Monday, January 12, 2009

Blyleven Non-Election A Huge Mistake: Again!

Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson were elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame today. The voters didn't elect pitcher Bert Blyleven, outfielder Andre Dawson and a couple of others worthy of HOF status.

Rice enters the Hall in the final year of his eligibility.

Henderson and Rice are undoubtedly Hall of Famers and certainly deserve the honor. Unfortunately, the baseball writers' idiotic unwritten rules are keeping Blyleven and other stalwart players out of Cooperstown. Blyleven's cause has been highlighted here previously. Others whom I believe deserve the honor are Andre Dawson and Dale Murphy. I lean a bit toward Mark McGwire as well for reasons I can write about at a later date. I think there could strong cases made for Lee Smith and Tim Raines.

The writers have this code about themselves regarding not voting anyone in at 100 percent (even Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron and Cal Ripken didn't get in with 100 percent of votes. Ripken is the highest position player to receive votes at 98.53 percent, topped only by pitchers Tom Seaver, 98.84, and Nolan Ryan, 98.79). The writers also have this rule about not electing many players at all. They've elected 108 players total with another 94 given entry by the Veteran's Committee.

Is there any reason Blyleven and Dawson aren't in the Hall? Really? Let's be honest: They'll eventually get in, either by vote at the 12th hour (ala Rice) or by a Veteran's Committee. We know this. Hell, Phil Rizzuto is the Hall. They are going to get in some day, some way. Yet, here these Holier-Than-Thou writers keep them off ballots year-in, year-out because of their wish to adhere to goofy Hall of Fam "rules."

I've worked in a couple of newspaper sports departments. I've met many sports celebrities, broadcasters, writers, columnists, etc. Some of the folks who vote on these ballots are just plain looney. I've met some I wouldn't trust to not steal something off my desk at work. There are some who believe wholeheartedly that the Apollo moon landings were all done in a Hollywood sound stage. I can name several writers and columnists who are in business ventures with the athletes they cover "objectively." I know first-hand of those writers who, at one time or another, took payola -- are on the take -- from the teams they are assigned to. I've seen owners and agents control writers and editors for their own ends with information that is false or "leaked" through anonymous sources who, in fact, were themselves. I can recall a few of these involving Vikings and Twins ownership. These examples showed me the toying the writers are working with and, at times, succumb to. [I should point out current Twins beat writers are not those I've worked with and have no sense they are corrupt nor illogical, rather seemingly ethical in all regards. It is others of the past, some of whom have votes around the country, that I speak of.]

There is no doubt in my mind that something of this ilk is up with the Baseball Hall of Fame voters. While several are forthright, honest and objective voters, too many must be corrupt, shady and have alterior motives in keeping players like Blyleven and Dawson off their ballots.

No comments: