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Bert Blyleven Beats Jack Morris To Hall Of Fame, Statheads Hold Huge Basement-Party

Yesterday's Hall of Fame voting results told a number of stories—from Roberto Alomar we learned that sportswriters are only pissed about spitting at people for a year; from Jeff Bagwell we learned that hitting well and playing first base makes you a steroid user. And from Bert Blyleven, deserving Hall of Famer, and Jack Morris, also on the Hall of Fame ballot, we learned that, for once, we statheads have beaten the salary-paying media to the punch on something. 

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I don't think any 250-win pitcher wants to think his Hall of Fame candidacy is really a proxy-war between fans of Bill James and fans of—I don't know, somebody who writes about fielding percentage, but sometimes it seemed like Jack Morris, innings-eater who has inexplicably, and after-the-fact, developed a reputation as an iron-willed competitor, and Blyleven, overlooked in the Hall of Fame until Rich Lederer's six year campaign of incessant campaigning sparked a million internet flame wars, were Austria and Serbia to "new" and "old" media's Allies and Central Powers. (Did I just compare newspapers to the Kaiser? I don't think I meant to do that.)

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What Bert Blyleven's Hall of Fame selection proves isn't that Mom's basement is the new home of baseball wisdom, or the capital of baseball fandom—it proves that the lay fanbase has the power, now, to shape the dialogue in ways it didn't before. For some deserving players, it might be the difference between enshrinement and ballot-disappearance.

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So I say we start the Jim Edmonds campaign as soon as possible...

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