I’ve gone down a rabbit hole over the past 14 days. It’s the baseball writer voting rabbit hole, and boy is it deep. It’s deeper than the dive Ed Harris did in the 1989 film The Abyss, when he went so far down he found an alien structure on the ocean floor.
In these 14 days, we’ve seen a fledgling journo rank Zack Wheeler 5th on his Cy Young ballot. Jim Salisbury had Juan Soto 7th for MVP. And as Hall of Fame ballots trickle in, the funkiness continues. Jack McCaffrey of the Delco Times voted for former Phillies Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Bobby Abreu, while pulling his 2021 vote for Curt Schilling.
This guy didn’t vote for anybody, for the second-straight year:
I just submitted my 2022 Hall of Fame ballot with no selections. I omitted the new and usual PED suspects and, at his own request, Curt Schilling. Strongly considered Scott Rolen, but determined Rolen does not compare with the elite third basemen already in Cooperstown. #HOF
— Steve Marcus (@newsdayalum) November 29, 2021
We can argue the steroid thing for days, but even then, there are guys on this ballot who are HOF-worthy non-cheaters. And for what it’s worth, Steve Marcus isn’t even in the full-time writing business anymore. He used to work for Newsday and in 2020 submitted a ballot with Derek Jeter as the only selection.
So you ask yourself why these guys have votes if they’re not going to use them. There are so many qualified and hungry baseball media members who take the responsibility seriously and don’t use the platform for contrarian attention seeking. The problem is the old-school baseball vanguard, which reeks of self-importance, with elder scribes bloviating about the integrity of the game and hallowed status of the BBWAA and all of that nonsense. It’s so goofy. These guys write about baseball, but if you ask them, their work is right up there with finding the cure for cancer.
There has to be a better way to do the voting. Give it to the players? Managers? Respected people who actually played the game? I’m not saying that every baseball voter is a joke, because that would be unfair, but a portion of dinosaurs are ruining it for everybody else.