On Tuesday, that chasm may have lessened a bit. With the inclusion of Carson Cistulli, Eno Sarris, Sam Miller, and Joe Hamrahi, the online baseball community now has more representation in the BBWAA. I think that is a good thing and I suppose I’m supposed to go on and tell you why. I think it’s a good thing because these gentleman bring qualities to the BBWAA that, stereotypically, haven’t existed much in the past. These guys are well versed in advanced statistics. The know how they work and what they aim to accomplish. They also understand their limits and their margins for error. I would say they know how to responsibly apply new numbers to baseball analysis while also supplementing them with additional sources and methods. Additional methods like, say, scouting reports and video analysis and things like that. Despite popular opinion, it is not required that one pledge pure allegiance to only statistics, or only scouting and eye-seeing in baseball. There exists the possibility, get this, of combining the two (!), of using all available information available to make arguments and draw conclusions. Quaint, I know.
...If we accept that we care about post-season awards, and by extension, the Hall of Fame, then it becomes important that the voters are open-minded, inquisitive individuals, willing to write about, discuss, and argue their votes and selections. Right now, this is not the case. Voters lie in anonymity, sometimes presenting nonsensical ballots with zero explanation or accountability. History swings on the whims of the uninformed and silent. Awards voting and Hall of Fame selecting can only improve and regain respectability if the process becomes open and accessible, understandable and defensible, and what better stewards of such a revolution than people who write about baseball daily on the internet? Members who interact with readers and other writers through Twitter, and comment threads, and Email, and all sorts of other electronic marvels. One is much more likely to take one’s BBWAA responsibilities seriously if one is held to a high communal standard by one’s peers, isn’t one? Writers who live visibly in the light of the internet make better members than those who hide in the darkness of whatever not the internet is (real life)?
So here’s to progress, and the new BBWAA members, and to improving the process. Here’s to taking baseball super, super seriously, but not too seriously, of course.
Posted: December 06, 2012 at 10:56 AM | 32 comment(s)
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