Rotoman Is Part of the 2016 FSWA Hall of Fame Class!

screenshot-2016-12-16-12-37-30About a month ago I’d heard from Ron Shandler that I was nominated for inclusion in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. But being nominated was a first step to induction, which might take some years, if it ever happened.

Except that it happened today. I join my friend Lenny Melnick, and Ian Allen, whose Fantasy Football Index I have long admired, in the 2016 FSWA Hall of Fame class!

I also join a Hall full of friends and colleagues whose work has uniformly impressed me over the years, inspired me to work harder and better, and in whose company I am honored to be included.

Thanks to the HoF committee of the FSWA and in particular to director Andy Behrens and board member Ron Shandler, who I know worked on this. I’m very appreciative.


15 Hall of Fame Voters Decided the Big Unit Wasn’t Hallworthy.

Trace Wood’s campaign to get Randy Johnson elected unanimously to the Hall of Fame, initiated after 16 voters failed to vote for Greg Maddux last year, was only a little successful. Fifteen of those deemed by the Baseball Writers Associaton of America qualified to vote for the Hall, neglected to name Johnson on the 2015 ballot.

Presumably one of old guard died in between ballots. Call that incremental improvement. At this pace, only 14 will leave Ken Griffey Jr. off next year’s ballot.

Ripping Murray Chass a New One! And He Rips One Right Back!

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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.

Enough said.

Rob Neyer on McGwire

Here’s Rob’s piece.

My opinion about PEDs has changed over the last five years or so. Some of that has been because I learned more about the PEDs, and in large part it is because I saw the way the athletes accused and convicted of PEDs use reacted. Badly, of course. The trials and investigations and testimony all helped show that the players knew where the guilt was, even when naifs like me were defending them.

So, we had our villain. Finally.

Of course, when I put it that way I start to get all wishy washy again. This really isn’t a story of villains and, presumably, heroes, but rather a story of lots of similar but not identical people undergoing pressures that are similar but not identical. Talk about the despicable union protecting the drug takers ignores the many actions over the years by the owners to control the players and limit their compensation. In this context the slow to emerge drug rules reflect ownership’s desire to get an upper hand on the players, and the players (union) protecting their privacy and civil rights.

In any case, I don’t think McGwire is the hard Hall of Fame case. Even with his spectacular power accomplishments, he’s not a clear cut Hall of Famer. Discount him for PED usage and it’s easy to keep him off any HOF list. Bonds and Clemens are the real deal, on the other hand, Hall of Famers before they took the drugs. The big question is whether their induction will open the door to the boderline cases like McGwire.

The Hall Feels The Need For Speed

Baseball Crank

A nice trend chart from the Baseball Crank shows that the longer you stay on the ballot the more writers support you for the Hall, though I can’t think of a good reason why that should be. I don’t take the Hall seriously enough to worry about the borderline cases. They make it or they don’t, and that’s fine.

I do find it hard to see why Tim Raines or Mark McGwire look like they should be in, if only there wasn’t the cocaine and the steroids. Based on the numbers both were very good ballplayers who were at best borderline when it comes to induction numbers. Given their questionable pasts the voters’ reluctance to enshrine them doesn’t seem that crazy.