Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

January 10, 2013

Hall made the wrong call

EFFINGHAM — The Baseball Writers of America pitched a shutout Wednesday, and in turn, came one year closer to defeating the Baseball Hall of Fame.

With the ballots being released for the Hall of Fame Wednesday afternoon, the BBWAA did the unthinkable -- they looked at the most stacked ballot in years and elected no one.

Everyone knew it would be a contentious ballot. That much has been clear as the clock ticked down to this day for the past five years.

But to elect no one shows off the three major problems with the Hall of Fame and its voters; namely, an electorate that specializes in logical inconsistency, self-righteousness and irrelevance.

I'll take the steroid users and suspected steroid users quickly. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell should be in, plain and simple. It was part of the era, it wasn't illegal at the times they were using or apparently using and if baseball wanted to punish them for their alleged transgressions, it should have been before they accumulated Hall of Fame statistics.

The idea of keeping the Hall clean is a joke anyway. Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were admitted amphetamine users, and both got in with flying colors.

As for PEDs, it's simple probability to assume someone who cheated got away with it and is in the Hall.  A 1973 Congressional investigation said that anabolic steroid and amphetamine use was rampant and could "only be described as alarming" . It's simply naive to think none of the HOFers from that era were not a part of that alarming group.

On top of that, Washington Post columnist and voter Thomas Boswell said he witnessed a currently enshrined HOFer taking steroids during his career, as of 1988. The Hall is not clean, but the BBWAA has taken it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner of morals and ideals they did nothing to uphold when steroids were running rampant.

On to the supposedly clean (because who really knows). This is where a lack of logic really shows off.

Astros 2B Craig Biggio accumulated 3,000 hits in his career , was by all accounts clean, but still missed the HOF with a leading 68 percent of the vote.

The knock on Biggio? He wasn't dominant enough for his era.

What? Compared to who? The guys who didn't get in because the voters think they cheated. So Biggio did it "clean," but because he didn't produce like the cheaters, he waits a year.

Moving down the ballot, Tim Raines received 52.2 percent of the vote. One of the stars of the 1980s, Raines mixed speed, average, power and on-base abilities.

But he only totaled 2,605 hits, leaving him short of the 3,000 hit benchmark -- which Biggio reached and didn't get in.

This is a travesty to baseball fans. Now, after they've all been made eligible for voting, for one reason or another, the Hall of Fame is missing the all-time leader in hits (Pete Rose), home runs (Bonds) and one of the greatest pitchers ever (Clemens) for reasons that can only be described as self-righteousness and a delusional sense of protecting an already tarnished hall.

I understand the time is hopefully coming for players like Biggio, Bagwell and Piazza, that they will inch toward the Hall until the voters break down.

The Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to the history of the game. My father and I always talked about going, but sadly, we never made it. It's still something I'd love to do with him.

As for me and any kids I may be lucky enough to have some day, I almost don't see the point. The Hall should be inclusive, a place where one can walk around for hours, days or however long it takes and learn basically everything one needs to know about the history of baseball.

But without players like Bonds, Rose and Clemens, how could you truly say the Hall captures the history of the game?

Swing and a miss, BBWAA. Let's hope you at least get a single next season.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • daughertyfootball.jpg Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7

    Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
    So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mammoser3.jpg Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday

    With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
    Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bateman.jpg Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem

    A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
    The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bierman.jpg Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3

    While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Barnes3.jpg Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0

    Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
    The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mammoser2.jpg Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late

    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Campton.jpg Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2

    Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
    To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
    Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0

    TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
    Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.

    July 21, 2014

  • Poe.jpg Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3

    Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
    But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
    Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jansen.jpg Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2

    Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
    With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
    Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.