Abraham On Toucher & Rich: Baseball Hall Of Fame Voting Needs Overhaul
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BOSTON (CBS) – The MLB Network will announce today at 2pm the class of 2014 Baseball Hall Of Fame inductees, and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe revealed to Toucher & Rich this morning his ballot and why the standards for voting needs to change.
First, here’s who Abraham voted for: Tim Raines, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling and Frank Thomas – and if he could have voted for more than 10 players he would have chosen Alan Trammel and Barry Bonds.
Abraham takes his ballot very seriously, and unlike some baseball writers he makes it public so he can provide reason and defend his choices.
“The way the ballot works is that if somebody doesn’t get five percent of votes they fall off the ballot entirely, and guys only have fifteen years to get votes. I wouldn’t want to be the guy whose one vote screwed up somebody’s chances to get in the Hall of Fame.”
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Hundreds of writers vote, and each have their own criteria and standards for what constitutes a Hall of Fame-worthy career.
How then is it possible to come to a fair and balanced process, that leaves out biases and agendas, when the rules sent to you from Cooperstown are so vague?
The answer? It’s not possible.
“The rules that they send you are very ambiguous and they were written in the 1930’s. The clause about how you’re supposed to look at integrity and all that was written by Kenesaw Mountain Landis – who was the commissioner who did everything he could to keep black players out of the game.”
Abraham believes the standards for voting need to be overhauled and updated, so that the so-called “Steroid Era” can be judged for what it is.
“There’s a lot about the rules that are antiquated. I think they do need to step up and say something about the steroid stuff, like either a ‘do what you want with it’ or ‘this is how we feel’ – something. There’s really no guidelines, and with 600 people voting there’s 600 different ways to look at that.”
If change were to come it would not come from the BBWAA, it would come from the Hall. The writers are simply asked to vote by the Hall of Fame.
“It would have to be the baseball writers getting together and saying to the Hall, ‘hey can you give us something more than what you’re giving us already,'” said Abraham.
Abraham indicated there’s movement from the writers and a groundswell of support for the need to vote for more than ten players in a given year, but so far nothing on the steroid front.
Listen below for the full discussion, which includes why Abraham didn’t vote for Jack Morris: