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Sunday, January 08, 2012
Murray Sez… have a Bud and a Jack chaser
When I left The New York Times in 2008 after having written for the newspaper for 39 years, the first offer I received to continue writing came from a high-ranking Major League Baseball official who was in position to offer me a job as a columnist with MLB.com. My initial reaction was to say no, but some people urged me to reconsider and at least talk about and consider that possibility.
Accepting that offer would have turned out to be more economically lucrative than what I have done with this Web site the past three and a half years. But money isn’t everything. Writing for MLB.com just didn’t seem like the right thing to do.
How could I have gone to work for the organization I had spent my professional life covering? Wouldn’t I be compromising my professional ethics by accepting a salary from people I would be in position to criticize and question if necessary? ...
To be sure, MLB.com serves a purpose, even for baseball writers, for whom it can serve as a 30-team research site in one location and a source of comprehensive statistics that are not mingled with WAR and VORP and all of those other metrics, as their advocates like to call them.
But then there are the self-congratulatory articles that can induce nausea. I guess we don’t have to read them, but they are there as propaganda for fans to see and be taken in by. Yes, baseball propaganda. I had never thought about it before this moment, but that’s what it is. ...
And maybe someday, perhaps when he retires, whenever that is, Selig will be big enough to allow an MLB.com columnist to write the truth about collusion and his role in the labor wars.
By the way, this column was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Based on e-mail I have received from critics of Morris and me, the Hall of Fame should take the vote away from baseball writers and simply establish statistical guidelines for players’ election. The players over the line make it, those under don’t.
Such a system would eliminate what is perhaps the greatest debate in sports, but that wouldn’t bother the stats zealots. Their numbers tell them who should be in the Hall of Fame, and the writers would be wrong if they disagreed.
That system would also eliminate the aspect of the voting that they hate most. Their opinion doesn’t mean beans. The writers’ opinion means everything.
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