Yes, it’s that time of the year again — time for Hall of Fame grandstanding.
While the good majority of baseball Hall of Fame voters put in a lot of time, effort, care and thought to whom will earn a checkmark on their ballot, there are always going to be a few who turn the whole thing into a sideshow. Remember the guy a few weeks ago who said he’d rather not vote than vote for Mariano Rivera because he doesn’t believe closers belong in the Hall of Fame?
No huge beefs there. Vote for who you want. That’s the point of an election. Where things got sideways here — and where they often do with the Hall of Fame grandstanders — is the logic involved in voting or not voting for someone.
Miller didn’t vote for Sammy Sosa, which again, is fine. But in the explanation, Miller writes his “big problem with Sosa these days is his bleached-white face.” And uhhh, wow. He sounds off on the other reasons not to vote for Sosa — PEDs, corked bat, etc., but the last line here is just another Hall of Fame facepalm:
Sure, Miller is just trying to be funny (and missing the target by a lot). But it’s another example of the Hall of Fame process turning into a mockery. They don’t hand out Hall of Fame votes to anybody who writes about baseball. In fact, the BBWAA is pretty stingy with them. You have to be an active member for 10 years. In recent years, they’ve even thinned the voting ranks by getting rid of people who aren’t covering the game anymore.
It would appear that eventually even Miller’s editors had to take a stand against his logic here — probably because of the blowback on social media. The column on NJ.com has now been edited to take out the line about Sosa’s skin tone.
That would seem to the right call. There are plenty of reasons not to vote for Sosa. But let’s not make his skin tone one of them.
Sammy Sosa through his baseball career
Sammy Sosa through his baseball career
Texas Rangers outfielder Sammy Sosa is seen in March 1989. (AP Photo)
(Original Caption) White Sox's Sammy Sosa almost goes down after being hit by a pitch thrown by a California's Joe Grahe in the sixth inning of game, August 26. Sosa started out towards the mound but was stopped by home plate umpire Larry Young. California beat Chicago 4-1.
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1990: Sammy Sosa #25 of the Chicago White Sox seen in this portrait on the bench against the New York Yankees during a Major League Baseball game circa 1990 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Sosa played for the White Sox from 1989-91. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - CIRCA 1991: Sammy Sosa #25 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the Baltimore Orioles during a Major League Baseball game circa 1991 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Sosa played for the White Sox from 1989-91. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1996: Sammy Sosa #21 of the Chicago Cubs looks on prior to the start of a Major League Baseball game against the New York Mets circa 1996 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. Sosa played for the Cubs 1992-2004. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - CIRCA 1998: Sammy Sosa #21 of the Chicago Cubs bats during a Major League Baseball spring training game circa 1998 at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona. Sosa played for the Cubs 1992-2004. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - CIRCA 1993: Sammy Sosa #21 of the Chicago Cubs bats during a Major League Baseball game circa 1993 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Sosa played for the Cubs 1992-2004. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - 1994: Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs bats during a Major League Baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in 1994 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
14 April. 1995: Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa (21) posses for a photo during Cubs photo day at HoHokam Stadium in Mesa, AZ. (Photo By John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - CIRCA 1996: Sammy Sosa #21 of the Chicago Cubs tracks a fly ball during a Major League Baseball game circa 1996 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Sosa played for the Cubs 1992-2004. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 15: Sammy Sosa attends Seventh Annual ESPY Sports Awards on February 12, 1996 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Chicago Cubs Sammy Sosa on April 19, 1997 at Shea Stadium in New York. (Photo by Albert Dickson/Sporting News via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs runs in from rightfield 28 September after the Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 during a one game play-off at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. The Cubs will play the Atlanta Braves in the Divisional Series beginning 30 September. AFP PHOTO John ZICH (Photo credit should read JOHN ZICH/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Chicago Cubs' baseball star Sammy Sosa (R) aknowledges applause after he received the John Paul II medal from John Cardinal O'Connor (L) during a mass 16 October at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. Sosa, a native of the Dominican Republic, received the award for his aid for the victims of Hurricane Georges. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 1468 -- Pictured: (l-r) Professional baseball player Sammy Sosa with host Jay Leno on October 8, 1998 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 17: Sammy Sosa with Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner Howard Safir at City Hall after parade in Sosa's honor. (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 1: Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa (L), shares a laugh with St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman Mark McGwire (R), after receiving a walk in the third inning. McGwire stayed at 63 home runs and Sosa stayed at 62 as neither had a home run in the 3-2 Chicago victory. (Photo credit should read PETER NEWCOMB/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, UNITED STATES: National League All-Star Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs tips his cap after his at bat during the final round of the Home Run Derby 10 July 2000, for the 2000 All-Star game at Turner Field in Atlanta, GA. Soso won the derby by defeating Ken Griffey, Jr., of the Cincinnati Reds in the final round. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/ROBERT SULLIVAN (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa talks with the media as the team practices 13 September 2001 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, on the third day of cancellation of the Major League Baseball schedule. When asked if it would be hard to play baseball now, Sosa responded that it is hard just going to the grocery store. AFP PHOTO/John ZICH (Photo credit should read JOHN ZICH/AFP/Getty Images)
2002: Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs relaxes in the dugout before a ballgame versus the San Diego Padres. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 7: Outfielder Sammy Sosa #21 of the Chicago Cubs smiles, during the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at SBC Park on August 7, 2004 in San Francisco, California. The Cubs defeated the Giants 8-4 for Greg Maddux' 300th career win. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - AUGUST 9: Sammy Sosa #21, Eric Byrnes #15, Luis Matos #32, Brian Roberts #1, Melvin Mora #6, and Chris Gomez #14 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrate after the Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-2 on August 9, 2005 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - AUGUST 14: Sammy Sosa of the Baltimore Orioles bats during the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 14, 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 7-6. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Samy Sosa during 'Miami Vice' Miami Premiere - Arrivals at Lincoln Theatre in South Beach, Florida, United States. (Photo by John Parra/FilmMagic)
Texas Rangers Sammy Sosa smiles as he leans on the dugout railing during the second inning as the Texas Rangers play the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, August 7, 2007. (Photo by Sharon M. Steinman/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Texas Rangers' Sammy Sosa (21) acknowledges cheers from fans after connecting for his 600th career home run off of Chicago Cubs' Jason Marquis in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, June 20, 2007. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)