No one? Not one? No fun.
For all of the drama and controversy and, yes, embarrassing sportswriter self-aggrandizing in the build-up to this year's Baseball Hall of Fame voting, it's a letdown, albeit not an unexpected one, that no contemporary player among this year's 37 candidates earned the requisite 75 percent for election Wednesday.
The ballot debate this year made the Mike Trout vs. Miguel Cabrera MVP argument look like a friendly conversation among buddies in the bleachers, and the result was more frustrating. I'm glad it's over and yet bummed by the outcome.
But hey, should be a great turnout in Cooperstown this summer to celebrate Pre-Integration Committee selections Jacob Ruppert, Deacon White, and Hank O'Day, none of whom lived into the 1940s. Maybe they can hologram 'em up, Tupac-style, to give their speeches.
Globe: Hall of Fame shutout
As soon as Deadspin posted a piece on writers complaining about how hard it was to fill out the ballot this year, it became apparent that no one was going to come in. (Well that and also the constant updates from Baseball Think Factory). That doesn't make the outcome any better. The BBWAA should be embarrassed with themselves for how all this went down.
First let's talk about the steroid era. It happened. We all witnessed it and many of the current bloggers (myself included) grew up watching the hulk sized men crush baseballs out of the park. One my favorite sporting events is the 1999 Home Run Derby where there was nearly a riot every time a ball landed on Lansdowne Street. We all enjoyed it and the revival of baseball after the 1994 strike was great. Now when the media looks back on it, they try their hardest to make everyone feel disappointed about what took place.
The steroid era is something baseball isn't proud of but everyone in the sport let the steroid era happen. Bud Selig let it happen, Donald Fehr and the union let it happen. The owners let it happen. The players that played clean, whatever the percentage was, didn't make a fuss about it and just played.
And yes the BBWAA let this happen.
They failed to do their job as watchdogs and are now trying to right that wrong as gatekeepers. It's way too late for that. They won't even strip the awards that they voted for away from the guys that juiced. But if they continue this stronghold up and just not vote for this guys, when a 15 year old in 2055 looks into baseball's history, he's going to wonder why a seven-time Cy Young Winner and a seven-time MVP didn't get into the Hall.
As much as they want to keep the Hall of Fame as this special place, it also serves as the location where the history of the sport is preserved. Something needs to change within the BBWAA, especially with more and more names that did juice, or might have juiced, or allegedly juiced, get their names added to the ballot. It's only going to get harder from here.
The thing that REALLY gets angers me is the "clean" candidates they could have put in didn't even make it into the Hall. You're telling me Tim Raines, Craig Biggio, and Edgar Martinez do not deserve a plaque in Cooperstown. Raines' stats aren't going to change next year when you look at them. In his peak years in Montreal, he was one of the best leadoff hitters and could steal a base any time he wanted. He should be in.
Biggio is the ideal person that everyone should have voted for but they won't because "if Joe Dimaggio didn't make it in on the first try...." Please. Don't continue the idiocy of the previous generations with this drivel. 3060 hits, 1,844 runs scored, played multiple positions when asked and he did it all for one team over two decades. Another person that should be in.
Also because the BBWAA also hasn't decided what to do with designated hitters, Edgar Martinez is still not in the Hall, all on the same crappy logic that screwed David Ortiz out of an MVP, "because he didn't play defense". Of course they'll ignore the fact that Edgar did play third base in the beginning of his career, but that shouldn't matter. The BBWAA treat all DH's like the NFL does punters and it's absurd. It would've been a touching moment on the 40th anniversary of the DH rule being adopted by the AL to have arguably the best DH ever being inducted. But just like everything else this year they totally screwed that up. DH's aren't going away anytime soon.
The voting process for the Hall of Fame is broken. It's been talked about for years but this is the straw that broke the camels back. Something needs to be changed and it needs to be changed soon. We shouldn't have this discussion every January.
P.S. Also if Pedro Martinez doesn't make it in the Hall on his first ballot, there WILL be a riot.
Globe: Hall doesn't call | Candidates twist in mind | Herald: Schilling's OK with no Hall call this year | Fans harp steroids in baseball, not football | CSNNE: It's a shutout in the HoF | Hall of Famers agree with shutout | WEEI: Thoughts on HoF results | Schilling: 'Very hard' for Sox to win AL East | None elected to Cooperstown