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2008-01-08 19:56
by Scott Long

So Tim Raines gets 24 percent. One of the greatest leadoff hitters in the history of the game gets less than a quarter of the votes. Guys like Jim Rice and Andre Dawson, who Raines was a superior player to get more than double his percentage. I know I will probably go back on this statement, but I'm going to stop putting any energy to caring what this crew does. If more than 3 out of 4 cannot absorb the immense value that Tim Raines brought to the field, well I have no reason torturing myself trying to understand their lazy ballot stuffing. It appears like Raines will join the list of players like Ron Santo, Bert Blyleven, and, Alan Trammell who should be in Cooperstown, but instead are sitting on the outside. I'm glad the deserving Goose Gossage was chosen, but why it took the writers 9 years to finally pull the trigger doesn't make them look too good on that front, either.

For a long time, the front office executives and managers of the game didn't really understand how much sabermetrics impacted the bottom line. Now there is a lot better understanding by the people who run the game, but far too many Hall of Fame voters fail this test. Today's vote was just another example of this. Once again the majority of eligible voters that determine who will be inducted into Cooperstown let the ball roll between their legs. My term for baseball Hall of Fame voters from now on will be Buckners.

2008-01-08 22:34:25
1.   yankee23
Scott, two things:

(1) Could we go with Merkles instead of Buckners? I mean, Bill's really taken a lot of heat since '86 and most of it is really undeserved. Merkle was the originator of messing up a big game. I guess that ruins the metaphor, though.

(2 and this is just nitpicking) Prepositions don't belong at the end of the sentence.

2008-01-08 22:41:10
2.   Eric Enders
If they are Buckners, then the end result would be the same with or without them screwing up. Is that what we're going for?
2008-01-09 03:54:16
3.   RIYank
The end result would probably be the same, but I don't know if that's something you'd want to count on. In any case, I agree that it's a complete mystery what the voters (Buckners, Merkles...) are up to.
2008-01-09 04:46:52
4.   Josh Wilker
Add my voice to those asking to reconsider using Bill Buckner as a standard of ineptitude. He's suffered enough and had a good career and wasn't to blame anyway (Stanley might not have gotten to the bag to cover, the game was already tied, the Red Sox bullpen was cooked so it was just a matter of time, he shouldn't have even been there in the first place, blah blah blah). How about using the word Yawkey instead? The former Red Sox owner is not only one of the more dubious Hall of Fame inductees, he also neglected to sign Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays when he had the chance, choices as stupid and bias-ridden as any the voters have ever made.
2008-01-09 09:14:26
5.   Scott Long
I actually considered using Merkle, but when you mention Fred's boner to most baseball fans, they think you're discussing a Flintstone porno.
This is why I used Buckner. Ask Dr. Mudd about how helping John Wilkes Booth ended up being a big net negative to his last name. It is unfair, I will agree.

In regards to grammar, I really try, but let's keep in mind this is a blog and I do not have an editor or a proofreader. I'm always open to public editing, though I would really prefer if you could send these comments to my email at

I have certain strengths as a writer, but unfortunately grammar ain't one of them.

2008-01-09 10:25:33
6.   RIYank
Hm. Well, Scott, (i) there isn't really anything wrong with ending a sentence with a preposition (except that some readers will think it's wrong). For instance, look here

to see what linguists have to say about Dryden's peculiar critique of Ben Jonson.

And (ii), 'outside' in your sentence wasn't a preposition. It was a noun. (If it were a preposition, it would very, very strange and obviously ungrammatical to slap that 'the' on the front of it.)

In 3 I was playing along with Eric's joke in 2 , by the way.

2008-01-09 10:40:36
7.   Humma Kavula

Ask Dr. Mudd about how helping John Wilkes Booth ended up being a big net negative to his last name. It is unfair, I will agree.

Dr. Mudd probably would feel okay about it, considering the fact that the phrase "his name is mud" was around for at least 45 years before Booth shot Lincoln.

2008-01-09 13:24:52
8.   JL25and3
Merkle's probably even less appropriate than Buckner.

Buckner gets far too much of the blame that should go to McNamara and Schiraldi - but he did make a brutal error.

Merkle just did what everyone else did in the same situation. It was common practice to head for the clubhouses in center field when the winning run crossed the plate - epsecially when the crowd swarmed onto the field, as they did that day.

But Johnny Evers had spoken to Hank O'Day about that situation some weeks earlier, and when Evers appealed to him, O'Day called Merkle out.

There was a lot more pandemonium involved, but that was the basic story. Merkle took a lot worse than Buckner did.

How about calling them Snodgrasses?

2008-01-09 13:30:38
9.   JL25and3
6 Churchill pretty well buried that "rule" when he said that ending a sentence with a preposition is the sort of English "up with which I will not put."

There's also an old joke: A freshman at a stuffy Ivy League school asked an upper classman, "Can you tell me where the library is at?" The uppper classman said snootily, "Here we do not end out sentences with prepositions." "Fine," said the freshman, "can you tell me where the library is at, asshole?"

2008-01-09 13:45:30
10.   Scott Long
Thanks JL25and3 for the suggestion. To keep away from prepositions I will try to end all of my sentences with the word asshole. Actually, it seems very natural to me and I think it fits a lot of the subjects I discuss. Thanks again, asshole.
2008-01-09 14:04:10
11.   Scott Long
Love the straight dope and while I don't try to pretend that it wasn't used before Dr. Mudd, I bet that if you researched it the phrase really took hold after he was the anti-Florence Nightingale and his name became infamous.
2008-01-09 14:15:31
12.   George Y
How about we call 'em Buckners Boners?
2008-01-09 17:32:47
13.   El Lay Dave
Since "it's a complete mystery what the voters are up to", and with the attempt to keep the reference relatively recent, perhaps they should be referred to as the Littles.
2008-01-09 19:54:52
14.   Marty
Let's call them Neidenfuers

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