Questionable Hall of Fame Ballots - Year Over Year Inconsistency
I will admit that it's very difficult to not get Wally Backman Crazy on some of these voters but I'm going to do my best. As mentioned in my previous post, Hall of Fame voting has serious implications - it affects the livelihood of men (appearances, memorabilia, etc.) - and I believe that the votes should be well-thought and adequately explained, if the need for explanation arises. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and their own voting biases, which is what makes this whole process so interesting and maddening. So instead of spouting off on the voters that didn't vote according to my voting bible, I'll offer an opportunity to explain... to any voters that might actually read this, I'd offer the opportunity to explain and defend your ballots.
I've already reached out to a few voters on Twitter (@OCP22)- Tracy Ringolsby (@TracyRingolsby) was kind enough to answer the question, "Why NOT vote for Frank Thomas on (his) first ballot when (he) voted for Jeff Bagwell last year?" His reply to my questioned was featured as part of his mlb.com mailbag but Tracy's ballot is actually NOT one of the biggest head scratchers out there. Tracy was just kind enough to engage my banter on Twitter.
Alas, here are the ballots that were most perplexing to me:
Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rostenthal)
2013 Ballot - Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell
2014 Ballot - Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Raines, Curt Schilling, Frank Thomas
Last year, Biggio, Schilling and Piazza weren't good enough but this year they are. Last year, McGriff, Trammell and Smith graced your ballot and this year they don't. And if you're a "first ballot" stigma guy, then why include Mussina this year (he could be Hall worthy but if it seems like a stretch to say he's first ballot and Mike Piazza isn't).
Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff)
2013 Ballot - Bagwell, Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Kenny Lofton, Martinez, Raines, Schilling Trammell, Larry Walker
2014 Ballot - Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Mussina, Piazza, Schilling, Thomas, Walker
Oh boy... let's forget about the Kenny Lofton vote (I actually like Lofton - he deserves wayyy more support than he got). Please explain how Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez Tim Raines and Alan Trammell can all disappear from your ballot one year to the next.
Danny Knobler (@Danny Knobler)
2013 Ballot - Jack Morris, Raines, Trammell
2014 Ballot - Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, Mark McGwire, Morris, Piazza, Schilling, Thomas Trammell
Knobler had only three names on his ballot last year, statistically on the smaller side... he had 10 names on his ballot this year, which is the largest difference I could find year over year AND one of the names he actually did have on his ballot last year (Tim Raines) was left off this year!
Bob Kuenster (@BBDEditor)
2013 Ballot - Bagwell, Biggio, Martinez, Morris, Raines, Schilling
2014 Ballot - Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Jeff Kent, Maddux, McGriff, Morris, Mussina, Piazza, Thomas
Drops Raines, throws in McGriff and Piazza. I don't know...
2013 Ballot - Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Palmeiro, Piazza, Smith, Sosa, Trammell
2014 Ballot - Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Glavine, Maddux, McGriff, Smith, Thomas, Trammell, Walker
McGwire, Sosa and Piazza all supported last year... this year, no love but he did throw in Larry Walker. Cue the slow clap.
Steve Simmons (@Simmonssteve)
2013 Ballot - Bagwell, Morris, Piazza, Raines, Smith, Walker
2014 Ballot - Bagwell, Glavine, Maddux, Morris, Mussina, Piazza, Schilling, Smith, Thomas
Last year, there were five names on this ballot including Raines and Walker. This year, he added four first-ballot guys (Glavine, Maddux, Mussina and Thomas) so mathematically, there was one spot left for Raines or Walker... so your stance on both of those guys changed year over year?
Ann Killion (@AnnKillion)
2013 Ballot - Raines, Smith
2014 Ballot - Maddux, Raines, Smith, Thomas
Oh Ann... you'll have to explain to me what universe you live in. I just don't see how Tim Raines and Lee Smith are Hall of Famers and Tom Glavine and Craig Biggio are not.
Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib)
2013 Ballot - Bagwell, Biggio, Morris, Raines, Schilling Smith
2014 Ballot - Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Morris, Smith, Thomas
Six names on your ballot last year, six names on your ballot this year... three that were there last year didn't make the cut this year. Are we restricting our ballot to six names?
2013 Ballot - Biggio, Morris, Smith
2014 Ballot - Glavine, Maddux, Morris, Thomas
Congratulations, Mr. Schwarz. Your ballot excluded Craig Biggio who missed enshrinement by two votes... and you voted for him last year on his first ballot. Apologies to Lee Smith, too. He did something wrong this year.
2014 Ballot - Morris, Hideo Nomo, Raines, Trammell
Alternate universe... Hideo Nomo is a Hall of Famer and Greg Maddux is not.
Mark Purdy (@MercPurdy)
2013 Ballot - Biggio, Morris, Raines, Smith
2014 Ballot - Glavine, Maddux, Smith, Thomas
See Schwarz above and Biertempfel above. Four names each year... three different names this year. Craig Biggio hates you.
Dennis Semrau (@DennisSemrauWSJ)
2013 Ballot - Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, McGriff, Morris, Murphy, Piazza, Raines, Schilling Smith
2014 Ballot - Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Martinez, Morris, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Thomas
No consistency here... none. Bonds and Clemens one year, not the next. Martinez even makes a cameo appearance on your ballot this year. Good stuff, Dennis.
Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) and Richard Griffin (@RGriffinStar)
You each left off one of Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens (while leaving the other on)... I'd love to know how you made that decision. I'm guessing a coin flip was involved.