January 06, 2010
Congratulations to Andre Dawson — or, as Cubs announcer Harry Caray used to call him, "Andre Rodgers" — for making the Hall of Fame today.
Dawson got 77.9 of percent of the BBWAA vote needed for election, so he'll be inducted into Cooperstown this July. Vive les Expos!
A clean 75 percent is the minimum tally required, as fans know, which means Bert Blyleven (74.2 percent) and Roberto Alomar (73.7) will have to wait for their moment in history, which presumably comes next year at this time. It's going to be a long, agonizing 365-day wait if you care about the Hall of Fame. And it's unnecessary.
I mean, c'mon. Can't the BBWAA just round up on Blyleven? If he were a car or a house and we were buying him, sure, we'd want to knock a percentage point off the interest rate because it would be in our best interest as a consumer.
Considering that we're buying him for the Hall of Fame — we all just lived through the arguments ad nauseam — Blyleven deserves benefit of the mathematic doubt and should be rounded up. For his sake, for our sakes, for the sake of the Hall.
"Five votes short is a little bit on the sad side, but my percentages jumped up a lot from last year and I really appreciate that," Blyleven told the MLB Network shortly after
the wind broke the news broke.
Blyleven's percentages jumped up, all right, practically to 75 percent itself. Pretty much 75 percent. Nearly every bit of 75 percent. What do you say we just call it 75 percent?
In Alomar's case, we'd really have to round up, considering he didn't quite reach 74 percent. I'm willing to look the other way and let him into Cooperstown, considering he's probably one of the three best second basemen of all time.
At least with Alomar, it's just his first year on the ballot. With so much support for his candidacy, you might say that Robbie is well within spitting distance of Coopertown. Any hand-wringing over him is nothing compared to that with Blyleven, a HOF cause celebre for the past several seasons.
I would like to throw out the ballots of the five voters who left theirs blank — but you can't do that, no matter how illogical, self-serving or petulant these folks might be. BBWAA election guidelines don't prohibit leaving a ballot blank nor should they. When Bernie Williams(notes) comes up for a vote in 2012, and he's the best player up there, should voters be ordered to vote for him? Is this Russia? (No, this isn't Russia.)
It's ironic that Dawson's selection, reviled by some as being unworthy, will be overshadowed next July by Blyleven's pending selection, which is a virtual certainty and deemed unworthy only because of teeny little percentage points.
But in this age of virtual reality, what do you say, BBWAA? Let's just call it 75 percent.
And then let's just call it a day.