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Sorry, misplaced anger, feel free to move along

Dec 16, 2012, 9:07 PM EDT

John McGrath

Ummm… nevermind. While McGrath’s column made it sound like Mattingly and Murphy were his only choices, he states in the comments that he actually submitted a 10-man ballot.


Taking the Hall of Upstanding Citizens standard to a new plateau is the Tacoma News Tribune’s John McGrath. Faced with the burden of being a guardian to Cooperstown, he submitted a two-man Hall of Fame ballot of Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy.

Of course, he spends most of his column writing about Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa and never provides any sort of reasoning for why Mattingly and Murphy, two of the ballots weakest holdovers, are more deserving than contemporaries Fred McGriff, Tim Raines and Alan Trammell, not to mention a local favorite like Edgar Martinez.

Well, maybe there’s some reasoning:

I’m prepared to select as many as 10 players on my ballot whose achievements did not mock the notion of integrity, sportsmanship and character. The headache is part of the bargain. It won’t kill me.

You read it here first: Edgar Martinez, mocker of integrity. And that elbow pad Craig Biggio wore wasn’t very sporting at all. As for character? Well, Larry Walker had none of that.
Just do us all a favor and tear up your ballot next time, John. It’s obviously nothing more to you than an excuse for a cheap column.
  1. canucks18 - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    When is there going to be writers with their ballots and voting rights revoked for this type of nonsense? It’s a total joke

    • historiophiliac - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      What? Do you not understand how the BBWAA works? How the voting works?

    • sarcasticks - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      Everyone makes mistakes, but this wasn’t breaking news that was time sensitive. You could have communicated with Mr. McGrath and asked for clarification on his viewpoint. Instead, you rushed to judgment and vilified the man. Assaulting a fellow journalist’s integrity without proper substantiation is inexcusable. A retraction and apology is the least acceptable remuneration.

      Just do us all a favor and tear up your ballot next time, John. It’s obviously nothing more to you than an excuse for a cheap column.

      I’ll let the hypocrisy of your statement speak for itself.

      • paperlions - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:17 PM

        The problem is that McGrath writes for a living, and the job of the writer is to be clear. He writes a rather rambling and superficial column and concludes, “I get to fill out a ballot. I get to mark an “X” in the boxes next to the names of Dale Murphy and Don Mattingly. I get another reminder of why I love the summer game that brings so many headaches in the December mail.”

        Anyone that reads that column can conclude only one thing: that McGrath only voted for Murphy and Mattingly.

        That McGrath actually voted for 10 people rather than 2 (at least, according to his response to a comment) just means that he’s not a very good writer….and probably that he doesn’t have a very good editor.

      • sarcasticks - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:24 PM

        Maybe it’s because I was bullied in high school or something, but this whole thing doesn’t sit well with me. Being wrong about a Josh Hamilton rumor or getting a false bite on a contract extension is one thing, but this was a clear cut attack article. You took the time to attack a man’s credibility. You put his picture on your website and opened him up to scrutiny and ridicule. You essentially called for removing his hall of fame voting privileges. That, in and of itself, is questionable, but with supporting evidence and proper research, can be justified. This article cannot be justified. This article was unnecessary. Please, in the future, if you’re going to attack someone, have your facts straight. At least then, while you’re diminishing someone’s character, you can rest assured that you did so based upon accurate information.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:53 PM

        Paper lions is right, Mr McGrath’s article was not clear. Taken by itself, it deserved the rebuke from Matthew. That the first impression was in error only came to light because I happened to skim through the comments section and noted the clarification. Matthew in turn, being a stand up guy and not worthy of your own vilification, corroborated my read of it, owned up to his mistake and amended the post. I’m sure he could have just deleted it, but he didn’t. That he did not hide his mistake says a lot about his real character.

        For your demand that he print a retraction, he already did by acknowledging the error. You also demanded he apologize, but I personally don’t think he owes McGrath anything further. Op Ed pieces are always going to be commented upon, and that feedback will not always be positive. If a columnist takes it personally, he’s in the wrong line of work–even if that negative feedback seems personal.

      • indaburg - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        I also read the article and interpreted that McGrath only voted for those two players. McGrath had to clarify himself in the comments section. Matthew realized he misinterpreted and owned up to it. Case closed.

      • paperlions - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM

        Oh shut up. The guy wrote a poor article that was apparently deceptive as it did not reflect the truth. The truth as presented by the article would represent a really stupid vote.

        Look, I write for a living, and if reviewers/editors don’t understand what you wrote or draw conclusion you did not intend it is often because of poor writing….and in this case McGrath’s writing was horrible as it stated point blank that he voted for two guys and never mentions anyone else. Heck, it was a poor article anyway as it didn’t delve into a single issue in a meaningful way. It was a re-hashed waste of space that offered absolutely no insights whatsoever…..and if you are going to publish, you’ve got to take the heat for your screw ups. This was a poor effort…..and you can’t fault an attack on that effort that is based on the content of that effort….and the content stated he only voted for 2 guys and it implied that anyone he didn’t vote for lacked moral fiber.

        The original criticism is 100% warranted…because he didn’t imply that everyone BUT Murphy and Mattingly were not above suspicion. Did I mention that it was a horribly written piece? There is really no way for it to have been worse than it was….it was mis-leading, inaccurate, and made many strong insinuations about the character of people everyone but Murphy and Mattingly that McGrath apparently didn’t intend….and if he did, then he’s an ass for not backing up his reasons for smearing their character.

        There is no apology due McGrath. You publish bad work, you reap what you sow.

      • Tim's Neighbor - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:47 AM

        The article is pretty non-conclusive. I could see how someone would assume McGrath was only voting for those two, but that would be an assumption. If you’re going to rip someone on a national website you probably need to go on more than assumption. Definitely ends up being a hypocritical take-down of McGrath.

      • forsch31 - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        The article focuses on admitted steroid users and why he didn’t vote for them. He only mentions Mattingly and Murphy twice in the entire piece. The first mention starts off with this:
        “Voting for the likes of Dale Murphy and Don Mattingly…”

        “Likes.” Plural. As in, I voted for guys like Murphy and Mattingly.

        While I can understand that some may get confused, that’s a problem with reading comprehension, not writing.

  2. vallewho - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:13 PM


  3. thebigtim2012 - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    The hof system for baseball will always be a joke. It will take something drastic and extreme to change it like a complete boycott of the Cooperstown museum for a few years. Unfortunately the casual fan had no clue about the pious aholes that make the selections so it’s never gonna change

  4. weaselpuppy - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    yeah at some point the BBWAA has to start pulling the ballot from guys that are just plain jackasses

  5. kkolchak - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Isn’t there an age limit for these voters? This guy looks like he used to cover DiMaggio in his prime.

    • paperlions - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      Nah, he doesn’t look that old….he just dresses like it.

  6. raysfan1 - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I just read his column, and the comments section. In the comments section, he responded to a commenter, and it sounded like he sent in a ballot with 10 names on it. It seemed to me that Mattingly and Murphy were the only 2 he chose to divulge.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

      Yep, looks like you’re right. Ugh.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:10 PM

        I wish he had listed his other choices though.

      • ray1950 - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM

        Why would McGrath owe you an explanation? It’s his ballot. His column, by the way, is a hell of a lot more interesting than reading the typical smarmy comments you get paid to post.

      • cur68 - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:18 AM

        McGrath’s work is so unclear and poorly written his very readership deserves an explanation. Well within the rights of other writers to call him out on it.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 17, 2012 at 8:32 PM

        Who the hell said he owed anything?! I said I wished he had listed his other choices, for the simple reasons of being clearer and also because I like reading what HoF voters think even if I don’t necessarily agree with their reasoning. Sometimes what they write even changes my thinking a bit.

  7. apmn - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    First of all, it’s his vote. He can do whatever he wants with it. Your witch hunt is getting tiresome.

    Second, Hall of Fame voting is ultimately a subjective process. If it is so obvious who should be in the Hall of Fame and who shouldn’t, then why don’t you come up with a formula for it so that the computers can decide?

    • jonrox - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:05 PM

      Well, 50 career WAR is a pretty close approximation already. So there’s that

  8. sarcasticks - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Amateur hour on HBT

    • cur68 - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:17 AM

      Go read the article this guy published. It’s more like amateur hour at the Tacoma News Tribune. Jeez.

  9. chill1184 - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Speaking of HOF voters, does anyone know if Rob Parker’s vote has been stripped yet?

  10. hardjudge - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Time to take the HOF voting away from the baseball writer( a dying breed) and give it to the public.

    • Tim's Neighbor - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:48 AM

      Oh God. Please not the public. We, as a whole, are idiots.

      • hardjudge - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:25 AM

        So you think the writers can do a better job! The writers are idiots with bones to pick. Make it a weighted vote, public gets so much weight, writers get so much vote. Also Give all the TV guys who actually cover the sport now a vote.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 17, 2012 at 7:58 AM

        Oh, yes. The answer is to give weight to Tim McCarver’s vote.

      • dexterismyhero - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        Or Joe Buck and his freaky looking head!!!!!

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