I have been tasked with writing a reaction piece to the Hall of Fame announcement that both Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell will not be inducted this year.
Craig Biggio fell two votes shy with 74.8% of the vote; Jeff Bagwell dropped to 54% of the vote.
I imagine you're expecting some outrage and angry words, but the truth is I just don't care anymore. I decided that this year I wouldn't read any Hall of Fame articles or join in on the Twitter debate and it's been everything I could have hoped for and more. I'm calm, I'm relaxed and I'm looking forward to Spring Training baseball in two months.
I don't need validation from a collection of writers from baseball and the Olympics and every other non-baseball writer in the BBWAA to tell me how great Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell were and every other candidate I think deserving. I'm not going to allow my validation of a great player rest on a process that has turned into what a lot of those writers hate: the comment section of an internet article.
That's right the whole Hall of Fame voting process is filled with flames, trolls and the occasional intelligent comment. The process is a cesspit of agendas and hand-wringing
Don't get me wrong, I think most of the voters get it. It's a small group of trolls that have turned this process into a putrid debate requiring certain players with a certain profile to prove they never used something. The process appears to have failed and I just don't care anymore. Each year the BBWAA avoids electing a deserving player it loses another shred of it's credibility and it's not just because of the PED issue.
There is a five year waiting period for a player after his final game, yet voters wait until a player becomes eligible to analyze his career. "The stats need to stew a bit" they say. Or better still, some will tag a player as not a first ballot player. When a player goes into the hall, what ballot he got in on doesn't matter. There's a plaque there lauding his career. Now some are groaning about a stuffed ballot and 10 isn't enough. YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING. The only reason why 10 wouldn't be enough is because there are certain writers handing in blank ballots or only voting for Jack Morris because he didn't play in the Steroid Era (Hint: he did) or voting of Jacque Jones, Armando Benitez, Kenny Rogers, J.T. Snow (yes, I realize he saved a child once at home plate), etc.
Which leads me to the issue of the voting pool. Once a writer is accepted into the prestigious BBWAA there's a 10 year waiting period. Which was probably an ideal time for a writers in previous years. David Coleman got into the BBWAA has been covering baseball for a few years now here on the site and at his actual job. He won't vote get to vote on the Hall of Fame until 2022. I'm not necessarily saying he should get a vote now but in a few years I think he's fully qualified to vote on the Hall of Fame if not earlier. Unfortunately, that won't change because the people in charge had to wait 10 years so everyone will wait 10 years.
And while David is on his way to getting a Hall of Fame vote baseball experts like Rob Neyer, who's been doing this for a really long time, can't even get into the BBWAA. That also goes for Alyson Footer, Brian McTaggart, most other internet writers and broadcasters. You're telling me Jim DeShaies or Bill Brown haven't seen enough baseball to vote on the Hall of Fame? But the guy willing to vote for Armando Benitez with, mind you, a stuffed ballot does? Give me a break.
Do you see why I've stopped caring? It's just not worth it.
Oh, and once you get a vote you have it FOREVER. Even if a BBWAA member quits his job, stops watching baseball and starts a career at Lowes he still gets a ballot shipped to him every year.
The process has failed and it will continue to fail (in it's current state) and I will continue to not care.
Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell are already Hall of Famers, and I don't need some organization doing a half-ass job telling me they aren't.
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