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Murray Chass is keeping his Hall of Fame vote to spite me specifically

Jan 2, 2014, 10:32 AM EDT

Murray Chass

Really, it’s true. Noted unemployed blogger Murray Chass promised last year that he would cease voting for the Hall of Fame after this year. That his sole reason for one last vote would be to get Jack Morris in, then he would relinquish his ballot for all time. But he got mad that Rob Neyer and I called him out for his baseless accusations of steroid use by Craig Biggio, so now he’s going to spite us:

Finally, an announcement that will disappoint Neyer, Calcaterra and the reader who, like those two bloggers, said they were delighted that this was the last time I would be voting for the Hall of Fame. Sorry, guys I never made it definite.

I said “barring a change in my thinking,” this could be my last vote. My thinking has changed, and all of you critics can blame yourselves. How could I relinquish my vote knowing how much it annoys you? I plan to vote a year from now even if I just send in a blank ballot. You would love that.

The rest of his blog post revolves around (a) lecturing me about how to be proper journalist; and (b) citing another person’s statement that, while they are unwilling to share the basis for it, they personally believe Biggio did steroids as evidence that Biggio did steroids. I see no disconnect there.

Oh well. Don’t go gentle into that good night, Murray. Burn and rave at close of day. With the approving imprimatur of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

108 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    That’s funny, Craig. He sent me an E-mail and said it was my fault.

    • stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      I think I must be the reader he cited. Oh well, if you believe that…………

    • historiophiliac - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      I tried to point out to you the other night that the 2013 season started with the Astros and the final HBT post of the year was them as well — making it the Year of the Astros. Congrats. But, the mobile app sucks, so the comment didn’t get posted. Anyway, Happy New Year.

      • stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        Happy New Year to you, philiac.

      • grumpyoleman - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        I agree with your comment on the mobile app. Can’t give thumbs up or down and can’t comment to specific posts.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:00 PM

        It was the Year of the Beards – from Bobby V. to a third ring in ten seasons.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Sounds more like Maury Chasshole, amirite?

    • historiophiliac - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      I like to think that one downvote is from Murray.

      If I had any faith in him being able to understand newfangled things like Upvote and Downvote.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        New year, old trolls.

        How were your holidays?

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Too good.

        And yours?

        (I won’t be able to respond until later. Got a road trip ahead of me thins afternoon.)

    • cohnjusack - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Sounds more like Maury Chasshole, amirite?

      More like Turd Crapley.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM

        If not #1, that is definitely in the top 3 moments of an excellent show.

  3. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Maury Chass is the f’n worst. Period.

  4. southofheaven81 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:39 AM

  5. Simon M. - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    All this because Craig just happened to have some back acne…

    • Francisco (FC) - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Wait, Biggio or Calcaterra?

      • apkyletexas - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM


        As I conclusively proved scientifically in a previous post, Calcaterra could not possibly write this many stories without taking some form of PED’s. Plus, his head has clearly grown bigger.

        I just hope he hasn’t lied about it to any grand juries or Congressional committees.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        The second line of the post proves that Craig is the bigger bald man.

  6. eshine76 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    It is truly sad that he is so thin-skinned. If his life is so miserable that he thinks this will make others not sleep at night, then so be it. What a loser.

  7. alexo0 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    I don’t know, I think it’s pretty big of him to admit that he is able to show some flexibility in his thinking after all these years.

  8. mlblogstomsinger1 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    “Unemployed blogger.” He is retired following a Hall of Fame career with the New York Times. Almost matches your distinguished career achievements, correct?

    • rbj1 - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Hi, Murray’s mom! You must be his “reader.” Note the singular aspect that Murray put in.

    • paperlions - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Chass is not a HOFer. No writer or announcer is a HOFer. Those are awards they vote on themselves, to give to themselves. They dole them out every year whether there is a deserving candidate or not. Those “awards” are the “which old guy haven’t we given this award to yet, awards”. They could mean something if they were given to people with both long and distinguished careers. Instead, they are just given to people will long careers.

      • cohnjusack - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        Yes, it should be noted that writers and announcers and honored with a small, information filled photos next to the prestigious “Baseball at the Movies” section and the “Sandlot Kids Club”. To get there, you walk past the plaque room, up a narrow, easy to miss spiral hallway to see a single two-sided wall in the middle of the room featuring the photos.

      • paperlions - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Can I get a list of “HOF movies” and “HOF Sandlot Kids”?

      • yahmule - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        I’ll bet a lot of people take the time to find that room. Guys like Vin Scully have contributed a lot to baseball and many fans, especially older fans, grew to love the game by hearing their descriptions of the game.

      • paperlions - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Yes, but it is still not correct to refer to them as HOFers, because they are not. A lot of players that have not been elected to the HOF are included in exhibits in the museum , they still are not HOFers.

    • chip56 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Uh-oh, you insulted Craig. Now his fanboys shall rise up against you.

      While I couldn’t care less about writers feuding with other writers I do agree with your point. A web-blogger calling out the credentials of an award-winning writer is a laugh.

      Calling Chass “unemployed” because he retired at age 70 is pretty bush league.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        As I recall, it was a forced retirement. Otherwise, he would still be getting paid for writing his blo… er, columns instead of just posting them to his personal website.

        And just because you’ve won awards doesn’t mean you can’t be called out when you write in an unethical fashion. Enough with the appeal to authority crap.

      • chip56 - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        What’s unethical about not surrendering a vote that you are within your rights to keep as long as you want?

        Is it childish that he’s doing it because people like Neyer and Craig were cheering the fact that this was going to be his last vote? Yes. But then again it’s also childish to use your blog space to cheer for the fact that someone is giving up their Hall of Fame vote.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        His innuendo-spreading about Biggio and Piazza is the unethical behavior.

      • chip56 - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        That’s fine, but that’s not why Calcaterra wants him to stop voting for the Hall of Fame. He wants him to surrender his ballot because (among other things) Chass won’t vote for players he believes did steroids.

        So essentially what Craig is saying is that because Chass doesn’t vote the way he would like him to, and because Chass is retired, he should not have a vote.

        Chass is far from the only writer to speculate (publicly or privately) on the players who have used PEDs and he’s far from the only writer to vote based on that speculation.

      • paperlions - Jan 2, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        That isn’t it.

        He and all reasonable people don’t want Chass to vote because Chass is a petty old fool that never bothered to keep up with advances in his own profession or in the one he was charged with covering.

  9. xdj511 - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    So Mike Piazza is on steroids because Reggie Jefferson said “he was on it and everybody knew it” and another unattributed quote from an anonymous player basically about how he came out of nowhere.

    I am a lifelong Mets fan who always had suspicions about Piazza. I watched the at-bat where he tore his groin backing away from an inside fastball. That’s not normal. I’ve joked about how my back acne would keep me out of the hall of fame too. But the bottom line is that there is no proof, and as long as there is nothing but rumors and heresay I don’t believe that he should be denied entry into the hall of fame. As it has been said many times there is absolutely no chance that there aren’t already steroid users in the hall of fame, and keeping guys out now because of rumors and heresay is complete idiocy.

    • paperlions - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Of course there are already steroid users in the HOF.

      Not too long ago a writer noted that they know of a HOF player who took steroids, and that HOFer is one of the most vocal anti-steroids people out there. The writer refused to identify the player.

      The fact is that since WWII PEDs have been very common in the game. Most semi-reliable reports indicate that about 1/2 of the players in the 90s were using steroids, and nearly all players from the 60s until the mid-2000s used amphetamines at some point in their career.

      Given what we know about steroid and amphetamine use history. It is highly likely that every candidate on this year’s ballot used PEDs at some point in his career. You would be right far more often if you thought every player on the ballot used something at some point than if you thought none of them did. The likelihood that Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, etc. used something at some point (and even that they used something regularly) is higher than the likelihood that they used nothing.

      It is amazing to me how quickly people are trying to white-wash recent history and act like there was some nefarious small percentage of players that used steroids and amphetamines. Usage was common and accepted, and for a LOT longer than most people act like it was (at least 30 years longer).

      • yahmule - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Writers say a lot of stuff without attribution. What makes this guy credible? Because he’s protecting the interests of a blatant self serving hypocrite?

      • paperlions - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        I am not sure which guy you are talking about….but pretty much everyone in the sport admits that far more was going on and that far more people knew about it than will admit it than the public seems to think….above and beyond even speculative reports. Even today few players seem willing to be honest about what they and their colleagues were doing because there is no reason to admit it and public sentiment about such things are highly tainted and hypocritical.

        Again, it is well documented that steroids have been commonly used in baseball since at least the 1960s. The likelihood that there are many steroid users in the HOF is essentially 100%, and the likelihood that there are writers that know about it is essentially 100%.

  10. thebadguyswon - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    In all seriousness, it does sound like he has dementia.

    • rathipon - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Assuming you are serious, I disagree. I don’t see any real telltale signs of dementia in his writing. I think the problem is basically that he’s just a cantankerous asshole without sufficient mental flexibility to perceive and appreciate the shades of gray that exist between the blacks and whites he is comfortable with.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Hmm… sounds like something from the road runner cartoons:

        *Picture of Murray Chas*

        (cantankerous assholus)

  11. nategearhart - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    I bet Murray Chass cries a lot. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    • yahmule - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      There was when Terry Bradshaw did it. The big sissy boy.

  12. chacochicken - Jan 2, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    I really thought the big billy goat took care of Chass. Oh well, but what a noble fellow. Someone should remind him he can’t return a jacket out of spite.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      2 funny things about this – Craig got Twitter and the initial commenters to call Chass “Maury”.

      Then there’s the fact that Kramer got mistaken for a pimp. Not that you could blame the flatfoot.

  13. silversun60 - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    “I might even send in a blank vote just because Craig was mean to me!”

    What a loser. Yeah…let’s potentially screw someone out of being in the HOF and send in a blank vote because someone challenged your thinking. Me thinks Chass got bullied a lot as a kid and is trying to make up for it now.

    Get over yourself….HOF voting isn’t about YOU, Chass, it’s about the players.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      Of course he got bullied as a kid.

      Who wouldn’t bully a child who is completely bald with a full white beard?

      (I am assuming Murray always looked like he looks now, just smaller)

      • yahmule - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:46 PM

        I’m picturing this crusty eight year old with old man smell being really bad at dodgeball.

    • braxtonrob - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      @silversun60, Well said!!!

      Chass, “It’s not about YOU, you arrogant prick” <- what movie is that from? 😉

  14. jm91rs - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    I don’t really get all fired up on the Hall of Fame vote because it’s just the opinion of “writers” and opinions are like assholes. This one though fires me up a bit. How in the hell can a guy say he’s voting just to piss off others? How in the hell can he threaten to abuse the process even more by turning in a blank ballot just to piss off a few specific people?

    I guess there’s the hope that this guy might single-handedly change the whole process when the powers-that-be notice how ridiculous this whole thing looks. I wish a bunch of all-time greats would call him out for making a mockery of the Hall.

    • chacochicken - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Is it worse for Deadspin to buy a vote and allow fans the right or continue giving Chass a vote to essentially piss away? It sure seems like a mockery to have Chass turn in a blank ballot or a single vote for Jack clearly-not-a-hall-of-famer Morris.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        It’s kind of like running for political office with one major issue as your focus.

        After awhile, that becomes the only issue. So you end up sticking around running in election after election on a platform of banning pornography or contraception or taking the right to vote away from the females.

        So dummy here spent so much time obsessing about Jack Morris that now he’s got to stick around until the fight is fully lost….and then he has no idea where to go to next.

      • jm91rs - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:01 PM

        If Chass thinks Morris is a hall of famer he should vote for him. It’s his opinion. The problem is that he’s not voting for people he wants in, he’s voting against the people he doesn’t want in, just to piss off people like Craig. I’m kinda glad he’s admitted that. Shine more light on writers like this and maybe something will change.

    • yahmule - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      In that sense, he’s unwittingly performing a service. His churlish attitude will only shine further light on a process that has become so absurdly petty and contentious that the Republicans and Democrats actually look good by comparison.

      • paperlions - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        This was my thought as well….the louder and more belligerent Chass is, the more likely it is that the BBWAA or the HOF will revise an electorate that is in dire need of some renovation.

  15. thebadguyswon - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    But it is about the BBWAA. And that’s why the whole process has become a sad joke.

  16. stoutfiles - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Just wondering, but what if it came out that Biggio DID use steroids at the end of his career?

    • stex52 - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Oh, you mean that it isn’t just baseless innuendo? Hard to say, because that is all we get these days in the PEDs argument. Come back with some facts and it is worth discussing.

      • indaburg - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        What confounds me is the double standard. There are players that used PEDs in the HoF. Look at a list of players from the 1960s admitted into the HoF. Many used PEDs. Why the double standard?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        @ burgie – Chass and the old guard are having a public shaming reaction. As the old guard kept quiet and played ball through Sosa and McGwire, pressure was building, unseen, unnoticed. Then when the public vented their righteous rage on the writers for utterly failing to do their jobs (journalism) — the writers did what unethical people do. They attempted to transfer their richly deserved shame onto the players. And it goes on to this day.

    • xdj511 - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      I personally would love it if one of these “suspicion” guys like Bagwell, Biggio, Piazza, etc. would get elected, then walk up to the podium on induction day and say “Yes, I actually used steroids, I can admit it now that you suckers have elected me to the hall of fame, so FU!” *Drop mike, walk away*

      That would be my Sportcenter highlight.

    • cohnjusack - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      If it came out that he did, it still doesn’t justify baseless accusations. There is just as much “evidence” on Biggio as their is on Greg Maddux…ie, they played in the 1990s. Should we withhold voting for Maddux too?

      • xdj511 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        We can all play the baseless accusations game. I heard from this one guy who once said that he saw a huge zit on Greg Maddux’s back.

        Greg Maddux is on steriods! (What ensues in my mind is a scene much like the witch-burning scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. At least we’d get to find out if Greg Maddux can float)

    • yahmule - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      What if it came out he was a cyborg from the future or some highly versatile alien life form? Nothing in the rulebook about any of that. Or, might I add, in the voting guidelines for the Hall of Fame. That means they gotta let him in.

  17. wonkypenguin - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Spite is such a pretty color on Murray. Such a thoughtful guy. I remember when he broke the steroids scandal wide open with his in depth, HoF-like reporting… Oh. Wait.

  18. andreweac - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    He should vote to protect the integrity of the HOF. Not to spite others. His vote should clearly be taken away at this point. His vote has no integrity.

  19. pastabelly - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    He claims that he is not voting for more players because he has high standards. This is the guy who votes for Jack Morris. It just kills everything. Hig standards with that ERA.

    “Morris willed the Minnesota Twins to win Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, refusing to leave as long as the game was scoreless. The stats zealots are tired of hearing about that game, but it is symbolic of the fatal flaw in their way of viewing players. Numbers simply don’t tell the whole story.”

    The Morris vote means more to the “old guard” as a symbolic vote than it does on the merits. It’s not about 1991 Game 7 though. This is nothing more than a symbolic vote by the old guard and they are using a really bad model for this vote. The one good thing to come from this year’s vote is that we won’t to debate Jack Morris anymore.

    • Paul Zummo - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      If Lonnie Smith ran the bases properly, then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

  20. butchhuskey - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Welcome to the Murray Chass School of Journalism, where you will learn the following lessons:

    -It is okay to disparage bloggers for being poor journalists while simultaneously running your own blog with shoddy journalism.

    -Seeing acne on someone’s back is enough to determine whether the individual in question used steroids.

    -Murray Chass knows the exact date and time that acne stopped appearing on Mike Piazza’s back. Don’t question him on this.

    -Quotes from one known player plus a few quotes from anonymous players are enough proof of Piazza’s steroid use. Also, if an anonymous hobo tells Jeff Pearlman that Mike Piazza kills puppies, Mike Piazza is definitely a puppy killer.

    -Glenallen Hill had terrible back acne. Glenallen Hill was listed in the Mitchell Report. Known liar Jason Grimsley said Glenallen Hill had bacne. Sometimes steroid users have back acne. This must mean Glenallen Hill used steroids. This logic is flawless.

    -Player denials are useless. So just suspect that everybody with muscles did steroids, except for Frank Thomas. Frank Thomas has vehemently denied steroid use, so there is a possibility he may not have used.

    -Anything Jeff Pearlman writes is indisputable fact. Always use Jeff Pearlman as your primary source.

    -Bloggers are pathetic because they do comment on other people’s work instead of creating their own. When attacking bloggers for not creating original content, be sure to write an entire article about things said bloggers have written.

    -Hall of Fame voting is the perfect outlet for seeking petty revenge against people you claim are vastly inferior.

    Once you learn these main principles, you’ll have earned your degree from the Murray Chass School of Journalism! Remember, our motto is “Hurray for integrity!”

    • jtorrey13 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Hey, ease up on Murray. This is the work he does to get to the bottom of the important questions. This is real journalism. This is what we need to know as fans.

      • jtorrey13 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Just for fun, I decided to try to find other pitchers that had a losing record on a winning team.

        Sandy Koufax – 1960 – won 8, lost 13.
        Los Angeles Dodgers – 1960 – won 82, lost 72


        Walter Johnson – 1926 – 15-16
        Washington Senators – 1926 – 81-69


        It’s a fun game. But don’t try Christy Mathewson. He never had a losing season on a winning team. Him and Jack Morris are the only pitchers that I know of that belong in the hall of fame. (Pay no attention to 1993. There were steroid users in the game and the point is moot.) I’m sure we as bloggers and readers of blogs can help Murray Chass do the work that can help him find more of this interesting occurrence.

        Major h/t to FJM and their once great work at media checklists.

      • yahmule - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        Thank you for linking this. Hilarious. Really brought back memories of FJM.

  21. chip56 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Writers feuding with writers…

    I’m starting to miss a time before social media.

  22. nymets4ever - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    i hate when sportswriters try to make themselves the story and the players the sideshow.

    • chip56 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      It’s right up there with when umpires do it. Chass and Craig feuding is like watching Joe West or Bob Davidson call a game.

  23. eatitfanboy - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Well, there goes the first and last time I will ever read an entire Murray Chass piece. What a pompous ass. This man actually made a living writing about sports?

  24. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    /gauntlet thrown

    • Kevin S. - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      Shots. Fired.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Still too soon.

  25. anxovies - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    I sat beside Reggie Jefferson on a plane recently and he confided to me that Calcaterra is on steroids. “He’s a guy who did it, and everybody knows it,” said Jefferson. Reggie pointed to a recent appearance by Calcaterra on a TV sports show where it was obvious that the blogger had developed a muscle. “And the hair loss,” Reggie pointed out, “it’s a known fact that steroids cause hair loss, just look at Barry Bonds.”

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