I’m Happy For Papi But The Hall of Fame Process Needs To Change
Big Papi is in, but he should not be alone
As a lifelong fan of the Boston Red Sox, it brings a smile to my face to see that David Ortiz is now a member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. However, Tuesday's announcement of the voting results revealed some troubling trends to this baseball fan.
Celebrate Ortiz's Accomplishments
David Ortiz is one of most impactful players in Red Sox franchise history, as well as baseball history. He is the first player to be inducted in his first year of eligibility who spent his career primarily as a designated hitter. Big Papi earned the right to get into the hall and should be recognized as the man who is the greatest DH in the history of the game.
How did he get here?
Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame 5 years after retiring and are on the ballot voted on by writers for 10 years. After the 10-year period, there is a players committee who can select players to be put into another section of the Hall of Fame.
History is history. You can't change it!
The Hall of Fame's website states that the shrine to the game is here to "preserve history, honor excellence, and connect generations "of baseball fans. History is history. Good or bad, the story needs to be told. My problem does not lie with Ortiz or any of the players that have been discussed in recent days who did not get in like Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens. They are part of the history of the game. The story. Were they well liked? No, most of these guys were not liked unless they were on your favorite team.
I'm so sick of these guys; The Keyboard Warriors
I blame the process and some of the writers for dragging on this problem and cloud surrounding MLB and the steroid era. A large portion of those writers who voted this year made their way in the industry by writing about these players and following them around. How many of those writers stepped into the box and faced Clemens, or tried to pitch around Bonds? This is my problem. The Baseball Writers Association (BBWA) holds all of the power of who gets the honor and who does not get in the HOF.
The Writers made this a political thing, not the players
The writers have clearly made a statement: They will decide who gets in to the Hall based on how nice the players were to them during their careers. BBWA members have also made a political statement. To get into the Baseball Hall of Fame, in their eyes you must align yourself down the middle when it comes to political beliefs. Curt Schilling had been trending towards making the cut in recent years, and receiving 71% of the vote in 2021. However, he was selected on just 58% of the ballots in his final year on the ballot. Schilling was famously fired from ESPN years ago for his constant hot takes on political topics on social media. Known as one of the greatest big game pitchers in history, Schilling has a hope of getting into the hall this December, when a players committee will vote.
Fix it, now!
To me, this process is backwards. The former players, managers, and management should have the first right to select who joins the hall of fame. I am out on the writers deciding who gets in and who does not because they have proven to be an inconsistent and sensitive group. As much as some might not like to say it, David Ortiz does have a cloud hanging around his career after being mentioned in the Mitchell Report. Big Papi was a fun-loving guy and we are happy he got it, but he needs to be joined by Clemens, Bonds, Rodgriguez, and Schilling.