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January 12, 2009

Cooperstown awaits

rickyap.jpgThe results of this year's Hall of Fame election will be announced this afternoon, and you can bet the house that Rickey Henderson (left) will gain induction on his first ballot. Rickey is one of the greatest all-around players in the history of the game and he has the all-time records and cumulative numbers to be a 90-percenter.

I didn't vote for him, but that's only because The Baltimore Sun does not allow its employees to vote for postseason awards or for the Hall of Fame. I get a ballot every year and it makes nice reading or talkshow fodder, but it doesn't get sent back. That does not affect the voting percentages.*

The intrigue this year will be focused on the other deserving players who were on the ballot. This is the last year of eligibility for Jim Rice, who was one of the scariest hitters of his generation. And I always root for Bert Blyleven, who retired as one of the top strikeout pitchers in baseball history and came up just a handful of victories short of 300. He gets extra points from me because he was one of the funniest players I ever covered, but that doesn't do him a bit of good since I can't vote.

There are a handful of other players who could get close -- most notably Andre Dawson and recently overtaken all-time saves leader Lee Smith -- but I'm going to guess (and it's only a guess) that Rickey and Rice get in this time.

(*The reason some newspapers choose not to have their reporters vote is based on the notion that we should only report the news, not take part in making it. Since the major postseason sports awards and the Hall of Fame inductions are big news events, the idea is to stay at arm's length for the purpose of maintaining -- and projecting -- objectivity.)

AP photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:06 AM | | Comments (32)
Categories: Just baseball
        

Comments

What is the logic for not letting you vote??? I was wondering that when Flacco didn't receive any rookie of the year votes either because our local media doesn't vote?????

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Pete's reply: Go back to the item. I updated it today and explained why. Thanks.

why doesn't the Sun let you vote? That's stupid

Rice was unliked by certain people in the media, which has a lot to do with why (shamefully) he hasn't been voted in yet. If Bruce Sutter could get elected over him, I highly doubt Rice will get the nod.

But honestly, I'd vote Rock Raines in before I'd vote for Byleven or Rice. He should've been a first ballot last year. And if I was unbiased, I'd say that McGwire deserves a lot more respect in the voting. But I know, I know - cheaters never win. If Pete Rose isn"t allowed in then neither should McGwire.

But aside from that, I think Rice will go down as one of the bigger HOF snubs. Along with the unsung 2nd baseman Bobby Grich.

I think Lee Smith should make it. Henderson was the best at what he did and is automatic. I remember when the Yankees came to Memorial stadium we would predict how Henderson was going to start the game either a walk and turn it into a double or triple or just hit it over the fence. He was a tough act that everyone wanted to follow.

Pete, I am sure you saw now that Michael Young wants to be traded because the Rangers want to move him to third base. How about we go get him?


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Pete's reply: He asked to be traded. The Rangers still have to want to trade him. Then they'd want some serious young pitching.

Just heard on Fox Sports Radio that Michael Young is available for trade. I know we have a shortstop but could we trade Roberts + whatever for him?

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Pete's reply: Don't know what the Rangers would want for him, because they haven't said they will trade him,

Is there a reason that you can discuss why the sun doesn't want HOF/Post Season Awards to be voted on? Seems that the paper who employs said baseball writer who is eligible to receive a ballot should look at it as a credit to their paper as much as the writer to be considered eligible to deserve a vote. If you were allowed a vote who would you vote for?

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Pete's reply: I updated that entry with an explanation. I would probably have voted for Rickey, Rice, Blyleven and Lee Smith.

Why do they not allow you to vote for such things? Seems silly to me. Thanks for the info.

f is for the few weeks remaining until Spring Training

So, why doesn't The Sun let you vote?

Yes I would like to see Rickey make it to the Hall Of Fame, but I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the predictions. I wish I knew who all the candidates are.
Can you tell us about Fanfest 2009? I would like to go this year and wish it was this month. It's a long trek from Elkton.


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Pete's reply: Roch Kubatko wrote something about Fanfest the other day. I believe he said that it hasn't been finalized, but will be done the way it has been the last couple of years -- packaged with the weekend workout before the start of the regular season.

I'm more curious about your comment about the Sun not allowing you to vote more so than than the potential inductees .

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Pete's reply: I updated that entry with an explanation.

Why has The Sun adopted such a ridiculous policy.

Pete - What's the reason behind the Sun not allowing its writers to vote? Wouldn't they want the opinion of their writers heard?

Why does the Sun not allow you guys to vote for awards?

Why won't The Sun allow you to vote?

Who votes on the Hall of Fame? And why does the Sun have such a strange policy?


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Pete's reply: Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America with 10 full years of service and membership in the organization receive ballots.

Peter,
What is the Sun's reasoning behind not allowing writers to have a vote? That is the most absurd thing I've ever heard!!! What would happen to you if you did turn in a ballot? Would they fire you? Ridiculous, preposterous and shame on them!

How many of the O's current roster are guaranteed hall of famers ? What does the current roster do to bring you to the ball park ? Peter the Great must be proud,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Go Ravens,,,,,,,

I guess your explanation makes sense as to why the Sun doesn't let you vote, but that's when you are just a writer. Now that you are a columnist, shouldn't you be able to share your opinion their too?


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Pete's reply: It's just a newspaper-wide policy. I can give my opinion and say how I would have voted. I just can't take part in the election.

that's good stuff. i enjoy your reporting and writing. but for the sun to claim they are an objective newspaper is a joke.

Too bad there isn't a way to make the "news" side of the paper equally objective

Pete, are the ballots made public? If they're not, then how would the Sun know you voted? Fight the power! :)

If I had a ballot, it would have gone for Henderson, Raines, and Blyleven.

Trading Roberts for Young would just be dumb, period. We need them both up the middle to make a winning difference in this ballclub.
But I'd damned sure give the Rangers a couple of our top pitching prospects for him. He's contracturally tied up over the next five years and those prospects hold no guarantees. Plus we have several of them..... and there is only one Michael Young.
Wow......think of it..... Weiters, Jones, Roberts, and Young up the middle. Now THAT's a winning backbone.

"we should only report the news, not take part in making it."

I guess the clowns who write the op- ed pieces don't have to adhere to that philosophy. And, while I'm at it, it is comical how the Sun changed the "reader comments" so that people like Susan Reimer aren't directly beaten up by those of us who feel she deserves all the criticism she gets.

Now that I see the reason for you not voting(Sun policy). My question to you is do you agree with that policy?


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Pete's reply: When the policy was put in place, I was national president of the BBWAA, so obviously I argued against it. I can see both sides, though I would vote if I could.

I know that the O's , are rebuilding , for the last 10 years , but whats wrong with competing now? Their are still players out their we could sign that would help us compete now, maybe not for a championship, but to make the season a little interesting. Guys like A. Dunn , J. Crede , P. Byrd , J. Garland , R .Wolf , and D. Lowe. Even if you were looking for a gate attraction Griffey , Thomas , Pudge and Nomar. I love the O,s but it gets harder every year to watch , when you go in expecting to lose every night!their is money to spend, at least 150 millon

Pretty hard to argue with Rickey Hendserson not getting elected. I'd vote for Rice and Jack Morris if I had a vote and would have done so years ago. I guess the system is set up so that voters can change their minds, soften up etc as Rice had a reputation as being 'difficult' with the media and Morris wasn't excactly warm and cuddly either. It still should come down to their on-field performance and a guy like Morris would command 15-20 mill/season today.
Back to the O's, there's some good analysis here about the direction/rebuild and even in-depth looks at the past(albeit) flawed approach. The main difference(hpefully) is that there seems to be some hope that we have a base to build from, particularly in the pitching dept. Of course nothing is guaranteed but if they recover/stay healthy then the base is there.
Personally, I'd rather see a younger '09 Oriole team as there are far too many roster spots filled by the over 30 bunch. One school of thought is to use the younger pitchers in less stressful roles auch as middle relief and the position players in reserve platoon roles. That's a good way to prepare them for full-time duty. MacPhail's plan seems to be use travel worn vets until the prospects are ready for full time. The downside of this is that we have a problem when they aren't ready and in the meantime, we are really going to take our lumps until then.
On a final note, there's a lot of frustration with the state of the O's but there's not much anyone can do about the past. We have to hope things can better. I really sense fan alienation and if Angelos wants to calm the storm/entice fans back, he should seriously consider an across the board ticket price cut. I'm not holding be breath though!

The Baltimore Sun and Objectivity? Now, there is an oxymoron.

Pete,

I think everyone agrees Henderson should be a first ballot guy. My question, and I really don't know, is if Jim Rice wasn't good enough to get voted in the previous years . . . then why this year? I have a fear that the HOF is putting players in just to draw a crowd to Cooperstown. Was Rice a generational talent?


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Pete's reply: Cooperstown doesn't have anything to do with it. There are about 500 BBWAA voters and nobody tells them anything. I agree that there is some logical inconsistency to the notion that you can get in after being passed over 14 times, but that aspect off the voting was probably put in there to allow time to give some perspective to the situation.

HELP? PETE, the hall of fame has lowered it's standards. Jim Rice????You've got to be kidding. Now that Rice is in, the voters have started something there going to wish they didn't. If you compare, Albert belle, has better numbers then Rice. TO ALL YOU YOUNG KIDS, play in the outfield, you'll have a easier shoot to get to the HALL. Dawson has better numbers then Rice, plus he was so much better with the media and playing defence. Does anyone remember Cal's %

Does anyone remember Cal's %

98.53

Somewhat disappointing that the Hall watered down and caved int to the Rice/Red Sox complaints. But I'm more stoked at Ricky's first press conference. Here's a glimpse:

Reporter: "Ricky, how do you feel at getting into the HOF?"

RH: "Ricky feels real good. Ricky said back in his playing days he was HOF material. Nobody could steal bases like Ricky. No question Ricky was a first ballot entrant. Ricky says thanks to all the fans and the media."

I always liked the athlete who referred to himself in the 3rd person.

With the declining market for the Sun print edition, one would think that they would welcome an objective opinion on who made the HOF cut and vaildated by your vote.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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