Let something positive result from 99.7 PercentGate.
Don’t let anyone hide behind ridiculous rationales.
That is my wish as we begin to move past Derek Jeter’s controversial showing, announced Tuesday, in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s writers ballot. Barring a dramatic reversal of course by the Hall, my wish will not be commanded. Might as well air our grievances, though, right?
Jeter, who appeared Wednesday afternoon at a Manhattan news conference along with his fellow electee Larry Walker, set a record of sorts by getting 396 of 397 votes from the writers. Never before had a player received such a high total, the aforementioned 99.7 percent, without attaining outright perfection — which Jeter’s old pal Mariano Rivera did last year, becoming the first and only such honoree.
The surprising result — the “No” voter has not declared her or himself, thereby bequeathing us a mystery we might never solve — predictably set social media aflame, with even O.J. Simpson checking in on Twitter (“He’s probably from Boston”), and transcended by many miles the standard audience for a Hall of Fame story. As a BBWAA voter myself, I received several text messages…