Off Base
In Defense of the BBWAA

January 11, 2010, 2:08 p.m. What, you were expecting a blank column? It occurred to me, actually. But just because Jay Mariotti turned in a blank Hall of Fame ballot, rather than vote for Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven or Andre Dawson this time around, doesn't mean we have to stoop to that level.

We'll just call him names instead. Like say, jackass. Boob. Or bounder. More name calling below, by the way. Enjoy.

In defense of the Base Ball Writers' Association of America, however, it's not like there's anything sinister at work here, with a bunch of men in a smoke-filled room, conspiring to do the wrong thing – that's the Veterans Committee. The process is mostly democratic, and works about as well as can be expected. Kind of.

Mariotti was looking for attention, and in his selfishness, screwed a couple of former baseball players. Maybe he felt they'd treated him badly in the past, not that that should matter. Mariotti is misguided in his thinking, obviously, but was simply trying to make a point.

Of course, I wanted to make a point too, which is why I started the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. Who do you think had the better idea – me or Jay Mariotti?

And guess how many blank Hall ballots were turned in by IBWAA members in December. Right; zero. We didn't elect Alomar either, which is just how it goes. I voted for him, along with Jack Morris, Tim Raines and Blyleven. And I'm a big Blyleven supporter.

I've made the case for Blyleven here, and Jim Rice earlier, over and over and over, so rather than rehash the whole damn thing yet again, I invite you to read the old columns: The Hall With It, If So-And-So is in the Hall, Then So-N-So Gets in Too, and Grasping at Straws.

And for further fodder, a couple pieces that examine the surprising mediocrity (fine; dreck) that has been considered Hall-worthy in the past: Increased Drug Testing Deemed Necessary – For Writers and The Funny Beard Contingent.

And just fyi, this isn't about belittling the accomplishments of Andre Dawson. Not in the least.

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the Hawk, especially when compared to some of the men already enshrined, except for the commonly-floated argument that goes something like this: "if only he hadn't played on Astroturf in Montreal for so long, if not for those 12 knee surgeries," and fill in the rest of the quote yourself.

Well he did play 11 seasons on the fake grass and he did have eight or nine operations too many. It's a dumb argument. But OK, he's in. Perhaps Blyleven and Alomar next year.

Conclusion? The BBWAA isn't all that bad, Jay Mariotti is, and the IBWAA is serving as an alternative voice, as promised, and held a better and infinitely more baseball savvy election. Next…

Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…

As for Mark McGwire: I have exactly two words for Mr. McGwire. Ass and hole. Like I said last year around this time about Alex Rodriguez. He's an asshole. Total and complete scum bag asshole. Like I've said and will continue to say about Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, and every last criminal bleeper on the various lists, proven guilty or not – asshole, asshole, asshole, asshole, asshole.

Got it, assholes? Now go hold your pimple-popping party and compare your shrunken testicles, bleepers. You're all a bunch of assholes…

Media Savvy: Thanks to's Jeff Pearlman, for his perspective on the old writers group.

Here's a nice, non-baseball related piece of writing, from Bill Dwyre, of the LAT.

And the point of the week, in Jon Heyman's article about free agents still available for hire, after mentioning Orlando Hudson earlier in the piece:

"Orlando Cabrera. The Orlandos get so little respect that it's a wonder they don't start their own team, maybe in Orlando. Cabrera helped Boston win a World Series and also Anaheim and Minnesota get to the playoffs. He is a terrific player who seems to wear out his welcome for unknown reasons."

Investors Wanted: Invest a thimble full of venture capital today, make major league minimum tomorrow…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….







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