Shhhhh … confessions from a conniving Hall of Fame voter

Alan Greenwood

In answer to the conspiracy theorists who are still quivering with rage because Edgar Martinez remains a mere Hall of Fame candidate, one voter feels compelled to fess up.

It is true – treachery is afoot. And here is how one treacherous member of the Baseball Writers Association of America commits his annual attack on motherhood, fatherhood and Old Glory:

First, the ballot is plucked from the mailbox.

Next, the package is opened.

The search for a functioning pen commences. (There are years when this may be the most time-consuming part of the process.)

Pen firmly gripped, he looks over the ballot.

He finds the candidates for whom he intends to vote.

He places an “X” next to those names.

He signs his ballot.

He misplaces his pen, ensuring that Step. No. 3 maintains its place in next year’s evil doings.

This year’s ballot included “X’s” next to the names Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez and Curt Schilling.

Note the absence of winning candidates Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome, and the man who has inspired an army of obsessed idolators, Edgar Martinez. Lots of Martinez’s worshippers noticed, at least judging by lots of tweets. A few such missives worth noting:

“Not even Thome?? Five selections?? Looks like a bit of geographical bias, for the most part.” – BPOPE.

My conclusion on Thome is akin to why Mark McGwire never earned a vote from this little corner of the world – he hit a lot of home runs during an age when home runs were drastically devalued. That is the foundation of his qualifications. In a 20-year career he was an All Star just five times.

He is a solid member of the Hall of Very Good. That should have been the top rung on his career ladder.

Is it snarky to suggest that BPOPE forgot to use one finger on his off hand when tabulating my ballot?

As for the geographical bias …

“Manny Ramirez over Edgar… SMH. You probably think that the patriots don’t get every call their way either. #EastCoastBias” – Connor Lind.

Well, that East Coast Bias was suspended long enough to sneak in votes for Guerrero and Bonds, who did much of their great work on the West Coast. And Schilling had a pretty fair postseason for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ramirez, an East Coast scourge, was the greatest right-handed batter of his time.

“You would have been better off not voting. This is a very corrupted list. Lots of ROIDS and no Edgar or Hoffman. Plus, you thought you were special and only voted for 6. This is a very dumb ballot.” – Dave Pfeifer

Reciting my view of the steroid era has grown tedious, but Bud Selig’s induction into the Hall last year made it much easier. Selig’s initial reaction to steroids – which was willful inaction – did more to damage the game than the players with positive drug tests.

Which brings us to the flashpoint for Hall of Fame debates – statistical analysis. Anyone who says statistics mean nothing is a fool. Of course the numbers count. They are the quantitative measure of a player’s performance.

Still, anyone who relies solely on statistical analysis is equally foolish. This became clear when number-crunchers began touting the incredible notion that there is no such thing as a clutch hitter. Or that fielders’ can only be measured by the number of errors they make, divided by the number of chances. Derek Jeter’s incredible, all-time web gem against the A’s in the 2001 playoffs is a ststitical flyspeck.

Unfortunately for Martinez, he played for a team (the city is irrelevant) that severely limited his time on the postseason stage. When there, Martinez performed well.

David Ortiz will go into the Hall because he had a histoic postseason impact. The same goes for Schilling.

Hoffman collected 601 saves. That is the beginning and end of his Hall resume. As statistics go, saves now have as much nutritional value as a head of lettuce.

“You have 10 votes you dingus.” Ants.

Old Ants is correct. Voters are allowed to choose up to 10 players on the ballot.

Does that mean a voter should pad his ballot by selecting under-qualified players?

You got me on that one, Ants. I haven’t, and I won’t.

Conspiring with common sense is a nasty business.

Alan Greenwood can be reached at 594-1248, agreenwood or @Telegraph_ AlanG.