Last week venerable former NY Times baseball columnist Murray Chass revealed his Hall of Fame ballot, or at least most of it. The names he named are all worthy: Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and maybe Frank Thomas. That’s it.
Chass goes on to explain that he will not vote for any player about whom there is the slightest whiff of the taint of performance enhancing drugs. He does not, he says, want to reward any player and then later find out that player had cheated. So, naturally, no vote for Bonds or Clemens, Palmeiro, McGwire and Sosa, but also no vote for Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio, too, about whom the only steroids talk has been the wispiest hearsay. Naturally enough, the world of baseball bloggers went crazy on Chass, as they do almost any time he says anything having to do with blogging or sabremetrics or breathing. Chass, by virtue of his long association with the Times and his opinions about so many baseball issues, is one of the old school’s most effective trolls.
Chass goes to great lengths in a subsequent column to explain why his Piazza bacne conjecture, and his Biggio finger pointing, add up to grounds not to vote for them and it all comes down to this: It’s up to Chass and this is the way he feels.
So be it. That’s all that needs to be said. But after having so much vitriol heaped upon him, Chass gets in the final kick to the gut. After having said that this was probably his last HoF vote, but now having considered the crap he has been subjected to, Chass says he’s going to keep on voting, just to rub salt in the wounds. “How could I relinquish my vote when I know how much it annoys you,” he says.
My personal opinion is that the Hall of Fame represents the wishes of those voting, then later modified by whatever claptrap veterans committee is cobbled together to correct/distort the original will of the writers. Obviously Chass and his cohort can do whatever they want, the ballots are their ballots for now, but I have little interest in a Hall that excludes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both of whom had complete Hall-worthy careers before there was any PEDs taint associated with them.