Mike Schmidt Says Very Un-Mike Schmidt-Like Things About HOF Voting
Toying with MLB Hall of Fame voting procedures to get more money for more players -- when selling autographs?
Say it ain't, so Schmidt. (Crickets.)
Really. That's what Mike Schmidt -- arguably the greatest third baseman of all time and, moreover, a guy touted as "SO PHILLY" -- told Sirius XM satellite radio yesterday, when this year's ballot (that includes for the first time notorious 'roiders Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa) was released.
It's pretty long-winded, so I'll spare you the rambling. You can hear the whole thing here.
Forget his comment about the writers. He said their influence should be limited because of biases and grudges and shortsightedness (fair), but proposed a ridiculous solution: don't let them vote on the finalists, but let them select the finalists themselves. Yes, that would, in a way, actually expand their influence. Makes no sense.
But for Schmidt to suggest -- as he does when he notes the importance of HOF induction in how it helps players "subsidize their current income" -- that the purpose of Cooperstown should include perpetuating player wealth isn't just offensive. For Philadelphians who endeared themselves to his down-to-earth and roll-up-the-sleeves styles, it's crushing.
Granted, Schmidt here isn't so much campaigning for future players -- whose average salaries (and this includes the Darin Ruf's of the sport earning $480,000 per) are in the $3 million range -- as those of the past who, like Schmidt, earned significantly less.
But that -- tarnishing the integrity of the institution for self-serving motives -- is actually worse.