Craig Calcaterra collected the choicest nerd-raging quotes from around the blogosphere. My favorite:
Drunk Jays Fans: “Today, Andre Dawson was considered by people whose job it is to cover baseball, to be more deserving of the greatest honour a baseball player can receive than Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Mark McGwire. This is fu**ing dumb.”
One of the biggest concerns stemming from this year’s voting is that the BBWAA just isn’t fit to do their job. It’s About the Money (stupid!) came up with this fine six-step solution:
- Term limits: Those eligible to vote can do so for five years. After that, they must cycle out of the voting pool for at least two years. After that, they can reapply for voting rights for the next five year period.
- Voting Board: A group of 10 senior BBWAA members (elected by their peers) who have the ability to remove a writer from the voting pool using a majority vote. This group will be able to decide that if a person, such as Lisa Olsen, who refuses to select any player on any ballot he/she has ever been given deserves to remain part of the BBWAA pool. Making a sham of the vote is reason for being ousted. Not paying attention is also grounds for dismissal, as what happened last year with Rickey’s vote showed us; sorry, if you’re not taking this seriously, you lose the right to vote.
- Credentials: Review the credentials of every person currently eligible to vote for the HOF. If they are not currently writing extensively about baseball, they lose their right to vote. Even if they are in the midst of their term.
- Eligiblity: Writers can come from non-traditional media (ie: Internet), however they must be nominated by an existing BBWAA member and must be granted credentials by the Voting Board.
- Inclusion of HOF Players: As much as I would like to include all of the living HOF’ers to the pool, I’m concerned about their lack of objectivity. I have heard many HOF’ers the last few days citing the players not currently in the HOF as “guys who absolutely should be in”, though some of these players don’t stand a chance of ever getting in. Especially Tommy Lasorda, who would vote to elect everyone who wore Dodger blue. Also, players from The Steroid Era would face a significant bias from this large group. Instead of allowing every former player, I would select 20 HOF’ers, on a rotating 3 year term, to vote. This way, voting blocks would be tough to establish as there were be new voters cycling in every year.
- Transparency: Every voter’s ballot MUST be made public. Rationale is strictly voluntary, however.
Probably the best review I’ve read so far, although the selection/de-selection process sounds too stringent. Maybe just disband the BBWAA and replace it with a group of analysts, scouts and historians who attend the games. I’ll say it again, reporters have their value in the world, but they’re not analysts and the two jobs should be separated once and for all. Or maybe make all baseball reporters pass a statistics 200-level course.
Not all of the ballots were made public, but about 70 were this year and The Girl Who Loved Andy Pettitte collected the data and came out with a list of the worst ballots submitted, the worst hypocrisies and the worst attention grabs.
As I wrote in this post, it turns out it wasn’t just Heyman and Jenkins who voted for Morris and not Blyleven. At least eight ballots mirrored that.
The Jack Morris but no Bert Blyleven Crew
Murray Chass, Jon Heyman, Bruce Jenkins, Danny Knobler, Buster Olney, Dan Shaughnessy, Joel Sherman and Tom Verducci all voted for Jack Morris but not Bert Blyleven. If you don’t think Bert is a Hall of Fame pitcher and don’t buy the arguments of people like Rich Lederer that’s fine.We all have different ideas about what the cutoff for the Hall should be. But if you don’t think Bert belongs then there is absolutely no way that Jack Morris should be one.
Stinks, I’ve always looked up to Tom Verducci as a writer. The rest of the article is pretty good, suggested reading to show that at the very least, the BBWAA is bloated and should be slimmed down.