This edition of the Hall of Fail–wherein the author unloads a jeremiad against the Base-Ball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) because of their fecklessness and outright insanity–will be quite brief.
This year, they mostly got it right. This afternoon, first ballot pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and third-year candidate, Houston Astros lifer Craig Biggio, were elected to enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. All are deserving, and finally, that 1-2-3 Braves rotation stomach punch of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz is all together in Cooperstown.
Tim Raines and Alan Trammell continue to be criminally undersupported as their eligibility wanes, while Biggio and fellow Astro, the five-tool monster first baseman Jeff Bagwell, should have been enshrined together.
The ballot remains arbitrarily limited to ten selections, though it appears that the electorate seems to finally be recognizing that the system is in need of reform. Talk of raising the limit to 12 is swirling and appears to be a real possibility, while the sensible solution of a straight up-or-down vote on each nominee still makes too much sense.
For the first time in a while, there isn’t much to be upset about. No one got outright Biggio’d this time, Mike Piazza, garnering about 70% of the vote, looks to be elected next year. Hopefully Bagwell can get the push he needs, too. Now the questions can begin to move away from the gatekeepers and back to the players; that is to say, we can start really talking about what makes the Hall of Fame conversation so much fun.
We can talk about baseball. That, above all, is a good thing.
Brewers pitchers and catchers report in just over 50 days. Not that I’m counting the days or anything.