Tuesday, January 5, 2010

As to why HOF voting should not be in the hands of the BBWAA

I submit for your reading pleasure this masterpiece by Tim Brown over at Yahoo, who has a vote. This is, I'm afraid, what we are left with in a post-FJM world: piles of garbage.

I'll resist the urge to go through this paragraph by paragraph, but will pose to you these questions: what are Brown's criteria for getting his vote for the Hall? Answer: iconic greatness. Now, the definition of "iconic greatness" is...the names of individual HOF players with "great" staple gunned to their names, "Babe great" or "Rickey great."

He gives us a side-story with, urp, a few stats (!) about why he hasn't/won't vote for Jack Morris, but no sustained definition of "iconic great." He ends by saying his vote is "just [his] opinion," but the information gathering behind said opinion seems so feeble and unconcerned that Brown should lose his BBWAA card, his driver's license, and be supervised when putting together sandwiches. A man who bails  on an article like this is every bit as likely to burn down your house while claiming that, although it's just his opinion, gasoline and an open flame are integral parts of iconic PBJs, he's just saying.

This is a man who gets PAID to write about baseball FOR A LIVING, who gets to vote on who is/isn't a baseball immortal. "Iconic great" is the discursive equivalent of "because I told you so now go to bed and let the pros handle this." Right.

Does this bother anybody else?


  1. BBWAA shouldn't be allowed to vote on HOF, and (the fans) shouldn't be allowed to vote for the All-Star game.

    What does "iconic great" even mean?!

  2. You have no idea how much this issue irks me. I just wrote Tim Brown a scathing email and sent it to him. He is an absolute embarrassment and the precise reason why writers should not have this vote.

    He says:

    "I'd probably vote for Morris before Blyleven, based partly on appearances in All-Stars games and on Cy Young balloting, partly on 20-win seasons, partly on post-season."

    He literally cited the handful of most ridiculous stats possible to judge talent. All-Star games? Yes good players get elected but popular players get elected well beyond their arc. Cy Young balloting is tied to the offense that supports the pitcher. 20 win seasons is again a HUGE function of the rest of the team's ability to hit, field and win in general. Post season. Same thing.

    And this Tim Brown is just one of many fools. Add to the fact that writers are completely biased based on region and what players said hi to them. Add also that these writers have no standards to meet. They don't even need to prove they can evaluate and understand statstics.

    A writer on MLB (Hal Bodly) wrote that he votes for certain players based on who else is up for the HOF. As he says, if there is an important player getting in he won't vote for the others because he doesn't want to take away attention. But if it's a weak field he will let in the borderline players. What a joke. He proudly says this just as Tim Brown proudly brags he is stupid.

    Ugh. The worst part of baseball is that the writers are so consistently off base and yet have such a huge influence over history.

  3. @Roy-Z, as for the AS Game, sweet Jesus yes. Let monkeys do it for all I care. Just no more fan votes. Please. Worst idea since Prohibition.

    @FOC---dude couldn't have said it better myself. What kills me is that he posts that on the intertoobs but there's no comment section to vivisect his lazy but for all to see.

    Like many other people, if I went my job like some of those clowns went about theirs I'd be unemployed. I mean, we basically write about baseball for fun, in our spare time. This dude gets paid to watch games, interview players, and WRITE about it, and that's what he produces!?! And you're right:unfortunately there are plenty like him who just don't seem to care.

  4. Just thought I'd add that there are some GREATS out there, too. I'm reading Roger Kahn's The Head Game right now, and it's one of the best pieces of baseball writing I've come across, EVER. He obviously loves the game, knows more about it than I'll ever hope to, and is a real storyteller. Lots of amazing stuff in there.

  5. There are many flaws to the Hall of Fame voting system, but to address the voting part.

    A BBWAA gets a vote for the Hall when they have been a member of the organization for 10 consecutive. Then, they get to vote for life.

    So people who may not have covered a game in several years get to vote. There's no greatness about the voting. You get a chance to vote if you can keep your job long enough.