Longtime residents of Blogistan have warned me not to wander too deeply into the Comments section. (I am told that the bleached bones of unlucky writers now gleam in the sun there by the side of the road.) However, yesterday's post on the Baseball Hall Of Fame has revealed you all to be a feisty bunch of omadhauns, so I'd like to continue the discussion. I made it clear that I think it's professionally unsound for journalists to participate in the voting but, like many of you, I don't have a real solution. Former players and current HOF members make the most sense ethically, but the performance of the Veterans Committee has not overwhelmed me. It seems to veer wildly between settling old scores and letting in everyone you drank with at Toots Shor's back in '47. Letting the fans vote is a nice thought but, really, the All-Star balloting? What say you mooks?
Also, it has come to my attention that I may have overstated the difficulty that Bert Blyleven will have on future ballots. You have to figure that the voters next year give Robbie Alomar around 99.99 percent of the vote out of pure shame. Of the first-time eligibles in 2011 only Jeff Bagwell really stands out. (Rafael Palmeiro? Juan Gonzalez? Yeah, right.) Although you do have to wonder this about Bagwell -- Is He Really A First Ballot Hall Of Famer?
(We'll take a brief break here while I hit myself in the head with a hammer. Thank you.)
This leaves us with Blyleven, who seems to be as well-positioned next year as he was this year. Which is, of course, the problem. Something out there beyond the usual statistical and semantic volleyball of the HOF electorate is seriously working against the guy, and has been for quite a while. That said, out of an abundance of caution, and as a measure of the respect I have for my Commenters (God love 'em!) I'm willing to admit that I was wrong -- Bert Blyleven has a much greater chance of being elected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame than I do.