Monday, January 12, 2009

Jim Rice

Jim Rice was elected to the HOF today with 76% of the vote. How someone with a vote can make a rational argument that Rice is a HOFer, while Albert Belle is not, mystifies me, but whatever. I wouldn't have voted for him, but he hardly brings shame and disgrace down upon the Hall. He's a borderline guy (where's the swell of support for Dewey, who had a far better case than Rice?), and he had allies in the media building up the myth of the "most feared of his era" and silliness like that, and it finally worked. Good for him, and thank the baby Jesus we don't have to read any more should-he/shouldn't-he arguments.

Rickey Henderson got in with 94.8% of the vote, which causes me to wonder: who are those 5.2% of the voting members of the BBWAA who do not think Rickey belongs in the HOF? Unlike this senile old fool who just plain forgot about Rickey, other voters presumably used their brains for a few seconds, and made the decision that he doesn't belong. I do not get that.

Tim Raines, Bert Blyleven, and Alan Trammel did not get in. Blyleven gained almost a percentage point and is now over 62%. He will be indulcted eventually, finally. Raines actually lost almost 2%, presumably because it's against the BBWAA bylaws or something to vote for more than one HOF-caliber leadoff guy per year. Losing support in your second year isn't a good sign; presumably more than a few voters are thinking more about the coke, than his qualifications. Trammell lost almost a point, and is at 17.4%. It doesn't look promising for the guy who got screwed out of the 1987 MVP by idiot voters who gave it to George Bell instead.

Andre Dawson increased his support, and is now at 67%. He's pretty much a shoe-in at this point. He deserves it about as much as Rice does, though his annual low OBP drags his down. Again like Rice, he won't disgrace the Hall when he gets in.

Mark McGuire held more or less steady, losing less than 2%. Hopefully he'll hold on long enough for the memories of his unfortunate testimony to fade, and he'll get in where he belongs.

Six BBWAA members voted for Mo Vaughn in his first year, and I'd love to hear the arguments for that one. Mo got fat and hurt almost the moment he left Boston for Anaheim, and was never the same player. He only played 12 seasons, was only "great" in 4 of them, and was held back from being even greater by his annual poor defense at 1B. He only got 1.1% of the vote, and will not appear on the ballot next year.

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