No Hall of Fame for You
I’m sure Joe or another author on Mets Today will have an opinion on this, but here’s my $0.02.
So, the baby baseball writers got their bottles. The paragons of perfection and arbiters of all that is moral kept everyone out of the Hall of Fame this year. Yes, there will be no HOFers in 2013.
We know now that anyone who played between 1990 and 2003 is guilty by association. That includes former Met Mike Piazza, who fell well short of the 75% required for HOF induction (57.8%). His candidacy was apparently hurt by indications of (of all things) back acne, as reported by Murray Chass. As an Italian male, I can vouch for the fact that back acne can occur WITHOUT taking steroids. Marty Noble recently said the lack of hair on Piazza’s back indicated that he used steroids. I respect Mr. Noble, but this isn’t exactly a smoking gun. Also, sensationalist author Jeff Pearlman cited unnamed sources that claimed Piazza told several trusted reporters “off the record” that he tried steroids.
Well, as long as unnamed sources and trusted reporters said so…
Given all this, it’s actually surprising that Craig Biggio (who led the vote with 68.2%) got as much of the vote as he did, since he had a similarly scurrilous accusation leveled against him by Pearlman.
Even everyone’s favorite grinder didn’t make it, Jack Morris, would have had the highest ERA in the HOF had he been inducted (3.90). But that’s OK because he’s a winner! And he’s clutch! But he only got 67.7% of the vote. Does that constitute “pitching to the scoreboard?” Maybe if Biggio got 90%, Morris would have had 89%.
Tim Raines fell short with only 52.2%. There’s no explaining this travesty except maybe the old goats of the BBWAA hate the fact that he’s the darling of the saber crowd.
What it boils down to is that the baseball writers enjoy wielding their power. They often don’t induct a player on the first ballot because they feel there is a difference between a Hall of Famer and a First Ballot Hall of Famer. I don’t recall enjoying the First Ballot Hall of Famer wing last time I was in Cooperstown, however.
In any event, it’s possible that Biggio, Piazza, and Jeff Bagwell will be in the HOF within the next two years now that the writers have had a chance to show those players who’s really in control.