Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Hall of Fame 2006
I just can't drum up any enthusiasm about the dreadfully depressing Alito hearings, so I'm going to talk about baseball instead.
Congratulations to Bruce Sutter for getting the golden ticket to Cooperstown this year. They say he is only the fourth relief pitcher to make the Hall of Fame and the first to have never started a game during his career.
It was his 12th shot at being elected and you only get 15 tries before they kick you over to the Veteran's Committee (which hasn't elected anyone since 2000 and has been reformatted so as to make it almost impossible).
When it comes to the Hall of Fame, I'm a populist. I generally agree with this guy.
...the selection process needs to be changed. Writers should have a say, but so should fans and so should players (though the veterans committee's record hasn't exactly been spotless). The Hall belongs to the game, the fans and the players as well as the writers. It's our gift to future generations of fans, and it'd be a shame to leave it in the hands of a people who don't seem to appreciate that.
If it were up to me, there would be a whole lot more players in the Hall of Fame starting with this guy.
So I'm apalled when I read articles like this by people who want to make the Hall even more exclusive than it already is.
When I see situations like this where only one guy manages to squeak by with more than 75 percent of the vote, I know it is not because all the writers are just disbursing their votes randomly, but because about 25 percent of them have this same arrogant nobody-is-good-enough-for-me attitude and are turning their ballots in blank.
As it is, we are letting people into the Hall at a bare trickle, just one or two per year. (Next year is guaranteed to have at least two with Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn on the ballot for the first time.)
So while I'm happy for Sutter making the cut, I think there are quite a few more players who deserve admittance as well. As they point out over at Off the Kuff, Goose Gossage is arguably more deserving than Sutter so maybe that will work in his favor on future ballots.
Finally, I will just note with no little bitterness that this was technically the last year of eligibility for Pete Rose, the all-time Hits leader and one of the greatest ballplayers of all time. Unfortunately, the current baseball commissioner stubbornly refused to act on Rose's request for readmittance to baseball even after making his public apology and everything else that was demanded of him.