Rays OF and 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. made clear his objection to my Hall of Fame ballot:
Dear @TBTimes_Rays,You are hereby on probation from interviews until my childhood hero, Edgar Martinez is rightfully voted in to the Hall Of Fame. This may seem unprofessional and unfair, but I say to you “My oh My”. Yours Truly,Longtime Mariner Fan— Steven Souza Jr. (@SouzaJr) January 23, 2018
And he wasn't the only one.
Besides the 5,600-plus people who liked Souza's tweet, the Times heard – via Twitter, Facebook and email – from hundreds of readers who wanted to express their opinion about the ballot, which looked like this:
Jones, Guerrero, Thome and Hoffman were elected on Wednesday.
Here is a sampling, first from email:
Where is Edgar Martinez on your ballot? The TOP THREE pitchers of this generation ALL listed him as the TOUGHEST OUT they ever faced! THE DH (one of the toughest positions to adjust to in baseball) AWARD IS NAMED AFTER EDGAR MARTINEZ!!
– Denis Sparks
Wow! Your HOF ballot stinks! Fred McGriff, Billy Wagner, Mike Mussina, Gary Sheffield, and no Edgar Martinez! Come on! Souza is right scorning you. All hispanics fans in the Tampa area are going to hate you. Be prepared!
– Miguel A. Suau
Excellent, I agree with all but Bonds and Clemens not only cheated but were jerks too.
– David Adamson
Then from Facebook:
Gotta explain the yes to bonds and Clemens (which I concur) but the no to Sosa?
– Sandy Topkin (yep, my own brother)
And now some of the more, um, colorful ones from Twitter:
Your ballot should be used for toilet paper. Trash.— Homer Hater (@HomerHater206) January 24, 2018
Voting for Sheff and Wagner before Edgar shows how stupid you are. Another writer who doesnt deserve to vote.— phillip james (@pjcoder509) January 24, 2018
Guy writes about worst franchise in baseball. What do you expect?— The Dingo (@thedutchdingo) January 24, 2018
I should just log off but I'm not going to.If you voted for Trevor Hoffman and not Edgar Martinez, I don't like you. I don't respect your opinions on baseball, and I hope you never win the lottery.— Christopher Crawford (@Crawford_MILB) January 24, 2018
@TBTimes_Rays I know where you live, with your windows and your family. You might want to take them to grandpas house— Big budda (@BigBuddaX) January 25, 2018
Whoa, whoa...Topkin voted for Bonds AND Clemens, but not Edgar? pic.twitter.com/nCsP6Q3nA4— J.J. Rodriguez (@ActofRod) January 24, 2018
Good because nobody gives a rat's ass about you, loser.— Escondido Grapevine (@GrapevineEsco) January 24, 2018
Come on, the self proclaimed Tampa Bay lifer? Reporting baseball from God's Waiting Room. No exactly qualified. #HOFEdgar— DJ Fitzgerald (@DFitzgeraldJ) January 23, 2018
This might be one of the dumbest takes of all time considering he voted for Bonds and Clemens under the guise of ridiculous semantics. People like this shouldn’t cover sports. I’m not even a Mariners fan. https://t.co/TcXK85LeGw— Todd (@Todd_316) January 24, 2018
You should have your vote taken away. A DH can effect the outcome of a game every single game (doesn't have to be the 9th inning). A closer pitches every few games, some of which he has a 3 run lead in. You lack of understanding baseball is evident.— Tyler (@tysseattledream) January 23, 2018
Why do we let people who clearly never played Major League Baseball vote? His response to not voting for Edgar makes zero sense. https://t.co/mFI21qE7OX— Jake Nelson (@JakeNelson_2) January 23, 2018
Can’t wait to see this dudes voting rights get pulled next season. https://t.co/bqjLm1TrlC— Elliot (@section236ERM) January 24, 2018
This dumbass voted for TWO closers but won't vote for Edgar because of DH. HOW FLORIDA-STUPID CAN A PERSON BE? https://t.co/vmRt31p3E3— Dave S (@96amish) January 23, 2018
@TBTimes_Rays go join the other idiot writers on the stupid train that won’t vote for a great dh that has an award after him but doesn’t get votes to be in the Hall I spose your in favor of shorter games and think Manfred is a smart man ##EdgarHOF— mitchell williams (@meiach69) January 24, 2018
Including these folks that sided with Souza:
I don't even know you or what team you play for, but you're my favorite player.— Esteban Aguilar (@Chicano98) January 23, 2018
I became one of your biggest fans because of this tweet. pic.twitter.com/CWtGPAdPGx— Joshua Owens (@JMOwens14) January 24, 2018
Not everyone we heard from hated it:
Best ballot I’ve seen yet. All 10 checks are checks— Pat Murphy (@murphscout) January 23, 2018
That ballot is very solid. Well done sir.— Micheal Compton (@mcompton428) January 23, 2018
And this one seemed like an appropriate, um, ending: