Should I write something new about Dale Murphy being bypassed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for the ninth time? Probably not, since it would be the same entry I wrote in 2004 and 2006. I’d lament how stupid it is to discount players from the 1980s because their statistics do not match the statistics of players from the 1990s. Following on that, I’d also question how voters can keep Mark McGwire out of the Hall of Fame because his greater statistics are allegedly steroid-enhanced, yet continue to dismiss the lower statistics from players like Dale Murphy, who we know was clean. Then I’d quote the only sane writer, ESPN’s Jayson Stark. I might use this quote:
Murphy’s stats may not look so dazzling stacked up against the numbers of today. But in his heyday — the decade of the ’80s — Murphy got more hits and scored more runs than anyone in the National League, tied Mike Schmidt for most RBI and was second to Schmidt in homers. He was also a back-to-back MVP, a five-time Gold Glove winner, a proud member of the 30-Homer, 30-Steal Club and a big enough star to lead the entire sport in All-Star votes in 1985. So he sure deserves to be getting more than 56 stinking votes.
This year, 50 voters marked Murph on their ballot, which is fewer than 10%. Shame on the writers, but I shouldn’t be surprised given that two writers didn’t even deem Tony Gwynn or Call Ripken worthy, casting blank ballots. The process needs to change, or at least waive Murph’s remaining eligibility and send his candidacy to the Veterans Committee. That’s his only chance to claim his rightful spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But, no, I’m not going to bother with a post this year to express my outrage. That would be redundant.