Let’s talk about the Hall of Fame for a moment.
I will be straight up with you: I have only nominal interest in the HOF. Similarly, as many of you know, I have only nominal interest in all of the awards. It’s always going to be a very subjective reckoning and while awards hold a good deal of significance to players and the Hall of Fame even more, I would imagine, it’s sort of icing on the cake. Likewise, for us fans, there will always be a player – a player who would never get into the HOF – who matters more to us than 90% of the people who are in it. A player who, for whatever reason, did something to make themselves unforgettable to us. We all have a personal HOF and players are in there for a million and one reasons.
Which brings me back to the real HOF. Everyone and their long-lost brother who’s actually a hockey fan, but still, has an opinion on the ballot. It’s this way every year, but especially this year with Bonds and Clemens on the ballot for the first time. I’ve read so many opinions and articles on the topic that I am ready to pluck my eyeballs out with forks.
People, you need to worry less.
The vote belongs to the voters. The voters, pretty much without exception, know more about baseball than I will ever know, so I don’t expect I’d sway them with my opinion. To the extent that it’s fantasy HOF, eh, fantasy cooking-an-Italian dinner would probably be more fun. To the extent that it’s a manifestation of our opinions on stats vs. old-school measurements of success or PEDs are okay vs. PEDs are not okay, pinning the argument on the HOF seems silly.
I see a lot of new movies every year and when the Academy Award nominations for 2012 are announced on January 10th, I am sure to be disappointed. Some films they won’t recognize because they are too big, too commercial. Some, because they were too small, too independent. Historically, many truly brilliant movies and actors who have endured the test of time were never recognized. But this doesn’t change our experience of watching them now, nor did it when they came out.
And this class of HOF’s will not change the opinion of anyone who’s made up their mind, nor will it change the careers of a select group of great players who are on the ballot.
It is an award. It is arbitrary.