By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub

BOSTON (CBS) — Like you, I’ve been waiting. I’ve been waiting to find out which three voters failed to place Ken Griffey Jr. among a maximum of 10 names on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. And perhaps more importantly, I’ve been waiting to find out why.

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In the interim, there has been a lot of ground to cover, some of it relating to the candidates, some of it relating to the process.

Let’s start here: Ken Griffey is the best player I have ever seen, in person, particularly as it pertains to the 15 or 16 years I spent covering Major League Baseball, officially from 1994-2009 (or so). In my estimation, Griffey was — and is — the perfect player, a brilliant combination of speed, power, defense, smarts, instinct, arm strength and natural, uncorrupted ability. Other guys have put up better numbers in various aspects of the game, but there has never, ever been anybody who excelled in so many facets of the game and who looked so perfectly natural doing it.

Baseball came easily to him. In every way imaginable. And it showed. Griffey never looked like he was straining to do anything. He was modern baseball’s version of Secretariat, right down to the playful personality.

For the younger folk, let me put it this way: I’d take Griffey in his prime over Mike Trout. Every time. I’d take Griffey over everybody.

Now as to why someone would leave Griffey off his or her Hall of Fame ballot is entirely beyond me, an act for which I believe there is no real defense. (Maybe this is it has taken so long to identify the culprits.) We all know Griffey was good enough, as have been many others. And if someone left Griffey off the ballot for the purpose of manipulating the process — namely, to give a vote to someone who otherwise would have been squeezed off his/her ballot — that to me is perhaps a most inexcusable sin.

The Hall of Fame, after all, is not about the greater good. It never has been. It is exclusionary by definition. If someone believed there were 11 worthy candidates on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot — and I question that thinking, too — then the logic of omitting Griffey is, as we like to say, ass-backwards. Griffey should have been the first name on this year’s ballot, not the 10th. You want to bounce Alan Trammell from the ballot for Lee Smith, we can have that discussion. But Junior should have been bounced for no one.

Look, I get it. Elections, by definition, are as flawed as the people who vote in them. Getting 100 percent of a relatively large group of people (let alone sanctimonious, know-it-all sports reporters) to agree on anything is impossible. Nobody has ever come closer to a 100 percent approval rating than Griffey, who was named on all but three ballots. But it’s the reason for omission that matters now.

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Which brings me to the Old World vs. New World media war that has been raging for many years now, thanks to a world that has given everyone direct access to everyone else, for better and for worse.

The three voters who have taken so long to come out? For all the complaining you have done about the anonymous snipers on the web, you are now doing the same thing. What has separated the old world from the new, at least in the part, is a willingness to put your name to it. No hiding. No cowering. No shrinking. You make a decision and you live with it, come hell or high water.

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If I’m not mistaken, this was the 13th year I have voted for the Hall of Fame. If I’m not mistaken, based on changes to the voting standards that went into place last summer, I might have six or seven years left before my vote is revoked for the simple fact that I don’t attend baseball games regularly anymore. Hall of Fame votes were never supposed to be like seats on the Supreme Court, so believe me when I say that when the time comes, I will have no regrets about losing my vote. By that point, with regard to the players on the ballot, someone else will be far more qualified.

Like many in this process, I can honestly state that my logic has been flawed over the years. Maybe you don’t agree with me that some steroids users should be in and some don’t. Maybe you agree with me on John Smoltz (no) and Trevor Hoffman (no), or maybe you disagree with me on Jim Rice (yes) and Edgar Martinez (yes). You have every right to do so. But I can honestly tell you that I have always tried to vote for the worthiest players, at least within the very limited parameters of my own mind, and I have never voted for someone (or not) at the expense of another candidate or that I deprived someone of a vote purely out of spite.

And I suspect that most voting members have done the same.

The people who omitted Ken Griffey Jr.?

I have no answers for them.

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On this one, they’re on their own.