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Steinbrenner's, Miller's Rejections Mean It's Time To Disband The Veterans Committee

Illustration for article titled Steinbrenner's, Miller's Rejections Mean It's Time To Disband The Veterans Committee

George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller had perhaps the biggest impact on the modern era of baseball. Their failing to make the Hall of Fame just shows that the Veterans Committee is full of old farts who don't get/don't like the game today.

First off, congratulations to Pat Gillick. He took the Blue Jays, Orioles and Mariners to new heights, and none have made the playoffs since he left. He built the Phillies into a championship team. He's the epitome of a baseball guy, and his induction is well-deserved.

Also baseball guys, insomuch as the game as we know it doesn't exist without them: Steinbrenner and Miller. They midwifed baseball through its free agency labor pains, on either side. When someone like Jayson Werth feels justified in asking for $126 million, he can thank Marvin Miller. When an owner actually gives him that money, Werth can thank George Steinbrenner. When a fanbase lands a coveted free agent, they can thank both.


If baseball is a reflection of America, it never heard of the free-market aspect until the 70s. A lot of people don't like the huge dollar amounts flying around, and the large/small market divide, but it's nothing unique to baseball. It was coming sooner or later, and Steinbrenner and Miller made it happen.

You can probably count much of the Veterans Committee among those who don't like the changes. Here are the 16 men who voted:

Players: Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg, Ozzie Smith; Owners: Bill Giles, David Glass, Andy MacPhail and Jerry Reinsdorf; Media members: Bob Elliott, Tim Kurkjian, Ross Newhan and Tom Verducci.

Of those players, only a handful played recently enough to benefit from the big money of free agency, and arguably only Eddie Murray took full advantage of it. None of the owners could be expected to appreciate or honor the careers of two men who forced them to pay full market value for their labor. I'd suspect Steinbrenner and Miller received their greatest support from the media members, but they aren't enough to get close to the requisite 12 votes.

The Veterans Committee's selections have always raised eyebrows. The time has come to reduce their roles to electing only umpires and players who didn't make the cut on the BBWAA ballot. I think the writers can handle voting for manager and executives, and they'll do it with more knowledge and more objectivity.


It's better than a group of grumpy old men voting for their friends.

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