Chipper Jones, who said virtually nothing interesting for the bulk of his playing career, continues to show us that there was some personality underneath all those “yes sirs” and “no sirs”:
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
He’s right of course. Unfortunately, this year, the idiots who don’t think Greg Maddux deserves to be a first-ballot inductee have plausible deniability. Because the ballot is so stocked with worthy candidates, and because Maddux is a shoe-in for induction, there will likely be several people leaving Maddux off for strategic purposes. Specifically, to throw votes to guys who may be at risk of falling below 5% and thus off the ballot. I personally wouldn’t vote that way. Such game theory usually requires others to act rationally in order to be effective and, if we’ve learned anything about the Hall of Fame electorate, it’s a pretty non-rational group of folks. But such a non-vote for Maddux is defensible.
But, unfortunately, it also prevents us from knowing which voters left Maddux off because they believe no one should be a first-ballot inductee if some old timer they liked wasn’t. Which happens every single year.