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Mariotti: the media should not vote for postseason awards

May 17, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

I disagree with Jay Mariotti on just about everything on the planet — and the multiple paragraphs he devotes to PED politics in his latest column are rather boring and unenlightening. But the point he started with — sports writers shouldn’t vote for postseason awards — is one worthy of consideration.

I don’t know who else is in a good position to decide who should be the MVP and all of that, and the usual alternatives cited — players, coaches, fans — are probably worse choices than what we have now, but I think Mariotti makes some pretty valid points about conflicts of interest and writers not always taking their job seriously when it comes to voting for awards.

I think the best move would be to create some panel that includes working media and some various experts.  How you go about picking its members I have no idea, but I think that relying so much on beat guys who depend upon awards candidates for the access they need to do their job is problematic.

  1. Michael - May 17, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    How about some combination of all of the alternatives, plus the current system? Each of those individual voting blocs has issues, but consider the positives of this method:
    - wisdom of the crowd: traditional media voters, the stat-inclined writers, coaches and players inside the game, and the general fan populace may come to a better answer than the largely print media voting base currently in place
    - the voters who currently possess a say in the process would complain the most, but perhaps could be placated by ensuring that they still have a disproportionate say in the result.
    - the fans who care about that sort of thing feel more “involved” or whatever and isn’t that what MLB wants? see also: fan-voting for All-Star game last roster spot
    - players and coaches may be the most problematic to include because I would suspect them most likely to be susceptible to bias, but perhaps their view of the game is important to consider
    One downside to this solution is the loss of “unanimous” MVP votes, but when you have writers voting for Miggy Cabrera ahead of Joe Mauer last year, that’s already hard to come by.

  2. ecp - May 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    While I don’t disagree, I’m not certain how this is accomplished when the awards were actualy founded by the BBWAA. They are theirs to give.

  3. okobojicat - May 17, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Seems to me someone needs to found a new set of awards that would be voted on by a different group and would thus create a different status level.
    .
    So, Craig, I nomiante you to create a “POST SEASON AWARDS BUREAU” that would pull together writers (bloggers too, both Sabr focused and non SABR focused), and reach out to your NBC Contacts so that you can talk to players and coaches and involve the fans.
    .
    Think of like golf: how did the Majors become the Majors? They gave out the most money so the best players came – now the Dubai tournament is taking over the Players Championship in terms of tallent present.
    .
    Now, imagine your awards will some sponsorhship ($1million dollars for the Kellogs Best Hitter award, $1.5million for the Gold Bond Best Pitcher Award). You could even name them after players – I would go with living players so to reduce estate conflicts – perhaps Bonds and Koufax?

  4. JBerardi - May 17, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Here’s something. One of the frequent complaints about the BBWAA is that they’ve (largely) left internet-based writers out in the cold. And it’s true, there’s a huge number of very smart baseball writers and analysis who have no vote. So what then is stopping someone from organizing all these people into a new system of awards? How hard would it be for the people at HardballTalk to make up a ballot, then just ask all these non-BBWAA experts to fill it out. I think a large, respectable site like this could easily get Bill James or Tom Tango or Poz or Dave Cameron or any of these people to spend five minutes filling out a ballot. Why has no one tried to organize something like this yet?

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