More than a quarter of a century after getting my first ballot, the Hall of Fame selection progress just keeps getting more challenging.Interesting that he's voting for two Red Sox players he absolutely hated when their careers were winding down. I did not figure Shank for the forgive and forget type.
Wednesday my ballot will be mailed with boxes checked next to the names of Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Curt Schilling, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell.
Six votes. I think it’s a personal high.Remember when Roger Clemens was cool in Shank's book? I guess big stuffed teddy bears don't get you as much goodwill with Boston sports writers as they used to.
This means I am not voting for (among others on the ballot), Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Larry Walker, Lee Smith, Carlos Delgado, and Nomar Garciaparra. Oh, and I also am not voting for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Mike Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell.
Every now and then, Shank feels the need to troll his readers. Here he is, ringing the dinner bell:
So let it rip. Bring on the hate. Bring on the humiliation. Bring on the blogboy outrage. Bring on the analytic arrogance. Bring on the PED Hall Pass. It’s a tradition like no other.From there, at least Shank makes good pros and cons about who belongs in the Hall of Fame, and who doesn't. Then there's this part:
The Roids Boys are the greatest burden on voters. Some voters don’t care. Some cherry-pick the cheaters. Some turn away from anything that even looks dirty. Withholding votes for guys who cheated and guys who look like they cheated is unfortunate, sometimes unfair, and almost impossible to impose consistently.What about the sports writers who ignored all this crap and happily sat back in the press boxes and enjoyed the home run chases and the pitching duels for a decade or more?
Objection to the Roids Boys is gradually eroding. As years pass and new voters replace older voters, it is likely there will be increased leniency. Each year there are more voters who don’t care about PEDs. The thinking becomes, “This was the era. They were all doing it.’’ Or, “Bonds and Clemens were already Hall of Famers before they started cheating.’’
Sorry, I am not there. No votes for guys caught using. And worse — no votes for guys who just don’t look right. Bagwell and Piazza are the two players most penalized for this arbitrary crime. By any statistical measurement, Bagwell and Piazza are first-ballot Hall of Famers, yet their vote totals (62 percent for Piazza last year, 54 percent for Bagwell) remain considerably lower than their résumés merit.