Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How Am I Supposed To Vote For Players In The Hall Of Fame?

In an era (at least the last twenty years) tainted by steroids in baseball, there has been much speculation over who deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame and who doesn't. This issue has raised much debate everywhere and this is why I say the exploitation of steroids has ruined baseball rather then helped it. Because you don't know 100 percent who did and did not take steroids, you either have to vote all the deserving players into the Hall Of Fame or none at all.

One way people shouldn't vote is based on race or who they like or dislike. On a poll on ESPN, America as a whole voted that they would elect Mark McGwire into the baseball Hall Of Fame over Barry Bonds. I suspect that's because the public just doesn't like Barry Bonds and that's not what the Hall Of Fame is about. Rather, the Hall Of Fame praises those who have impacted the game of baseball in a tremendous way and left a lasting mark on the game. Who better fits this description than the all-time home run leader Barry Bonds (steroids or not, it still takes timing, skill, and accuracy to hit the damn ball)? Also, do people forget how McGwire and Sammy Sosa revitalized baseball during the home run chase back in 1998. I bet the MLB knew they were taking steroids (see my conspiracy in baseball article), but baseball let it slide because they were bringing in massive income, fans, and ratings. And you mean to tell me now we hate these guys when all they did was entertain us, which was what he wanted all along?

Why did I go on a tear about Mark McGwire? Because he was NOT voted into the Hall Of Fame this year and that's wrong, especially after what he did for baseball. I suspect that's because people believe he took steroids and doesn't deserve to be voted in. This goes back to my earlier statement. In an era where practically every all-star and CY Young winner used some kind of performance enhancing drug and you really don't know who is telling the truth and who is lying, you either have to vote nobody into the Hall Of Fame or vote the players who deserve to be there into the Hall Of Fame as if steroids weren't an issue. I see no other way to do it. You can't pick and choose because of who you think took steroids.

So, who did get voted in this year? Rich "Goose" Gossage became only the fifth relief pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame, earning baseball's highest honor Tuesday in his ninth try on the ballot. Known for his overpowering fastball, fiery temperament and bushy mustache, the Goose received 466 of 543 votes (85.8 percent) from 10-year members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. "It was very emotional I'll tell you, off the charts. I can't describe the feeling," Gossage said after learning the news. "I can't lie. There's been some frustration and some disappointment."

Jim Rice was passed over yet again in his next-to-last year on the ballot, getting 392 votes (72.2 percent), up from 346 (63.5 percent) last year but 16 short of the 75 percent needed. "Today's results are obviously a disappointment," Rice said in a statement. "I believe my accomplishments speak for themselves, and a majority of the voters seem to agree. It is tough to come this close, but I remain hopeful for the 2009 results."

Mark McGwire, a casualty of the Steroids Era in some writers' minds, received just 128 votes -- the exact total he had last year. His percentage increased slightly to 23.6 percent, up from 23.5 percent last year when he was on the ballot for the first time.

Rich "Goose" Gossage was the only player voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the 2008 ballot. Jim Rice, who has just one year remaining on the ballot, finished just 16 votes short of induction. Players remain on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years as long as they receive 5 percent of the vote.

Player Votes Pct.
Goose Gossage 466 85.8
Jim Rice 392 72.2
Andre Dawson 358 65.9
Bert Blyleven 336 61.9
Lee Smith 235 43.3
Jack Morris 233 42.9
Tommy John 158 29.1
Tim Raines 132 24.3
Mark McGwire 128 23.6
Alan Trammell 99 18.2
Dave Concepcion 88 16.2
Don Mattingly 86 15.8
Dave Parker 82 15.1
Dale Murphy 75 13.8
Harold Baines 28 5.2

Others receiving votes: Rod Beck 2, Travis Fryman 2, Robb Nen 2, Shawon Dunston 1, Chuck Finley 1, David Justice 1, Chuck Knoblauch 1, Todd Stottlemyre 1.

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