What Annoyed Me About This Year's HOF Voting

So, I've given it 24 hours to digest the Hall of Fame voting this year.  Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar both got in.  Thank goodness, since Robbie was jobbed last year and Bert has been being screwed for over a decade now.  Here's how the top ten nominees fared with the percentage of votes they received.  Keep in mind, it takes 75% to get in.

Roberto Alomar:  90%
Bert Blyleven:  79.7%
Barry Larkin:  62.1%
Jack Morris:  53.5%
Lee Smith:  45.3%
Jeff Bagwell:  41.7%
Tim Raines:  37.5%
Edgar Martinez:  32.9%
Alan Trammell:  24.3%
Larry Walker:  20.3%

Other notables:  Mark McGwire with 19.8%, Don Mattingly with 13.6%, Rafael Palmeiro with 11.0%, and Juan Gonzalez with 5.2%.

Since this is a Tigers blog, let me first address those guys.  Trammell is my second favorite player of all time.  But he isn't a Hall of Famer.  I've already discussed that here and here in the past. 

Neither is Jack Morris.  I've flirted with the idea of Jack being included, but much like Kirk Gibson, he was a good player with some great moments.  That shouldn't override the face that Jack just doesn't have Hall-worthy numbers.  And don't give me that "Most Wins in the 80's" junk, either.  First, wins are overrated.  Second, just because it is in the same decade, that doesn't make it better.  Who won the most games from 1995 to 2005?  I don't know.  It doesn't matter.  If you do know, you probably need to get laid.  Point is, I love Jack, but he doesn't belong in there.  In fact, forget all that.  Read this by David at BYB.  He said it much better than I could.

Juan Gonzalez is an ass.  I hope a helicopter crashes into his house.  He shouldn't even be allowed to visit the Hall of Fame.

What would my ballot have been if I were an old, white, bitter sportswriter?  (Those are the qualifications, by the way.)

1.  Bert Blyleven
2.  Roberto Alomar
3.  Jeff Bagwell
4.  Mark McGwire
5.  Pete Rose (write-in)

Bagwell's numbers are unreal if you look at them.  Please do so.  Big Mac has a career OPS+ of 162.  That's ridiculous.  Hate steroids all you want, but most of the league was on them.  Get over it.  If putting a shot into your ass was the sole reason to hit the ball that well, everyone would have hit 50 homers a year.  As for Pete, he's a dick of a human being, but he should have his own wing of the Hall named after him.  As long as he didn't bet AGAINST the Reds...let the man in.  Geez.

Larkin was a great player, but like Trammell, only had one really awesome year and was hurt a lot of the time.  Lee Smith sucked.  Saves are stupid.  Edgar and Raines were really good players, and I might be able to be talked into their inclusion...but not right now.

If you want better in-depth looks into it, check out Lee's piece on it or this excellent article written before the voting came out by Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times.  But that isn't the purpose of this blog piece.

I'm pissed again.  It's not because Bags and McGwire got hosed.  It's something much worse.  Follow after the jump to find out why...

I take the Hall of Fame voting very seriously.  That may sound weird to read on a mostly (attempted) humor blog such as DesigNate Robertson.  But it's the truth.  Baseball is a religion to me and the Hall of Fame is the place for the immortals of the game.  The sportswriters that are in charge of the voting have the important task of being fair and impartial to the legends that played Major League Baseball.  And nothing pisses Your Party Host off more than when they don't do their jobs.

Marquis Grissom received 4 votes.  Bret Boone and Benny Santiago each received a vote.  And friggin' BJ Surhoff received two.  TWO!  A man with a career OPS+ of 98 that was a journeyman for most of his career was thought to be a Hall of Famer by two of these guys.  Look.  BJ was a solid hand and I have the utmost respect for a guy that spent 19 years in the bigs.  But Surhoff belongs in the Hall of Fame as much as I belong in People magazine's Sexiest Man of the Year issue.  Doesn't make sense.

Barry Stanton, an ESPN news editor, is one of the men that voted for Surhoff.  He also voted for Morris, Edgar AND Tino Martinez, and Don Mattingly.  (Tino and Donnie Baseball?  Yankee fan, ya think?)  He did not vote for Blyleven or Alomar.  He is a f-cking idiot.

Why in the name of Ty Cobb's racist ghost would Stanton cast such an important vote for BJ Surhoff?  Here is the man himself in ESPN's Hall of Fame chat:

"In 1976, I was just out of college and working my first job at the Port Chester (NY) Daily Item, covering a Babe Ruth 13-year-old tournament. The starting pitcher for the team from Rye was supposed to be their star, a big kid named Rich Surhoff, whose father Dick had played for the NY Knicks in the 1950s. Surhoff did, in fact, make it to the major leagues, spending nine games with the Philadelphia Phillies. But that day, the pitcher's younger brother was the one who caught my attention. He was only 12 years old and playing with the older kids, playing shortstop. On consecutive plays, I saw him range behind third base to the left field line and throw out a runner, then range the other way all the way behind first to catch a tricky pop that eluded a teammate.

After that game, I told BJ I thought that someday, I'd be watching him in the major leagues. For the next few years, I watched BJ become a local star at Rye HS, covering his games occasionally. And I remember telling him then that someday, I'd be voting for him for the Hall of Fame. Surhoff, went on to a career at UNC, became the No. 1 pick of the draft, played on our first Olympic baseball team. He had a very good (though not great) career for 18 years in MLB. And then there he was on my ballot (I've been a BBWAA member since 1985 and have had a Hall of Fame vote since '95). So I remembered that promise (though I honestly can't say if BJ does) and checked the box."

On the negative reaction that his vote for Surhoff received: 

"The reaction to that astounds me. I expected people who didn’t know the story to question that vote. But the sheer level of nastiness, the anger, amazes me. I really didn't think BJ would get elected. I'd be surprised if he got another vote besides mine. And I'm fine with that. BJ was a very good player and a good guy (check out the work he's done for autism, sparked by his autistic son). He earned the fulfillment of that 35-year-old promise. And who, exactly did that hurt? If voting for BJ cost someone who deserved entry, I wouldn't have done it. And if the rules said that everybody who got one vote got in, then I definitely wouldn't have done it. But it didn’t."

Again...I respect BJ Surhoff.  He was a solid player and sounds like a great human being.  But this is the Hall of Fame.  The story is nice, but the fact remains that you did not take your job seriously.  Of course BJ wasn't going to get elected, but a Hall of Fame vote is something that I think should be taken very seriously.  And anyone that doesn't, doesn't respect the Hall of Fame the way it should be.  

He also admitted that he probably would have voted for Alomar NEXT YEAR, but didn't this year.  What the f-ck, people?  Am I the only sane person left on this planet?  I hope Barry Stanton gets raped with a lawn dart.

And what REALLY bugs me...COULD NOT ONE OF YOU GREY DICKED BASTARDS HAVE GIVEN BOBBY HIGGINSON JUST ONE VOTE?  Come on!  Stupid Grissom gets four and Bobby can't get one?  Sigh...

I hate everything.  Especially Barry Stanton.