Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Baseball Writers Should be Ashamed of Themselves

I was a huge fan of The West Wing. (If you never saw the show, you should really go find yourself the DVDs of it.) It was a great look at how the White House might have looked behind the scenes. One show in particular dealt with the confirmation of a Vice President nominee by the Senate. As the day of the vote neared, it looked like it would be 99-1 in favor. The Deputy White House Chief of Staff was going ballistic. Everyone wondered why. It was going to be a landslide victory. It couldn’t have been more emphatic. Why was this guy so concerned about not getting one vote? The answer? Because it would only be the one vote. The one would be the darling of all the newscasts. The one guy who has a contrary opinion. Not a single talk show would mention the 99 people who voted in favor. They would all lead with an exclusive interview with the one guy who voted against. That wouldn’t do. Either they had to convince him to vote in favor, or convince five other people to vote against.

I was reminded of that when I was hearing about the AL MVP. I have no idea who voted for Justin Verlander. I have no idea who voted for Jacoby Ellsbury. But, I know who left them off their ballots. I know which guy was the one vote against. He’s the one who got on the radio, and TV. He’s the one with his name in the paper. Heck, it’s been over ten years, and I still know who left Pedro off their ballot in 1999. I couldn’t tell you the name of a single person who voted in any of the awards since then…except the guy who left Pedroia off his ballot in 2008.

That’s what it’s come to. These writers want their names in the articles, not just on top of them. They want to be the story, not report on the story. Goodness, one of the guys yesterday actually released that he would discuss the fact that he voted the way he voted at a certain time. Unbelievable.

I know it’s a constant argument of mine. Whenever you ask for votes, you run the risk of this. The fans louse up All-Star voting. The writers can’t be professional enough to handle voting on awards. The coaches and players can’t seem to figure out what a gold glove really is. It’s shameful.

The BBWAA really needs to take some action. Anybody who violates rules and doesn’t consider a player because he’s a pitcher should be removed from voting. Anyone who leaves the winner or the runner up off his ballot should be suspended from voting. Clearly he lacks good judgment. Anyone who gives a vote of any kind to a hometown player who doesn’t get a similar vote from someone else should be suspended from voting. Clearly they can’t be impartial. Otherwise, these awards won’t mean anything anymore.

If they ever did.


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