Quote of the Day: Chipper Jones on Greg Maddux and the Hall
Chipper Jones is a wise man, at least when it comes to Greg Maddux and being named on 100 percent of Hall of Fame ballots.
At this writing, Greg Maddux has been named on every publicly revealed BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for 2014. This is notable not in a vacuum -- Maddux is, after all, a groaningly obvious first-ballot Hall of Famer -- but rather in the context of voting history. Famously, no player has ever been a unanimous choice for Cooperstown (Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan have come the closest, as each right-hander checks in with a ballot percentage of 98.8).
The expectation, then, is that some voter somewhere will contrive a reason to leave Maddux off his or her ballot. Regarding that possibility, here's Maddux's long-time teammate with the Braves, Chipper Jones ...
Chipper Jones on ex-#Brave Maddux: “Some dumb (bleep) will probably leave him off the ballot because no one else has been a unanimous pick."— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) January 7, 2014
About this, Chipper's right. If someone does deign to leave Maddux off, it'll only be because Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron and Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb and Cal Ripken Jr. and Willie Mays and Ted Williams and Stan Musial and Frank Robinson and all the rest weren't unanimous picks.
As reasons go, this is a sub-moronic one. The proper response to those who surveyed the careers of Ruth and Mays and Aaron and somehow found them wanting is to regard them as rank fools and move along. If, say, one encountered within one's guild a tradition of pulverizing one's own groin with a claw hammer, would one go to extremes to ensure that liturgy lived on? Or would one think, silently or perhaps even aloud at a meeting of the steering committee, "You know, pulverizing one's own groin with a claw hammer seems a trifle dumb. I shall not do it."
What Chipper's saying is that some yoked-to-the-idiocies-of-the-past BBWAA voter, when it comes time to check off Maddux's name, is instead going to pulverize his own groin with a claw hammer. That's what he's saying.