Must-Click Link: Joe Posnanski’s Hall of Fame ballot and column

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Our Joe Posnanski has revealed his Hall of Fame ballot. More importantly, he has written a few thousand intelligent, entertaining and thoughtful words about it all that, in a season of hyperbole and rancor, illuminates the entire Hall of Fame debate in the warm bathing glow of reason.

And baseball. About which a lot of people, I have found, have forgotten is the most important part of all of this.

And I don’t say this is illuminating and reasonable because I agree with Joe’s conclusions. Indeed, his ballot and my imaginary ballot are not the same. In fact, Joe leaves off a guy most people with a brain tend to vote for and does not do so for strategic reasons. Actually, his reason for leaving this guy off — a guy for whom he has voted in the past — is kind of radical in this day and age: he decided to chuck precedent and, audaciously, vote for the ten best players.

Another reason to read Joe’s column? It’s a nice antidote to the Star Chamber baloney we see so much of this time of year. Joe does not avoid the PED issue. He does not try to explain it away or make apologies for it either. He treats it, again, rather audaciously, as a fact that is within the comprehension of a mature adult and does his best to assess it and place it within the historical record. Which isn’t really audacious, I guess, but compared to the baby-man tantrums and third-grade level analysis of so many Hall of Fame voters, it does seem rather transgressive.

Pay particular attention to the Jeff Bagwell section. And ask yourself why so many other people have decided to make this all so hard.