Monday, December 5, 2016

Winter Meetings: Hall of Fame vote

The annual baseball swap meet, jobs fair and self-promotion festival known as the winter meetings opened Sunday with the usual ceremonial throwing in of the Hall of Fame inductees.

There are two ways to be chosen for induction: the writers vote, which is on players and is pretty stable, and the "veterans committee," no longer called such, which is constantly tweeked by the powers that be in an unceasing and doomed effort to finally get it right. It's the latter that occurs at the start of the meetings.

At this point that process is a lot better at choosing non-players to get plaques than players, and that was the case again Sunday, when retired commissioner Bud Selig and not-fully-retired executive John Schuerholz were chosen for the honor.

I too regard Bud Selig as more worthy of derision than honor, but ...  Bowie Kuhn's in the Hall of Fame. The standard for commissioners isn't imposing. Major League Baseball does not run the Hall of Fame, but, as Bill James wrote decades ago about the relationship, the people who do run the Hall of Fame want very much to have the people who run MLB like their institution. So Kuhn -- and Selig -- are in, and Marvin Miller is not.

As for Schuerholz -- yeah, outstanding general manager who built a great organization in Atlanta, and the precedent for inducting the quasi-active executive was set already (Pat Gillick). I guess it's better than waiting until the guy is dead or at death's door for induction, as with Branch Rickey decades ago.

If there's a surprise in the results, it's that George Steinbrenner wasn't even remotely close in the balloting. Good.

1 comment:

  1. It makes me irritated with Selig gaining entry that Tony O is not in the Hall. And Jim Kaat.

    There are more undeserving players there now than either of these two, whose medical issues handicapped their past prime years in MLB.

    I am disappointed with the veterans for not conferring the honor. Jack Morris should be there too.