Baseball Hall of Fame: Drew Sharp and his BBWAA ilk happily wallow in their self-righteousness

Jed Jacobsohn

In the aftermath of Wednesday's Baseball Hall of Fame vote, Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press unleashed a column claiming the BBWAA has all but saved the game (along with truth, justice and the American way) by keeping everyone and anyone out of Cooperstown in 2013.

Drew Sharp's column praising the BBWAA (and by association, himself) for their actions was so self-serving and self-congratulatory, Sharp must have pulled his shoulder out of joint patting himself vigorously on the back...while stabbing deserving Baseball Hall of Fame players in theirs.

Claim you've saved Cooperstown? You better believe that means a fisking.

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The Baseball Hall of Fame voters "Verlander-ed" the 2013 election.

So the BBWAA put on an MVP and Cy Young worthy performance? On what damn planet?

Cooperstown got stamped with a big, fat goose egg as nobody reached the mandatory 75% threshold for election.

Leaving egg on the face of the BBWAA, while a deserving player like Craig Biggio and his 3000 hits is left scratching his head in regard to the nonsensical thought process of the voters.

It’s a shutout worth celebrating because honor and integrity won out.

There’s nothing more mind-blowingly insufferable than a columnist who takes pleasure in turning the Hall of Fame vote into a vendetta on PED's, not caring which players are denied entry.

The voters, of which I’m proudly one…

Which reminds me of the old saying: "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member."

…might not appreciate the responsibility of moral arbiter in the wake of the first descendants of the steroids era reaching Hall of Fame eligibility.

OH. MY. GOD. Drew Sharp and his BBWAA cronies are paragons of morality? They are fit to judge character? Please. They are called "ink stained wretches" for good reason.

But unfortunately, baseball’s institutional neglect during that scandalous phase left those entrusted with protecting the sanctity of baseball’s grandest shrine no other recourse than serving as sportsmanship’s last line of defense.

Thus begs the question. Where were the so-called "journalists" of the BBWAA when PED’s were at their most rampant? They were busy celebrating the resurgence of baseball while ignoring punch and judy hitters suddenly developing 50 home run power. Delmon Young defends left field better than the BBWAA defended the game during the steroid era.

This shutout is baseball’s punishment and subsequent penance.

Actually, we can blame the shutout on baseball writers who make up hall of fame voting rules as they go along, change those self-made rules from year to year and from player to player, hold life-long grudges, are scared to death of advanced metrics and miss the good old days when their opinion was the only opinion, be it right or (often) wrong.

This should have been one of the game’s proudest days, with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens getting into the Hall of Fame in their first attempt, probably joining that rare air of clearing 95% in their first time on the ballot.

Yes, it should have been, save for those meddling kids baseball writers.

But instead, we get a reminder that there are consequences for poor judgment.

What consequences? Yes, the hall of fame is full of men who were paragons of good judgment. It’s also full of racists, alcoholics, drug abusers, wife beaters, rule breakers, cheaters and even an accused murderer and psychopath…some elected on the first ballot.

This is the price paid for willingly cheating the spirit of fair competition, if not the actual written rules.

The blind hypocrisy shown by Sharp is astonishing. Examples of hall of famers violating the suddenly oh-so-pious sensibilities of the BBWAA are numerous, and were ignored. Such as...

Gaylord Perry admitted he cheated, his pitching career much enhanced by KY Jelly, spit, and whatever else he could hide on his person. Whitey Ford was a master of doctoring the baseball to gain a competitive advantage. Don Sutton was known to have scuffed baseballs. Yet they were welcomed into the hall with open arms.

In his autobiography, Hank Aaron admitted to using "greenies" (aka amphetamines, which were deeply woven into the fabric of the game for decades) in order to break out of a slump. In other words, he used illegal drugs to enhance his performance. While under oath in 1985, Pirates players testifying during a cocaine trial admitted hall of fame member Willie Stargell used greenies and dispensed them to his teammates. In the eyes of the BBWAA, that should make one of the greatest home run hitters of all time and a beloved MVP winner evil cheaters, thus unworthy of the hall. But Aaron and Stargell were first ballot honorees, not black-balled from the hall.

This is the price paid for the innocent who nonetheless remained silent while others around them compromised the legitimacy of some of the more cherished individual records in all sports. They’re guilty through association.

Guilty in the court of baseball writer opinion, actually. Not in federal court or even in MLB's kangaroo court.

Don’t blame the voters for taking their responsibilities seriously.

This is what Sharp considers voters "taking their responsibilities seriously."

One member of the BBWAA voted for Aaron Sele. Sandy Alomar Jr. somehow found himself on 16 ballots. Several writers sent in empty ballots, a absolute dick move when you consider those ballots count as part of the vote total and hurt the chances of players who aren’t, at least in their small minds, tainted.

The group Sharp is so proud to represent allowed Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams, players who, at the very least, deserve to be in the hall of fame conversation for more than one year, to fall off the ballot, coining the term "Whitaker’d"

It’s the fault of those players — and they know who they are even though they’ve never formally failed a drug test — who thought they were bigger than the game and its treasured history.

Bigger than the game and its treasured history? In regard to the 2013 vote, let's just say this about the BBWAA - pot, kettle, black.

In Sharp’s mind, ballplayers need to be proven innocent, despite never being found guilty in the first place. For example, ancient BBWAA member Murray Chass believes Mike Piazza was a PED user because he saw acne on his back. That’s like saying someone with bad eyesight must be a serial masturbator.

If respecting the principle of honor and integrity makes me an old man, then fit me for a walker.

I’d rather give Sharp a clue. Even better, give him a pink slip for submitting us to such self-aggrandizing tripe.

At some point, we all have to stand up for something despite the criticism and controversy.

Even if what you are standing up for is idiotic? I'd love Sharp to tell that directly to Biggio and Jack Morris. Biggio lost a shot of entering the hall on the first ballot and Morris quite possibly missed out on his last, best chance at immortality.

The Hall of Fame voters did.

Which reminds me of another quote: "Self-righteousness belongs to the narrow-minded."
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