David Ortiz Hall Of Fame Election Utterly Ridiculous
Somehow, David Ortiz was the only player voted into the by the BBWAA. Every single way you look at it, this was just ridiculous, and you can only conclude the best way to get into the Hall of Fame is to be nice to reporters.
First and foremost, it is without question Ortiz failed the same PED test Sammy Sosa did. This is not up for debate. While Rob Manfred can come to his rescue, he noticeably didn’t for Sosa even if the defenses presented for Ortiz apply to Sosa.
It must also be noted Sosa was a far superior player. Sosa had a 58.6 WAR and 609 homers. Ortiz had a 55.3 WAR and 541 homers. It should also be noted Sosa won an MVP.
On the topic of MVPs who are tainted by PEDs, this was Barry Bonds‘ 10th and final year on the ballot. As we know, Bonds didn’t garner the requisite 75% needed for induction.. As a result, he will not be a problem for the Veteran’s Committee, the same committee which inducted Bud Selig despite all of his transgressions which including his part in the steroid era drama.
Unequivocally, Bonds was a the far superior player. It should also be noted Bonds never tested positive whereas Ortiz did test positive. The key difference between the two players is Bonds was cantankerous, and Ortiz made himself a caricature. Yes, it was a caricature. After all, this is the same Ortiz who threw bats at umpires and did not permit anyone other than himself celebrating on the field.
Another player who never tested positive was Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod was only able to garner 34.3% of the vote despite his being a far superior player to Ortiz in every way. What’s interesting about that is Ortiz and A-Rod both trained with Angel Presinal, a trainer banned by MLB for his administering PEDs to players and advising them how to beat tests.
Think about that. Bonds and Rodriguez were far superior players to Ortiz. Bonds and Rodriguez never tested positive, but the press didn’t like them, but they loved Ortiz. That’s the only difference. The love of Ortiz meant more than PED use or numbers.
That goes for Manny Ramirez who wasn’t liked despite his vastly superior 69.3 WAR and 154 OPS+. That goes double for Gary Sheffield who had a 60.5 WAR and admitted to taking illegal substances because he was duped by Bonds and Balco. If Sheffield was nicer to the press, maybe all of that would be ignored, and he would be a Hall of Famer today.
Really, look up and down this ballot, and you realize Ortiz shouldn’t have been inducted in the Hall of Fame. Case-in-point, he was the 16th best player on the ballot. Ironically, right ahead of him was Jeff Kent, a player who hasn’t been able to gain much traction because of his defense. Just imagine a voter holding Kent’s defense against him while casting a vote for a DH. Then again, Kent wasn’t renown for being cooperative with the press
If you think things are bad for Kent, consider Tim Hudson. He had a 57.9 WAR with no hint of any PED use during his career. He failed to garner the requisite five percent of the vote to stay on the ballot. Read that again, Hudson was a more productive player accumulating a higher WAR and having a higher WAR per season, and he couldn’t stay on the ballot while Ortiz was a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Just when you think the hypocrisy has gone too far, consider the case of Omar Vizquel. Last year, Vizquel received 49.1% of the vote. When domestic violence allegations came to light, Vizquel became the rate Hall of Fame candidate to see his vote total drop. In fact, it plummeted to 23.9%. Of course, Ortiz’s history on the subject was never contemplated.
Again, it all goes back to Ortiz being a caricature who was nice to the press. Curt Schilling was far superior to him, but he’s not in because he was downright nasty to reporters. The same goes for many of the PED users who did not get inducted. Selecting Hall of Famers based purely on how nice they were to you is ridiculous, and it is an embarrassment to the Hall of Fame and the BBWAA.
Everyone deserves better. Well, everyone except Ortiz. He didn’t deserve or merit this honor, but he got it anyway.