Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Murray Chass on Baseball: THE VOTE BASEBALL WRITERS DON’T NEED

THAT’S MRS. PRESIDENT TO YOU, BUB!

One and done.

I placed an X next to Jack Morris on my Hall of Fame ballot, and I was finished voting. If Morris is elected, I will most likely be finished voting period. If Morris is not elected this time, I will vote for him next year in his final year of eligibility and then be done.

Barring a change in my thinking, which I don’t expect, I believe the time has come to relinquish my right as a 10-year (actually 50-year) member of the Baseball Writers Association of America to vote in the Hall of Fame election.

I offer two reasons for my decision.

  1- Though I don’t believe there is a more qualified set of electors, certainly not the new-age stats guys who are envious of the writers and believe they should determine Hall of Famers, I don’t think reporters and columnists who cover and comment on baseball news should be making baseball news.
  2- The steroids issue has made it impossible to conduct a rational vote and cast a reasonable ballot. No matter how a writer votes or on what he bases his decision whom to vote for or not to vote for, his reasoning has to be flawed and open to challenge.

I have read and heard all sorts of explanations for voting or not voting for players listed on the ballot, the focus falling on players known to have used performance-enhancing substances (i.e. those who tested positive) or those who were suspected or having used them (especially those cases where circumstantial evidence e of use was strong).

...Now, you might ask and reasonably so, if I plan to stop voting, why did I vote this year? I voted in the hope that my vote would contribute to Morris’ election. I didn’t vote for anyone else because anyone I might have considered was a known or suspected cheater, and I didn’t want to aid and abet a cheater.

I think I am safe in concluding that Morris did not cheat. I know the stats zealots don’t think Morris is a Hall of Famer because his rankings in their new-fangled ratings fall below their standards. But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude or determination.

Repoz Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:33 PM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hof

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. spike Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4337985)
Chass giving up voting?
1. Better late than never
2. Right for the wrong reasons.
3. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
   2. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4337986)
So basically, he's voting for Morris because it'll piss off the "new-age stats guys". And then he'll stop voting.

I feel so empowered.

   3. JJ1986 Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4337987)
ERA - new-fangled rating.
   4. escabeche Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4337988)
But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude or determination.


I've got a good idea for one, though: define a unit of measurement as "the amount of intestinal fortitude and determination required to read this entire column." We could call it a chass.

I'm at about 1.4 millichass right now.

   5. Howie Menckel Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4337992)

I would love to know if Chass is in the minority of writers who also voted for Morris for the previous 13 years; lots of them were late to this bandwagon....

   6. Bug Selig Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4337995)
The steroids issue has made it impossible to conduct a rational vote and cast a reasonable ballot.


Was he going to try that?
   7. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4337996)
It would have pretty much been worth committing a federal crime to somehow break into the post office, open the envelope, and check Mike Piazza's name on Chass's ballot before resealing it and sending it out again.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4337998)
So basically, he's voting for Morris because it'll piss off the "new-age stats guys". And then he'll stop voting.


I think spite motivates just about everything Murray does these days. What a sad little man.

And while I noted earlier I'm on board with the idea that writers shouldn't be in the newsmaking process, deciding that you'll observe that philosophy two years hence, once you've gotten done making news with this particular gentleman, would be inexplicable if expressed by a rational human being.
   9. Bug Selig Posted: January 03, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4337999)
But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude or determination.


My uncle survived 14 months in a Japanese POW camp, and he ain't a HOF'er, either. Not for baseball, anyway.
   10. phredbird Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4338002)
Barring a change in my thinking, which I don’t expect, I believe the time has come to relinquish my right as a 10-year (actually 50-year) member of the Baseball Writers Association of America to vote in the Hall of Fame election.


please, yes.
   11. Ryan Lind Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4338005)
Trolling loser is trolling for attention. Pay him no mind.
   12. NattyBoh Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4338007)
I guess he's voting to the score then.
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4338012)
Trolling loser is trolling for attention. Pay him no mind.


Sage advice that wouldn't be necessary if the thinking fans here didn't feel that omigod the hall-of-fame is the most important thing ever!
   14. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4338013)
I think spite motivates just about everything Murray does these days. What a sad little man.


Except that isn't what he said, and the "spite" thing is purely projection.

What he said was that (1) Writers should not make the news (which is why his former paper doesn't allow its news/sports writers to vote for awards); and (2) no unimpeachably correct philosophy regarding the Steroid Era commends itself to voters.

There isn't really a thing to argue with in either of these.
   15. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4338015)
I'll add to 14 the fact that this is among the very best summaries of the Steroid Era and the HOF penned by anyone:

2- The steroids issue has made it impossible to conduct a rational vote and cast a reasonable ballot. No matter how a writer votes or on what he bases his decision whom to vote for or not to vote for, his reasoning has to be flawed and open to challenge.

Nice work, Murray.
   16. John Northey Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:10 PM (#4338016)
Sheesh - so is this going to officially be the worst ballot submitted? Just Morris, a guy who by most measures other than 'great game #7' and 'wins in the 80's' is nowhere near as good as over a dozen other guys on the ballot? Also, why would Morris be clean? Didn't he have his greatest game and a 20 win season after the age of 35, much like Roger Clemens? And in 1994 he had so much 'fortitude' that he was skipping out of town between starts for his team, a team that was in contention (Cleveland) and it was so bad (even with a 10-6 record, his ERA+ was just 83) that he was released just before the strike. FYI: 13 times Cleveland scored 5+ runs in a Morris start that year.
   17. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4338021)
He's basically saying that he's giving up voting (after his pet project becomes final) because the process has passed him by. He shouldn't be criticized for this; rather, strangely enough, he should be commended.
   18. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4338026)
He's basically saying that he's giving up voting (after his pet project becomes final) because the process has passed him by.

You're projecting and wishcasting. That isn't close to what he's saying, or implying.
   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:17 PM (#4338028)
I didn't know bloggers could vote for the HOF.

The steroids issue has made it impossible to conduct a rational vote and cast a reasonable ballot. No matter how a writer votes or on what he bases his decision whom to vote for or not to vote for, his reasoning has to be flawed and open to challenge.


Yea, I hate when my ideas are challenged too. Time for me to pack it in and take my ball and go home.

What he said was that (1) Writers should not make the news


Its curious he's taking this stance by writing an entire news column devoted to this. Reminds me of when my four year old says he's giving me the silent treatment by yelling at me.
   20. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4338037)
Yea, I hate when my ideas are challenged too. Time for me to pack it in and take my ball and go home.

You're letting your spite cloud your judgment. He's saying that even his ballot and its decisions regarding Steroid Era players would contain flawed reasoning and be open to challenge. Because there is no correct philosophy to use.

And he's right.
   21. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4338039)
I'll add to 14 the fact that this is among the very best summaries of the Steroid Era and the HOF penned by anyone... Nice work, Murray.

That you would side with any one of the many grumpy drama queens proposing the most pointless response possible to something actually complicated is not a surprise.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4338040)
He's basically saying that he's giving up voting (after his pet project becomes final) because the process has passed him by. He shouldn't be criticized for this; rather, strangely enough, he should be commended.


No, he's saying that newspeople shouldn't be engaged in the process of making news, a statement I agree with. But only after he gets done trying to make news with his guy, which is incoherent.

   23. TomH Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:21 PM (#4338041)
The great thing about Chass is, he inspires so may great posts in a thread. The quality of responses here is superb. Of course Murray is an easy target.
   24. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4338042)
But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude
i believe they do. it's called t/e ratio, and i believe people take steroids to specifically increase their ratings in that particular metric.
   25. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4338048)
Oh #### off and die already, Chass.
   26. Topher Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4338052)
I think spite motivates just about everything Murray does these days. What a sad little man.


For me it has become cringe-worthy. When every single one of his columns (and it is a column, not a blog) finds a way to take pot shots at the geeks that have ruined baseball it just makes him look small.

I'm old enough to be sympathetic to Chass' viewpoint, but at some point the level of discourse needs to go beyond simple name calling.
   27. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4338053)
That you would side with any one of the many grumpy drama queens proposing the most pointless response possible to something actually complicated is not a surprise.

The point -- and Chass isn't alone in saying/insinuating this -- is that MLB and/or the HOF need to give specific guidance to the writers regarding the proper treatment of the Steroid Era. There's a good chance something like that will happen in the next few years and it should.
   28. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4338061)
The point -- and Chass isn't alone in saying/insinuating this -- is that MLB and/or the HOF need to give specific guidance to the writers regarding the proper treatment of the Steroid Era.

My point would be that they didn't need specific instruction with deadballers, they didn't need explicit instructions with spitballers, they didn't need explicit instructions with amphetamines, etc. etc. They idea that they are frozen like deer in the headlights without explicit instructions here is absolutely childish and self-serving of those voters who are saying so.
   29. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:46 PM (#4338067)
18 and 22: I was being charitable. ;-)

He's voted for years and years and years. Apparently, he was never before that concerned with writers "making news" and now he also doesn't know how to handle a ballot with PED guys. I interpret that as recognizing that things have passed him by and that he's done with it .... after the Morris thing (which is incoherent, but we're talking about a professional grump and troll here, so he should be held to a fairly low standard).
   30. AROM Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4338068)
He really should have just quit already if this is what he comes up with.

...Now, you might ask and reasonably so, if I plan to stop voting, why did I vote this year? I voted in the hope that my vote would contribute to Morris’ election. I didn’t vote for anyone else because anyone I might have considered was a known or suspected cheater, and I didn’t want to aid and abet a cheater.


OK, if you go into the guilt by association and hearsay to the point where you can't vote Biggio or Schilling (because they played in a time where so many were using steroids) that's one thing.

But on what grounds can you give Morris a free pass on cheating and not extend the same to Alan Trammell?

Shame on you Murray.

   31. JJ1986 Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4338069)
What specific instructions are they supposed to get? They're not going to say "keep them all out" and they're not going to say "you have to ignore steroids." At best, the Hall would say something like "Please only consider positive tests/confessions/convictions and don't vote "no" on players just because a nutjob has carried on a bacne-based crusade against them for years."
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:48 PM (#4338070)
But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude or determination.


I thought we had one. Most wins in the '80s. Number of times pitching 10 innings in a Game 7.

My uncle survived 14 months in a Japanese POW camp, and he ain't a HOF'er, either. Not for baseball, anyway.


Yeah, this is what's so bizarre about the intestinal fortitude thing. They are playing baseball, not engaging in hand to hand combat in the jungles of Vietnam. People who can play baseball at this level all have "intestinal fortitude."
   33. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:49 PM (#4338072)
My point would be that they didn't need specific instruction with deadballers, they didn't need explicit instructions with spitballers, they didn't need explicit instructions with amphetamines, etc. etc.

I know, but the notion that those things are equivalent to steroids is a distinctly minority idea, like it or not. And at the time of the voting on those guys, there was nothing like the unbridgeable split in opinion that there is today in re the roiders. It doesn't really matter whether that split is "right" or "wrong." No one should be happy that HOFers are being decided on the basis of a baseball writer's opinion of steroids.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4338075)
You're letting your spite cloud your judgment. He's saying that even his ballot and its decisions regarding Steroid Era players would contain flawed reasoning and be open to challenge. Because there is no correct philosophy to use.

And he's right.


We have had many ballots before with "flawed reasoning" open to challenge. This isn't supposed to be perfect. I don't get why sportswriters think this process all of a sudden should be an open and shut case. HOF induction has been debated for years. Are they just mad because there are more voices to challenge them now? It strikes me a ridiculous that writers would give up because their reasons might be open to challenge. Isn't that exactly what they do for a living? Challenge ideas?


The point -- and Chass isn't alone in saying/insinuating this -- is that MLB and/or the HOF need to give specific guidance to the writers regarding the proper treatment of the Steroid Era. There's a good chance something like that will happen in the next few years and it should.


I think this would be an awful, awful idea.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4338080)
I would love to know if Chass is in the minority of writers who also voted for Morris for the previous 13 years;


For the record, I don't think Murray voted at all during Jack's first 10 or so years on the ballot, due to the Times' policy on such things. It was only after being released from the shackles of the oppressive NYT* that he began flexing his electoral muscles.

* An extrication which also allowed him to perform his uniquely Chassian brand of journalism, i.e. Backne Tales for All, Stan the Monster, Who Will I Help Marvin Miller Groundlessly Smear this Week...
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4338083)
My point would be that they didn't need specific instruction with deadballers, they didn't need explicit instructions with spitballers, they didn't need explicit instructions with amphetamines, etc. etc.


I know, but the notion that those things are equivalent to steroids is a distinctly minority idea, like it or not.

As is the idea that writers need to be given an offer they can't refuse as to how to handle the issue. It's funny but not surprising that the only people pushing this "further guidance" suggestion are the ones who want to see steroid users in the Hall.

--------------------------------------

What specific instructions are they supposed to get? They're not going to say "keep them all out" and they're not going to say "you have to ignore steroids." At best, the Hall would say something like "Please only consider positive tests/confessions/convictions and don't vote "no" on players just because a nutjob has carried on a bacne-based crusade against them for years."

I wonder if Ray would like that sort of wording? I wouldn't, even though it expresses my POV pretty much to a T.
   37. Dale Sams Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4338085)
I could have sworn this was Jack's last year. This was a significant reason why I had Jack going in alone this year.
   38. JJ1986 Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4338086)
It's funny but not surprising that the only people pushing this "further guidance" suggestion are the ones who want to see steroid users in the Hall.


I think the only people pushing it are writers. Probably guys who want to vote against Bagwell/Biggio/Piazza, but have no excuse to do so under the current rules.
   39. Machine Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4338087)
But on what grounds can you give Morris a free pass on cheating and not extend the same to Alan Trammell?


1. A stage that included Alan Trammell would take attention away from Jack Morris and the 2013 HOF ceremony should exclusively be focused on Jack.

2. There are already three being elected to the HOF by the veterans committee. If you start voting more players than just Morris, you are going to have to take a break during the ceremony for dinner.

Including guys like Trammell just doesn't make any sense.
   40. Dale Sams Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4338091)
But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude


where Y=times article read/time X distance to bathroom.
   41. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4338093)
What specific instructions are they supposed to get? They're not going to say "keep them all out" and they're not going to say "you have to ignore steroids." At best, the Hall would say something like "Please only consider positive tests/confessions/convictions and don't vote "no" on players just because a nutjob has carried on a bacne-based crusade against them for years."

I wonder if Ray would like that sort of wording?


No, I would like to see wording to the effect of "We didn't think we needed to tell you this, but please disregard steroids use because you already disregarded amphetamines use, you twits."

Except don't make the instructions seem so respectful.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4338100)
It's funny but not surprising that the only people pushing this "further guidance" suggestion are the ones who want to see steroid users in the Hall.

I would like to see wording to the effect of "We didn't think we needed to tell you this, but please disregard steroids use because you already disregarded amphetamines use, you twits."

Thanks for being Exhibit A of what I was talking about. But then I know I can always count on you for support.
   43. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:15 PM (#4338103)
No, I would like to see wording to the effect of "We didn't think we needed to tell you this, but please disregard steroids use because you already disregarded amphetamines use, you twits."

"Disregarded" implies a conscious consideration, but amp use didn't even rise to that worm-level bar.

The writers didn't "disregard" amp use; the idea that something so trivial could keep someone out of the HOF -- or that it should even weigh on their HOF chances -- never tinctured their consciousness. The greenie era writers disregarded amp use in the same sense that I disregarded stopping at the local bordello on the way to work today.
   44. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:16 PM (#4338104)
What specific instructions are they supposed to get?


Exactly. I'm not sure that there are any specific instructions that you can give that wouldn't be perceived as a slap at the membership's collective judgment - that's why there was so much flack about the Pete Rose rule when it was added. The BBWAA as a whole - despite the posturing from a handful of its vocal members - doesn't really want to be given specific criteria on what they must consider when voting.

-- MWE
   45. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4338112)
Thanks for being Exhibit A of what I was talking about. But then I know I can always count on you for support.


Here's my serious answer: I wouldn't provide any instruction per se; I'd simply remove the character clause to stop voters from abusing it. The character clause was rarely invoked before, and the HOF screening committee can simply screen out any player that in their view would so fail the character clause that he wouldn't be a worthy selection. So, maybe Joe Jackson and Pete Rose. Players like that.
   46. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4338114)
I'm not sure that there are any specific instructions that you can give that wouldn't be perceived as a slap at the membership's collective judgment

Which is exactly the point of those who keep pushing for those instructions. They're pissed that their views on steroids don't seem to be shared by 75% of the HoF voters, and knowing that, they want to try to rig the results in their favor.
   47. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4338116)
Exactly. I'm not sure that there are any specific instructions that you can give that wouldn't be perceived as a slap at the membership's collective judgment


While I would handle the matter differently as set out in #45 above, I don't really care whether the voters would perceive action on the HOF's part to be a slap at their collective judgment. Frankly, their collective judgment should be slapped at, because it is retarded. I mean, sheesh. If reasoning this bad, this illogical, and this dishonest shouldn't be "slapped at," what should be?
   48. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4338120)
Which is exactly the point of those who keep pushing for those instructions. They're pissed that their views on steroids don't seem to be shared by 75% of the HoF voters, and knowing that, they want to try to rig the results in their favor.

Maybe, but all I meant was some statement from MLB and/or the HOF regarding its postion on the Steroid Era, even if it's, "We take no position on steroid use with regards to HOF eligibility and we remind voters of the stated criteria for election. As has been the case for _____ years, we counsel writers to apply these criteria using their best judgment."

Even something like that could be useful, as it would give a faction of writers comfort that "Yes, MLB and the HOF really does want us to vote as we see fit." As it stands, there seems to be a big group wondering if that's really what they should be doing.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4338121)
Here's my serious answer: I wouldn't provide any instruction per se; I'd simply remove the character clause to stop voters from abusing it. The character clause was rarely invoked before, and the HOF screening committee can simply screen out any player that in their view would so fail the character clause that he wouldn't be a worthy selection. So, maybe Joe Jackson and Pete Rose. Players like that.

That's certainly a legitimate POV, but given the context we're now in, it would still be a hamhanded move that would certainly meet with a huge amount of resistance, since it would be clearly sending a one-sided message to the voters.

And what if the anti-steroids writers simply refuse to vote for Bonds & Co. anyway, which at this point would almost certainly be the case. What next? Strip them of their votes?
   50. AROM Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4338123)
My uncle survived 14 months in a Japanese POW camp, and he ain't a HOF'er, either. Not for baseball, anyway.


Of course not. Japan doesn't count.

   51. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4338125)
While I would handle the matter differently as set out in #45 above, I don't really care whether the voters would perceive action on the HOF's part to be a slap at their collective judgment.

Which rather nicely mirrors their likely opinion of outsiders with POVs like that. Unfortunately for you, they're the ones with the votes.
   52. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4338129)
That's certainly a legitimate POV, but given the context we're now in, it would still be a hamhanded move that would certainly meet with a huge amount of resistance,


Hopefully it would be, and hopefully the voters would react to withhold their services en masse similar to what Richie Phillips advised the umpires union to do some years ago.

The HOF can then view the voters' wails to withhold their votes as either an offer to be accepted or a threat to be ignored.

since it would be clearly sending a one-sided message to the voters.


Then mission accomplished. They vote at the privilige of the HOF. Contra Murray Chass above ("I believe the time has come to relinquish my right as a 10-year member of the Baseball Writers Association of America to vote in the Hall of Fame election."), voting is not a right.

And what if the anti-steroids writers simply refuse to vote for Bonds & Co. anyway, which at this point would almost certainly be the case. What next? Strip them of their votes?


If they admit that they refused to vote for Bonds & Co. on character or steroids grounds -- and thus that they failed to follow the new Ray Rules which no longer have the character clause -- then yes, strip their votes. I doubt the evidence would be hard to find. The writers are in the habit of publishing a confession after breaking the voting rules.

(It's kind of ironic that the same group of people criticizing players for "cheating" and "breaking the rules" don't follow the voting rules that have been laid out for them.)
   53. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4338133)
You're letting your spite cloud your judgment. He's saying that even his ballot and its decisions regarding Steroid Era players would contain flawed reasoning and be open to challenge. Because there is no correct philosophy to use.

And he's right.


Remind us why he voted for Morris, then? Because his ballot this year contains flawed reasoning and is open to challenge. If Chass lacks the intestinal fortitude to submit a well-reasoned ballot and defend his considered (if possibly imperfect) reasoning when it comes to players of a more modern era, what makes voting for Morris different?
   54. Lassus Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4338138)
I would like to applaud #50. Well done.
   55. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4338142)
Why is Chass such a bitter old man? My god. He got feted for a crappy career which seemed, at times, to consist of simply downloading MLB salary data into his articles. He was a boring, unimaginative writer and he never seemed to make very interesting arguments. And he was paid well and praised for this mediocre work. Now he's mad. If the guy had any perspective, he'd laugh.
   56. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4338145)
I don't think the HOF would suggest instructions that said anything about any player that didn't publicly fail a test (and was subsequently punished for it).
If a player doesn't fail a test, how can the HOF make a judgement on it?
Who would that include? Bonds? Clemens? Ryan Braun (when the time comes)?

I can understand the HOF saying "Get suspended for violating the rules, you're off the ballot".

Any instructions that cast a wider net than that is just going to leave the voters with the same silly interpretations they have now.

The reverse of that (go by stats and performance only) leaves them open to allowing Rose and Jackson.
   57. dlf Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4338146)
Which is exactly the point of those who keep pushing for those instructions. They're pissed that their views on steroids don't seem to be shared by 75% of the HoF voters, and knowing that, they want to try to rig the results in their favor.


It seems that most of the folks pushing for 'clarification' from the HOF are writers who are either not voting (see, e.g. TJ Quinn) or writers who are already witholding their votes against purported steroid cheats. I must have read that line in at least a half dozen ballot articles this year.
   58. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4338150)
It seems that most of the folks pushing for 'clarification' from the HOF are writers who are either not voting (see, e.g. TJ Quinn) or writers who are already witholding their votes against purported steroid cheats. I must have read that line in at least a half dozen ballot articles this year.


Yeah, that's just Andy seeing patterns in clouds.
   59. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4338153)
Which is exactly the point of those who keep pushing for those instructions. They're pissed that their views on steroids don't seem to be shared by 75% of the HoF voters, and knowing that, they want to try to rig the results in their favor.


Pretty sure this can apply to anything ever.
   60. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4338158)
What he said was that (1) Writers should not make the news (which is why his former paper doesn't allow its news/sports writers to vote for awards); and (2) no unimpeachably correct philosophy regarding the Steroid Era commends itself to voters.

I'll add to 14 the fact that this is among the very best summaries of the Steroid Era and the HOF penned by anyone:

2- The steroids issue has made it impossible to conduct a rational vote and cast a reasonable ballot. No matter how a writer votes or on what he bases his decision whom to vote for or not to vote for, his reasoning has to be flawed and open to challenge.

Except that:

1. He's voting, which seems to be so anathema to him.
2. He's making such a judgement RE: Morris.

So his entire post is complete hypocracy.
   61. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4338170)
I won't be voting anymore since I shouldn't make the news and I can't be reasonable...except for this last time...and maybe one more time.
   62. zonk Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4338197)
WHERE'S MY DAMN WOWWYPOP AND BANKIE... AND STAY THE HELL OFF MY LAWN UNTIL YOU BRING THEM, MR PRESIDENT!
   63. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4338200)
My uncle survived 14 months in a Japanese POW camp, and he ain't a HOF'er, either. Not for baseball, anyway.

Of course not. Japan doesn't count.


Well, if he spent at least 10 years in an American POW camp and won an MVP (Most Villified Prisoner) award, then he gets partial credit for Japan.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4338209)
Which is exactly the point of those who keep pushing for those instructions. They're pissed that their views on steroids don't seem to be shared by 75% of the HoF voters, and knowing that, they want to try to rig the results in their favor.

It seems that most of the folks pushing for 'clarification' from the HOF are writers who are either not voting (see, e.g. TJ Quinn) or writers who are already witholding their votes against purported steroid cheats. I must have read that line in at least a half dozen ballot articles this year.


I was more referring to BTF, but in any event the idea is a complete non-starter, despite the "Ray Rules" and other wet dreams being posted here.

---------------------------------------------------

Which is exactly the point of those who keep pushing for those instructions. They're pissed that their views on steroids don't seem to be shared by 75% of the HoF voters, and knowing that, they want to try to rig the results in their favor.

Pretty sure this can apply to anything ever.


How are the current guidelines rigging anything? According to Repoz's count, you've roughly got a 50-50 split on Bonds and Clemens, which certainly doesn't indicate anyone's being forced to go against their steroid views one way or the other.
   65. Ron J2 Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4338225)
I can understand the HOF saying "Get suspended for violating the rules, you're off the ballot"


The interesting thing is that they've explicitly said that's not the rule. Quoting from the Joe Jackson section on the old FAQ.

In order for Jackson to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, the following criteria must be met:

Since he is deceased, a party acting on behalf of Jackson's estate must apply to the Office of the Commissioner for reinstatement to Major League Baseball.

Should Jackson's estate apply for reinstatement and his eligibility is regained, he would then be a viable candidate for consideration by the Baseball Hall of Fame Committee on Baseball Veterans.

(similarly, if Rose is now reinstated he'd be a VC candidate)
   66. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 03, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4338231)
People, people. Despite the unfortunate fact that there are one or two bad ballots, we must respect the consensus.
   67. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 05:01 PM (#4338241)
@64: I was just snarking on the tendency for people to attempt to hijack things to make them the way they want while arguing that this needs to happen because their way is the "best" way.
   68. Squash Posted: January 03, 2013 at 05:37 PM (#4338288)
Are they just mad because there are more voices to challenge them now?

I think they're just pissed they put in all these years, time, and effort to become Baseball Men and get all the rights and privileges that go with that rank, and now that they finally have there are a bunch of punk kids who haven't put in all those years, time, and effort questioning them. This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.
   69. Walt Davis Posted: January 03, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4338319)
The writers' request for clarification is pointless -- any clarification will be ignored by whoever wants to ignore it anyway.

But the simplest clarification it seems to me would be along these lines: "the character clause is intended to refer to violations of baseball rules only. The voters should consider the severity of the rules violation(s) in weighing the character criteria against others."

Writers would then pretend steroid use was against the rules and continue to not vote Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, etc.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4338327)
Writers would then pretend steroid use was against the rules and continue to not vote Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Sosa, etc.


Fay Vincent once doodled a non-binding memo containing a drug catch-all that included steroids, a memo purporting to set out workplace rules that weren't collectively bargained, weren't followed by management, and weren't seen by the players. That ought to be enough.
   71. Howie Menckel Posted: January 03, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4338338)

here's a fresh tweet showing that Morris pitched to the stat:

MLBreports 4:37pm via Web

In his 1st 2 World Series in 84 and 91, Jack Morris was 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA in 5 starts and 41 Innings Pitched #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek

...........

[just don't ask what he did after that]
   72. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4338389)
Are they just mad because there are more voices to challenge them now?


I think they're just pissed they put in all these years, time, and effort to become Baseball Men and get all the rights and privileges that go with that rank, and now that they finally have there are a bunch of punk kids who haven't put in all those years, time, and effort questioning them. This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.

That makes sense, but then what explains all the time, effort and anger spent by so many people here who seem to spend half their waking hours railing against these writers for daring to question their statistical Gods? It's not as if the anger is all in one direction.
   73. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 07:26 PM (#4338397)
That makes sense, but then what explains all the time, effort and anger spent by so many people here who seem to spend half their waking hours railing against these writers for daring to question their statistical Gods?


What explains all the time you've put in?
   74. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 03, 2013 at 07:38 PM (#4338406)
Steroids.
   75. asinwreck Posted: January 03, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4338411)
Barring a change in my thinking, which I don’t expect,

Few people would see improvement in their cognitive functions after a major stroke, but we may have found the exception.
   76. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 03, 2013 at 07:50 PM (#4338418)
#JackMorrisAwarenessWeek

Jack Morris has the highest rate of wild pitches per inning of any pitcher who has thrown at least 2500 innings during the foul strike era.
   77. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 03, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4338423)
Jack Morris' ERA+ is tied for 478th all-time with Javier Vazquez, Mike Witt, Denny Neagle, Ed Figueroa and Ken Holtzman. #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek
   78. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4338428)
In his 1st 2 World Series in 84 and 91, Jack Morris was 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA in 5 starts and 41 Innings Pitched #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek

Jack Morris, post-season other than 84/91 world series: 3-4, 51.1 IP, 5.61 ERA #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek

   79. cardsfanboy Posted: January 03, 2013 at 08:18 PM (#4338431)
Jack Morris' ERA+ is tied for 478th all-time with Javier Vazquez, Mike Witt, Denny Neagle, Ed Figueroa and Ken Holtzman. #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek


Poster boy for stat geek fip love , so Morris must be a pretty good pitcher then.
   80. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4338438)
Jack Morris had the most wins in the '80's, but he was also 3rd in losses #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek

   81. alilisd Posted: January 03, 2013 at 08:46 PM (#4338443)
@ 43: tinctured? You're a ####### tool.
   82. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 03, 2013 at 08:55 PM (#4338451)
The writers didn't "disregard" amp use; the idea that something so trivial could keep someone out of the HOF -- or that it should even weigh on their HOF chances -- never tinctured their consciousness
I could see that...if amps weren't the very first drug banned by the IOC as "performance enhancing".
   83. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 03, 2013 at 09:13 PM (#4338460)
Poster boy for stat geek fip love , so Morris must be a pretty good pitcher then.

Morris was, indeed, a pretty good pitcher.

Jack Morris got a hair less than 3/5 of Jimmy Key's career voting total in Cy Young balloting. #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek

(Key is specifically selected as a rough, though far from exact, contemporary, and as someone who also never won the award.)
   84. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 03, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4338461)
Jack Morris refused to lose a game, ever, in which Fieldin Culbreth was calling balls and strikes. #JackMorrisAwarenessWeek
   85. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 03, 2013 at 09:16 PM (#4338462)
That makes sense, but then what explains all the time, effort and anger spent by so many people here who seem to spend half their waking hours railing against these writers for daring to question their statistical Gods?

What explains all the time you've put in?


The great majority of it in the past few years has mainly been spent defending unjustly accused players against the Chasses and the Gumbels, not that you'd ever acknowledge that. With you it's got to be all or nothing, just like a Tea Partier or a hard core Marxist.

The rest of it has been spent wondering why people like you spend so much time worrying about an institution that you've proclaimed time and again is irrelevant. But I'm sure you've got your reasons, just like Don Quixote.

   86. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4338587)
The great majority of it in the past few years has mainly been spent defending unjustly accused players against the Chasses and the Gumbels, not that you'd ever acknowledge that.


I think the point is silly. You convict players for jaywalking and sentence them to life behind bars for the crime, while "defending unjustly accused players." Pardon me if I find that disconnect appropriately nonserious. It would be like coming to the aid of a black man who is being jumped in the Jim Crow South -- while executing Rosa Parks for sitting in the back of the bus.

The rest of it has been spent wondering why people like you spend so much time worrying about an institution that you've proclaimed time is irrelevant.


Not irrelevant. In the process of relinquishing its relevancy. Thanks to people like you.
   87. Posada Posse Posted: January 03, 2013 at 11:48 PM (#4338589)
But they don‘t have a formula for intestinal fortitude or determination.


What is he saying, Joe McEwing for the HOF?!
   88. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 04, 2013 at 12:47 AM (#4338646)
Contra Murray Chass above ("I believe the time has come to relinquish my right as a 10-year member of the Baseball Writers Association of America to vote in the Hall of Fame election."), voting is not a right.


Jean Rasczak: All right, let's sum up. This year in history, we talked about the failure of democracy. How the social scientists of the 21st Century brought our world to the brink of chaos. We talked about the veterans, how they took control and imposed the stability that has lasted for generations since. We talked about the rights and privileges between those who served in the armed forces and those who haven't, therefore called citizens and civilians.
[to a student]
Jean Rasczak: You. Why are only citizens allowed to vote?
Student: It's a reward. Something the federation gives you for doing federal service.
Jean Rasczak: No. Something given has no basis in value. When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived.
   89. Dale Sams Posted: January 04, 2013 at 01:25 AM (#4338668)
Starship Troopers?
   90. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 05:03 AM (#4338733)
I didn't know bloggers could vote for the HOF.
I know you were saying this to tweak Chass/callback to a BBTF in joke, but that illustrates part of the problem with the BBWAA system: once you get your vote, you keep it until you die, regardless of the fact that you haven't covered baseball in 20 years and know less than your average batboy about the current game. Based on his writing, I'm pretty sure Chass hasn't watched a game since he retired... but he still gets to vote. Yay.
   91. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 04, 2013 at 06:39 AM (#4338741)
Why is Chass such a bitter old man? My god. He got feted for a crappy career which seemed, at times, to consist of simply downloading MLB salary data into his articles. He was a boring, unimaginative writer and he never seemed to make very interesting arguments. And he was paid well and praised for this mediocre work. Now he's mad. If the guy had any perspective, he'd laugh.

I know Murray Chass is a lightning rod around here and I disagree with him on plenty of things, but it's inaccurate to say he had a "crappy career" or that he churned out "mediocre work." Murray almost single-handedly pioneered the coverage of the business side of MLB, from the labor wars and collective bargaining agreements to contract negotiations, team sales, and the commissioner's office. If the 65 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winners were whittled down to a "small Hall" 30, Murray should still keep his.

(Before anyone asks, I don't know Murray other than having exchanged a small number of emails with him over the years, none within the past 12 months or so.)
   92. bachslunch Posted: January 04, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4338782)
Just when I thought Paul Daugherty's ballot was the worst I've seen...
   93. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 04, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4338810)
I know Murray Chass is a lightning rod around here and I disagree with him on plenty of things, but it's inaccurate to say he had a "crappy career" or that he churned out "mediocre work." Murray almost single-handedly pioneered the coverage of the business side of MLB, from the labor wars and collective bargaining agreements to contract negotiations, team sales, and the commissioner's office. If the 65 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winners were whittled down to a "small Hall" 30, Murray should still keep his.

That's a point worth making for those who only know Chass's idiotic blogging, but unfortunately that was then. He's like a HOVG ballplayer who should have hung it up about five years before he did, but instead wound up with a string of 76 OPS+ seasons.
   94. J.R. Wolf Posted: January 04, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4338898)
Wow, I always knew Murray Chass was an idiot, but this is a new low even for him.

What a tool.
   95. J.R. Wolf Posted: January 04, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4338918)
I think spite motivates just about everything Murray does these days. What a sad little man.


Exactly. People armed with cold, hard facts are actually challenging his subjective opinions!

He is a sad little obsolete man that the world has passed by who can only see sabremterics as a threat to his ability to spout foolish and nonsensical opinions...like his drivel about Jack Morris and the HOF.

He is everyone's grumpy and grouchy old neighbor, complaining about how complicated cell phones are, about this new thing called the Internet, and about these damned kids that won't get off his lawn, and he will never realize that the problem isn't anyone else, it's him.
   96. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 04, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4339347)
Sheesh - so is this going to officially be the worst ballot submitted?

If he sticks with this ballot next year, it won't just be the worst of the year. A Morris-but-not-Maddux (and Glavine, and Mussina, and Schilling, not even mentioning Clemens or the position players) ballot would have to be a strong contender for worst ballot submitted in the entire history of the Hall of Fame.
   97. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 04, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4339358)
Sure, there's a turd of a ballot here, and a pool of vomit there. But when you step back and view the rich mosaic of all the votes assembled into one beautiful verdict, how can we do anything but respect the consensus?
   98. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 04, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4339379)
Since I enjoyed the Spanish version in the Jorge Ebro thread, I think you should BabelFish that into a different language each time you post it from now on.
   99. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 04, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4339383)
I know Murray Chass is a lightning rod around here and I disagree with him on plenty of things, but it's inaccurate to say he had a "crappy career" or that he churned out "mediocre work." Murray almost single-handedly pioneered the coverage of the business side of MLB, from the labor wars and collective bargaining agreements to contract negotiations, team sales, and the commissioner's office. If the 65 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winners were whittled down to a "small Hall" 30, Murray should still keep his.
Not only did he pioneer coverage of the business of baseball, but he did it well. The coverage of that topic from other writers tended to involve reprinting press releases from the commissioner's office about greedy ballplayers, and not much more.
   100. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: January 04, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4339404)
One of the things that's surprised me is that dislike of Murray Chass isn't limited to the stathead world. I know a *lot* of guys that absolutely despise him, and some of them are more of the old-school baseball media. For example, when Chass dissected the grammar of one of my sentences in his blog entry, a writer only a few years younger than him sent me an email telling me "Don't worry about him, he's just a hateful crank that should have died in 1980." And that isn't even on the Top 10 for mean quotes I've heard about him from media insiders.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
greenback calls it soccer
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3406 - 6:40pm, Jul 28)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogESPN: Yankee Fan Returns Lost Red Sox World Series Ring
(11 - 6:39pm, Jul 28)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogFormer OF Jason Lane takes loss in first start
(4 - 6:38pm, Jul 28)
Last: JRVJ

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(992 - 6:36pm, Jul 28)
Last: HMS Moses Taylor

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(460 - 6:35pm, Jul 28)
Last: Darkness and the howling fantods

NewsblogDmitri Young explains his amazing weight loss
(27 - 6:33pm, Jul 28)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogFull Count » Mike Carp explains why he requested a trade from Red Sox
(34 - 6:25pm, Jul 28)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogGossage on Bonds, McGwire Hall hopes: ‘Are you f–king kidding?’
(125 - 6:16pm, Jul 28)
Last: Walt Davis

Newsblog2014 Prospect Watch | MLB.com: UPDATED
(9 - 6:09pm, Jul 28)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogDodgers and Diamondbacks Triple-A teams involved in wild brawl
(24 - 6:08pm, Jul 28)
Last: alilisd

NewsblogSchoenfield: Why didn't the Braves win more titles?
(87 - 6:01pm, Jul 28)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogHall of Fame Announces Changes to Voting Process for Recently Retired Players, Effective Immediately
(97 - 5:59pm, Jul 28)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2014
(43 - 5:55pm, Jul 28)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogDeadspin: David Ortiz Pissed Off the Rays Again
(51 - 5:48pm, Jul 28)
Last: Joe Bivens, Minor Genius

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-28
(21 - 5:32pm, Jul 28)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

Page rendered in 0.9269 seconds
52 querie(s) executed