This is the most wonderful time of the year for Baseball Hall of Fame arguments. They're everywhere. The
Of course, if you think about it, all of that is pretty silly when you consider this:
"Doesn't speak well of the baseball community," says author and baseball visionary
And so on. In every Hall of Fame argument there are usually two reasonable sides. Rose may have been the alltime hit leader, BUT he did gamble on the game. Mattingly may have been a great player at his peak, BUT his career was cut short by a bad back. There is, however, no counterargument to Marvin Miller's candidacy. None. If the job of the Hall of Fame is to tell the story of baseball, then it is now
Miller's influence on the game is no secret. Years ago the announcer
"The failure to acknowledge Miller," James says, "is a sort of symbolic holding on to the past, in the worst sense -- holding on to grudges, refusing to forget, refusing to move on."
Baseball today is Marvin Miller's more than just about anyone else's. Everyone will talk so much about what Miller did for the players, without acknowledging how much he did for the game.
And it's a better game than it was before Miller organized the players and won them basic rights. It's a richer game played in new stadiums in more American cities than ever before. People may reminisce fondly about the old days of baseball, but -- as commissioner
So what's happening here? Well, Miller is hostage to the process. Former players are elected by members of the Baseball Writers of America, but executives and "pioneers" are voted on by a Veterans Committee that has 12 members -- seven of whom are current or onetime members of management. (A candidate needs 75% of the votes for induction.) People are still fighting old wars. How else could you explain that in the last election, Miller received fewer votes than nondescript Detroit owner
Bitterness is hard to overcome. Miller is still alive and kicking -- kicking hard -- at age 92. He is, as ever, the true believer, railing against management and
There are many good Hall of Fame causes. Tim Raines is one of mine -- the Baseball Writers just voted in