You may remember Bill Ballou.
He's the Telegram & Gazette Boston Red Sox writer who decided to abstain from voting for the Hall of Fame, because if he did submit a ballot, he was not going to vote for New York Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera. Well, he changed his mind about both of those things.
The Telegram & Gazzette writer of Worcester, Mass. previously argued that the save is the "lowest-hanging fruit on the game's statistical tree," adding, "closers are its naked emperors." Ballou did not want to get in the way of Rivera potentially winning the unanimous vote for the first time in Hall of Fame history, so he originally said he would not submit a ballot at all.
"Lost a little bit in the internet outrage was the fact that despite that fact that I distrust the save as an indicator of greatness, I could not bring myself to vote against the Yankees' closer," Ballou said on Tuesday. "So, if I were going to vote, the ballot had to include his name."
Ballou said on Tuesday, he listened to the feedback from colleagues and observers, and "almost all" said Ballou was wrong in abstaining to vote. Some of the reasons Ballou listed are, not voting was worse than submitting a ballot without an "X" next to Rivera's name because it was unfair to the other candidates, writing a book about the history of baseball and not including a serious mention of Rivera is unimaginable and if Ballou is not voting for Rivera this year, what about David Ortiz when he is eligible?
Ballou said that last point of feedback is what drove him to vote for Rivera this year. Ballou will certainly vote for Ortiz when he is eligible.
"There are differences between the two, but similarities as well," Ballou said. "They are not "positions like every other." Pitcher is a position. Closer is not a position, nor is setup man or lefty specialist. DH is a position, but only in one league, and who was the American League Gold Glove winner at DH last year?"
After all was said and done, Ballou said he submitted a ballot with an "X" next to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens. Roy Halladay, Manny Ramirez, and, finally, Rivera.