While many were watching the primary results in New Hampshire, I was following the results of a much more important race: the baseball Hall of Fame Balloting. And let me be the first to say (at least the first I've read...and really that's all that matters), I am thoroughly disappointed.
Brief summary of players who got in: Goose Gossage. Yep. That's it. Now I'd first like to congratulate Gossage, a dominant player who I believe deserved to be in. Let me follow up by stating that this election highlights the idiocy of the Hall of Fame voters.
My first point of contention is the length that some of these candidates must spend on the ballot before they get elected. It took Gossage 9 years to be elected. That is absolutely ridiculous. The first time he was on the ballot he received just over 33% of the vote. This time he was on 85.8% of ballots. Now again, I'm very happy for Gossage. But I don't understand how nearly 50% of voters could change their mind. It's not like he pitched in more games. But the reason this happens is the idiotic practice of some sports writers who feel that they are making a statement by waiting to vote for a guy. I could say that this is the most retarded practice by the BBWAA, but that would be underestimating their vast potential for bone-headed moves. Look, if a guy belongs in the Hall, vote for him. Every year. What could you possibly gain by not voting for a guy like Gossage for 5 years. Are you trying to hurt his feelings by saying, "Hey you're good, but not that good?" If he still ends up enshrined, really all you've done is waste time.
My second beef with this voting are the four players who did not get in but should be; Bert Blyleven, Lee Smith, Tim Raines, and Mark McGwire. First off, Blyleven. I have no idea how he didn't get in. The man has the 5th most strikeouts of All-Time. He had a career ERA+ (a park- and era- adjusted ERA figure, where 100 is average) of 118. He had a career WHIP of 1.198. He was a domination post-season performer. Also if you look at the most similar players on baseball-reference.com: Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, Tommy John, Robin Roberts, Tom Seaver, Jim Kaat, Early Wynn, Phil Niekro, and Steve Carlton. There's 8 Hall of Famers there. As for Smith, he probably has the weakest case for Hall entry of the 4. But three stats jump out at me: 478 career saves (good enough for 2nd most all-time), a career ERA of 3.03, and a career ERA+ of 131. I feel like that should be enough. Raines should be in because other than the great Rickey there was no better leadoff man in the 80s and 90s. He has 808 career stolen bases (and was only caught 146 times, for an absurd and other-worldly 85% success rate), a career .385 OBP, and a career SLG% of .425. In addition, he is the only former player that has nearly been run over by your author and his boss at a minor league baseball game in a yellow VW Beetle (in no way was this my fault). Finally, McGwire. I have discussed why he cannot be excluded for alleged steroid use in a previous post. But why does he belong in? The man hit 583 career homeruns. That is a butt-load of homeruns. In addition, he had a career OBP of .394, a career SLG% of .588 (which is just plain ridiculous), and, along with Cal Ripken Jr. and Sammy Sosa, helped save baseball from itself in the mid to late 90s. In 1998, when he was hitting 70 homeruns and clearly at his muscle-mass peak, and there were talks of him using performance enhancers, nobody really cared because it was cool. Now everybody wants to clean up the sport and punish McGwire. Make up your mind! And it has been made up, you OKed it when it was happening, now live with it and continue to reward the man.
My third beef with Hall of Fame voting concerns Albert Belle and how he is not only not in the Hall of Fame, but also not even on the ballot any more. This may or may not be expanded upon later in this forum, but simply know this: Albert Belle is the anti-Bill Mazeroski in that Belle isn't in because he's an asshole and Mazeroski is because he was a press favorite.
My fourth issue with Hall of Fame voting is the "journalists" who give faulty logic for their voting. I would expand but really I cannot do it justice like the guys over at firejoemorgan.com can, so I will request that you take a gander at their stuff.
My final complaint is how in the hell did Brady Anderson not get a single vote and yet Todd Stottlemyre got one?!?! Utterly preposterous!