By Michael Clair
Next month, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA, not to be confused with the Big Beautiful Women Association of America), will announce the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees. It's a stacked ballot this year, with 36 players like Barry Bonds, Tim Raines, Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio (etc., etc.) competing with the likes of Sean Casey, Jacque Jones and JT Snow for inclusion.
It's also the time when every sportswriter digs their heels in and joins forces with their closest allies and friends. If you thought there was partisanship in Congress, you've never witnessed the dogfight of Hall of Fame season. Writers and bloggers pen article after article detailing their picks, moralizing about the players they won't select, calling out other writers for their wrong opinions, and defending themselves from the harsh Twitter onslaught. It's a magical, heartwarming time of year.
But just which camp do you belong in? Are you the crotchety baseball writer? The sabermagician? Take the scientifically advanced Hall of Fame pundit quiz below and find out.
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1. When looking at the overstuffed 2014 Hall of Fame ballot, which player most excites you?
a. Jack Morris
b. Tim Raines
c. Greg Maddux
d. Where the hell is Ross Barnes on this thing?
e. Barry Bonds
2. Your feelings on players from the Steroid Era are:
a. They're all PED users and, probably, sexual deviants. Jeff Bagwell should be in jail.
b. Don't really care. And why is it my role to act as judge and jury?
c. Lots of guys used steroids, but the best players were still the best players.
d. The '90s? Do you mean the 1890s? I tell ya, Amos Rusie was one hell of a pitcher.
e. Barry Bonds, man.
3. When you think of Tim Raines, you think…?
a. Walks don't win games.
b. Rickey Henderson mixed with a little Tony Gwynn.
c. The more Expos, the better. Rock Raines for life!
d. Who the hell is Tim Raines?
e. He's good, but he isn't Bonds good.
4. Jack Morris was:
a. The best pitcher of his generation who cared about one thing: wins.
b. The symbol of all that is wrong with the BBWAA.
c. A guy with one hell of a mustache that pitched some great ball games. His 10-inning Game 7 start was majestic.
d. A staff ace with less than 270 innings a year? Couldn't hold a candle to Eppa Rixey.
e. Never had to face a true test at the plate: Barry Bonds.
5. The BBWAA writer who sold his vote to Deadspin makes you:
a. Spew vomit like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
b. Happy like a child on Christmas morning.
c. Really doesn't affect your day to day very much.
d. Want to fill a sack with oranges since they leave no bruisin'. Then when the no-good rat comes out of his apartment, WHAM. It's how we took care of upstarts back in my day.
e. Hope to god that Deadspin readers like Barry Bonds.
6. Among players on the ballot, who had the best facial hair?
a. Jack Morris
b. Jeff Kent
c. Mike Piazza
d. Todd Jones
e. Barry Bonds, circa the late '80s.
7. Edgar Martinez: Hall of Famer?
a. He never played the field, what a joke. No.
b. He's got the golden triangle: .312/.418/.515 and was the standard for DHs before David Ortiz. What's the point of having the position if you're only going to penalize it?
c. He saved baseball in Seattle and could really sting the ball. Yes.
d. Only acceptable reason not to play the field? You lost an arm and leg in the Civil War.
e. Barry Bonds was better.
8. Barry Bonds is…?
a. The devil incarnate.
b. Arguably the greatest baseball player of all time.
c. Well, gee, that's a complicated question. I may not like the man, but boy howdy, could he hit. And run. And field. Wow. He was good.
d. 73 home runs in a season? Impossible. In my day we'd watch Big Ed Delahanty hit a dozen a year and be glad for it.
e. The greatest athlete to ever set foot on this or any other planet.
9. How much stock do you put in WAR or JAWS?
a. WAR, huh, good god y'all, what are you good for? Get it? I use that joke all the time.
b. To say that I considered naming my daughter Jay Jaffe would be a lie. Because I actually did it. Little Jaffe is turning four next month.
c. They're good reference tools, but shouldn't be the only metric considered.
d. Do you mean The Great War? We lost a lot of really good men.
e. Barry Bonds' WAR: 162.5. Barry Bonds' JAWS: 117.6. 'Nuff said.
10. What does the Hall of Fame mean to you?
a. It is the most sacred place on Earth and I won't let the riffraff ruin it.
b. A pretty amazing place, stuffed to the brim with tons of awesome baseball things. Not that it couldn't improve, maybe with some Pete Rose action.
c. Between this and the dinosaur museum, I'm not sure where I'd rather hang out for a weekend.
d. Any place that doesn't count Bill Dahlen among its members seems awfully suspicious to me.
e. Without Barry Bonds, it's just a meaningless building loaded with junk. Like a Christmas Tree Shop.
11. True or False: You are a BBWAA writer and you sold your vote to Deadspin?
If you answered True, what is your name?
Come on, tell us your name. Can't I know your name? I'll keep it a secret. Why won't you tell me your name? Nothing bad will happen, come on. Just do it. Please?
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For every "A" answer, give yourself 5 points, for every "B," 4 points, all the way down to "E" answers being worth 1 point.
If you scored 45-50, you are:
THE BBWAA GATEKEEPER
Armed with little more than a pen in your hand and the fire in your heart, you are protecting America's future and guarding the gates of the Hall of Fame.
You realize that society is crumbling, and that today's children are morally weak thanks to the internet and FourSquare or whatever. Fortunately, you are here, standing tall and strong in you Dockers No-Wrinkle Khakis. You know that baseball is for men with short haircuts who respect their elders, not muscle-bound villains injecting who-knows-what into their you-know-wheres.
If you scored 38-44, you are:
THE BASEBALL BLOGGER
Where others look at the internet as the home of free porn, you know it as a place where you can elevate discourse and expand human thinking, one perfect blog post at a time.
Armed with movie references, a Baseball-Reference Play Index account, and a rudimentary understanding of html, you're like the computer hacker in all those '90s movies. You live at the edge of time, you are a futurist, setting the trends and tastes for the next generation, and you look great in leather pants.
If you scored 33-37, you are:
You don't live in your mother's basement and you don't prefer calculators to human interaction. Rather, you have the ability to see beyond simple, chaotic movement on the ball field, instead witnessing the poetic magic of science and math and athletic motion coming together in real time. Like Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land.
Your greatest failing in life will be never convincing everyone else about Alan Trammell's shortstop superiority before the apocalypse, though.
If you scored 27-32, you are:
A REASONABLE HUMAN BEING
You're pretty OK. Sure, you may not be the center of attention, but people generally like you. You don't go on reality shows and you haven't thrown up on someone's couch in at least three years. Sometimes you watch Magic City on Starz instead of baseball games. Which, OK, is a little weird, but hey man, let your freak flag fly.
If you scored 19-26, you are:
A MAN WHO HAS BEEN DEAD FOR AT LEAST 50 YEARS
While your passion for the sport of baseball is commendable, I'm sad to be the one to tell you, you've actually been dead for 50 years. And while the BBWAA may still count you among its active members, a lot has happened since your interment.
We've landed on the moon, have tiny computers in our pockets, and can calculate the exact speed and movement of a baseball from the mound to the plate. It's a crazy world.
I don't even want to consider the religious and philosophical implications of having a human being return from the dead and still caring about the Hall of Fame.
If you scored a 10, you are:
ACTUALLY BARRY BONDS
You played baseball for 22 years, setting the record for home runs in a season (73), home runs in a career (762) and lead the league in walks twelve times. You now enjoy bicycling and probably don't enjoy being under house arrest for obstruction. Even though your house is roughly the size of a small country.
Thanks for taking the quiz, Barry! Hope you enjoyed!
IF YOU ABSTAINED FROM THIS QUIZ because you refuse to vote on things since Babe Ruth wasn't a unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame, congratulations, you are:
A CRAZY PERSON
Sure, you are sometimes able to pass as a normal human being, but your absurd requests while in line at the grocery store or the bag of rotting meat you carry says otherwise.
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