I promise you, we're reaching the end of ranting and raving about the Hall of Fame. But before we're done, it's time to look at the worst ballots cast for the Hall of Fame class of 2014. And let me tell you this – there sure were some doozies.
All ballots have either been obtained by the Hall of Fame Ballot Collecting Gizmo from Baseball Think Factory, or by the writer-revealed ballots on BBWAA.com – which by the way, writers had to opt-in to and manually fill out their candidates after the fact.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com voted for Jack Morris and only Jack Morris, but you knew that already. His MLB.com colleague Marty Noble voted for just Morris, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine, because he didn't want a long ceremony in Cooperstown this summer. Congratulations, your non-vote for Craig Biggio helped cost him induction!
Lawrence Rocca, an "honorary" (in other words, a writer who doesn't cover baseball anymore) voter checked off the names of Morris, Hideo Nomo, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell – none of the four got in, and two of them (Morris and Nomo) fell off the ballot, one due to hitting his 15 year limit and one due to failing to receive 5% of the vote. A vote for Nomo, without giving votes to any of the other worthy pitching candidates on the ballot, is inexplicable and inexcusable. Oddly, last year, Rocca *didn't* vote for Morris, instead giving his votes to Raines, Trammell, and Dale Murphy, who dropped off the ballot after the 2013 election. He also said last year that he wouldn't be voting for anyone who played the bulk of their career in the steroid era – but he was OK giving a vote to Nomo, who debuted in MLB in 1995. Nomo got a vote from him because…Rocca feels like he wasn't a user. Quite convenient. Rocca is currently working in the department of alumni affairs as a prep school.
Alan Robinson, another one of those honorary voters, gave votes to Thomas, Glavine, Maddux…and Fred McGriff? Robinson is currently a beat writer – for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Noted blogger Murray Chass, who hasn't written for a newspaper since 2008, voted for Glavine, Maddux, Morris, and Thomas – and then admitted he'd be voting out of spite from here on out while continuing to throw baseless steroids allegations around.
Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle voted for Maddux, Raines, Thomas…and Lee Smith, quite a bizarre addition. I can't see the logic behind her vote because of a paywall. Oh well.
But in all honesty, the worst votes are the ones that don't have a name attached to them. Because the BBWAA made their voters opt-in to releasing their ballots, as opposed to just releasing everything for the hell of it, the voters who cast ballots for Kenny Rogers, Jacque Jones, J.T. Snow, Armando Benitez, and Eric Gagne will remain nameless. And that's part of the BBWAA's problem – there's nothing resembling accountability. Dan Le Batard got nailed to the wall by the organization for crowd sourcing his vote through Deadspin, but BBWAA vice president Jose de la Ortiz crowd sources his ballot over dinner at a Mexican restaurant and all is good with the world?
Baseball is my favorite sport. It's been a huge part of my life since I was a child. And now, I'm finding it harder and harder to care about what happens in regards to the history of the game because of hypocritical, thin-skinned writers who fear change like it's the Black Death. Enough with the moralizing, the secrecy, and the superior attitudes – it's hard enough to attract new fans to the game as is, why try to alienate the ones you have?