FanDuel - WFBC

January 07, 2007

Ripken and Gwynn guaranteed to receive less than 100% of HOF vote.:
"If no one else can find meaningful fault with Gwynn or Baltimore's iron shortstop, Cal Ripken Jr., count on Paul Ladewski to act as designated killjoy. The columnist for Chicago's Daily Southtown vowed in 2005 not to vote for anyone who played during baseball's steroid era, and confirmed Thursday that he had submitted a blank ballot this year."

posted by grum@work to baseball at 04:54 PM - 46 comments

He even admits he won't vote for people who were never suspected of using. Take away his ballot. And kick him in the nuts.

posted by yerfatma at 04:55 PM on January 07

Well, that's pretty much the best case of "throwing the baby out with the bath water" that I've ever seen. Two questions I have to ask: 1) Did he come up with this idea now, or has he instituted this rule for his ballot with Paul Molitor (elected in 2004), Ryne Sandberg (elected in 2005) and Wade Boggs (elected in 2005)? 3) Why does a writer for the Daily Southtown get a HOF vote?

posted by grum@work at 04:59 PM on January 07

Ladewski has a serious god complex.

posted by forrestv at 05:04 PM on January 07

Sigh. The worst part is that the jerk is getting exactly what he wants- attention.

posted by tieguy at 05:15 PM on January 07

“...I believe it's my responsibility to uphold the Hall of Fame standards in whatever way necessary.” 'Zat so Commissioner Shithead?

posted by SummersEve at 05:19 PM on January 07

It's a dumb reason not to vote, but his ability to vote for such a dumb reason and not get kicked out is testament to the integrity of the process.

posted by rcade at 05:20 PM on January 07

What a dumbass.

posted by chad at 05:48 PM on January 07

It's a dumb reason not to vote, but his ability to vote for such a dumb reason and not get kicked out is testament to the integrity of the process. See, I don't think that's really the case. We aren't talking about a voting process where everyone gets a chance. Every single election system has limitations on who can vote (age, criminal status, citizenship), and the BBWAA has their own too. You have to be a baseball writer for a newspaper. However, I'm sure there are clauses in the election process that stops them from sending ballots to members who do not respect the process, are mentally incapacitated, or are "selling" their ballots to the highest bidders. If Ladewski were to announce that his 2008 ballot would contain only the name of the player who gave him the most money between now and then, would that be acceptable? What if he announced that he only voted for white players because he knows that "the black players are the ones that do all the drugs"?

posted by grum@work at 05:48 PM on January 07

What an elohssa?

posted by luther70 at 06:09 PM on January 07

Ripken didn't use Rogain and Tony Gwynn is still the nicest guy in sports, this jackass Ladewski is just that. If he can't tell the difference between these two guys and a Barry Bonds or the other asterik hitters then he definatly should write in the home and garden section or better yet the "Irish Sports Page" ie the obit's and turn in his BBWAA card

posted by thatch at 06:11 PM on January 07

If Tony Gwynn did steroids I'm definitely going to avoid the ones that he took, as I have enough of a beer gut already! Anyone who can hit in the upper .300's with Gwynn's body type deserves to be in the HOF.

posted by whitedog65 at 06:20 PM on January 07

The great thing about elections is that anyone who for whatever reason has a ballot can use it in whatever idiotic, misguided, I-the-jury, dumbass, bullshit way they choose. It's their right. It's how elections work. That's why they're called "elections" and not "appointments" or "divine successions."

posted by chicobangs at 06:30 PM on January 07

That guy being able to cast a ballot just goes to show how George Bush got elected --- twice (sigh). Gwynn has one of the highest lifetime averages in the modern era - pretty sure (not positive) even higher than Boggs, if he doesn't belong in the hall, no one does.

posted by cheftad at 07:13 PM on January 07

Moralizing blowhard. This is what passes for media crusadership, apparently. I find it terribly selective, because it's certainly nothing to do with cheating. We all know the kind of cheaters already welcomed there. The Emporer has no clothes.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:39 PM on January 07

As dumb as I might make it may sound, but it should be in the voting rule that you have to vote for SOMEBODY. This will prevent imbeciles like this Ladewski from the Daily Southtown from turning in blank ballots. It should be disallowed and thrown out. Then start with the ballots with actual votes on them. Being from the Chicago area, I vow from now on to use the Southtown sports section to clean up my dog's shite, permanently! And YES, take his ballot away if he refuses to vote and kick him squarely in the nuts. I'd take a drive over to the Southtown's offices to see that one. They're no too far away.

posted by t money at 08:06 PM on January 07

Somebody won't vote for Ripken and Gwynn for the HOF? Cal and Tony are the ones I would definitely vote in. After that, I would probably inform Cooperstown not to send me any more ballots.

posted by Mike Juran at 08:10 PM on January 07

The comments are understandable but I can see the reporter's side also. The baseball players are like the police and lawyers, they protect their own. Of the players, Joe Morgan is the really true voice out there about this problem. The players themselves and their union need to lead on this problem. Don't hold your breath.

posted by NoSpin at 09:58 PM on January 07

As dumb as I might make it may sound, but it should be in the voting rule that you have to vote for SOMEBODY. Actually, no, I don't think you should be forced to vote for somebody. There are going to be years where no one of consequence retired, so why be forced to vote in a sub-standard player. Joe Morgan is the really true voice out there about this problem. Oh dear god, I hope it hasn't come to this! "If you are going to let people into the Hall who have done steroids, then you have to let Pete Rose in, because this [steroid scandal] has hurt baseball more than what Pete did." - Joe Morgan

posted by grum@work at 11:02 PM on January 07

Who is Paul LaDORKski, and what in the name of Green Acres is the Daily Southtown?

posted by antistar57 at 11:08 PM on January 07

Joe Morgan editorializing is really, really awful. And if he's the voice of reason, there is no hope.

posted by igottheblues at 01:32 AM on January 08

Ladewski's defense. For what it's worth. First of all, Jack O'Connell is awesome. Second, all this hand wringing over unanimity is hilarious on all counts. Watching the writers' eyes shift back and forth, wondering if Ripken or Gwynn are going to get 100%, worried that it might diminish the accomplishments of Hank Aaron is Seinfeld funny. Listening to fans express their outrage that these guys are only going to get 99% of the vote and suggesting that if you don't vote for these guys you should lose your right to vote is so silly they wouldn't make a sitcom about it -- it could only appear on the news. One number matters: 75. After 75%, you're in. 99%=100%=80% -- they're all Hall of Famers. When you put 500 people together in a room, there are going to be outliers. Every time. On anything. Kicking and screaming about something that is really of no consequence whatsoever is ridiculous. If Jim Rice misses by a vote, then get angry. But don't get angry at Ladewski for that -- I think he would be voting for Rice if he thought he should get in, since he really pre-dated the steroid era. As dumb as I might make it may sound, but it should be in the voting rule that you have to vote for SOMEBODY. In my opinion, if there is any flaw in the process, it's that too many writers think this way.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:09 AM on January 08

If either is elected one vote shy of a unanimous vote why can there not be an asterisk by the name(s). In an era of the press wanting to qualify records with an asterisk for any reason (i.e. - Marris 61, Mac's 70, and Barry's 73), why can't we do the same to them? Quite honestly it should be a “no brainer” for these two or any other players of similar caliber to receive 100% of the vote (i.e. - Williams, Aaron Ruth and many more where of that caliber). It is clear there are and should be "minimum standards" to get into the hall where voting does come into play for borderline cases - BUT -to snub someone for a generality such as just playing in the "steroid era" is insane. Do we go back and take away votes from the players who took "greenies", acid and the like in the 60's - 80's (Seaver)? Or better yet - do we take away votes because some of the greats played in the "all white" era (Ruth)? Wake up and smell the coffee Mr. Ladewski. There has always been and probably will always be some scenario which causes a different level or standard for players to be judged for any professional or even amateur sport.

posted by iamdwizard at 07:41 AM on January 08

You have to be a baseball writer for a newspaper. Which raises an interesting question: at what point do online-only writers get considered for the BBWAA and thus the HOF ballot? At some point, one has to assume that the issue will become pertinent, given that (I assume) there are better baseball writers blogging regularly these days than in many papers. (This bloke is essentially trolling. But I do find the Hall of Fame stuff curious, because it's a very north-American thing.)

posted by etagloh at 07:51 AM on January 08

I assume) there are better baseball writers blogging regularly these days than in many papers. God yes. Most of the posters here would be better voters than this moron, forget some of the better online baseball writers. (Neyer jumps immediately to mind, for example. He is one of the few reasons I miss ESPN Insider...)

posted by tieguy at 08:18 AM on January 08

Listening to fans express their outrage that these guys are only going to get 99% of the vote and suggesting that if you don't vote for these guys you should lose your right to vote is so silly I'm not saying you should have to vote for someone every year. I'm saying not voting because of some half-baked crusade is not quite the thing.

posted by yerfatma at 08:35 AM on January 08

Yes, agreed fatty. I'm certainly not suggesting that Ripken and Gwynn need 100% to justify the voting process; personally I don't care, they're shoe-ins with or without this guy. I'm just remaking on this particular reporter's insistence on not voting for anyone associated with the "steroid era". It's a fucking douchebag of a position that's very poorly considered - for many reasons already posted. And personally, it suggests a kind of moralizing that is not needed. If this gentleman was privately practicing this, I probably wouldn't have as much of a problem with it - but he has elected to publically (and politically) practice it - which reveals the true blowhardiness of his assiholism. (Inventing words is neat!)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:33 AM on January 08

This kind of reminds me of an Albert Brooks line from Broadcast News: "yes by all means, let's not forget that we (journalists) are the story."

posted by psmealey at 11:52 AM on January 08

For such a great baseball city, Chitown has more than it's share of baseball writers who can't see past the end of their own nose... I am sorely tempted to serve a petition to the BBWAA for inclusion of grum and BullpenPro to their ranks.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:07 PM on January 08

It's very easy to read into these comments that Ladewski's failure to vote is indicative of a serious problem with a system that continues to fail to give 100% support to deserving HOF candidates. That's where my comment comes from -- it's a waste of time worrying about the guys who are on the 99%/100% bubble (c'mon, make this an asterisk issue?), when the only thing worth worrying about is the 74%/75% bubble. The system works extremely well -- there are very few mistakes in the Hall that were a result of the BBWAA voting. These guys aren't getting shut out -- heck, Gwynn doesn't even want more than 90% of the vote because he doesn't want his vote total to become a subject of discussion. If your issue is simply "I think Ladewski is an idiot," well I can't argue against that. In the linked article, Ladewski claims that all ballplayers in the steroid era are to be held accountable whether they used or not because they must have known what was going on and they didn't do something to stop it. Okay, except that's not what he's saying in his article from my previous post, in which he states, "Rest assured that I haven't written off anyone who played in the 'Roids Rage Age permanently." That article suggests that he thinks there's a possibility that Ripken and Gwynn used, and he doesn't want to be embarrassed after the fact. And, right in the middle of that article he sells himself out with the most believable agenda: "Besides, what makes Gwynn and Ripken so special that they deserve to be unanimous selections?" There are enough writers who have an issue with this unanimity issue that perhaps Ladewski won some kind of BBWAA lottery, and he just wasn't sharp enough to come up with a legitimate, believable, consistent reason not to vote for these guys. Yes, Ladewski is an idiot.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:13 PM on January 08

Yet, I will personally GUARANTEE you that in his past ballots, Ladewski has voted for players who used amphetamines on a daily basis. - Sign stealers. - Ball scuffers - Guys who corked their bat at least once The thing that gets me is that steroids are being held up by ignorant people as the ruination of baseball, but cheating has been going on for 100 years. Steroids are just the latest version to help players. If I could market an illegal drug that would turn average sportswriters like Ladewski into Red Smith or Grantland Rice or Ring Lardner or even Peter Gammons, but would compromise the writer's integrity along the way, I can good and Bonds-darn guarantee you that the drug would not go unsold. Guys like Ladewski - Mike Lupica and Rick Reilly are the two biggest culprits these days - are a disgrace to rational thought.

posted by Cameron Frye at 01:59 PM on January 08

My petition (fictional of course, and meant to be flattering) would only be an attempt to place two people whose opinions I value in the BBWAA, BullpenPro.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:53 PM on January 08

I am sorely tempted to serve a petition to the BBWAA for inclusion of grum and BullpenPro to their ranks. If I had to chose one of us to get a BBWAA vote, it would be Bullpen Pro. He has a closer bond with the sport, and actually works for the Hall of Fame. I'd be much more content to simply sit back and snipe at all his ballots from a distance, especially when Yankee players come up for election.

posted by grum@work at 03:39 PM on January 08

Hey pal, if it meant we could take two votes away from current electors, let's stick with it.

posted by yerfatma at 05:44 PM on January 08

mjk: sorry, I wasn't responding to your comment. I started my response after Weedy's comment and left and came back and finished it after you posted. I was just trying to clarify my position regarding attacking the BBWAA process and its failure to throw 100% support to a player versus attacking The Big Ladewski as an individual. In preview, I deliberately avoided responding to your suggestion because a) I didn't want to reveal any more than I have that I am a cheap slut for flattery, and b) I didn't want to have to tell you how poor a candidate for the job I would be. Like grum said, I would definitely be a weak voter, since I would certainly expose my weakness for Yankee players. Gossage, in. Mattingly, in. Guidry, in. Randolph, in. Brian Doyle, in. Kei Igawa, in. Of course, don't get me started on Jeter. Doing work for the Hall of Fame hasn't really worked at making me less of an 'hole Yankee fan, and doesn't make anyone more qualified for the job. Believe me. As for grum... well...there's issues. Seriously, though, grum would be a lot less emotionally reckless -- he has the knowledge and the very good sense to avoid the traps that are set by the candidacy of some players. After the Commish -- which is grum's unofficial title for baseball threads, in my book -- there are at least a dozen people on this site that would improve the process -- I won't try to name them for fear of leaving somebody out, but a few of them are in this thread.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:17 PM on January 08

“...I believe it's my responsibility to uphold the Hall of Fame standards in whatever way necessary.” Just because this guy has a vote, why does he believe that he can be the one person that dictates if a player deserves to get into the Hall of Fame or not? Even with a player like Tony Gwynn that was never implicated of doing anything wrong in his career, this guy thinks that just because Gwynn played in the "steriod era", he should have 'blown the whistle' on the guys that were using. Is this unbelieveable or is it just me? This guy is saying that even though Tony Gwynn or Cal Ripken Jr. were never even surrounded by the steroid controversy like Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds (allegedly) and just because they never spoke up about the steriod problem that's consuming the great game of baseball or even the players that may or may have not been using steriods, he doesn't think that they should get into the HoF because of that 'reason' alone. What a joke this guy is. What MLB or the Commissioner of baseball should do is take away the voting privileges of guys like this that feel as if they're the ones that need to do something to keep the integrity of the game intact when there's a Commissioner in place who's job is to do just that. If you have a say in who should should be voted into the Hall, why not use it instead of misusing the honor of selecting the chosen few that have made a positive impact on the game itself, not damaged it? That's just my opinion.

posted by BornIcon at 07:21 AM on January 09

Just as a point of clarification, MLB and the Commissioner do not have any official control of the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is an independent, not-for-profit institution. Certainly, the HOF and MLB walk hand-in-hand to a great degree, but the Commissioner has no official control over who gets to vote. In a way, the HOF doesn't really have a say in who gets to vote when it comes right down to it -- that decision is ultimately made by the BBWAA, which has been given the power to control the voting process. And because of that control, they are the Hall's de facto guardians, and the institution's integrity is certainly in large part in their hands. When he suggests it's his job to uphold the standards of the Hall, well, he's right. I don't believe that is a reasonable defense of his motives in this particular case, though.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:47 AM on January 09

When he suggests it's his job to uphold the standards of the Hall, well, he's right. I don't believe that is a reasonable defense of his motives in this particular case, though. And I should have been more clear in my post. I agree the voters have to uphold the standards, but his not voting for anyone during this era is a complete joke. I hope he didn't vote for anyone who took amphetamines, or who doctored a ball, or who sharpened their spikes, or who took a swipe at someone's glove as they ran to first base.

posted by SummersEve at 08:43 AM on January 09

When I first read the post, my opinion was that Paul Ladewski was a total idiot. How can anyone overlook Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr.? After some thought and a little bit more information, I'm not opposed to his refusal to vote. My complaint with him now is that he tars every player of the last 20 or so years with the same brush that should be applied only to those who can be proven to have used steroids. Remember when you were in grade school and the class clown got the teacher upset? Chances are the whole class wound up paying for it, and you didn't like it a damned bit. Ladewski reminds me of the teachers who did this; they were too lazy to dig for the truth, and instead went on a rant. Nick Cafardo had this interesting piece in today's Boston Globe. I wonder what the SpoFi comments would have been about some of these HOF selectors?

posted by Howard_T at 08:52 AM on January 09

Jayson Stark explains why he voted for McGwire.

posted by SummersEve at 09:05 AM on January 09

.....Commissioner has no official control over who gets to vote Thanks for the clarification BBP but I still think that someone should step in when individuals like Paul Ladewski decide to take matters into their own hands. The point that I'm trying to make and maybe I'm just saying this the wrong way but when someone that may or may not have a vendetta against certain individuals that play a professional sport, how can that person be able to be unbiased and place a vote towards what that athlete has done on the field of play? If there is no actual concrete evidence (just acusations) proving otherwise, why condemn all players that played in a certain era? Just about every era in sports had some sort of conflict and/or disruption but if a player is only guilty by association and no actual proof is found, why treat them as if they're criminals when they haven't done anything wrong?

posted by BornIcon at 09:31 AM on January 09

I understand your frustration, BI. In response, I guess all I would say is there is no voting process that operates without biases. If you don't believe me, compare Albert Belle's statistics to those of Kirby Puckett's (two players whose careers were ended prematurely by injury). Then check Belle's vote total when it's released this afternoon (2pm EST for those keeping an eye on such things). Bias. Lots of bias. Every writer sets their own standard for how to vote, just as you and I would. When the pool includes 500 people, as I said before, there's bound to be someone whose guiding voice is, let's say, out there. As far as Ladewski goes, I would rather have the odd extremists leaning towards blank ballots than voting for every fringe player on the ballot. And having said that, given the inconsistencies in Ladewski's reasoning and the lengths he's gone to cover his hide so he can vote for guys from "the era" in the future without contradicting himself, I would be very surprised if his true agenda wasn't just to end the speculation of the possibility of a unanimous vote (and get himself a little national face time in the process).

posted by BullpenPro at 09:53 AM on January 09

From Seve's link: This is a tough, complicated decision, dumped in our laps by a sport that left it up to us to deal with its mess. An argument could be made that this is a media-created mess that the media is now whining about having to fix. Upon the discovery that players were using steroids, the baseball writers went the righteous outrage route and targeted the players. They could easily have put the bulk of the burden on MLB and the Union, noting that if they hadn't left the barn door open for so long there wouldn't have been so many players walking through it. Instead they laid the heavy morality line on the players, and now, since they don't even know who it was they were really chastizing, they're whining about the "mess" they have to "deal with." If I haven't made this clear before, I share Stark's angle on the steroid issue. The BBWAA lost their ability to stand so stanchly on that character clause long before the steroid era came around, and while they certainly won't own up to it, the mess they're cleaning up is from the morality party they threw.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:18 AM on January 09

Of course, I also believe that McGwire should be enshrined. So, you know, take that with a grain of salt.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:48 AM on January 09

I agree with your explanation BBP and I do believe you as far as your comparison of stats are concerned between Albert Belle and Kirby Puckett and also how the sports writers would be biased towards Albert Belle. During his playing day's, Belle was surly and rather rude to the media and therefore, Belle's Hall of Fame vote gets decided by the very same people he was surly and rude to, ironic isn't it? "Every writer sets their own standard for how to vote, just as you and I would" See, now that's where I have a problem. If I had a vote, I wouldn't be pondering whether I got along with this player or if he gave me the most interviews. What an athlete does on the field should be the determining factor between a Hall of Famer or the Hall of Almost-Was although there are a few exceptions: Betting on baseball, confirmed steroid usage, etc.... My vote wouldn't be pursuaded one way or the other because the athlete's attitude or demeanor wasn't my cup of tea or just because I didn't like him for whatever reason. It would be based on if this guy deserves to be included into the Hall, period. When a Hall of Fame voter begins to believe that they have a "responsibility to uphold the Hall of Fame standards in whatever way necessary", what's to stop them from just not voting for a guy because of what "dirty" athletes have done before him or during the era he played in?

posted by BornIcon at 01:15 PM on January 09

Like grum said, I would definitely be a weak voter, since I would certainly expose my weakness for Yankee players. Gossage, in. Mattingly, in. Guidry, in. Randolph, in. Brian Doyle, in. Kei Igawa, in Goose? Sure. Mattingly? Good player, but he's no Jeter. Where are the rings? ;) Guidry? He's no Dave Stieb! Randolph? As a manager? It's a bit early. Doyle? If there is a wing for "worst 200 PA ever", sure! Igawa? Shhh! He's my secret draft pick in my baseball pool!

posted by grum@work at 04:17 PM on January 09

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