This was supposed to be the year -- the year that Bert Blyleven finally broke through the wall of ignorance enshrouding the Baseball Hall of Fame voting. Who, you say? Bert Blyleven, the sneaky great pitcher from the 1970s and 1980s, who happens to rank fifth all-time in strikeouts.â†µ
After being adopted as the cause celebre of stat heads everywhere, Blyleven had steadily gained momentum in the voting the past few years, and seemed on the cusp of finally getting a bust in Cooperstown. But alas, it was not meant to be. Falling an agonizing .8% short of induction, Blyleven -- who joked that he'd like to "strangle five writers" who would have put him over the top -- will have to wait at least one more year to enter the pantheon of baseball immortality.
Blyleven can thank writers like Jon Heyman for his extra year in stickball purgatory. Earlier in the day, Heyman had seriously wondered why All-Star game appearances weren't a good metric for judging HOF candidates. Take a second to soak in the stupid. Okay, done. Here are two reason: the All-Star Game is a popularity contest and every team is required to have a representative. Other than that, it's perfect! Ah, the BBWA. Will you guys ever get anything right?