Dawson faces imposing HOF challenge …

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   Here’s one of my elemental beefs with the lunkheads (some of the them are, anyway) who make up the annual BBWAA vote for the Hall of Fame: Andre Dawson came up 44 votes shy of election last year. If we are to hope that he gets elected this year – and I do indeed – 44 guys/gals have to decide that an eight-time All-Star who wasn’t worthy last year is somehow now looking more, uh, immortal this year.
  
   That’s idiotic on the face of it. I don’t fault the Hall of Fame, which labors mightily to find a fair and effective procedure for deciding who gets a plaque, but I do think there needs to be more rigorous oversight from the BBWAA over their own little (and important) fiefdom.
  
   If there were some procedure for our mysterious scribes to explain some of their more unusual maneuvers, like the guys who somehow leave names like Henry Aaron or Willie Mays off the ballot, or more recently guys who turn in blank ballots. Really? Nobody at all is worthy enough by your ethereal standards?
  
   So I fear for Dawson’s chances, pessimistic as I am about his ability to pull in those 44 additional votes. I figure there are enough new HOF-worthy names appearing on the ballot for the first time to confuse these same writers anyway.
  
   Mark McGwire, who belongs in the Hall of Fame, seems unlikely to make it this year of maybe even any year until the voters figure out an equitable way to reconcile their epic disgust over alleged steroid use with the reality that virtually a whole generation of modern stars is going to arrive on the ballot under that cloud.
  
   McGwire, who is guilty of little more than implementing a regrettable strategy when he testified in front of several hundred Congressional hypocrites, will have to ultimately find a spot on the wall in Cooperstown. But at 22 percent last year – actually a decline from the year before – it’s difficult to imagine that happening anytime soon.
  
   Bert Blyleven fell a mere 67 votes short last year, but his situation is more ominous because he only has two BBWAA votes left after this one. The only thing I can figure is wrong with his candidacy is that he won 20 games only once, and thus confronts a curious BBWAA preoccupation with magic numbers that seems to suggest that winning 20 is wonderful but 18 or 19 is just plain yucky.
  
   He also suffers from being lumped in – fairly or not – with a number of other fine hurlers who fell short of that other magic number: 300. That list would include Jim Kaat, Tommy John and Luis Tiant. How you look at those four guys and decide who is the more urgent candidate is way beyond me.
  
   More on this year’s HOF ballot in another blog.

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3 thoughts on “Dawson faces imposing HOF challenge …

  1. Kevin on said:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on Bert Blyleven.
    3701 K’s. Enough said.
    To me, that is a measure of pitcher vs. batter.

    It is funny you mention how all of a sudden 44 additional voters will vote for The Hawk this year for him to get in. Bert has said that all along. His votes have gone up each year but his stats remain the same. Too many writers think they are “above the game” or something. Why else would someone send in a blank ballot?

    Crazy if you ask me.

  2. Phil on said:

    T.S.,

    I agree on Dawson, a model of consistency and one of the first pure speed/power guys at the plate. Why he isn’t already in is baffling to say the least.

    On another note, McGwire? Are you serious? Who would have ever thought McGwire would make Canseco look good? And since the two are linked as former teammates, and potentially/probably, both steroid users/abusers, I don’t think McGwire gets in until Canseco does, and we both know Jose will never get a vote, ever. McGwire hit a lot of homeruns, yet, we don’t know how many were helped out. Please don’t argue the "PED’s weren’t illegal" at the time. Possession of steroids requires a prescription from a doctor. It’s called THE LAW.

    Then again, Rush Limbaugh will probably get into the radio/media HOF, yet he abused and came into possession of prescription medication illegally and is a dope as well (not sure if there is a radio/media HOF, just making a point).

    Let’s stop the "everyone deserves a second chance" or "forgiveness" speeches. People need to be held accountable for their actions and choices. Just like Pete Rose, I hope McGwire NEVER gets into the Hall of Fame. He is a fraud and fooled a nation of baseball fans back in the late 90’s when he hit 72 homeruns along with Sammy.

    I’m not bitter or angry, would just like to see our role models in sports be held accountable, just like the rest of us.

    Phil

  3. Erik on said:

    I disagree with Blyleven being deserving of the HOF. He never won a Cy Young, won 20 games only once and his 162 game average over the course of his career yielded a 14 – 12 win/loss average.

    He was good but not great. The Hall of Fame is for the very best players of their era. Blyleven doesn’t even come to mind when I think of the best pitchers of his era. He doesn’t even come close. No offense to Bert, he was a great strikeout pitcher but you are going to reward a guy who averaged 14 wins a year the Hall of Fame? He is not even in the same caliber as Tom Seaver, Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton or Nolan Ryan who I consider his contemporary’s.

    BTW, regarding the other post, I like Rush! He makes a lot of sense. But, this is not a thread on politics.

    Erik

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