So the next Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class was announced Tuesday evening.
Congratulations to Scott Rolen, who eased into Cooperstown. Condolences to every measure of eliteness that once hovered over the hallowed Hall.
And yes, if you think I'm conservative politically, I'm supremely conservative when it comes to Hall passes.
Simply put, it's always been and always should be the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Great, or, in the cases of Rolen, Harold Baines and Ted Simmons and some others in recent years, the Hall of Very Good.
In truth, in no place has the standard slipped as far as it has for MLB, and that's because voting is a human endeavor and feelings and emotions will always play a part.
As will the impossible standards of old-guard voters who wrongly put the "Well, if Babe was not unanimous, then no one should be unanimous" in front of every candidate.
Heck, I'd be for raising the cut-off from 75% to 80, or higher.
But we are where we are, and believe it or not, Rob Manfred has not called wanting my input lately.
The ballots were filled with a slew of very good and great players on it, Rolen among them.
Andruw Jones is one who I have campaigned for a while now. Close to 500 homers. Ten consecutive Gold Gloves at one of the games three most important defensive positions. That's resumé worthy. Jones finished with 58.1% of the ballots cast.
Still, the dropping bar of admittance is a matching lowest common denominator compared with the aforementioned old-guard about unanimous votes -- how silly were the old dudes, Hank Aaron nor Ted Williams got as high a percentage as George Brett for Pete's sake -- in that Andruw Jones only belongs in this Hall because of the way the doors have been opened to questionable candidates of recent generations.
Which brings us to this year's election, and no, this has nothing to do with the PED crew.
(Side note: If Bonds and Clemens are not going to get enough votes to get in because of the taint of steroids when neither was ever suspended by the MLB, then A-Rod and Manny Ramirez -- dudes with true Hall of Fame credentials in terms of stats and accomplishments, but also who received lengthy suspensions for PED use -- should be afterthoughts.)
Of course there is no one close to those standards on the ballot this year, which is exemplified by Rolen easing across the threshold while making seven All-Star teams in 17 seasons and never finishing top-three in the MVP voting and finishing in the top 12 of the MVP balloting exactly one time.
Rolen? Seriously, that's where this is? And hey, we can craft all types of WAR conversations and analytics that slide the scale about Rolen's better-than-realized career compared to his contemporaries, but that's a reach. Heck, if we're going to go by comps to the guys at similar spots in similar eras, then Jeff Kent -- a former MVP as a second baseman who has more homers than anyone who has ever played that position -- should get more love.
In truth, not at a single time during either Rolen's or Kent's careers -- both of which happened during a peak time of my MLB fandom -- did I ever think, "Wow that dude's headed to Cooperstown some day."
I don't know if voting should be that simple in terms of recognizing Hall of Famers.
But I do know admittance to the Hall should not be as easy as it has become over the last decade.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.