It’s election season, and though we try not to get involved in such matters, I feel we need to speak up when I see a system that is so out-dated, so backwards, one which leaves itself open to corruption and collusion, and though many feel as though their voice is heard, it’s ultimately decided by a few hundred old white guys who are often out of touch with reality.
I, of course, am speaking of the Baseball Hall Of Fame election process. Reams and reams of internet paper have been written about the entire process, and I will have A LOT more to come on that as the selection date nears. But I want to focus today on one item. One man, actually, who was left off the “Oversight” committee (who I guess is replacing the veterans committee, or something) ballot. I am talking about “Sweet” Lou Whitaker.
Whitaker was left off the list of TEN candidates who are deemed as oversights by the traditional selection process. So he’s not one of 10 that deserve reconsideration? For real? Let’s break this down a little.
The best argument for Whitaker being at least on the list, and really the only one I should need, is the case built on WAR. You may be rolling your eyes, but basically, the stat works. You don’t need to know how to calculate it. Get over it. If you can’t grasp it, it’s because you’re not as great of a baseball fan as me, so just trust me when I tell you, it works.
When you use WAR, not only is Whitaker (74.9) higher than any of the other 10 candidates, he’s nearly DOUBLE Steve Garvey’s (37.9). Whitaker is also 7th all time among second baseman. Every 2B above him (and 15 below him) are in Cooperstown. This man doesn’t even deserve consideration?!
There are many other arguments to make on behalf of Whitaker. Among second basemen he is 7th in games played, 10th in HR, 11th in Runs, over 2400 career hits, and a career .369 OBP. Slam dunk HOF’er? No. But certainly more than worthy of a debate.
Whitaker’s actual HOF candidacy is a different issue. I feel as though he should be in, and has been slighted by the rules and voting practices of the BBWAA- a top 5 worst organization of people ever assembled with one sole purpose- but that is not what I’m bitching about today. What I am bitching about today is, the HOF tried to reform the way they approach things, installed an oversight committee to review Modern Era players who have recently fallen off the ballot, and in one of their first few tests…they completely whiff.