 votes.

Jay Bell!

2 voters put Jay Bell, a nice player who had 3 or 4 nice seasons and scored the winning run of the 2001 World Series but not exactly an immortal on their ballots to be enshrined with Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron.

And how much do you want to bet some of those those 28 people who left Henderson off put Bell on!

Why is this?
Do those voters REALLY think that Rickey didn't merit a Hall vote or Bell did?

Of course not.

There are two moronic tendencies of Hall of Fame voters that keep Rickey from being voted in unanimously and allow Bell to get any votes.

1) No player has ever been elected in unanimously and voters feel that no player should be because that would imply they are better than those already voted in. Or something stupid like that.


2) Some voters throw a vote to a player they knew as kind of a favor so they don't have the indignity of having zero Hall of Fame votes.

And the only way writers will end this stupid habit is to have a wonderfully insane scenario happen that isn't 100% farfetched.

- Enough voters leave off a sure fire Hall of Famer to make sure they aren't unanimous that it takes them off the Ballot completely. (Mike and Mike brought this up on their show pondering how someone like Greg Maddux would be left off the ballot forever due to this stupid mindset.)

- Enough voters throw a sympathy vote to a non deserving entity that they get elected into the Hall of Fame.

Imagine that... enough Corky Simpsons of the world forget to put Rickey on the ballot and enough nitwits who say "Well, is he a FIRST BALLOT Hall of Famer?" use the ballot as a protest that he gets less than the 5% needed to stay on.

Read Corky Simpson's column:

He votes for Matt Williams because liked him as a Diamondback and lumps Rickey Henderson in with Ron Gant and

And I didn't pick Jay Bell by accident.
Jesse Orosco got a single vote... but Bell got plural votes.

And I think it would be worth it to have that happen...
For example this year's class.

It would be worth it to have Rickey Henderson off the ballot and Jay Bell in the Hall of Fame if it meant forever changing writers.

Because let's face it, Rickey would get in with the veteran's committee. They might even do an emergency vote.

And it would also be fun to see all the writers who did vote for Bell but not for Henderson have to explain their vote.

Also the awkwardness of the Hall of Fame ceremony as Jay Bell stands up there in front of Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Yogi Berra... holding his plaque that says "JAY BELL... A PRETTY GOOD PLAYER"... probably feeling like Kevin Kline in Dave wondering "What am I doing here?"

... it would be worth it.


  1. What is the difference between Jay Bell and Jim Rice? Oh yeah. Bell has a ring. Based on your rule for closers that is the final piece to the puzzle, right? :-)

    Both played over 2000 games. Rice had a few great seasons. Bell had one great season. Defensively, Rice was a better DH than LF. Bell was a slightly above average SS. Actually you're right that Bell should not have gotten a single vote, but probably neither should be in the Hall.

    As for your larger argument about protest non-votes and tip of the hat friendly votes, I've long argued that the 5% drop off and the automatic in with 75% could create a major problem with a couple players. Bonds and Casey. Bonds is a great player but hated. Casey is an average player but universally loved. Bonds could accidentally fall off the ballot despite being one of the top 10 players ever. Sean Casey could be enshrined despite not being a top 200 player.

  2. How many times was Jay Bell in the top 5 for MVP?
    How many homerun titles did he have?
    Was Jay Bell one of the elite players in the game for 12 seasons?
    For 1?

    Ahhh.... I took your bait!
    I would make a terrible fish!

    But notice I made the argument with Rickey and Jay Bell, not Rice.

    As for Bonds, I think anyone who DOESN'T vote him is nuts.
    But there will be, no doubt

  3. Anonymous6:11 PM

    If any voter were to not vote for a player simply to ensure that player isn't unanimous - it would be like trying to throw a game. I think they should be banned from the BBWAA forever and classed with Chick Gandil and Pete Rose.

    In addition, such a thing should lead to an investigation of collusion or conspiracy among the BBWAA voters. After all, in order to ensure a non-unanimous vote while ensuring there's no embarrassment of the deserving player being left off the ballot for'd have to consult most of the other voters to be sure you don't all have the same idea of leaving the player off your ballot. This would be bad. Very bad.

    The past 3 years, I've started to suspect the current crop of voters (for the most part) as having agendas. How does Sutter get in before Gossage? How is Henderson not a unanimous choice? Serious questions are starting to pile up. Fortunately they haven't caused any major problems yet, but I do not like the trend I'm seeing develop.

  4. I was, of course, kidding about the Bell and Rice comparison. Here is a little Bell trivia. After the Indians traded Bert Blyleven to the Twins for a prospect named Jay Bell, Bell ended up hitting his first career homer off of Bert.

  5. Anonymous9:01 PM

    You should relax - about Jay Bell, at least. I doubt that the two Bell voters left Henderson off their ballots. And if a couple of writers, knowing that Bell is unlikely to stay on the ballot past this year, want to give Bell a "shout out" on their ballots, why not? I doubt those two voters intended their vote as any more than that.

    The voters who did not vote for Henderson - whether it was because of their not paying attention, race, or not wanting anyone to be unanimous - are more of a real problem.

  6. What if 75% of the writers give a shout out?
    Suddenly we have Jay Bell sitting next to Whitey Ford and Bob Gibson.

    Pete Rose's head would explode

  7. Anonymous10:02 AM

    Don't even make jokes about Jay Bell and Jim Rice. In Jay Bell's wildest dreams he is chauffeuring Jim Rice around town and picking up his dry cleaning.

  8. You gentlemen are not fit to wipe Jay Bell's cleats! He was a consistent player who treated the fans with courtesy and respect. The least you could do is treat this player with the same. When you are willing to give up all the things it takes just to make the Majors you can talk- otherwise treat with respect.

  9. So I take it you think Jay Bell is a Hall of Famer and Rickey Henderson isn't