Baseball Corridor of Fame election day is a time to rejoice our fantastic sport. However sadly, it’s additionally turn into an annual train to remorse, to query, to sentence and to second-guess.
And boy is there ever quite a bit to lament once more this yr.
Scott Rolen deserves our congratulations. He’s a implausible two-way third baseman who made the Corridor of Fame Tuesday, and deservedly so.
Todd Helton ought to really feel more than happy with the outcomes, too. He’s trending the fitting method, and historical past tells us subsequent yr will most likely be his yr.
So ought to Billy Wagner, who was possibly the best left-handed reliever ever and one of the vital attention-grabbing instances (extra on that under).
Congrats to all who polled properly. However no congrats to the writers, who wish to pat ourselves on the again however proceed to guide the league in fickle (extra on that under, too).
Baseball’s Corridor of Fame is by far the best of all of the halls, and it’s an general plus that it triggers dialog and controversy for days. However it brings disappointment, too, particularly over what may need been.
The 4 most achieved gamers on this yr’s poll completed out of the cash. PED speak certainly has diminished with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens falling off the writers’ poll, however steroids (and scandal) nonetheless linger.
Alex Rodriguez is a three-time MVP and all-time nice, Manny Ramirez an unstoppable offensive pressure, Carlos Beltran one of many nice change hitters ever and Gary Sheffield one of the vital feared hitters ever, they usually completed eighth, ninth, tied for sixth and fifth respectively, due to, so as, steroids, steroids, signal stealing by way of know-how and a trash can, and extra steroids.
Beltran most likely will make it in coming years since signal stealing didn’t support his numbers (he flat out stunk in 2017). It appears like a one-year punishment is about proper for his involvement as a league-documented instigator of the Astros’ scandal. I pledge to vote for him subsequent December (and I think sufficient others could, too.)
If historical past is a information, A-Rod and Manny by no means make it, and that’s a disgrace, as a result of they certainly had the expertise to do it with out chemical enhancement. The unusual one is Sheffield since he’s the fourth greatest of those tainted gamers but polled higher than Beltran, A-Rod and Manny. Sheffield was a BALCO buyer who despatched Victor Conte money, but greater than half the citizens is now voting for a man whose profession is barely over the border, steroids or no steroids.
He’s even trending higher than his buddy Barry Bonds did at this stage. My guess is that Bonds obtained too good by way of steroids, drawing additional consideration to himself by way of his exploits and his information, whereas Sheffield aided his case by performing ticked off when he was publicly linked, and by blaming Bonds.
Perpetually, I’ve been defending the voters (who embrace me). It’s an excellent system I say within the face of the avalanche of criticism.
However because it seems, we’re wishy-washy. We’re method too simply influenced.
We purpose to please. And the result’s that the voting has taken some unusual turns.
Take the 2019 poll, when Rolen, Helton and Wagner obtained 17 p.c of the vote. And Jeff Kent obtained 18 p.c. As we speak, Rolen is in, Helton shall be in subsequent yr and Wagner is on his method to election whereas Kent is now formally off the poll after receiving lower than 50 p.c help.
There’s quite a bit to be mentioned about Rolen, Helton and Wagner. All of them have a good case. However from right here, that first vote the place that trio acquired about the identical vote totals as Kent is nearer to actuality. They’re all excellent and really shut. (Full disclosure: I voted for Kent and Rolen however didn’t fairly get there for Helton or the previous Met Wagner, who had all-time nice fee stats however got here up simply brief for me as a one-inning reduction specialist who didn’t have both huge bulk numbers or large moments.)
Concerning Rolen, Helton and Wagner, you don’t must be a math genius to know that greater than half the citizens modified their minds in 4 brief years. The query should be requested: Why did Rolen, Helton and Wagner rise as precipitously as nearly any candidate ever whereas Kent skilled a negligible bump?
It’s very doubtless about robust opinions on Twitter, of us turning into satisfied and in some instances undoubtedly feeling the strain. I’m all for transparency. However it appears to have triggered groupthink.
Maybe it’s unconscious, however a minimum of some voters embrace the narrative pushed by the group that emphasizes fee stats over true affect. The way in which the general voting goes, possibly the Cooperstown museum ought to be renamed the Corridor of New Stats.
Kent, who’s the best dwelling run hitter and RBI man for a second baseman, by no means obtained thumbs-up from the in crowd on Twitter. Nothing in opposition to Rolen and the remaining, however Kent’s omission is only one thing more to remorse on a day that’s alleged to be all a few celebration.