MDH Off-Topic: Questions To Avoid During Hall of Fame Weekend

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Note: I've inveighed against a lazy trope employed by sportswriters once before, and it was fun, so let's do it again.

For one weekend every summer, fans, journalists, and retired ballplayers assemble en masse in Cooperstown for the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It is widely regarded as one of the most enjoyable experiences a baseball fan can have, taking in the history of the game at its designated mecca among some of the greatest players in baseball history. I've never been to Hall of Fame weekend at Cooperstown, but I would like to someday.

As much as fans love Hall of Fame weekend, sportswriters love it even more. They get to take the same pilgrimage as the fans, only they get paid to go by their employer, plus they get media credentials and access to Hall of Famers. Not only does this make for an enjoyable business trip, but an easy week of columns. In the week following Hall of Fame weekend, we get to read almost every baseball scribe in America write about what Hall of Famers think about the scandals du jour in Major League Baseball. Some examples from this week:

The problem with this is that I do not care at all what other Hall of Famers have to say about anything. Just because they all show up in one place does not mean we need to ask them about the pressing questions of the day. What do we gain when we learn Tom Seaver does not like pitch counts? I say not much. If his salary depended on young pitchers not getting injured, I bet he'd be a little more forgiving of the pitch count. Same with asking former players about who belongs in the Hall of Fame. If they could vote for the Hall of Fame, then maybe it would be newsworthy. But in the grand scheme of things, Hank Aaron's opinion on these matters means about as much as mine (which is to say, not much). So please, stop telling me what a bunch of retired ballplayers think. Thank you.


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