BOSTON (CBS) – Right as Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti were coming on the air today at 2pm, the MLB announced its Hall Of Fame Class Of 2014.
It included just three players: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas.
Just shy of the required 75% of votes was longtime Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio, which led Felger and Mazz to wonder: is it the “Hall Of Fame” or the “Hall Of Very Good”?
Biggio was two votes short of nomination, so while he was left out this time around he will surely get in someday – probably next year.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe appeared on the Toucher & Rich program Wednesday morning, and he would like to see the Hall expand the ballot, so that writers like him can vote for more than the maximum ten players in a given year.
Abraham On Toucher & Rich: Baseball Hall Of Fame Voting Needs Overhaul
This attitude, that more players should be allowed into the Hall Of Fame, got Mike Felger and Tony Mazz all worked up. (Note: Tony Massarotti, the resident BBWAA member with a HOF vote, selected only Maddux, Glavine and Thomas on his ballot.)
“You get ten names to pick on the ballot and some people want thirteen…what?! I just think it gets ridiculous. I was scared we would have an eight-person Hall of Fame class, and it’s only three. We’re only talking about three names, we’re not talking about eight – which I like,” said Felger.
It’s impossible to compare numbers anymore because of how inflated they got during the steroid era, so what the voters should really be basing their vote on is their eyeballs – the proverbial “eye test.”
“Putting the steroid stuff to the side, what I wish more voters aired on was the side of greatness. The one that was really going to aggravate me today was Craig Biggio…Craig bleeping Biggio? Was Biggio ever one of the best players in the league? Was he ever a top five player in the league? He finished fourth in MVP voting once and fifth another time – that’s as high as he’s ever gotten,” said Felger making his case against Biggio.
“He was never considered a dominant force in the game. Was he ever considered great? Did you ever have to pitch around Craig Biggio? Was he ever a game changer? Or was he a guy that just played a long time and got 3,000 hits? He played in 40 postseason games and hit .234 – GREATNESS! Vote for greatness!”
“Biggio has become a bigger deal to me than the steroids issue,” said Felger.
Tony is on board with this, and as a voter himself he has seen over the years how the voting process has become imperfect.
And in this convoluted mess of dissension among the new blood of writers and the old guard “keepers of the gate,” the process should be more about whether or not the player was special.
“The career achievements, or the longevity – the guys who post numbers over the course of their career who had longevity – to me, those guys aren’t the definition of what a Hall Of Famer is,” said Tony Massarotti.
“You need some longevity don’t get me wrong, you can’t play seven years and get in. But I also think somewhere along the line you have to have a period of dominance and be one of those guys that when you get to the plate people say, ‘Well what are we going to do now?’ – Biggio was never one of those guys.”