This year's list of candidates includes Bo Jackson, Darrell Porter, Kevin Seitzer, John Wathan, Jermaine Dye and Al Cowens, and all except one — Bo — are running behind Gobble as of Tuesday night. Jimmy has been gobbling up online votes at a 20 percent-plus clip. Bo leads with over 40 percent.
Gobble, not that you need to be reminded of the hard numbers because you remember the generally stinky results, finished his career with a 5.23 ERA in 235 major league appearances for K.C. His first nine starts were OK in 2003 for the last Royals team to finish over .500, and he had a good ERA out of the bullpen as a specialist in 2007. He is friends with Zack Greinke, so he's probably a good guy.
Gobble was the 43rd overall pick of the 1999 draft and, at one time, was rated by Baseball America the No. 50 prospect in Major League Baseball. So he could have been somebody but, as far as ballplayers go, he was a below-average left-handed pitcher. I'm being really nice here — Gobble was a turkey!
And someone out there thinks it's HEE-larious that Gobble is even on the ballot in the first place, so why not embarrass the Royals more by making it look like he has a chance to win? The Royals HOF (located inside of Kauffman Stadium) has admitted 25 members (including groundskeeper George Toma) since it opened in 1986. So it's exclusive. And the Royals, though kids today might not believe it, have an actual tradition that includes some great players — such as Porter, who deserves to be enshrined.
But recently, they've been a joke as an organization, an easy target. And this Gobble movement has competition for stupid: People have made outfielder Emil Brown the No. 3 choice on the ballot! Ridiculous! (Though Brown's supporters have their reasons.)
Here's what the results look like so far:
Other than Bo, maybe including Bo, the best candidate is Porter, and he doesn't even have 1 percent of the vote. Actual Royals fans need to step up.
But the Royals made up the rules, which include a cutoff of 150 innings pitched for pitchers and 1,500 at-bats for hitters. Anyone above gets on the ballot. You also can vote for Runelvys Hernandez if you want (and Al Fitzmorris, a relief pitcher back in the day who wasn't bad, says king of Royals bloggers Rany Jazayerli).
Online fan voting is only one phase of the contest, and there appear to be some fail-safe clauses written into the rules — presumably to prevent a candidate such as Jimmy Gobble from getting into the team's Hall of Fame. So unless this Gobble movement has infected others in the electorate — unless George Brett demands he gets in and everyone owes him a favor — Gobble's not likely to get in. It just would have been nice if the Royals had made it a little harder to qualify for a nomination.