An Open Letter to BBWAA Members
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Much has been said and written about the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for 2012.
I have seen numerous tweets about one writer and then another, and so on about either sending in a blank ballot or not sending one at all.
To this, I say grow a pair (my apologies if there is a lady in the group). Have you a clue as to how many baseball fans would love to be able to vote for such an occasion? I can only hope that whatever “powers that be” would rescind the voting privileges of everyone who either sent a blank ballot, or especially the ones who decided to play Pontius Pilate and do nothing with the innocent players involved.
Your one vote alone may have been enough to keep a player like Julio Franco around for another year. As you know if a player receives less than five percent of the votes he is sent to Baseball Hell. But hey, your hands are clean, yes?
Now let’s get to the real issue with you malcontents. Performance Enhancing Drugs. There, I said it, it is now out in the open. Whether you condone the actions of the users of this illegal substance or not is not the question. We care less how many hours of sleep you have been deprived while tossing and turning with the decision with which you are entrusted. You have been given a responsibility and have been found wanting.
Well, for my part I hereby terminate the lot of you. Clean out your desks and hit the bricks, Mister. You are done, no longer will you have to whine and cry about what a pity it is that you must hold a player back a year or two because of his, shall I say peccadilloes.
I am calling for an end to the BBWAA having anything at all to do with the selection of players to the Hall of Fame. You had your chance, and you really suck at it.
After all, this should not be a popularity contest, this is the Hall of Fame we are talking about here. Not the Hall of Best, or the Hall of Cleanest, or the Hall of Guys Who Were Amicable to the Sports Writers.
I could take you to task on any of the three halls I just made up. You are about to condemn one of the best players of all time, Barry Bonds. Am I a fan? No I am not, but that is the whole point. I know best when I see it.
If we are talking clean, I give you Mickey Mantle (notorious drinker and womanizer, yet one of my favorite players ever). Along with him I bring you Ty Cobb and Cap Anson. Cobb, a veritable malefactor in cleats, and Anson one of the most renown racists who ever put on a baseball cap (no pun intended, this isn’t funny).
For the guys who were not amicable I can at least present to you Mr. Steve Carlton. After a while he decided not to have anything to do with any of you. Yet, enough of you saw him fit to be enshrined into this hallowed hall.
With that much being said, it is my ruling that when a player retires from the game, everyone should know that he is or he is not a member of the Hall of Fame. His statistics, by that I mean real statistics, nothing made-up, synthesized or otherwise embellished numbers.
What kind of numbers are we talking about here? I am so glad you asked. I am referring to career statistics such as these for hitters: HR, RBI, AVG, OBP, OPS+, HITS, BB, TB, and SB. Extra credit points could be thrown in for All-Star selections, MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Gloves, etc. Only statistics that are obtained in a regular season would apply. A man should not be penalized by his team not performing to a predetermined level.
For pitchers the following numbers could be used: IP, WINS (real wins not WARP or other fantasized numbers), ERA, ERA+, SO, SAVES, SO/BB, BAA, and WHIP. Extra credit points would include CYA, All-Star selections, MVP, Gold Gloves. Again, only regular season numbers would apply (apologies to Curt Shilling).
The numbers could be the average of the existing Hall of Famers, or another angle could be agreed upon. That point is flexible, but needs to be determined.
If the player would reach the minimum requirement in 50 percent of the categories, he would be in the Hall of Fame. No evaluations, no BS, no equivocators.
The number parameters could be different than I have prescribed but I hope you get the point. The Hall of Fame is a real place, not intangible, so why should players be elected on intangibles?
Don’t you sit there and try to say that they are not? If it weren’t the case you would not be reading this lengthy epistle. Alan Trammell would be in the Hall of Fame, as would Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Lou Whitaker, Dale Murphy, et al.
There, now go on your happy way. Caesar Cliffius has just relieved you of all the stress you have been burdened with over the holidays for these countless years. No more players sent to Baseball Hell on your account sir, or madam. If they do not make the cut, it is their fault, not yours, mine or anyone else’s.
Decreed this Third day of January, in the Two Thousand and Thirteenth Year of our Lord.
Emperor of these United States and the Baseball World at Large