Plenty of people have questioned the Hall of Fame and its voting process over the years and especially the last couple days as no player was voted in on Wednesday. But this might be the strongest opinion on the entire thing that I’ve heard yet as former MLB manager Bobby Valentine puts sportswriters and Hall of Fame voters on blast, while claiming that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be voted in and questioning if Greg Maddux will get an asterisk due to bad pitches being called strikes.
Bobby Valentine joined ESPN Radio Las Vegas with Gridlock to discuss his surprise that no players were voted into the Hall of Fame, why writers should no longer be in charge of the voting, why fans should be a part of it, which player was the most snubbed, if Craig Biggio belongs in the Hall of Fame and next year’s ballot that will include Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
Were you surprised that no player was elected into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday?:
“The reporters must have been at the computer and electronics show that you guys have going on out there in Vegas, and they must have got their wires mixed up. I was a little shocked, yeah. I think greatness should be respected and acknowledged as greatness.”
Do you think that writers should be in charge of that vote?:
“No, I don’t think the writers should be in charge of anything, as a matter of fact. … I think you should have had been at games, should have some kind of credible knowledge of what’s going on during the era of which you’re voting. … I guess to vote, all you need to do is have 10 consecutive years as a sportswriter. Some of these guys haven’t been at a ballpark in 20 years, some of them haven’t turned on the TV in 10, and yet they have a vote. I don’t get any of that. When they were in charge of this sanctuary, they were in charge because they were the only ones to view the games live. They were the only ones in St. Louis to watch Stan Musial; they were the only ones in New York Polo Grounds to watch Willie Mays. Now everyone watches and everyone has an opinion on it and that voting should be given to those who pass a test before they vote.”
If the fans should be part of the vote:
“It’s the fans of the future that we’re handing over the game to and we’re handing these Hall of Fame inductees to. I think that they should have some kind of voice. I’m not sure how you regulate that and how you make that happen, either. The world is closing in on us and the information age that we’ve lived in and now the computer age that we’re living in will solve all those problems.”
Who do you think got snubbed the most of this year’s potential inductees?:
“Barry Bonds is the best player I’ve ever seen play. How can he not be in the Hall of Fame? It just goes against thought and reason. And Clemens, if you’re supposed to dominate and era and that’s going to be your ticket to fame, I don’t think anyone dominated their era like Roger did. If you’re the best at your position, and you have a catcher who accumulated the statistics that Mike Piazza did as a catcher, or a second baseman who got 3,000 hits, how do you keep these guys out? I don’t get it.”
Biggio’s numbers aren’t off the charts, but he did it for so long. So in your eyes, he’s a Hall of Famer?:
“Again, it’s the Hall of Records, and 3,000 hits is one of those goals. Everybody with 3,000 hits, except for, I guess, the guy with the most hits in the history of the game, Pete Rose, and Barry Bonds, are in the Hall of Fame. So how can he not be?”
Next year, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux make the ballot. They’ve got to make it right away, right?:
“Yeah, great statistics. They pitched in the umpire-widened-strike zone era. Are we going to put an asterisk because those pitches that were outside were called strikes? It gets ridiculous the more you look at things and the more you wonder why we do things here, the more you have to question this. They should definitely be in, Maddux for sure.”