Yakkin' About Baseball: No Aaron Sele, No Peace

It's hard to get too angry about the Baseball Writers Association of America's decision not to induct anyone from a stacked class to the Hall of Fame this year. But it's definitely possible.
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David Raposa: Hey, have you heard anything about this Hall of Fame vote. No one else is talking about it, which is pretty weird, right? I think we should try to get in first on this topic.

David Roth: We may not have Hall of Fame votes, but I bet we can get our signature CAPITALIZED FART JOKES up before Jon Heyman does. But yeah, mostly I think no player from a slate that has at least a dozen and maybe 20 legitimate Hall of Fame candidates getting into the Hall of Fame—for reasons that are opaque and airy and mostly stink (LIKE FARTS)—seems mostly dumb, and worth talking about.

David Roth: Also more like Hall of Farts. Sorry, go on.

David Raposa: I'm pretty sure we could scientifically prove that it's 100% dumb with a very small margin of error.

David Roth: The Hall of Fame vote in general, and this one in particular, seems to me like what our national politics would be like if the only people allowed to vote were middle-class men between the ages 45 and 85.

David Raposa: So, the Bush W years, but with more emphasis on grit and intangibles.

David Roth: Our President would be, like, Roger Staubach. Unemployment insurance would be replaced by a phone call from Craig T. Nelson telling you to "knock off the bellyaching." The national anthem would be "Old Time Rock N' Roll." There would, periodically, be symbolic votes in Congress reaffirming the khaki's status as America's Official Pant.

David Raposa: I'm not sure what you're complaining about. I think switching from Obamacare to a "rub some dirt on it" healthcare system would really help with our deficit.

David Roth: Oh, I wasn't complaining. Maybe complaining that Murray Chass, who definitely seems balanced and not at all like someone prone to Making A Scene At The Diner, only gets one vote.

David Roth: Honestly, I can't really get that animated about this at any level but an abstract one. Which is where I get REALLY ANIMATED about it. Like, we will all live—including the small business owners of Cooperstown—if Craig Biggio doesn't make some speech about his faith, thank Luis Gonzalez, and get photographed with a weird Han Solo-ish bronze rendering of his face sometime this summer. But the principles of huffy withholding, retrograde sentimento past-humping, armchair authoritarianism, lazy suspicion and retroactive moralizing—which seem unquestionably to be the principles that voters stood by on this vote—are really crappy principles.

David Raposa: Yeah, this is more on the level of one's employer making workers buy their own K cups. But, even on that microcosmic level, I'm amazed that total hearsay, like the Bagwell and Piazza 'roid slanders, actually penetrated the lead lining of the BBWAA electorate. Also, PEDs or no PEDs, not giving a yeoman-like everydude like Biggio the gold watch and TGIFriday's gift card he obviously deserves is some bullshit.

David Roth: I mean, Biggio was also really ripped out by the end.

David Raposa: Looking forward to Biggio's Pain & Gain cameo!.

David Roth: But that's such a stupid standard! Bagwell and Piazza were never implicated in anything, or accused of anything by anyone more credible than Rejected Late-Period Philip Roth Novel Protagonist Murray Chass. They just were yoked. In the manner of professional athletes. All of this is suspicious if you want it to be, although there seems to be some tacit and mostly incomprehensible understanding of what and who is and isn't suspicious. These consensuses might not be monolithic, but they sure are weird.

David Roth: I will say that I can't really get that mad about people advocating for Jack Morris. I can't really get that mad about any of it. But the combination of puffed-up unaccountability and this curdled, scold-y worldview does bug me. Also I don't know what Tim Raines ever did to these guys, except use coke when a ton of other people did and hit and run better than most players of his generation.

David Raposa: The BBWAA is totally fueled on drug envy. A bunch of folks that can't handle the good stuff poo-pooing the select few that excel at their jobs despite their altered states. And I imagine a lot of the older voters were turned away at Studio 54 once upon a time as well.

David Roth: "The shit I was getting was so stepped-on and baby laxative-y I don't even know if you could call it yay," Ken Rosenthal said earlier, by way of explaining his votes. "You went, like, straight to the sinus bullshit and having to go to the bathroom without ever getting where you were trying to go. Wait, sorry, meant to say: I'm waiting for Frank Thomas next year."

David Raposa: Wow—if the BBWAA is waiting to cast their "pure" votes for the man-mountain that played college football at Auburn, then I'm throwing in the towel. Which might or might not be wrapped around some used syringes.

David Roth: Honest Frank. And Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. You must be THIS SKINNY to enter the Hall of Fame.

David Raposa: Or have this much paunch.

David Roth: "That's why I cast my only vote this year for Matt Stairs. I don't care that he's not yet eligible, WHAT'S RIGHT IS WHAT'S RIGHT."

David Raposa: The acceptable HOF body types range from Babe Ruth to Kent Tekulve.

David Roth: Kent Hrbek being the golden mean. Here as elsewhere.

David Raposa: Any untoward six-pack definition is grounds for a lifetime ban.

David Roth: "Excellence has a face."

David Raposa: And a very comforting double chin.

David Roth: And what looks like an entire Wendy's Big Beef And Cheddar in each cheek.

David Roth: I thought this quote was even more telling than Rosenthal's, though: "[Chass] was fired from his job as a professor for telling the truth about literature, but that offended some identity politics types, some of them black women. He then struck up a relationship with a vivacious young gentile woman but it didn't work out because he was still so angry at his parents. His ex-wife was totally crazy. Finally, he moved to the woods, alone with his memories and anger and bilious libido. He probably dies at the end."

David Roth: SORRY: that is the plot of Philip Roth's unpublished novel, "Seetherman," starring Murray Chass.

David Raposa: Clearly Roth retired just in time.

David Raposa: I would love to build a time machine, just to go back and watch guys like King Kelly and Cap Anson snort powdered tiger dick and drink Spanish Fly coffee between innings.

David Roth: Well, but it was a different time. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis had not yet added PTD to the list of banned substances.

David Roth: I've read a decent number of Here's How We Can Fix The Voting columns, and I guess I appreciate the work that goes into them. But I mostly like the idea of baseball writers chilling out a little bit on the self-righteousness and arbitrary sanctimony. That said, "Don't Be Such Assholes, You Guys, Okay?" is not necessarily a thesis that works.

David Raposa: It barely works in the proper world. Was there a report about guys that were never even MLB writers having a HOF vote?

David Roth: Our dude Darren Viola was keeping track of the ballots at Baseball Think Factory, and there were definitely a few from utter randos.

David Raposa: Can someone get Armond White into the BBWAA? Given his annual contrarian "This film is better than that film" columns, I'd love to see him weigh in on baseball.

David Roth: "It should be obvious why I voted for Marty Cordova instead of Barry Bonds. He's just better."

David Raposa: Other ding-dongs I'd like to see receive a ballot: Bob Lefsetz, Alex Jones, Orly Taitz, and Silvio Berlusconi.

David Roth: And Mancow and some commenters from Free Republic and Three Bleacher Report Featured Columnists.

David Raposa: Top 50 Reason Why I Didn't Vote For Anyone On My Hall of Fame Ballot (Page 1 of 2984)

David Roth: Judging by the results, it seems like David Brooks already has a vote.

David Raposa: David Brooks is still confused as to how the Rockies' six-man rotational gambit didn't lead to a World Series victory.

David Roth: "This is a daring new idea. I remember when Jim Tracy first discussed it a TED Talk I attended in Palo Alto, the audience gasped. So it is with the shock of the new. Anyway, I voted for Jack Morris because he was his generation's pre-eminent winner, and winning is important. You know, there's an interesting study on this…"

David Raposa: Should I bother admitting that I, too, would've also voted for Aaron Sele? I mean, he might not have the career numbers, or the peak performance, but only those that saw him allow four earned runs in five-plus innings of work know his true worth.

David Roth: One person did vote for him! I don't mind that tradition at all. Someone throwing Kent Bottenfield or Richard Hidalgo a vote every year.

David Raposa: Or Pete Rose.

David Roth: He got written-in a few times, I think. (Bottenfield, I mean)

David Raposa: Yeah, and that's a guy whose actions actually and objectively had a deleterious effect on the game. And he gets more love than folks who didn't even do anything wrong. Shit, I think I'm actually starting to care about this now. FREE ALEX SANCHEZ! MANNY ALEXANDER WAS FRAMED! COO-PERS-TOWN! COO-PERS-TOWN!

David Roth: No justice, no peace. David Justice, I mean.

David Raposa: No Peace Incaviglia, either.

David Roth: EXPECT US.

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