Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Goose Is No Longer Loose

Goose Gossage was elected to the Hall of Fame today, which probably made the "Goose Saved the Day" pin I found while cleaning out my dad's garage over the holidays a little more valuable- tho still not as precious as the stack of old Playboys. Candy Loving- now there's a Hall of Famer.

This year, Gossage was the only person to receive the necessary 408 votes for induction, leaving players like Bert Blyleven, Dale Murphy, and Alan Trammell on the outside looking in (but with still enough votes to be on the ballot in 2009...where they'll be on the outside looking in). Ten former players were selected on fewer than 5 percent of voters ballots, which means that they will not be eligible for future ballots. What's notable isn't their elimination from contention, but rather that eight of those ten players received any votes at all, as none of those eight were even remotely worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. I've been trying to get inside the minds of those writers who did give them their votes, and have come up with a few theories. Here's a brief look at what their thought process might have been:

Rod Beck (2 votes):
As Woody Paige has already acknowledged, any player that was just willing to talk to him had already won over his heart and earned a vote. Beck went one step further and actually cracked open a Pabst Blue Ribbon with visitors to his trailer, so of course he must have some fans amongst the writers. Initially, I was surprised that Beck didn't pick up more than just the two votes simply for the beer until I realized that most writers would be too lazy to make the trek out to where Beck was staying.

Travis Fryman (2 votes): Fryman retired with the same number of HRs (223) as Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, so obviously he must be a HOF'er too. For a more compelling case, check out this analysis from The Grand National Championships, who advocates on Fryman's behalf because he was one of the few prolific drug-free players of his era.

Robb Nen (2 votes): These votes were made by big Troy Percival fans (does NFL Adam have a vote?) who are trying to pave the way for Percival's candidacy in six years. Or maybe these votes were made to illustrate the meaningless of the save statistic and is all part of a preemptive strike to keep Trevor Hoffman out of the Hall whenever he and his 86 mph fastball decide to call it quits.

Shawon Dunston (1 vote): No doubt that this vote came from a Chicago writer. Cubs announcers and beat reporters were touting Dunston as a future Hall of Famer from the first day he put on a Cubs uniform, so rather than being proven wrong, some writer just decided to vote for him.

Chuck Finley (1 vote): I think someone was just throwing him a bone for having to deal with the train wreck that was Tawny Kitaen. Poor Finley. He thought he was marrying the chick from the Whitesnake videos and instead he ended up w/ a coke fiend who beat the crap out of him w/ her shoe. The least you can do is let the guy think that for one day, there was someone who believed he was a Hall of Fame pitcher.

David Justice (1 vote): Justice named names for the Mitchell report, and so he was rewarded by some self-satisfied, sanctimonious reporter who believes himself to be the arbiter of baseball's morality. This, despite the fact that the very same writer failed to do his job and report on the rampant steroid use as it was occurring.

Chuck Knoblauch (1 vote)
: This vote was given by a Yankees writer who liked to bring his kid with him to a few games each season. Sometimes, his son would sit in the stands along the first-base line; and each time, Knoblauch was such a swell guy, that he'd take the first grounder hit to him and throw it to the boy in the stands. How much more fan-friendly can you get?

Todd Stottlemyre (1 vote): With all of the negativity surrounding the game right now thanks to the steroid/HGH scandal, one writer wanted to reward a player who was focused on making the world a better place. While Stottlemyre never put up anything better than average numbers, he was once the recipient of the Branch Rickey Award and Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, which are given to a player in recognition of exceptional community service. Stottlemyre has served as chairman of Caring for Kids, which is the fundraising division of the Arizona Baptist Childrens Services. Among the ABCS' activities is the Father/Daughter Purity Ball, which is a dance in which daughters sign a pledge not to have sex until marriage. So as a reward for serving as the Protector of the Hymen, Todd Stottlemyre has his Hall of Fame cherry popped.

It just goes to show that even the senseless can make sense if you can put yourself into a senseless mind. Or something like that.



At Wed Jan 09, 10:15:00 AM PST , Blogger Cecilio's Scribe said...

great stuff. was thinking about exploring the 1-2 vote-getters, but someone's already done it...and better than i would have.

At Wed Jan 09, 10:48:00 AM PST , Anonymous Faust said...

Purity Ball... how do I get tix to that?


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