If you read his column, you know ESPN’s Buster Olney regularly links to pieces by sportswriters all over the country.

Today, Olney writes, “Bill Conlin wonders why there is not more support for Tim Raines.”

I read that and I thought, “No way.”

As a rule, Conlin and I don’t agree. He thinks Jimmy Rollins is better than Derek Jeter. I don’t. He thinks the Phillies were smart to sign Raul Ibanez to a three-year deal. I think they’ll regret it by year three, if not sooner. Conlin thinks modern statistics are just “wishful fan numbers.” I think numbers are valuable.

So when I read that Conlin, unlike a majority of Hall of Fame voters, supports Raines’ candidacy, I was shocked. Finally, some common ground! Maybe Bill and I weren’t so different after all?

Then I read his column.

It turns out that while Conlin supports Raines, he didn’t actually vote for him. Not this time.

From the Daily News:

It is simply not fair to keep placing your bet each year on candidates who simply have not been as highly regarded by your BBWAA colleagues as a man you consider worthy of a vote. I voted for Tim Raines his first year of eligibility. But when he failed to get 25 percent of the vote, he was moved to the back burner. Sorry, that’s just the way it has to be.

Who did Bill vote for this year?

You can only vote for a maximum of 10 players. I checked six names on my ballot and have never voted for more than six. Three are guys who have been knocking on the door and need to be affirmed by the BBWAA before they wind up being passed onto a dazed and confused veterans committee that last year honored World War II second baseman Joe Gordon. I voted for two pitchers, Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris, whose numbers look a lot better now that the 300-game winner is being excised from history by the pitch-countniks, and The Hawk, wonderfully talented rightfielder Andre Dawson.

From the impressive list of ballot virgins, I voted for Alomar, Martinez and McGriff. I’m already feeling guilt for not giving a nod to Gallaraga. Next year.

Tim Raines, if you’re reading this, please understand — it’s not that Conlin thinks you don’t belong in the Hall. He just doesn’t want to waste one of his six votes on a guy who doesn’t have a chance of getting voted in, unless that person’s name is Fred McGriff. Even though, technically, Conlin gets 10 votes. But he’s never voted for more than six, you see, and if he went over that self-imposed limit the world would spin off it’s axis.

I’d like to think that this kind of illogical thinking about HOF voting is unique to Conlin, but it’s pretty clear that lots of voters employ similarly arbitrary rules, to the detriment of deserving candidates like Raines, Alomar, and Blyleven.

5 Responses to “Bill Conlin supports Tim Raines, didn’t vote for him”

  1. Montreal Royal says:

    And he won’t vote for Galarraga next year either, since he didn’t get 5%.

  2. These guys like Conlin really have to get over themselves…

  3. Nick Kapur says:

    It’s amazing/ridiculous how so many of these guys feel compelled to make up so many batshit crazy additional “rules” for hall of fame voting, beyond the pretty basic and clear guidelines everyone is given.

  4. Madraider says:

    Aren’t most baseball writers batshit crazy anyways, with egos that often are larger than those they cover? Dan Shaughnessy for example and well this Bill Conlin. I guess just another good reason to be thankful to not live in Philly.

  5. Madraider says:

    The Hall of Fame voting is seriously flawed, mostly due to those who cast ballots, but equally as bad is the Vetrans Comittee. I’m sure they don’t wish to feel like they are stepping on the toes of the BBWAA by selecting somebody that slips through the cracks, but when is the last time the Vetrans Comittee picked somebody who was actually alive to be enshrined at Cooperstown?

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]