Rob Parker is a Hall of Fame voter because he has been a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America for at least ten years. Those are the requirements. Nowhere in the BBWAA or Hall of Fame rules does it say that one need have any level of baseball expertise and insight. All one needs is that BBWAA card for a decade.
Which is lucky for Rob Parker if this is indicative of his baseball expertise and insight! Via Deadspin, here’s why Parker did not vote for Mike Piazza:
I just looked at his numbers, I thought they were very good. There’s a lot of guys very good. Fred McGriff’s not in the Hall of Fame, he’s a few home runs away, three home runs away, from 500. He has way more RBIs than Piazza, he’s not in the Hall of Fame. So there are guys like him. And I know, it’s the catching position, and people want to give more credit because it’s so hard to catch and play, but some of the defensive issues—not throwing out runners, no Gold Gloves as a catcher, things like that—that bothered me. I thought he’s a great hitter, he was a great hitter, batted over .300, but something told me he belongs in the Hall of Fame—or, Very Good, but not the Hall of Fame.
Parker voted for Lee Smith, by the way.
Just to be clear once again: Parker makes it very clear that he does not hold PEDs against Piazza or any other player. And I believe him on that, actually. Based on other things he’s said in the past, I honestly think Parker’s issues when it comes to awards and Hall of Fame voting is one of basic ignorance of what makes baseball players good, not hidden agendas. And no, I’m not being glib here. I honestly think that Parker fundamentally doesn’t understand baseball.
I mean, if one did understand baseball, and one did not take PED rumors into account, how else could one say that Mike Piazza isn’t a Hall of Famer?