Originally Posted by jojo
By not voting at all, Fay is not only avoiding a controversial decision to exclude the two players who were clearly the best of their generation, he is also implying that no other players on the ballot warranted a vote.
Neither implication is particularly symbolic of a backbone or overriding conviction.
I don't see how you arrive at the second point. A submitted ballot carries a vote on every player on that ballot. The HOF is not a typical poll where it's person A vs. person B and a race left unmarked has no impact.
It's not person vs. person, it's person vs. ballots. Every player on a submitted ballot has a vote cast for him or, by inference, against him. If you do not a vote a guy in, you are adding to his denominator but not his numerator.
If Fay could have removed a subset of players from consideration, adding to neither their numerator nor denominator, I get the sense that he would have done that. But to submit a ballot with blanks for players like Bonds, Clemens, etc. is to vote "no". And he couldn't in good conscious vote either yes or no for those guys. And since voting for anybody meant voting (for or against) for everybody, he abstained. It infers nothing about the remainder of the ballot.