Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hall of Fame Voting Needs Change(s)

Is voting for a player's entry into their chosen sport's Hall of Fame a popularity contest? Just like with the all-star games do these people, who have supposedly earned the right to vote for who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, factor this into their equation as to who belongs in the hallowed halls.

What are the criteria for a player to receive the key to Cooperstown, NY, Canton, OH or Springfield, MA? Must he kiss the writer's ass and offer the writer material goods to make an impression on the guy who holds the power, that if followed by other writers to reach 75%, to elect this player into a place that player will forever be seen in a good light. Regardless of the tales that may have been written before or after his/her admission.

Who should vote? Some say writers have too much animosity towards the athlete and they file a player's career under payback just for this sort of important time in the player's life. And there are some, like Mike Golic of Mike & Mike, a former pro football player, who thinks if peers were the ones to vote, they too would hold grudges. If this is true, why can't there be someone who oversees these voters and questions the validity of why they voted the way they did. In other words, not voting for a guy, for fear he might get 100% of the voting (when Babe Ruth didn't get 100%) is no reason not to vote for a guy. An appointed person, unbiased of course, to make sure these voters are held accountable. Or is this like not allowing access to a doctor's success rate. We all know a coach's won/loss record but not a doctor's successful/unsuccessful operations record. Why isn't there someone holding these voters accountable. It may be the same fools who made Jim Rice wait until his last season of eligibility to be elected. Why? Did his stats change?

Is a hall of famer the player with the best numbers for the longest time? Someone who changed the way the game is played? I think this is exactly what voters need to keep in mind and not their petty differences.

How about the character of a player, is that factored into the voting? Did Pete Rose saying he gambled, despite the world's screaming at him not to, because he had oppositional defiant disorder rub the voters wrong?

It isn't for the writers to judge a man's character, for his own may be in question. If you believe Mark McGwire took steroids, during a time there was no rule against it, and you saw how much Big Mac changed his opponents' approach and created such a stir amongst fans that re-created a buzz about attending baseball games yet you still feel it's your duty, your obligation, to uphold the integrity of the game because you basically don't have the intestinal fortitude to begin to understand what the player was doing was keeping his career alive and re-acquainting fans to the game they once loved, because you believe the player cheated. It's not for you or anyone else to say. That's God's call.

The one flaw we humans have to endure throughout our lives is these people who find fault in others and when someone points a bony finger at them they cry like babies. Those people who act as if they deserve all the credit and none of the blame are not good for anyone or anything. They are doing their job half-assed and when they act as if they do things to their fullest that makes them whole ass, or better yet ass-----.

There has to be a system that allows for someone to oversee the voting and question why a voter chose to vote the way he/she did. There has to be some accountability. Because I guarantee if you knew a particular writer voted against players you felt were deserving of the award you wouldn't support them. Hey, the writer didn't care how he/she besmirched the player's reputation why should we care how we harmed his/her career.

How gutless is it to do something when nobody has a way of knowing you did it and only your spineless self takes it to the grave. Scripture has it that if you do things with bad intention your bad karma will come back to harm you. But the way it is for these voters, no harm no foul. No way.

It would take away Hall of Fame credibility AND a sex change to kiss the ass of someone who is half-ass. No way, just can't be done.

(thanks to Rick Reilly for the Pete Rose reference; Mike&Mike for some ideas on the Hall voting and Bobby Knight's input on who should vote for those with the potential of making into the hall of fame for their game. And, yes, the Mike Singletary quote after his talk with Vernon Davis.)

Kevin Marquez