I will not turn this into a whine-fest but time on my lifetime Hall of Fame vote is running out.
A few months ago, the powers that be in the Baseball Writers’ Association of America decided that lifetime members who have not covered baseball in 10 years will no longer vote for the Hall of Fame.
It was an honor and privilege that I enjoyed having since 2008.
At first I was hacked off.
Once during the baseball winter meetings, a baseball executive, referring to another executive, said “He can kiss my red rosy ass!”
That was off the record.
Anyway, since I still have a couple of votes left, I was tempted to return this year’s ballot with a red-marker-scrawled message that featured many of those words – including red and rosy.
I thought of writing in votes for people like my son and daughter. I thought of wasting my votes on dudes who have no shot of even making the ballot next year.
But I care too much about sanctity of the vote to do something like that.
My biggest problem with this bonehead decision is that in the next four or five-plus years, a mountain of players from the years that I covered the sport will be eligible. But I won’t have a say in it.
Oh well. It’s out of my hands. I enjoyed it while I had it and still have a couple of ballots to go before they slam the door in my face.
This year, I voted for the same gang who have whiffed but picked up significant votes in recent years – Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Lee Smith and Larry Walker. Since we can vote up to 10, I added newcomers Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman to the list.
In previous years, I only voted once for a guy who had no shot – a waste vote, if you will. I voted for Mark Grace simply because I felt he deserved votes and maybe deserved a shot at making a ballot the following year. He isn’t Hall of Fame material, but having the most hits in one decade should count for at least a vote.
This year, since my voting tenure is closing fast, I am relaxing my self-mandated rule of not voting for someone I haven’t selected in the past. I’ve heard more and more compelling evidence for Alan Trammell over the years and this year, I finally put the checkmark in his box.
Next year I will take a closer look at Tim Raines and see if I want to change my mind on him, too.
I saw the film “Concussion” during the holidays and I didn’t know it would be a mystery. Throughout the film I wondered who stole actor Albert Brooks’ hair.
But on a serious note, the movie graphically opened a lot of eyes on how bad these football collisions can hurt people in the long run. Even high school hits may pay off some bad dividends in later years.
I don’t have any answers to how this is all going to play out. I felt horrible about what happens to football players on the way to the car, but once I got into the car, I couldn’t wait to turn on the Notre Dame-Ohio State game to find out the score.
At times, as a trash-talking joke, I would yell at the TV when a player from a team I don’t like has the ball “Make him cough up some blood!”
After watching “Concussion” I may put that joke on the shelf.