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Blank Hall of Fame ballots say nothing

By December 26, 2012

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It's a slow time of year for baseball writers, so this holiday week staple is back. "How I Voted In My Hall of Fame Ballot" is coming or has come to a newspaper and website near you.

From it is the modern offshoot: "Nobody deserves to be in the Hall of Fame this year."

The latest to pull out that column is Mark Faller of the Arizona Republic, who wrote that he's sending a blank ballot back to Cooperstown. But he's only doing it as a one-year protest.

So, in other words, Jack Morris might be worthy of his vote next year, but he's got another year of eligibility after this one, so he's not doing any harm with this protest vote. He breaks down his reasoning, and knows it's a bit controversial.

It's also a big cop-out.

Faller writes: "With no guidance from either the Hall of Fame or Major League Baseball, no clarity from the courts or Congress, and no soul-baring from the players themselves, it's up to the 600 or so Hall of Fame voters to be judge and jury for these symbols of baseball's steroids era."

I have a solution for Faller and others in his camp: If you don't like it, just give up your ballot. For good. (I'm not eligible, so I don't want it.) Taking away the ballot can change the percentages, and if more writers leave their ballots blank, there won't be any Hall of Fame players breaking that 75 percent threshold.

There might be years in which the ballot is light, but this isn't one of them. I'm fairly certain there are worthy players on this ballot who didn't cheat.

If Jack Morris is a Hall of Fame choice next winter, why isn't he now? The guy is 57 years old, so I don't think he's doing anything to boost that resume in the meantime. So Mike Piazza is not worthy now, but will be next year? Craig Biggio and his 3,000 hits aren't good enough? Players hate that this is how their legacy is decided, and not just the ones in the crosshairs of the performance-enhancing drugs debate. And on that, they all have a point.

Would a blank Hall of Fame class really resolve anything and cause change? No, I don't think so.

Comments

December 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm
(1) Bill says:

Any writer mailing in a blank ballot should be permanently barred from voting. There are always worthy candidates. Ask Lee Smith…..

December 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm
(2) sctvlk says:

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