Where’s Maddux? Baseball Fans Get Riled Up Over Stingy Hall Voter
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hall of Fame hunting season has started a day early.
Baseball fans got a jump on the yearly tradition when Ken Gurnick, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat reporter for MLB.com, revealed his ballot Tuesday. He’s voting for one guy and one guy only: former Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris.
In an article published to the league’s official website, 17 contributing writers — all members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — disclosed who they voted for and why. Squeaky-clean starters Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine made the cut for everyone but Gurnick.
Nobody — including baseball’s best players from the Steroids Era — received the 75 percent necessary for enshrinement in 2013. It will be Morris’ 15th and final shot at Cooperstown.
“Morris has flaws — a 3.90 ERA, for example,” Gurnick wrote ahead of Wednesday’s Hall announcement. “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.”
Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner, was believed to have a shot at unanimous selection in his first year on the ballot.
To say baseball fans were riled up would be an understatement. Here’s a sampling:
Having a Hall of Fame ballot and using it to vote only for Jack Morris is like going to Ruth's Chris Steak House to eat a sugar packet.—
D.J. Short (@djshort) January 07, 2014
Others came to his defense:
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 07, 2014
Blasting writers for their Hall of Fame vote is nothing new. Last year, fans were on the hunt for the person who thought Aaron Sele and his 4.61 ERA deserved a spot in Cooperstown. Los Angeles Daily News columnist Jill Painter received heaps of criticism for a ballot that included Shawn Green, Craig Biggio, Kenny Lofton, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.
And there will be more vitriol in 2014. Don’t forget, Deadspin said it purchased a ballot from a to-be-named BBWAA member. That’ll be fun.
Mike Mussina, Maddux, Glavine and Frank Thomas are among the first-timers on this year’s ballot. Others on the loaded 36-player list include holdovers Biggio, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Morris and the Steroids Era-tainted foursome of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
The latest Hall of Fame class will be announced at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
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