Sorry, Greg Maddux, You Pitched In A Decade That No Longer Exists

Mike Zarrilli

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

From the original story on MLB.com:

KEN GURNICK, Dodgers beat reporter
Morris

Morris has flaws -- a 3.90 ERA, for example. But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Player Award votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won't vote for any of them.

From the far more interesting take on Deadspin:

There's no point. Most voting BBWAA members are rational, intelligent people, and a few are squealing imbeciles, and when unanimity is concerned, all it takes is one. If Greg Maddux, the total antithesis of the PED era that so offends these dainty flowers, doesn't get 100 percent, it's a fair bet that no one ever will. The process isn't broken; it's unworkable.

I'm not going to touch his vote of Jack Morris, because, well, that's a different spinoff entirely, but are you telling me that someone with a vote is ignoring two-plus decades of baseball history? As in pretending it's not there? Oh, you are? Okay then.

Seriously, how do you argue with that? Please, like cheating in baseball is confined to a certain decade. Please, like it's gone even now. Please, like the moralizing credentials for the Hall of Fame aren't baseball's biggest joke.

According to the Sporting News MLB, in an interview yesterday, Gurnick explains further:

He said he had no reason to believe Maddux had done PEDs. "It's not a personal thing," he said. "It's an indictment of an era."

Um, well, it's kind of a personal thing. You, personally, are denying a vote to Greg Maddux, because you are taking a personal stand against a period of time, and anyone who had the unfortunate luck to reach his baseball prime during that era. Just so we're clear. At least own the crazy, sir.

From the same article, Gurnick has said that he will abstain from voting in the future, as not to deny other players a vote. Mariano Rivera is specifically mentioned. So again, Greg Maddux doesn't get your vote this year, but other players in the future from that era, might have the good fortune to not have you not voting for them. Got it. (Alternate reading between the lines: If you think people are mad at you now, try not voting for Mariano Rivera with that lame excuse, so you make Maddux your political stand. Got it.)

And then it gets awesome:

He said he would place the start of the PED era in 1992 or 1993, the tail end of Morris' career (his last season was 1994). "He was a really tough call," Gurnick said of Morris. But he decided that he could vote for the former pitcher because the bulk of his career occurred before the PED era.

And by awesome, of course, I mean I'm furious. Who died and made you the judge and jury of baseball, Ken Gurnick? I must have missed the part where a vote for the Hall of Fame meant anything other than voting for the best players in baseball, of which Greg Maddux wins in every single category you could use, even the made up ones. In every way, he's a Hall of Famer, and I don't see anyone arguing with that. But that's not good enough for you. Instead of just agreeing with the obvious, you spend your day breaking down the baseball PED era to when you think it started, and draw your little line in the sand based on your research and your conclusion. Because surely the early 90's were just like the 50's; clean baseball, a family sport, the way it used to be, dammit!

You can't argue that Maddux is not Hall of Fame material, so you lay down a blanket rule that tarnishes his votes for something he never did. You said so yourself; you have no reason to believe that Maddox took PED's. So you believe he was a clean pitcher, pitching in a dirty era, to hitters who were juicing, and that doesn't make his performance even more impressive?

And you wonder why the interwebs are mad at you. They should be.

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