It's Broke and It Needs To Be Fixed
"From my dealings with Cal Ripken Jr. in the past, he was very pleasant, a good ambassador for the game, and his numbers speak for themselves," Ladewski said. "But I don't have enough information on the [steroids] subject to make a decision."
Ok...fair enough. Punish everyone even though there are some guys on the ballot that clearly were free of steroids and giant craniums.
"In an attempt to uphold the Hall of Fame standards established by their predecessors, I will not vote for anyone who played in the 1993-2004 period, which I consider to be the Steroids Era," Ladewski wrote in an e-mail to The Sun last month. "That includes Tony Gwynn, Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken Jr."
Wow. Just a second ago I thought you didn't have enough information on the subject to make a decision and yet you decided that the steroid era was 1993-2004....give or take a year.
I'm not mad about McGwire not getting in obviously since I'm on the fence he should ever get in. I agree with Mr. Ladewski that it's not up to us or him to decide who's guilty of roids, but my point is that it doesn't matter. You have to look at the players and measure them against their era. This period of baseball is in stark contrast to the dead ball era. There is better scouting, better conditioning, better equipment, smaller strike zones, smaller foul areas, smaller parks, and a dearth of solid pitching. Expansion has diluted the talent pool for pitching drastically and the aforementioned factors sure do not help. Just because a player hits 500+ homers does not mean that player should be inducted into the Hall of Fame anymore.
When the top six homerun totals of all time happened in the span of four years and have not been touched since, that must be taken into context when weighing out someone's career in my opinion. And while steroids are not a reason to keep anyone out the Hall of Fame, skewed numbers over a short period time are. What I cannot get over is that Mark McGwire was known as a power hitter and hit 23% of his homeruns in two of his sixteen seasons. Just let that sink in. McGwire was a great ball player for a long time and otherworldly in two seasons. Not cutting it for me. Barry Bonds is a no doubt induction into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot juice or not.
We've been over the fact that cheating has been around the game for a long time and it is not up the writers to factor that stuff in and decide which cheaters were worse. You would like too have the Hall be an honest and pristine thing, but it is hard to make an exact determination as to the effects cheating had on the game if it appreciably inflated everyone's numbers. We can assume that to be the case, but we cannot know beyond a reasonable doubt. However, to abstain from voting anyone in who played over that period is just the wrong thing to do. For one, it is irresponsible. What if Goose Gossage was two votes away from being voted in and the two blank ballots would have put him over the top? To see these writers take the high ground after the majority of them got to where they are by not behaving in the most benevolent of manners is laughable. I'm sure most of these writers never crossed any line in their careers and have always been champions of morality.
“I understand this is an unusually hard-line approach, but I believe it's my responsibility to uphold the Hall of Fame standards in whatever way necessary,” Ladewski said.
The Hall of Fame has been tarnished from letting unworthy players in. There are few standards to uphold at this point. Frankly, it's even more of a mockery that not one player has been voted in unanimously. If anything speaks more to what is wrong with the system, I do not know what does. Babe Ruth? Ted Williams? Hank Aaron? Even Tony Gwynn? C'mon. That really speaks to the human element here of a few writers holding something against these players for some reason and crying about morality or crying about preserving tradition. The only tradition I see with the Hall of Fame is one of self importance. People thinking they are more important than they really are.
“I will say this about unanimity,” said Jack O'Connell, secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA. “I don't think it will ever happen, and am not sure that it should. “What is wrong with dissent? Isn't that part of the American character? Not everybody voted for George Washington or Abe Lincoln, a couple of slam-dunk Hall of Famers, if you ask me. At the risk of being blasphemous, even Jesus did not get a unanimous vote at the Last Supper.”
And why shouldn't it happen? As Jason Stark pointed out, Gwynn's career batting average was higher than anyone else's since Ted Williams played the game and is at least 20 points ahead of everyone else. He hit .350 or better five years in a row and won eight batting titles and finished in the top ten in every full season of his career and in the top five in all but two. 15 time All-Star! Five Gold Gloves! The craziest stat of all is that he struck out fewer than 25 times in each season he hit .350 or better and never struck out more than 40 times and topped 30 only five times. I mean really...what else does the man need to do to garner a vote from everyone? Even if you are abstaining because of roids, Gwynn was a pudgy non-power hitter.
“I personally don't think we look particularly good as a group that we've never had a unanimous Hall of Famer,” ESPN's Tim Kurkjian said. “I mean, really – Willie Mays, Hank Aaron – give me a reason why somebody didn't vote for them. That's preposterous.
“... The fact that we haven't had (a unanimous choice), I don't think that's a tradition we should be preserving. I think it's a tradition we should be ending.”
I find it hard to care about the Hall of Fame and that is the real shame because I love this game.
Mulder is a luxury the Mets can afford, a potential top-flight starter who needs time and space to fully recover from surgery.
The Mets would likely seek assurance of a second year on the contract if Mulder rebounds
He is the only pitcher out there that has some upside. While it is hard to see him gaining Cy Young candidate form, he is clearly a potential impact arm and we know he is not asking for a lot of years. Seems like a good fit for a team like the Mets who do not necessarily need to add a starter. I get the uncertainty between the young guys and Pedro already, but the Mets have enough arms that they should be confident a few of them actually stick.
Brendan (New York, New York) : It's a shame that Paul O'Neill will not be on any future Hall of Fame ballots. He was one of the most fiery competitors to ever play the game and was an integral part of the Yankees dynasty in the late 90s. The guy won five championships and deserves to be in the Hall.
Ha! Jackass. Brendan my friend, how do you manage to get up and the morning and remember the underwear goes on the inside....actually...maybe I'm being too presumptuous here.
Peter (Dubuque, Iowa: Thurman Munson should be in the Hall. Yes, he played for only 10 years but he played more games during that time, was ROY, MVP, All Star 7 times, and Gold Glover 3 times.
Dave (PA): I admit this question is biased, but Donnie Baseball only got 9.9%. Is there any way at all that he is going to get a closer look? Is he going to have to wait for the veterans' committee, if at all?
SportsNation Rob Neyer: I think it's safe to say he's going to have to wait for a long while. He certainly was better than a number of first basemen who are in the Hall, but like Dale Murphy and Alan Trammell he's been overshadowed by the hitters of the 1990s.
al (DC): gotta love NY-bias, whats next Chad Curtis?
SportsNation Rob Neyer: Don't be silly. But you know, Luis Sojo did nothing but win World Serieses.
If Sojo doesn't get in, it will be an injustice of biblical proportions.