By David Everett Fisher
Tomorrow night will be the announcements of the results in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. This is where members of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America’s votes choose the next generation of Hall of Fame inductees. What a magical and honorable tradition that marks the waining winter and begin the promise of spring training.
There are a lot of names on the list. Some are huge names and some are not. Some are on the list for the first time while others have been on the list for ten years. There are some that will get in with little to no problem at all and there are others that have too much controversy to just vote in.
Steroids. Some of these lads used them. Some deny ever use them but obviously used them. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling are all suspected dopers. They all are huge names in the game of baseball. Barry Bonds continues to be in and around baseball, Roger Clemens is fine appearing here and there, and Curt Schilling is losing his sanity on Twitter. Should they be let in?
For the same reason that some players who at the end of their career don’t have the astonishing stats. This is about the narrative of baseball. Last year, people bemoaned Harold Baines for not having the stats to really be allowed to be in the Hall, and he never got more than 10% on the ballot, but got in on the Today’s Game Era Ballot. He spent a lot of years injured. He only had a few productive years, but I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame because you can’t talk about late eighties and early nineties baseball without his name.
Same with Schilling, Clemens, and Bonds. You can’t talk about the San Francisco Giants without talking about Barry Bonds. Even the fact that people who don’t like the San Francisco Giants really hate Barry Bonds, and that is a great reason to nominate him.
I hate all three of those players. I really feel betrayed that they did performance enhancing drugs. I hate that they cheated, but they are the narrative of baseball. Baseball is a long historic saga, and we are hopefully still in the middle of, and these are the great heroes of this last era of baseball. You can’t talk about the Boston Red Sox winning their first World Series in 86 years without the game 6 in the ALCS against the New York Yankees without Curt Schilling’s bloody sock.
Some of these heroes don’t have the numbers for some writers to vote.
If you are working in the front office or a scout or a coach, you should be using statistics and saber-metrics to give you the edge on your competition. If you want to argue who is better by comparing something, numbers are the only true way to do that. If you are lonely and don’t have a lot going in your life so you play fantasy baseball, please by all means, use math to pick good players. If you are trying to tell the story of baseball, there are a lot of factors that go beyond the slash lines.
Our podcast is all about this line in the sand. I can’t explain my love for a player with WAR. I can’t really do justice to explain the rush of a clutch hit or an impossible catch. The stat will never explain the edge of your seat battle between a hitter and a pitcher when the hitter has two strikes but keeps fouling it. All you will see on paper is either a hit or a strike. When that happens in a clutch situation, and it is the player with the worse stats, then how can you really explain that when it counted, it counted?
Edger Martinez is a designated hitter for for the Seattle Mariners. All he has is hitting stats. Some people really don’t like the idea of a DH getting to go to the HOF. I get the argument about why DHs are dumb and pitchers hitting is real baseball, but I really don’t think you can talk about the Mariners or even have a full conversation about Ken Griffey Jr. without mentioning and honoring Edgar Martinez.
Don’t let that last paragraph make you hate Rabble Rabble Cheeseburger Baseball Podcast because my podcast mates don’t agree with me. Andrew is a National League fan, and is fiercely opposed to the Designated Hitter.
So, my point is that if you played pretty good baseball, were a contributing factor in the historical narrative of baseball, good or bad; then you should be voted for.
Yes, Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.
And yes the comments are on.