The only reason reasonable people follow USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale on Twitter is either because they, like Bob, are founding members of the Dusty Baker Fan Club, or just for the amusement you get from the stupid shit that he writes.

The Baseball Hall of Fame voting results are announced tomorrow, and so today, Bob Tweeted out a photo of his ballot.  As you might expect it’s full of head scratching nonsense.

Let’s look!

OK, he voted for guys who deserve to go in like Larry Wayne Jones, Vladimir Guerrero Sr.1 and Peoria’s favorite aww shucks lumberjack, Jim Thome.  Those are fine.  Good job, Bob.  Way to go.  Have a Fresca.

Then, he voted for a few that are dubious, but defensible.

Trevor Hoffman was close last year, and he’s likely to get in, and I don’t have a problem with Mike Mussina. Hey, at least he’s not Curt Schilling.

Then, there are the steroid guys.  I really don’t care if Barry Bonds walked up to the plate every time hooked to an IV of equal parts horse tranquilizer and rhinoceros growth hormone.  Bonds was a Hall of Famer when he was skinny, and he deserves credit for doing that shit right when he decided to load up on PEDs.  Once he started juicing, he was the greatest player, ever, by a long shot.  I also love that so many current Hall of Famers–especially Joe Morgan–will be super pissed when Barry gets in.

But then there’s Roger Clemens.  It’s 99.9999% certain that Clemens started ‘roiding up when Dan Duquette told him he was washed up in Boston, and Roger signed with the Blue Jays.  If Clemens really had been done after his 13 seasons in Boston he’d have retired with a record of 192-111 with a 3.06 ERA, a Rookie of the Year award, three Cy Youngs and a 20 strikeout game.  Would he have been a Hall of Famer?  I could see writers making a case against him because he would have retired with just one win in nine playoff starts (in the 1986 ALCS v. the Angels) and his two most famous playoff starts would have been when he left game six of the ’86 World Series with a blister, and when he got tossed for screaming at the umpire in the second inning of game four of the 1990 ALCS against Oakland.

But then Roger went to Toronto, then the Yankees, and the Astros and then the Yankees again, and suddenly he was throwing 97 again and seemed to have superhuman strength and stamina.  Hmm? He won 157 more games in 11 years, and four more Cy Youngs.  He won 11 more postseason games and two World Series and he threw a broken bat barrel at Mike Piazza.

I wouldn’t vote for Clemens because I think he’s an ass, and because I think he was borderline (though I’m sure he’d eventually have gotten in) Hall of Fame worthy before he started buying steroids in his wife’s name and sticking them in his ass.  I’d also refuse to vote for him because he gave his kids all names that started with K, including the enormous Kody, who made Mark McGwire’s giant batboy son look like Emmanuel Lewis.

But Nightengale doesn’t stop at the defensible steroid guys, he goes all in.  He votes for Sammy.

No shit?  Sammy Sosa?  Look, I guess if you’re going to go, go all the way.  On pure numbers, Sosa’s worthy.  But look, nobody loved Sammy during his Cubs years more than I did.  I was a complete Sammy sycophant.  I nearly broke my neck dozens of times looking the other way, violently.  You can’t vote for Sammy when Manny Ramirez is on the ballot and you didn’t vote for Manny.  Manny’s a career .312 hitter with a .996 career OPS.  He was a World Series MVP.  He was a great postseason hitter, period.  He finished in the top ten in MVP voting NINE years in a row and in ten of eleven.  Yes, he flunked three PED tests, and his cheating ass killed the 2008 Cubs.  I wouldn’t vote for him.  But I just can’t fathom why anyone would vote for Sammy and not Manny.

But it’s not just that.  Bob voted for Gary Sheffield, too.  Oh, come on.  Sheffield trails Manny in…everything.  He wasn’t a particularly good postseason hitter, Manny exceeds him in every slash line category, by a lot.  You can make a case for Sheffield over Sosa, but you shouldn’t be voting for either of them.

And then, for his coup de grace, Bob votes for…

I can’t even…

I’m going to try not to shove a Phillips screwdriver up my nose to relieve my headache…

Fred McGriff.

What the fuck?

No.  Just no.  McGriff was a good player for a long time, but not an all-time great.  He compiled counting stats because he stood next to first base for 19 years.

We got an up close and personal look at him in 2001 and 2002 with the Cubs.  And on the surface, his numbers look good.

In 2001, after refusing to OK a trade for weeks, he finally relented and was dealt for Manny Fucking Aybar and Jason Smith.  Somehow, the Cubs overpaid.

His slash line looked terrific.  In 49 games he hit .282/.383/.559/.942, and somehow had no impact at all.  He was useless as the Cubs fell out of the playoff race and then, suddenly he went on a tear.  When the games meant nothing, Fred was amazing.  Fuck him.

He stuck around in 2002 and put up another hollow .273/.353/.505/.858.

But the main reason Bob’s votes for Sosa, Sheffield and McGriff really piss me off is because he didn’t vote for Edgar Martinez.

Please explain to me how Edgar Martinez isn’t a Hall of Famer?  His career slash?  .312/.418/.515/.933.  Despite being a full-time DH for nine years he posted a higher career WAR than, you guessed it, Sosa, Sheffield, McGriff and even Manny.  Goddamnit, Edgar Martinez was awesome.  You do not get to vote for those slapdicks and not vote for Edgar.

I’m biased because I saw Edgar do something that blew my feeble mind. At the workout for the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee, Edgar took a round of batting practice with the weighted donut on his bat (something he apparently always did) and he smoked balls in progression starting from the third base line then just to right of the one before it all the way around the diamond.  It was amazing.  I’d vote for him on that basis alone.  But it helps that he was a kickass hitter for 18 years.

I also don’t understand how you can vote for Trevor Hoffman and not Billy Wagner.  Wagner was the most dominant lefty reliever of all-time, I suppose a certain Cuban with a Cubs World Series ring has since surpassed him, but Billy wasn’t even lefthanded!  As a kid he broke his right arm so he started pitching lefty and never went back.  You can’t make that shit up.

So Billy’s another reason why Bob’s ludicrous votes for Sosa, Sheffield and McGriff make me want to set myself on fire.

I’m amazed he didn’t vote for Aubrey Huff.  Aubrey seems like just the kind of asshole that Bob would vote for.

Well, at least he didn’t vote for Larry Walker.

Here are those annoying footnotes.

  1. Though, there is a real chance that Bob voted for Vlad Jr.