Ah, the Hall of Fame. Steroids. Baseball. Controversy. America!
The baseball world was in an uproar yesterday as the HOF ballot of Ken Gurnick, Dodgers beat reporter, was revealed to solely contain Jack Morris, and no one else.
Morris has flaws -- a 3.90 ERA, for example. But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Player Award votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won't vote for any of them.
Gurnick's snub of Greg Maddux will prevent Maddux from being voted unanimously into the Hall, and this encited quite the array of responses.
As Chipper Jones put it prior to the reveal:
Chipper Jones on ex-#Brave Maddux: "Some dumb (bleep) will probably leave him off the ballot because no one else has been a unanimous pick."— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) January 7, 2014
"Ken Gurnick's Hall of Fame ballot is perhaps the laziest and most willfully ignorant ever" - Craig Calcaterra, HardballTalk
"Greg Maddux won't be a unanimous Hall of Famer for an incredibly stupid reason" - Cliff Corcoran, The Strike Zone - Sports Illustrated
"Presenting your worst Hall of Fame ballot" - Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation
Not voting for Greg Maddux is bad. Voting for Jack Morris and not voting for Greg Maddux is a Hall of Fame ballot felony.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2014
So it's "Burn Ken Gurnick at the Stake" day. Don't agree with him voting only for Morris. But he earned vote and is entitled to his opinion.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 7, 2014
Releasing the Ken Gurnick ballot on the Internet is like throwing a whale carcass into a shark tank.— Brian Costa (@BrianCostaWSJ) January 7, 2014
To know how the 17 writers on the MLB.com staff voted go here, and to see how the 17 ESPN voters submitted go here. Jayson Stark provided a thorough and thoughtful explanation of his picks, while Joe Posnanski's Massive Hall of Fame post and Q and A from his live chat were very insightful as well.
Ray Ratto of CSN Bay Area posted his ballot for the masses to devour and discuss, and presented it so wonderfully and with such jest that if you read anything today, please let it be his post:
So, because you didn't ask, don't care and really shouldn't bother one way or another, here is my ballot - released only because of transparency, and not because I think it should sway, enlighten, entertain or discomfort you. I used a blue highlighter on 10 names; I did not crack the Chinese military codebook.
The results of the Hall of Fame voting will be revealed today at 2:00 p.m. ET on the MLB Network, with a three-hour special beginning at noon. For those of you at work, the show will be simulcast on MLB.com as well.
- Dave Cameron looked at which active players are likely to end up in Cooperstown, with Pujols, Jeter and Ichiro as the only locks, and A-Rod included with that crew if it weren't for the whole PEDs thing. He continues on with additional players, noting them as "Almost There, Just Don't Suck for a Few More Years," "Could Make It With Strong Finish" and a variety of other categories. Longo was the only Rays player to make the list, coming in at number 14 on "On Track, but Not Quite There Yet."
- Jack Moore of The Score looked at whether blaming the BBWAA for a flawed system of HOF voting is really called for, mentioning the IBBWAA and influence/voice of the Internet.
- ICYMI: Danny compiled all of our favorite moments from the 2013 season, along with our favorite song of the past year. Pretty nice variety all around.
- Gabe Kapler began a lifestyle and fitness site, and early indications appear that it'll be full of healthy snacking and eating tips and tricks, workout and exercise plans and pictures of Kapler sprinkled throughout.