There are certain times during the baseball calendar when I feel like a member of a third party (GO AHEAD. THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY). All-Star voting time, award voting time, and most definitely Hall of Fame voting time.
On one side you have the modern voters. These guys believe that the advances in analysis over the past two decades now allow us to accurately determine the production of a player and therefore, his worth in comparison to his peers. While they do believe there is some level of variability that allows for discussion on the fringes of these debates, they also believe that in most scenarios the stories that the numbers tell are cut and dried.
On the other side you have the traditionalist voters. These guys believe in impressions as much as numbers. Who do I remember as being a fearsome hitter? Who do I remember making big plays in big spots? They aren't going to let in a guy who is certainly a bad choice, but they may favor one guy over another not because they are sure he was the better player but because they have more favorable memories of him. The numbers don't decide, "people" do.
Off to the side is me. What do I believe? I believe that I don't care. Whatever happened to the Hall of Fame? Who the hell cares what "happened" to the Hall of Fame?!? Voting is a "sacred responsibility"? HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA!!!!
If it makes you happy to see your role in all this, either as voter or crusader, as super important, by all means don't let me ruin your fun. But why? WHY!? What is making you tick like that, man? Your mother sure did a number on you, didn't she?
This is supposed to be fun. We are asking a small group of people "What do you think?" It's nothing more than a laughably "official" version of arguing with your friends who was the better 3rd baseman over a couple beers. Remember the ESPYs? How we think that these are so incredibly stupid? These votes are the ESPYs on a singular sports level.
I find it hard to make an argument for my position because I feel like I'm arguing about the sky being blue or water being wet. I'm Tommy Lee Jones yelling at Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. Who deserves ...to be an All-Star ...the most valuable player in baseball ...in the hall of fame? I DON'T REALLY CARE. I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU DO. AND WORSE, YOU WON'T SHUT UP ABOUT IT.
Here's my message to everyone who votes. Vote for who you want, vote for why you want, and hell, change your mind if you feel like it. Vote for Don Mattingly because he was great for 4 years, decimated by injury, and on your favorite team. GREAT! Don't vote for Don Mattingly because he was only a special player for maybe 6 years and had a relatively short career. GREAT! Explain it if you want. Don't explain it. Whatever.
Here's my message to everyone who crusades. Say why you think one guy should be in and another not and then move on with your lives. It doesn't matter. It's a nice gesture. A hearty handshake from history.
Argue between you two, sure, but have fun with it and if your guy doesn't make it because he didn't have the numbers or because he didn't make an impression on the voters, it's not a slap in the face of truth and justice. It's the way a silly vote, slightly better than an "send in your text" vote for the better dancer, Joey Lawrence or Mario Lopez, ended up. That's all.
Gah! GAH! This almost makes me yearn for Spring Training talk to start... almost.