By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — There’s nothing — nothing — in the sports world worse than a Baseball Hall of Fame debate. Nothing.

It happens every year: Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who own a vote for the Hall of Fame share their thoughts about who they chose and why. It is, in and of itself, a foolish endeavor, due to the general vagueness of the criteria for voting.

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“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played,” the Hall of Fame explains.

The guidelines allow for several interpretations, and they’re only further complicated by a number of voters’ insistence on creating their own subset of rules.

And that’s what this story is about. This is not a Hall of Fame debate, because it is impossible to debate facts. And the fact is this: Anyone who left Pedro Martinez off this year’s Hall of Fame ballot is a complete bozo.

Normally, it would be considered rather harsh to refer to any group of people using a word that is defined as “a stupid or foolish person.” But there are people leaving Pedro Jaime Martinez off their Hall of Fame ballots — what else are we supposed to do?

These people have names, but for the interest of not giving them any more attention than they’ve already gained for themselves, I’ll give them some pseudonyms for the time being: Bozo A and Bozo B.

Bozo A did not vote for Pedro because there were other names on the ballot — Alan Trammell and Larry Walker — that “needed me more.”


Pedro Martinez (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Nowhere in the Hall of Fame’s explanation of voting does the Hall ask voters to consider which players will receive more votes than others and then adjust their votes accordingly. If everyone did this, then nobody worthy would get in. It would be the Hall of Fringe Hall of Famers Because Everyone Assumed The All-Time Greats Would Get In.

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In a world where voters come up with some cockamamie explanations every year, that one just might take the cake.

But Bozo B sure makes a case as winning this year’s “Most Insufferable Voter” award. Bozo B left Pedro off his ballot because while the pitcher is certainly worthy of making the Hall of Fame, he is not worthy of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Wait, what?

Pedro Martinez (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Pedro Martinez (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

I’m sorry (no I’m not), but that’s just idiotic. You are not a great arbiter of justice. You are merely a man with a laptop who has a vote for this silly club. Spare me the “not a first-ballot” baloney, because again, that’s not part of the voting criteria.

The job is simple: Vote for the game’s best players. Yet every year, a number of bozos come out of the woodwork to make things more complicated than they need to be. This is why Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr., George Brett, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth were not unanimously voted into the Hall — because voters have been insufferable from the very get-go.

I’m not going to run through Pedro’s statistics, because for one, that would be boring like every other Hall of Fame debate, and secondly, they’re not necessary. Anyone who watched baseball in the late ’90s through the 2000s knows that he belongs in the Hall of Fame. It’s obvious.

So vote for the guy, bozos, or you risk … well, you risk just about nothing. But you will be exposed as being a bozo.

Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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