Not much has changed since I opined that the only thing the BBWAA should vote for is the hall of sandwiches. I'm still just a very biased baseball fan who has medium talent in blogging. I'm not entirely well-versed in baseball history and my knowledge pool is shallow enough that I wouldn't ask you to dive in lest you get a head injury.
I'm going to speak about the voting process in a more broad sense today to avoid being too specific. I do this for two reasons: one, in these final weeks of Walkoff Walk, we editors want our work to be timeless and not dated. Two, I couldn't possibly care any less if Jeff Bagwell gets into Cooperstown. Or any other player, for that matter.
I could argue until my face is blue about statistics and character and career impact, but when I take a step back and evaluate my selfish ranting I ask: does this outcome really affect my day-to-day life? What will I lose or gain if Player X doesn't earn his eternal induction to the Pantheon of baseball folk?
After all, I don't know a single professional baseball player personally, let alone one of the game's legends. The closest thing to a "baseball player" that's ever set foot in my kitchen is me, and I stopped playing the game at age 12 when I got hit in the eye with a can-of-corn fly ball. So when the 2011 inductees are announced later today, I will be merely an interested observer of the results; not an emotionally-invested participant in the activity.
Do I care about who gets in? Yes. Will I rend my garments and gnash my teeth over who gets included/excluded? No.
In fact, I'd like to see the baseball hall of fame be more inclusive than it is now. And I'd like to see baseball writers only formulate positive arguments in players' favor, not arguments that specifically seek to destroy the reputation of both players and their supporters (even the zealots!)
C'mon, the hall of fame in Cooperstown is a scurrilous organization anyway! Look back at this very website and you'll read about hat controversies, fraudulent uniforms, Mr. Belding stories, and overtly-political ex-presidents. It's just a big building in the middle of Upstate Bumblefuck, New York that happens to have some old baseball bats behind glass. This big, dumb building should not affect our appreciation of the entire pastime.
And, in that case, the big, dumb writers who control enshrinement in the big, dumb building should also not affect our appreciation. There exist many BBWAA members among the electorate who are aggressive assholes and simply should not be allowed to cast a ballot. Some of them are selfish and morally superior prudes. Others are senile old codgers. I'm not going to name names now (we'll save that for our enemies post).
The hall of fame is a nefariously-run private corporation so asking them to change their relationship with the BBWAA is as hopeless as getting B.J. Surhoff inducted (but don't let that stop Barry Stanton from trying). I don't even have any alternative methods for enshrinement that make a shred of sense. And my self-professed lack of interest in the process has been wholly negated by the sheer number of words I wrote about this topic.
In conclusion, I can only hope that I never become close, personal friends with Jeff Bagwell or else I'll really start caring about those sanctimonious dickhead writers and their tut-tutting and tongue-clucking keeping him out of the Hall because of completely fabricated steroid allegations. Unless I hear that Bagwell throws a mean Super Bowl party. You know, with a six-foot sub sandwich.