Why Are So Many Baseball Writers Retarded?

2009 January 13

And if not retarded, senile.

Pedro Gomez — you know, the guy who ate Barry Bonds’ shit for three years — thinks Jay Bell is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. A 2-time All-Star with a career OPS+ of 101 is one of the greatest players of all-time who deserves to be enshrined along with the immortals of the sport. For the uninformed, an OPS+ of 101 translates to the definition of an average hitter. Pedro Gomez would call a person with an IQ of 101 a genius. Compared to him, that person probably would be.

I’m not even going to bother with Jim Rice at this point, because the collective stupidity in that case is just incredible. Apparently, baseball writers are as afraid of the wrath of Massholes as media conglomerates are of Muslim extremists. Either that or they are now convinced he was indeed the MOST FEARED HITTER of his era. That seriously better go on his plaque or else all these writers were full of shit. It’s just amazing how he became more and more feared the longer he was retired. Truly incredible.

But Pedro Gomez may not be the owner of the most unthinkable ballot cast this year. At least he voted for Rickey Henderson, unlike some dementia-stricken old dude in Arizona. Corky Simpson was playing keeper-of-the-gate along with a bunch of other old men, just so Henderson couldn’t be the first man to enter the Hall unanimously. It probably wouldn’t as bad if he didn’t put Matt Williams on his ballot. Matt Williams > greatest leadoff hitter of all-time, obviously. Didn’t you know he might have had a chance to break Roger Maris’ single-season HR record if it weren’t for the 1994 strike? Surely being on pace after 4 months to break such a hallowed record makes him a worthy candidate. Oh wait, Roger Maris isn’t even in the Hall of Fame. The best part is that he states he didn’t vote for McGwire because of performance-enhancing drugs, while Matt Williams was named in the Mitchell Report. This coming from the 1988 Sportswriter of the Year. Awesome.

At least he voted for Tim Raines though, unlike over 75% of the other voters. What the fuck? Only one leadoff hitter allowed on a ballot? Tim Raines may have been overshadowed by Henderson for most of his career, but the guy was still one of the best. This excerpt from a Jayson Stark article is all that needs to be said on the matter:

Over the seven seasons from 1982 to 1988, Tim Raines led the National League in singles, doubles, triples and walks. OK, think about that. Now think about the job description of a leadoff man. You want that guy to reach base, correct? Well, this man reached base more times than anyone around him every possible way he could reach it.

And for those who also like their leadoff hitters to steal a base every once in a while, consider this: Raines was the only player in history with at least 70 steals six years in a row. And stole 808 bases in his career. And he racked up all those steals while compiling the best stolen base success rate of all time (84.7 percent).

Finally, in an age when we’re supposed to have a new appreciation for on-base percentage as opposed to batting average, this is the stat that always seems to stagger the Tim Raines doubters out there:

Raines and Tony Gwynn had roughly the same number of plate appearances in their careers — and guess which one reached base more times? All of you who guessed Tim Raines, you’re all truly enlightened, 21st-century baseball observers. Oh, and you’re also absolutely right. So how come this guy got only 24 percent of the vote again?

He obviously wasn’t FEARED enough.

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