It's December, which means many baseball fans are following along with the Hall of Fame ballot tracker, wondering which players will end up being memorialized in the plaque room in Cooperstown.
Personally, I gave up caring about it a while back. It's a bit of a mockery of itself at this point, with some of the greatest players in baseball history being left out of the hall, while many liars and cheats have already been enshrined.
Bud Selig, MLB's commissioner before Rob Manfred, was elected to the hall in 2017. Selig was a primary belligerent in the collusion scheme of the 1980's that ended in an arbitrator awarding MLB players nearly $300 million in damages. His actions as acting commissioner in the early 1990's led to the labor battles, a lost World Series in 1994, and further strike in 1995.
His inclusion in the Hall of Fame makes the entire process a bit of a joke, and that's before considering the fully qualified guys who have been ignored by the voters based on circumstantial evidence and subjective opinion.
Regardless, it's still funny to see some of the ballots that come through. Ryan Thibodeaux and his team have built the Hall of Fame tracker, which has become essential for fans who want to stay up to date on the progress and their favorite players' chances of getting in. You can visit the site here.
One of the most recent ballots to come in was from Marcos Breton, currently an opinion editor for the Sacramento Bee. Breton voted for just two players, Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran. Now, these guys vote however they want to, and that's fine. But after getting some pushback on his ballot, Breton followed it up with this tweet.
Seems Breton couldn't handle the heat, despite clearly wanting to make a statement with his choices. The year prior, Breton's ballot looked a little different. He did not vote for Beltran last year, but he did vote for Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and Billy Wagner.
It's unclear why Breton made those changes. He hasn't given a reason why he changed his mind, just a statement that "I simply chose not to vote for them this year. There's nothing in the rules against that". Ok, sure.
But when asked why his ballot did not include Gary Sheffield, Breton replied that he may change his mind next year but did not feel Sheffield was deserving at the moment. The problem is that Sheffield won't be on the ballot next year. He's on his 10th and final year of eligibility. Now we have the problem of Breton being willfully ignorant about the process and the candidates on the ballot.
This is a prime example of why I try not to get worked up about the results of this process. Breton hasn't covered baseball in over six years. There are many more voters like him who don't cover baseball anymore but retain their voting eligibility.
The Hall of Fame has granted the power of the election to ex-reporters and people who aren't in tune with the game anymore. It is what it is, and it's not going to change. The best thing for me was to disconnect and walk away. It's not worth getting upset about, especially considering that some of the most offensive people in baseball history are memorialized in the museum while qualified players are left out because the writers didn't like them personally.
Ultimately, I'm happy when players I like get their election ceremony. But following along all winter and getting mad when old writers submit silly ballots...I just don't have the bandwidth for that. I'll just keep smirking at them and highlighting some of the dumber ones along the way.