Here’s the video from the YES Network:
Joel Sherman says Mussina was #11 or 12 on his ballot. Sherman sounds like he’s been reading this site (we can hope) because he makes the argument that the strike came at the worst time for Mussina’s career and that after next year, the ballot should look better for him.
“I don’t really look at wins.” Thank you Ken Davidoff! He gets it. Davidoff even says he’d put Mussina ahead of Glavine.
The second half of the clip features the round table talking about how clogged up the ballot is and how Mussina’s progress up the voting ranks might mirror Bert Blyleven.
Near the end of the clip Davidoff brings up an interesting point that we haven’t mentioned before, but that Patrick and I have discussed together — Mussina’s personality. Davidoff points out that Mussina wasn’t necessarily worshiped by the his teammates and opponents. I think what Davidoff is getting at is that Mussina wasn’t viewed as overtly friendly or outgoing with players or reporters during his career. This doesn’t necessarily damage him too much, but on a tight ballot it’s probably easier for voters to cast a ballot for a player who displayed a friendly extroverted personality, gave them lots of access, and plenty of great quotes. Again, as Davidoff points out this is all perception and should have no relevance for Moose’s HOF chances. We’ll keep our eyes out if we hear or see anymore talk of this “perception” damaging Mussina’s Hall of Fame candidacy.
Patrick’s note: I’ve been harping on this for awhile now, but it’s good to see further documented proof that Mussina’s vote total does not accurately reflect the percentage of voters who believe he is Hall of Fame-worthy. I maintain that in 3-4 years, the ballot will eventually clear, and we’ll start to see more votes coming in. It’s also possible the Hall’s arbitrary 10-person limit will be expanded. There’s been a push among writers for that to happen.
The personality nonsense angers me. I get that voters are human, but I’m tired of personal biases entering into votes, be it not voting for Greg Maddux or voting for Adam Eaton. I understand there’s a “character” clause, but I highly doubt it was meant to cover being surly or super forthcoming in interviews. If you honestly believe that Mike Mussina’s playing record doesn’t outweigh his post-game demeanor when it comes to making your decision, we can’t help you, nor would we try to.
I’m a journalist, and I’ve been blown off in interviews. I’ve been given the run-around by athletes, coaches, and sports information directors. It’s part of the business. Does it suck? Sure. It would be awesome if everyone was Sean Casey. I’m not saying it can’t bother you. I’m saying, if you’re going to withhold a Hall of Fame vote from Mike Mussina (or anyone) for not giving you a great quote for a story 15 years ago, I think you’re the one who has character issues. But you’re why there’s a growing push to make ballots public.