This is part of an ongoing series in which, with the help of friends and associates, we're reviewing the merits—and relative lack of merits—of the players on this year's Hall of Fame ballot. All entries in the series can be found here.
The Hall of Fame is one thing, a smallish and dullish part of a much bigger and cooler baseball museum in a picturesque upstate New York town in which, to my recollection, the only possible foods are patty melts and spice-free hotel food. The creaky gymnastics and khaki cuddle-puddle of pained justification that defines Hall of Fame voting—all these older white dudes, so weary in their righteousness, explaining why they cannot in good conscience vote to put the best baseball players of the last decade in baseball's Hall of Fame—are something else, related to the Hall of Fame but only barely. And Paul Lo Duca, who we might as well imagine hanging off the bottom of this year's Hall of Fame ballot, pop-eyed and screaming as ever, is another thing. He was a pretty good baseball player over 10 big league seasons, probably a good deal better than you remember and certainly better than I remembered, but he is not a Hall of Famer. That's easy.