Well it’s Monday, so clearly I have nothing better to do than sit here and think about how much of a joke the MLB hall of fame election has become. I love baseball. I grew up on baseball. While most Canadian kids were mired in their quests to become mediocre junior "A" hockey players, I was busy throwing a tennis ball off my garage from varying distances to improve my already sick fielding skills. However, it’s become clear to me in the past few years the election process for admission to the hall of fame is at best, a complete farce.
The class of 2008 only included one man. Rich “Goose” Gossage was finally enshrined in Cooperstown on his 9th attempt, receiving 466 or 85.8% of the vote (75% is needed for admission, with 5% required to stay on the ballot). Unfortunately, Jim Rice fell short (by 16 votes this time) for the 14th time. 2009 is Rice's final year of eligibility, when he will be jockeying for votes against shoe-in Rickey Henderson and those who fell short in 2008, a list including: Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines & Mark McGwire (who incidentally received the exact same number of votes, 128, as last year.) There is always the Veteran's committee Jim.
Let’s take a few steps back to the year 2000, Gossage’s first on the ballot. He received a paltry 33.3% or 166 votes. Goose Gossage last threw a pitch on August 8th, 1994 for the Seattle Mariners. What in holy hell, has he done, since that date, and better still, since that date in 2000 when the writers voted, to further his credentials for entrance into the hall of fame? Could it be, absolutely nothing? How in 2008 do 85.8% of these clowns vote for a guy who in 2000 was only worth 33.3% of the vote. You don’t become a hall of famer after you retire. What makes you a hall of famer is what you did DURING your career, or so I thought. Another oddity of this ridiculous comedy is that in that same year (2000) when Gossage received 33.3% of the vote, Jim Rice received 51.5% of it. Strangely, I can’t make my brain understand how Gossage became more of a hall of famer than Rice in that time. I have heard that trying to analyze it too closely though can lead to insanity and severe cases of diarrhea. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though, since these idiot writers are the same individuals who cast votes for Todd Stottlemyre, Dave Justice, Chuck Finley, Robb Nen, Travis Fryman and Shawon Dunston.
Does the Goose deserve to be a hall of famer? Who knows? The criteria for entrance into the hall seems to change based on the individual, so it’s hard to say. As a reliever, only a handful of whom have been admitted, there isn’t much frame of reference. I know that I wouldn’t have voted for him. Does Rice belong in the hall of fame? I don’t know, but I do know he has comparable numbers to other who have been admitted.
Here is what I do know: you either ARE or you AREN’T a hall of famer. I’m not going to argue who should or shouldn’t be in the hall of fame. It makes little difference to me who gets in. I know what I think makes someone worthy of entrance and for whom I’d reserve my votes. Apparently I’m on a different page than the BBWAA. It shouldn’t take you 13 attempts to get into the hall Bruce Sutter, it should take you just one. I’ll say this much, if you didn’t get my vote the first year you were on the ballot, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll never fucking vote for you.
NOTE – One thing that should be taken into account is that my vote can be bought for significant monetary sums. For enough money, fucking Delino DeShields can have my vote.