The Hall of Fame vote yesterday gave us a little of everything but especially hypocrisy.
Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven deserved election. So, too, did Edgar Martinez, who is being punished for assuming the role of DH and performing it better than anyone else in the history of the game. He was a feared and admired hitter for a very long time. Now, he is considered unworthy because MLB cannot decide whether or not the DH is a legitimate position for both leagues or none. In the meantime, they keep trotting out DH's in the American League without compunction. Hypocrites!
Jeff Bagwell case is also noteworthy. The incredibly low vote he received based solely on innuendo is the height of hypocrisy by the writers, many of whom gladly looked the other way during the Steroid Era when players left in the Fall looking like Olyve Oil and returned in the Spring bearing a striking resemblance to her boyfriend. The holier-than-thou writers who worked the beats in those days, covered him if only occasionally, and left him off their ballots when casting their votes yesterday deserved to be drummed out of the corps. Voters should be required to disclose their ballots.
Lee Smith also deserved serious consideration but it appears likely he is never going to get it. A great closer is deemed crucial to winning a World Series but seems less significant when considering Hall worthiness.
Then there is the case of Rafael Palmeiro. For a long time I have championed his candidacy because his use of PED's was hardly the exception. His testing positively may have been, but anyone intimately connected to baseball during that era knows in his or her heart that Palmeiro was a great player without benefit of PED's. He tested positive late in his career, no excuse, but likely due to injury or a desperate attempt to stave off decline, making him one of hundreds of players who sought an edge through pharmacology. But the holier-than-thou crowd always wants its scapegoats, especially when these can divert attention from the hypocrites' own complicity.