More Hall Fallout as Results Come Out Today and Other Bullets

greg madduxThe long wait is over: the BN Podcast is back from its holiday hiatus with a new episode coming shortly. We recorded last night, so we should have it available for folks at some point today.

  • The Hall of Fame results will be revealed this afternoon, which will trigger another avalanche of consternation (for my part, I think I’ve probably said enough that I’ll be content to merely report the results). Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas are expected to get in on the first ballot – making this one of the most impressive classes in recent history – and Craig Biggio will be right there at the cusp. Other notables such as Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, and Jack Morris will probably fall just short.
  • Though the results don’t come out until today, a great deal of the electronic jousting occurred yesterday when Ken Gurnick revealed that he hadn’t voted for Greg Maddux (but did vote for Jack Morris) for less than convincing reasons. Gurnick took an e-beating for that decision, the only defense available for which was “well, he’s entitled to his opinion.” Yes, he absolutely is. As is anyone who believes his opinion made a mockery of the Hall of Fame process, for reasons ably detailed here and here, among other places. But I’m not going to blast Gurnick further – instead, I’d like to compliment him. To his credit, upon setting the conflagration, Gurnick immediately made himself available for an interview to explain his ballot and take some of the heat. BN’er jh03 recapped the interview here at the Message Board, and, although I’m still utterly unconvinced by Gurnick’s shoddy reasoning, I am very impressed that he stood up in the midst of so much negative attention. (And here is where the cynical among you say this is precisely what he wanted. Maybe so. We’ll never know for sure.)
  • The Boston Herald’s John Tomase decided yesterday to use the contentious Hall of Fame storyline to write a herr-herr anti-blogger piece (right down to a totally original, never-before-seen Hot Pockets joke). Among Tomase’s beefs is an apparent belief that bloggers paint all BBWAA writers with the same he-doesn’t-get-it-what-an-idiot brush when it comes to the Hall (the latest example, of course, being Gurnick’s errant ballot). In doing so, Tomase, of course, paints with the very same brush he derides. This blogger, at a minimum, is capable of understanding the distinction between one embarrassingly poor argument – Gurnick’s (and now Tomase’s) – and the body of work a writer has otherwise supplied, as well as the distinction between one writer and the vast network of others. These kinds of imagined us-versus-them battles between “bloggers” (whatever that term is supposed to mean) and traditional media writers – and these battles come at least as frequently from the blogging world as they do from the traditional media world (you aren’t off the hook, bloggers) – do no one any favors. Tomase can stomp his feet and wall off his his virtual office, but the world moves, progressively, in one direction. Good and thoughtful bloggers do good work. Good and thoughtful traditional media writers do good work. I needn’t fail for you to succeed, Mr. Tomase.
  • We knew it was cold this week in Chicago, but BN’er Nate wanted to show folks just how cold, using a Cubs shirt. Take a look at the BN Facebook page.
  • A fantastic interview at FanGraphs with Cardinals AGM Michael Girsch.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

95 responses to “More Hall Fallout as Results Come Out Today and Other Bullets”

  1. Diehardthefirst

    HOF entry should be automatic without voting based on WAR stats so as to eliminate pettiness and to have an apples to apples match

    1. MichiganGoat

      The sarcasm in this comment made me smile.

  2. Isaac

    Gurnick jumped at the chance for a media grab. The ensuing interview was bound to happen…he clearly knew what he was getting into. Ridiculous.

  3. ssckelley

    Honestly it is a shame that so much attention has been given to Gurnick for doing the wrong then. The hundreds of other voters who did the right thing and voted accordingly we probably will not hear from.

    1. ssckelley

      wrong thing not then….jeez

    2. baldtaxguy

      And he could still have done “the wrong thing” and still voted consistent with his perverted perspective, and then simply. kept. his. mouth. shut. I don’t believe that he believes this view that he has made public and this was 100% simply to put himself on the map.

      And Cotillo and others tweating that about this concern about becoming a HOF voter or disclosing a HOF vote due to the lack of respect shown of Gurnick’s opinion is self-serving. I think we as fans just want the voters to be as responsible as they claim to be about the process and show the proper due diligence in arriving at their conclusion. An opinion will deserve respect when it is demonstrated that it is arrived at with respect. Gurnick is not demonstrating this at all.

      1. Edwin

        To be fair, he’s worked for, and he’s been part of a group of writers that’s been asked about his vote for at least the past couple years, and he’s always shared his vote. He’s made it known for awhile that he doesn’t want to vote for any player who he feels played a majority of their time in the steroid era. Him sharing his vote and excluding an obvious selection isn’t something new. It’s just that more people notice when you exclude Greg Maddux than when you exclude Roberto Alomar or Barry Larkin.

    3. On The Farm

      I have been meaning to ask you, what did you think of that game in Madison Sunday night?

  4. EQ76

    Gurnick has the right to “protest” the PED era, but seriously? Maddux?? Dude was built like an accountant and undoubtedly was clean. I mean, it’s even more impressive that Maddux dominated the way he did in the steroid era.

    1. Edwin

      Being an accountant myself, I assume that means you think Greg Maddux was a handsome and well proportioned man.

      1. Boogens

        Nicely played!

      2. hansman

        Well proportioned for a Siberian winter.


    2. terencemann

      It’s already been pointed out but he voted for other “PED” era guys already. He has said he will abstain from future ballots so maybe this was his parting shot. We should be so lucky… maybe other writers will follow his lead.

    3. Edwin

      I’m curious why Gurnick is so intent on protesting the steroid era, but he seems to have basically ignored the fact that PED’s have been around the game for the last 50 years in the form of amphetamines.

      1. Norm

        Read BlackHawks comments….greenies aren’t the same as steroids to some people. They call themselves the Morale Police and get to decide what a PED is and isn’t.

        1. hansman

          Moral Police. Unless they are in charge of happiness.

          (yes, I am being obtuse this morning)

          1. jh03

            How are you being a triangle? I don’t get how that even works.

            1. MichiganGoat

              He can’t be acute because of all the hamburgers, he is always obtuse.

              1. hansman

                I am in danger of becoming a ray.

                1. jh03

                  What is, things Sam Fuld said in the 2010 offseason.

            2. Forlines

              someone hasn’t seen Shawshank…HA!

              Saw the picture of Nate holding up his Cubs shirt…damn. It’s colder than I ever remember it being, but not THAT DAMN COLD! JEEZ

  5. Norm

    Some HoF voters are idiots. Some are not. Just like anything else.

  6. Edwin

    At least Gurnick has been consistently idiotic with his HOF voting. Looking back at the past couple HOF elections, he didn’t vote for Barry Larking or Roberto Alomar either. He just apparently thinks that an entire generation should be forgotten.

    1. Edwin

      To be fair, nobody voted for Barry Larking. That guy sucked at baseball. But they did vote in Barry Larkin.

  7. MichiganGoat

    I will really consider boycotting the HOF and never take my kids there if this vote keeps Biggio out of the Hall because a bunch of writers think he might have used PED but will vote for Morris because they have a romantic memory of a World Series game. The HOF has had the magic golden automatic “your in” stats that the BBWAA have drilled into everyone and one of those (and I’d argue the most impressive) is 3000 hits. Biggio is in that elite class but because other players might have used PED then he is ignored? Disgusting! Oh and does anyone think for a minute that Jeter won’t be a first ballot and many BBWAA will scream that “he should be unanimous,” but Biggio is an first ballot. Last year there wasn’t a stacked ballot and the BBWAA still didn’t vote him in? The BBWAA are a bunch of idiotic egotistical ASSHOLES and I’m likely finish with the hall after today.

    I really wish the ballots would be public after a year so I know who I should never read again.

    1. Drew7

      Bagwell >>> Biggio

      1. MichiganGoat

        I can understand that argument but 3000 hits is a super exclusive club and should be an automatic “in.”

        1. jh03

          You’d also think being one of the best hitters of all time would get you in… but people think PED’s magically made Barry Bonds who he was.

          1. cub-hub

            Jh03, really don’t care if he only used for his final career at-bat and none other. Once you take steroids and then play a single play, your right to the hall should be revoked.

            1. jh03


            2. MichiganGoat

              But Bonds was never caught using anything, he never had the opportunity to defend those allegations (because he was never caught) and this banning him because of suspicion is beyond childish. The BBWAA is full of tyrannical idiots.

              1. Norm

                Banning Bonds would be the same as banning Hank Aaron.

                They used something that is outlawed today, but wasn’t at the time they played.

                1. cub-hub

                  Well, if I felt Hank Aaron used, then I’d ban him too. I dont know enough to form an opinion. But now that he in, there is nothing we can do about.

                  Also, Just because one murderer was set free, doesn’t me mean we should let all future murderers go.

                  1. Edwin

                    We’re not talking about murder. We’re talking about baseball.

                    1. cub-hub

                      It doesnt matter. You cant change the past, but you can take a stand moving forward.

                  2. jh03

                    Why was using PED’s, when they weren’t illegal, such a bad thing? Seriously. Why?

                    1. cub-hub

                      They were illegal, just not tested for. Steroids have been illegal in baseball for a long.

              2. jh03

                Even if he was caught, who cares?

                1. hansman

                  HE CHEATED!!!!!!!!! probably, well, maybe.

                  I wonder where the line is drawn between acceptable cheating and unacceptable cheating.

                  1. jh03

                    I think it’s somewhere between doctoring the ball/taking greenies (Okay to do) and taking a substance that has been linked to have traces of the ability to hide PED use (BAD BAD BAD).

                    Seriously though, some players believe that greenies help just as much as PED’s do… The whole PED thing is just so dumb.

                    1. cub-hub

                      I dont have a problem with PEDs. Make them legal and let everyone use, then fine. But when a player violates a rule, and they were illegal, just not tested for, to gain advantage of an opponent, and the fact that the opponent may or may not be using himslef is irrelevant, because that opponents could be Greg Maddux and not be a user, and also falsify his stats and production, he should not be place in an arena where how much better he is than his opponents and his stats determines his place.

                    2. hansman

                      “when a player violates a rule…to gain advantage of an opponent…and also falsify his stats and production, he should not be place in an arena where how much better he is than his opponents and his stats determines his place.”

                      Players cheat all the time. A few years ago, an umpire ruled that Derek Jeter was HBP when the ball hit the bat. Jeter knew what the answer was yet took first base anyway.

                      He cheated, he violated the rules, his stats are now inflated because of that cheated and the other team may have gotten the shaft because of it. Should he be banned?

                      Without a positive test for these guys it is pure speculation. Why give a guy a pass because he was better able to hide it?

                    3. jh03

                      So let’s ban every pitcher who doctors a ball. Or every hitter who gets LASIK. Or every player who tests positive for pot.

                    4. jh03

                      Also, like Jayson Stark said.. It’s a museum, not a cathedral. The Hall’s job is to tell the story about baseball history. Barry Bonds happened. Roger Clemens happened. They were awesome to watch. They, along with Sosa and McGuire, helped save the sport. If their numbers are good enough, they belong in the Hall of Fame.

                    5. cub-hub

                      Im not saying ban them from baseball, though I would prefer it. I’m saying ban them from the hall.

                      On the Jeter situation, that is a result of bad officiating, not cheating. Also, Jeter does not have the authority to change a call.

    2. cub-hub

      I sorry you feel that way, but I’m glad these writers are taking a stand.

      1. Edwin

        Taking a stand against what, exactly? Cheating? That’s been going on in baseball since forever. PED’s? That’s been going on in baseball for the past 50 years.

        1. MichiganGoat

          It’s been happening in baseball and all sports since the Greeks (and many cultures before that but Olympics) started organized sports. This myth about the purity of sports and athletes is stupid.

  8. terencemann

    I wouldn’t count Morris out at all. He was on 55% of public ballots last year and ended up with 67% on all ballots. This year he’s already on 60% of public ballots so there could be enough support on the other ballots to push him over.

    1. MichiganGoat

      MOAR! Thats it EVERYONE are idiots. There are so many players on his ballot that should get voting in over him. Whoever is his PR people should be in the HOF if he gets in and Biggio doesn’t.

      I’ve never really understood on one year you don’t vote on a player but years afterwards be like oh yeah he should get in.

      1. jh03

        “I’ve never really understood on one year you don’t vote on a player but years afterwards be like oh yeah he should get in.”

        Yup. The only time it would make sense is if you had to leave a guy off this year, but voted for him next year, because this ballot is so stacked. But, I don’t think there’s been a ballot like this before, right? I’ve heard people say they feel 19-21 players are deserving on this ballot. Obviously that’s up for debate, but that’s nuts.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Yeah I understand in the first couple years of eligibility there being issues (not wanting someone to be first ballot (even though the HOF doesn’t distinguish between 1st ballot and not)), but to wait until the final couple years of eligibity and then decide… Oh yeah he IS a HOFer… is baffling.

          1. cub-hub

            I really think you should only be on the ballot once, writers have unlimited votes, and if you don’t get in, then your name is never put on the ballot again.

  9. Cheese Chad

    Michael Girsch is extremely intelligent, wow. I can’t wait until we get to the point where the cubs care so much about winning that they learn how to do it. What a great article.

  10. Jon

    To be honest, I have no idea how Bagwell escapes the steroid suspicion cloud that is preventing others from getting in…

    1. MichiganGoat

      He doesn’t that’s why he’s not in

    2. Edwin

      I don’t really think he has.

    3. Norm

      Bagwell and Piazza get the “he just looks like a PED user” shaft more than anyone.

    4. Blackhawks1963

      He doesn’t. Bagwell is a prime steroid suspect just like Piazza is. Neither should be in the Hall.

      1. MichiganGoat

        This resonsecis the lunacy of all this debate. PED, drugs, cheating has been part if the game for generations it’s not until baseball enforces something that anything changes. The HOF is fully of players that were tweaking on speed all the time (Greenies) but because players used something that EVERYBODY ignored and celebrated (anybody that’s says the Mac/Sammy chasing 61 wasn’t exciting and something they watched everyday is lying or wasn’t born yet… It saved baseball!). If we are banning a couple then we need to ban the entire era, oh and Mortis was pitching when PED were being used so I hearby call him a juicer- see how stupid that logic is?

        1. MichiganGoat

          Wow my first sentence is all kinds if messed up, obviously I must be on roids because my muscle bound freak fingers can’t type- BAN ME.

      2. Edwin

        Why are they prime suspects? I don’t remember any reports linking them to steroids.

        1. Norm

          Because he says so. He don’t need no stickin evidence

          1. MichiganGoat

            BAN THEM ALL

            I hearby give blackhawks all the voting power… wait, um… he has POWER? BAN HIM HE’S ON STEROIDS.

      3. MichiganGoat

        And by “prime” you mean he looked like a muscle bound hulk? You do realize that not every person on PED did not become a power freak.

      4. bbmoney

        This is just the worst kind of logic. If you can even call it that.

        If you’re suspected of something you might as well be guilty of it. One writer thinks you did something…guilty. You don’t look just like everyone else…guilty. You played with guys who used….guilty. Dumb. So dumb.

        1. cub-hub

          In the court of law, no, it should never work that way. We have rights when it comes to the law. When it comes to the court of public opinion, where being inducted into the hall is a privilege and an honor, and not a right, I don’t think there has to be proof. Just doubt. IMO, if there is any doubt on anything when it comes to a player, they shouldnt be in. Maddux should be in. I have no doubts on him what so ever. Guys like Jeter, I have no doubts right now. But if there is even a slight question, steroids, skills, stats or anything, they should not get in. It should be hard as he’ll to get into the Hall. Even with the steroids, I feel its to easy to get in.

  11. Internet Random

    John Tomase doesn’t appear to be a stranger to Hot Pockets himself.

  12. LWeb23

    The Maddux situation is a shame. Bad publicity is good publicity. That’s the fuel to his fire.

  13. CubsFaninMS

    Who knows what goes on in the mind of a man. Yesterday I made a comparison of Mr. Gurnick to Miley Cyrus and Martin Bashir, two individuals whom I see clearly crossed a moral or “common-sensical” line by a recent action or comment. Cyrus and Bashir are in the entertainment industry so it is relatively obvious that they were applying the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, although I believe that in no respect justifies their actions. The jury is still out on Mr. Gurnick’s intentions. Although Gurnick clearly showed courage by immediately poking is head in front of the media after his decision, he clearly showed his ignorance by his faulty logic. Towards the end of the interview, I believe his comments really meant: “Yeah, my logic is bad, most people will disagree, and perhaps I won’t be doing it next year for a reason!”. Sounds like he may be too stubborn to change his stance even when he knows better. Either way, it’s only one vote. Greg Maddux is clearly a Hall of Famer and we should all as Cubs fans be proud. This is the Greg Show, not the Gurnick Show.

  14. Cubs49

    The writer who left Maddux off his HOF ballot needs a brain transplant,but other than that the crocodile tears I shed watching Greg enter the Hall wearing a BRAVES cap is almost to much to endure. Where’s my Larry Himes punching bag when I need it.

  15. Blackhawks1963

    My Hall ballot is Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Biggio and Morris.

    Personally, I’m going to be very ticked off if Thomas doens’t get in on the first ballot. I’m not a White Sox fan, but my Lord was Thomas an unbelievable and clean offensive force. His numbers for a decade stretch compare with Jimmy Foxx. If the voters hold him out on the first ballot then that will be the joke of jokes.

    Maddux is a shoo-in. Can’t get worked up over one voter’s rant campaign. Glavine had better get in. Biggio is interesting, but my goodness how can he not be in the Hall.

    And Morris absolutely should be in the Hall. One of the best and most effective workhorses I can recall from watching baseball for 40 years. If Sutton, Niekro, Perry, Blyleven are in the Hall, then damnit so too should Jack.

    1. Edwin

      Why not Curt Schilling? He was just as much a workhorse/ace pitcher as Morris. Plus, he was a much better actual pitcher.

  16. Cubbie in NC


    Just out of curiosity could you join the BBWA and in 10 years be eligible to vote?

    How difficult would it be for you to get credentialed to become a member?

  17. NorthSideIrish

    Jonah Keri just posted an article on “Five teams fielded multiple players who dramatically underperformed last year, making those ballclubs prime candidates for some positive regression in 2014″…and the Cubs are first on the list.

    1. CubFan Paul

      Dismissed. He thinks Barney only needed good luck last year at the plate

      “especially since he was another victim of bad batted-ball luck (.222 BABIP)”

      There’s more to baseball stats than luck.

      1. Kyle

        You are free to try to prove it.

        1. CubFan Paul

          I do everyday.

          1. NorthSideIrish

            Didn’t we already have this argument this week? Bigfoot….”watch the games”…semantics…BABIP has nothing to do with luck…anti-SABR dinosaurs.

      2. Norm

        CFP, do you agree that there is at least SOME luck in baseball?

        1. CubFan Paul

          “do you agree that there is at least SOME luck in baseball?”

          Hell yea, for sure. There’s luck involved in everything complicated to some degree.

          I’m just saying: Barney didn’t suck at the plate because of bad luck. He sucked for much longer reasons, but it’s easy to see his low BABIP and ASSUME and keep moving.

          1. Norm

            Oh yeah, he definitely sucked.
            And he’ll likely continue to suck. Really suck.

            But because of that .222 BABIP, I’d bet on him sucking less than he did this last season.

            1. CubFan Paul

              “because of that .222 BABIP, I’d bet on him sucking less than he did this last season”

              and if Barney has another .220ish BABIP this year?

              1. Norm

                Then I lost my bet and I’d probably double down on that number improving in 2015.

                1. CubFan Paul

                  I only see it improving if he’s a part time player/coming off the bench

                  If he starts 140 plus games I expect more of 2013

  18. Isaac

    I also like the blanket statement “I don’t vote for steroid era guys”….Hmm, Morris pitched from 77′-94′….do the names Canseco/McGwire/Gonzalez/Anderson ring a bell? I love how they pretend usage wasn’t rampant in the mid to late 80′s.

  19. SoMECubFan

    Couldn’t be happier with Mike G’s success (albeit that it comes at the expense of helping the Cardinals). He grew up (and I suspect he still is ) a Cub’s fan, in a family of White Sox fans, and I’m sure his preference is to become the Cub’s GM. Had hoped that he might get some consideration after Hendry but he is still relatively new to the gig. He is a really great guy and one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

  20. hansman

    The folks over at Baseball Think Factory have, reportedly, come up with 36% of the ballots. Maddux is sitting at 99.5% of the votes thus far.

    1. jh03

      Hopefully he at least breaks the record..

    2. mjhurdle

      Is it wrong of me that I am actually rooting for Jack Morris to NOT make the HoF just to spite Ken Gurnick and all the “He had a great Game 7 once, so he should be in!” talk?

      1. Edwin


      2. cub-hub

        Yes. If you think he’s not worthy, fine. But don’t wish ill will on someone to spite someone else.

        1. Edwin

          Isn’t Gurnick basically voting to keep Maddux out of the HOF to spite steroid users?

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