Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 at 9:39 am and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

g_gossage.jpgCongratulations to Goose Gossage, the former great New York Yankees closer who has finally been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I have been championing Gossage’s cause for a while. See here and here for posts where I’ve explained my reasons for believing that Gossage should have been voted in a long time ago.

So, today I am glad Hall of Fame voters have finally seen the light and corrected the injustice of leaving one of the most effective, intimidating closers of all time on the outside of Cooperstown’s doors looking in.

That said, how is it that Gossage was considered Hall-worthy by nearly 86 percent of voters this year, but just 33 percent when he first appeared on the ballot in 2000? I will never understand how voters can say a guy is not a Hall of Famer for several years, then suddenly becomes worthy of their vote.

It’s a screwy system, but I’m not sure exactly how to make it better. The only thing I can think of is to shorten the number of years a player can appear on the ballot — though that would mean a deserving candidate like Gossage would be shut out.

Bugs and Cranks, one of the premier baseball blogs around, has some thoughts on the matter. Here is some of the argument made there for changing the system.

Are Hall of Fame candidates being compared to each other from year to year? Was Gossage inducted this year and not before because the voters felt he was the most worthy candidate this year and not in the past? Does this not imply that the writers are tasked with picking the best candidate from year to year from those available instead of actually choosing the players who are truly worthy of entrance into the Hall?

One possible explanation for the increasing and decreasing value of certain players is the voting limit. Voters can only vote for up to 10 players per year which means some players who are truly worthy of Hall of Fame induction won’t gain admittance until other players who are more deserving than them have entered the Hall. Sadly, this doesn’t even hold true as players like Bert Blyleven still await enshrinement and players like Bruce Sutter have gained entry before Goose Gossage. …

It appears evident that voters are viewing some players as Hall of Fame worthy one year and not Hall of Fame worthy the next. The idea of not voting for a Hall worthy player on his first year of eligibility is defensible because it bestows honor on those who do achieve this. Some Hall of Famers are more worthy of enshrinement than others so creating a special circumstance, first ballot acceptance class is actually a quality feature of the process. However, after that first year, why should a Hall worthy player have to wait one, two, or 14 more years to get in? Until the limit on the number of votes is lifted and writers are allowed to vote for every single player they feel is worthy and not just the top ten and until the writers stop voting for players based on arbitrary and irrational ideas, the Hall of Fame voting process will continue to be a joke and entrance into the Hall will carry less meaning than it can and than it should.

That seems logical to me. A player either is a Hall of Famer or he isn’t. Once enshrined a player can’t be taken out. Thus, a player shouldn’t be denied one year simply because there were better players to vote for and get in the next because it is a ‘weak’ class of candidates.

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