Forgive me if I take a slightly contrarian track here, but I can't wait for the Hall of Fame announcement tomorrow. All the spirited & intelligent exchanges are appreciated, but there comes a time where the battle of good versus evil, the "us versus them" and "right versus wrong" chorus grows stale. The endless barrage of prop-ups and tear-downs wears on my mind, making me long for the lazy palm trees of Spring Training that much more.
The Hall of Fame matters to fans and matters to the players, but the writers view the Hall of Fame as their own. A hallowed keep that requires their steadfast protection, the integrity of which they must guard like a team staffers protect the soggy press box French fries. The nebulous criteria offered for Hall of Fame candidates runs the gamut from "feared" to "awe" to "he invited me to his wedding." Meanwhile the sober-minded SABRsquad attack with ferocity should any ignorant boob exhibit the temerity to step out of their increasingly dogmatic way of thinking.
The quest to empiricize every aspect of each player's career and shout in the face of heretics who don't agree is a little tiresome. As my friend Parkes of Drunk Jays Fans said, it starts to become a celebration of the intelligence of the advocates, not the qualities of the players. Even more regrettably, the archaic likes of Jon Heyman seem to only dig in further, resolute in their refusal to accept reason or rationale.
The Hall of Fame is a wonderful place and the ultimate bookend to a successful baseball career. The current wave of reason is a godsend, the implications of which will change the future of the Hall but can't undo the oversights of the past. The current "changing of the guard" phase contains too much ugliness and too many haymakers to engage impartial observes or casual fans in any way. It just becomes your drunk uncles talking about politics at Christmas dinner.