I have been watching baseball since I was a kid, I played little league, went to a lot of games over my lifetime, I grew up watching players like Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey, Pete Rose, and Cal Ripken Jr. Love the game, love the strategy, the movement of a curveball or a slider when it totally stops a hitter in his tracks, making him look like an idiot. I love the long ball, and got caught up in the excitement of 1998 when McGuire and Sosa raced for the HR title, loved watching Randy Johnson intimidate a .400 hitter with his 102 mph fastball. Today’s game is different than it was just 10 years ago, and the game then was different than how it was in the 80’s just like the game was different in the 80’s than it was in the 50’s and 60’s. However, what has not changed is the process to elect members to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and that, for me is something that should be changed. Too many times we have seen that deserving people do not get in, and too many times we have seen people that maybe should not have gotten in at the time get in on the first ballot. This is true for both the Baseball hall of fame and the NFL Hall of fame, the process to elect its members has become a “cool kids club” and those given the power to elect its members have used that power to set their agenda, and that my friends is wrong. Players should be judged for what they did on the field, not what kind of person they were, and the vote certainly should not be used to be your platform for some bullshit political agenda because some player was rude to you during an interview in 1986 when he was in college. Enshrinement in the Hall of Fame is a reward for a career of success, for being the best in your sport, and it is for being recognized by your peers for your achievements during your career.
Yesterday the BBWAA selected the 2014 class of Hall of Famers, and after all the votes were tallied 3 players got in, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas. These three will join managers Bobby Cox, tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre as fellow enshrinees in July when they are placed in Cooperstown and will forever be known as Hall of Fame players/managers. While in my opinion, Maddox should have been a unanimous decision, 16 people left him off their ballot, and while Craig Biggio is very deserving of being in the Hall and in fact should have probably gone in last year, he was 2 votes shy of being voted in. 2 votes!! think about that for a minute… if 2 people had ignored their agenda, Craig Biggio would have been a Hall of famer. One guy voted for jus one player.. Jack Morris, another voter left his ballot BLANK. so if they would have just checked one more box, Biggio is in. I read three articles regarding this on SB Nation this morning that fully explains the process, the snubs and how the MBWAA has become a sham, a joke, and a platform for those that feel they are bigger than the game. These articles can be found here here and here . please read them and post your feelings about this process below. These writers are much more talented than I am and can project much better than I the flawed process of how the voting is done.
Today the NFL will announce its 15 modern-day finalists for the class of 2014 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. These finalists will join 2 seniors nominees Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey. these finalists will be whittled down to the final choices at the final selection at the time of the Super Bowl and could end up being as much as 7 enshrinees to the Hall. The selection committee consists of one media rep from each of the 32 NFL cities, with NY getting 2 reps, one for each team. the rest of the committee has one member of the PFWA and 13 at large members. Once again this process is flawed as well and I have voiced my opinion on this process during my show countless times. It all boils down to politics, popularity, and people who have no business selecting the enshrinees any more than I do, since I never played the game nor am I a sportswriter that covers the game. the process is not perfect, and we all know that, but there has to be a better way to select these legends, while at the same time, honoring our past, the history of the game, and paying respect to those that put their bodies on the line week after week to play a game they love.