Pat Hickey is a hockey columnist for the Montreal Gazette. So, of course he has a vote in the National Baseball Hall of Fame inductions. And of course he takes that vote very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that he informs his readers in the very first paragraph of his latest piece, that:
If you’re doing it right, it should take three to four hours to fill out a ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
While this might lead one to question the efficiency of Mr. Hickey’s judgment, he quickly offers his readers an explanation for the lengthy process. It seems as though some practical joker has been sending false ballots to Hickey that must be far more complicated than the genuine articles that are sent to the more than 580 writers who decide such things.
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It isn’t that Philip Hersh is the problem with Hall of Fame voting because of his stance. He is the problem because he takes an antagonistic stance for Hall of Fame voting and he isn’t even a baseball writer.
Philip Hersh thinks that, because he USED to cover baseball, he is able to remain on as a guardian of the keep with a vote. He is also, it seems, a child. A child incapable of nuance because his black and white take on a complex issue fires up the “nerds” or whatever pejorative term he surely uses for baseball fans behind closed doors.
By publicizing his self-important noodles on the Hall, this post is part of the problem as well. Rather than leaving him to die on a frozen ski hill, patiently waiting for an athlete who had the good sense to be wealthy BEFORE they became a professional athlete to come swooshing by, the Greater Baseball Outrage Machine will turn its collective gaze towards a man nobody had heard of before today.
And thanks to the BBWAA unwillingness to ask writers like Phil to sit one out, unable to consider the rapid changes in not only the way the game is covered but enjoyed and ingested by many fans, we will continue hearing from guys like this. The self-appointed guardians unable to get out of their own way and the new “class” of writers who cannot pass up an opportunity to make an example of a man dying for that very attention.
But here we are, shaking our fists a man with nothing but disdain for the game he used to cover. Surely scorned time and again for interview requests and treated without the required amount of dignity by a player like Bonds, Mr. Hersh now exacts his revenge. Congrats, Philip. May your hollow “joy” extend the briefest ray of sunshine into what I can only imagine is a more bitter life than I would wish on my worst enemy.
Not on the player, of course. But on the fans, as we discussed earlier today. Thanks, Phil. You are really teaching us all an important lesson. One we’re sure to internalize and take with us for the rest of our days.
Why waste time beating around the bush? Here is the full list of 37 names, now-retired baseball players who await judgement by the Baseball Writers Association of America. This year, more than any other, is the final referendum on good versus evil, right versus wrong, and hustle versus being born non-white.
Head to the official BBWAA site for voting information from last year.
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