This one from Howard Bryant of ESPN:
As it turned out, I sent my 2013 Hall of Fame ballot in blank. This wasn’t science. It wasn’t a clever attack in the three-front culture war among the players, the SABR s and the BBWAAs. It wasn’t a protest, either. It was just one voter’s inability to reach a comfortable verdict on a colossal mess that for years no one wanted to take responsibility for and that isn’t going to get any less complicated as time goes on.
No, Howard, it was you being a drama queen.
Bryant has kind words for Fred McGriff and Jack Morris later in his column. Two guys who, depending on how close the vote is, may not make Cooperstown because of the handful of voters who, like Bryant, submit blank ballots.
But at least Bryant is relieved from having to participate in what he calls “a joyless and sour” process. Bravo.
Anyway, this is all that needs to really be said about blank ballots.
We’ve talked a lot about Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame candidacy over the years.
Bill has argued that, if voters are going to use the character clause to keep certain players out, they should keep Curt Schilling out. I’ve differed on that, not because I think Schilling is a good person — he’s loathsome, actually — but because I find the character clause to be illegitimate and would never, if I had a vote, use it to impact my vote. So, yes, I’d put Schilling on my ballot if I had one.
I’m not alone in this, of course. At the moment Schilling has support on about 72% of ballots which have been made public. My guess is that he’ll fall a tad short when results are announced tomorrow — non-public ballots tend to include fewer players on them — but we’ll see.
I am not the only non-BBWAA member who would vote for Schilling. He’s got some top level support too. From the President of the United States:
Ballots had to be submitted by December 31, so it’s not like this is gonna have any impact on the vote totals. If it came earlier, though, one wonders if it would. And one wonders if that’d help Schilling or hurt him.