This year’s hall of fame class appears to be an outstanding one for baseball fans if you are to believe some of the leaked voting and exit polls that have made the rounds on the internet. So after inducting no one last year perhaps the baseball writers will make it up to fans and the business owners in Cooperstown who they wronged last year, and make this July a great one for all concerned. The problem is I’m just not so sure it will happen and the reason is because I have no faith in the people who are honored with the ability to vote to do the right thing. The holier than thou crew who vote give those of us who cover sports for a living a bad name. I have always had a problem with writers who have said they can’t vote for someone who has used PEDs but I can respect their reasons even if I disagree with them. However, now at least one has made it known that he won’t vote for anyone who played in the “PED” era???? Really? You’re going to punish a great player who could be completely clean because others have cheated? Can anyone tell me why I shouldn’t think of this particular writer as a colossal, sanctimonious jerk? The same goes for those who won’t vote in any player the first time he appears on the ballot? Again….Really? You won’t vote for an athlete who is clearly head and shoulders above all in his field because…well simply because you can.
Now I want to say that not all the baseball writers feel or behave this way but the number that do is substantial and they are embarrassing at best, harmful to baseball at worst. They appear to be what many believe them to be; bitter, non-athletic men who have finally attained a position to punish the jocks who garnered all the attention and dated all the pretty girls in high school. A revenge of the nerds for sure.
Look, I can’t throw a baseball 100 mph nor hit one 400 feet but I don’t hate the men who can. For the life of me I don’t understand why people who are lucky enough to make a living writing about a sport they purport to love would be so petty in their treatment of the very men who make the game possible.
I have been fortunate enough to have two great careers that I love. I worked for three outstanding police departments over the first 24 years of my working life and possessed tremendous power over both the general public and the people who worked for me. I carried a quote with me every day to remind myself not to be “that guy” everyone hated to work for and I offer it to the writers today.
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power”- Abraham Lincoln
I would hope they consider those words but the people I’m talking about would have made Lincoln wait until his second or third time on the ballot.