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You’ve come a long way, BBWAA

Jan 9, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

The Hall of Fame vote always occasions criticism of the BBWAA, and like most years, there is legitimate criticism to be made. But dudes, we have to remember how far the BBWAA has come in just the past five years or so.

Remember this one? It’s the voting results for the 2008 NL Rookie of the year award. Pay special attention to the fourth place finisher:

source:

Yep, Edinson Volquez. Who received three second place votes. Even though he was not actually a rookie. I repeat: NOT A ROOKIE IN 2008.  He pitched 20 games in the bigs across three seasons before then.

So, yes, it stinks that Craig Biggio didn’t get in and it stinks that Mike Mussina didn’t get good support and it stinks that people have submitted lame protest votes.  But at least, oh, I dunno, David Wright didn’t get three Hall of Fame votes.

  1. dluxxx - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Well, now. The real question is this. Do they write in their votes for rookie of the year, or is it a “Check the box” type of ballot like the HOF one?

    • dluxxx - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Because if it’s the former and not the latter, then I don’t know that this is really a ringing endorsement, or another reminder of how screwed up the BBWAA is. It’s kinda hard to screw up the HOF ballot when the names are given to them and they just vote for whomever.

    • apkyletexas - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      No – the real question is this – Do the BBWAA writers really just bow to any and all criticism, and pick the least objectionable players?

      I know that Craig and HBT would have gone nuts if the writers had voted for Schilling instead of Maddux.

      But ask yourself this – between Schilling and Maddux – which one came up huge, time and time again, in some of the biggest moments in baseball history? Which one routinely wilted under the bright lights of the playoffs?

      However, it doesn’t really matter. We don’t have a real Hall of Fame – we have a Hall of Least Objectionable Statistically Qualified Players (HLOSQP). The authors of many of the biggest moments in baseball history don’t exist in the HOF.

      Bernie Williams and his 22 post-season HR’s (2nd all-time), 80 post-season RBI (1st all-time), 29 post-season doubles (2nd all-time), 128 post-season hits (2nd all-time), and 83 post-season runs scored (2nd all-time) will never make it to the HOF. He’ll never even get the minimum 5% vote again – he lost his chance last year when he only got 3.3% of the vote.

      Instead, we’ll get to hear for the next 365 days about the candidacy of Craig Biggio, he of the 2 HR’s, 11 RBI, and 9 doubles in 40 post-season games. Not because he came up huge in the biggest moments – far from it. It will be because he is the Least Objectionable Statistically Qualified Player (LOSQP). Yay, baseball!

      Now – anyone want to guess why NFL ratings run circles around MLB ratings?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        But ask yourself this – between Schilling and Maddux – which one came up huge, time and time again, in some of the biggest moments in baseball history? Which one routinely wilted under the bright lights of the playoffs?

        WS:
        Maddux – 5 GS, 38.2 IP, 9 ER, 2.09 ERA; 18 K, 7 BB
        Schilling – 7 GS, 48 IP, 11 ER, 2.06 ERA, 43 K, 10 BB

        Now Schilling may have claims as the best post season pitcher ever, but Maddux was no pushover in the WS either. And Maddux blows Schilling out of the water in the regular season, which you need to get to the postseason.

        Bernie Williams and his 22 post-season HR’s (2nd all-time), 80 post-season RBI (1st all-time), 29 post-season doubles (2nd all-time), 128 post-season hits (2nd all-time), and 83 post-season runs scored (2nd all-time) will never make it to the HOF. He’ll never even get the minimum 5% vote again – he lost his chance last year when he only got 3.3% of the vote.

        Bernie Williams also probably has the second most PA in post season history. It kind of helps that the Yanks played in the postseason twelve of his sixteen years in the bigs. Do we really think Gehrig and Ruth wouldn’t have held all of those records if they had three rounds each year?

        Instead, we’ll get to hear for the next 365 days about the candidacy of Craig Biggio, he of the 2 HR’s, 11 RBI, and 9 doubles in 40 post-season games. Not because he came up huge in the biggest moments – far from it. It will be because he is the Least Objectionable Statistically Qualified Player (LOSQP). Yay, baseball!

        Honestly, why are you even here then if you don’t enjoy it?

        Now – anyone want to guess why NFL ratings run circles around MLB ratings?

        And the WC blows everything out of the water. What’s your point here?

      • 78mu - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        I guess Ernie Banks shouldn’t be in the HoF. He was such a bum that he never got on base once in a WS game.

        Wake me up when they have a baseball post-season HoF and Maddux gets in and Schilling doesn’t

      • zzalapski - Jan 9, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        Congrats, apkyle, you just gave the blog comment equivalent of a TOOTBLAN.

      • apkyletexas - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        @church – yes, and one of those pitchers had a 16-19 postseason record and repeatedly pitched his team out of the playoffs. One of those pitchers had a 14-5 postseason record and made the most of his limited postseason opportunities. In 9 different seasons, Maddux’s team lost most (or all) of his postseason starts.

        One of those pitcher’s postseason ERA’s was more than a full point less than the other’s. I’ll let you look it up and do the math and see who is who.

        And what is “WC”?

      • dluxxx - Jan 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Nice rant. So, you’re a Yankees fan? Big effin whoop. Bernie Williams is a hall of famer. I mean, really? You’re trying to make him a HOFer because of his postseason achievements? So I’m guessing you’re of the “Jack Morris belongs” due to his one awesome game 7 in the WS? Get over it. Bernie Williams was a good player who was lucky enough to be on the Yankees during their dominant stretch where they were in the post season every effin year. He’s the ultimate “compiler” if I’ve ever seen one. You want to compare Williams and Biggio? Really? Biggio played in 6 postseason series in his career. Williams played in 25. 25. You’re an idiot. Comparing a CF to a 2b and basing your argument on the postseason only? Come back when you can put a cogent argument together…

  2. chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Yes, and there were also the voters who gave Angel Berroa the ROY award over Hideki Matsui because even though MLB rules considered Matsui a rookie, some writers didn’t. And there are the writers who won’t vote for a pitcher for MVP even though they are eligible.

    When you have a group, any group, that’s as large and diverse as the BBWAA is you’re going to have attention whoring, knuckleheads – some worse than others. By and large though I think most baseball writers are smart, thoughtful individuals who actually do take their jobs (and their votes) seriously. Painting the entire Association with one wide brush because of the inexplicable jackassery of a few is just silly. It would be like saying that all bloggers are shut-ins living in their mom’s basements just because that’s what Gleeman does.

    What makes it worse, is that I kind of think you (Craig) actually know how silly it is and are just doing it because it’s a quick and easy way to poke at a group for cheap laughs. I would like to think you’re better than that – but maybe you’re not.

    • larrymahnken - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      To be fair, Berroa had a 2.5 WAR to Matsui’s 2.2 WAR in 2003 (BB-Ref)

      • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        Yes, but WAR had nothing to do with the fact that there were some voters who didn’t vote for Matsui because he had played professionally in Japan.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      And there are the writers who won’t vote for a pitcher for MVP even though they are eligible.

      I think it was a NYDN writer who refused to vote for Pedro for MVP b/c “pitchers have their own award”.

      • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        I’m sure there is more than one – but painting all writers with one brush because of the actions of a loudmouth few is weak.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        George King, NY Post. I believe he voted for a Yankee the year before.

        Someone else did it, too. Current BBWAA President La Velle Neal. Because voting rules are sacrosanct, except when they aren’t.

      • Chipmaker - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        That was one of the two — don’t recall his name, but he had voted for a Yankees pitcher the year before.

        The other is the current sitting president of the BBWAA.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        Per wikipedia:

        The MVP result was controversial, as Martínez received the most first-place votes of any player (8 of 28), but was totally omitted from the ballot of two sportswriters, New York’s George King and Minneapolis’ LaVelle Neal. The two writers argued that pitchers were not sufficiently all-around players to be considered. (However, George King had given MVP votes to two pitchers just the season before: Rick Helling and David Wells; King was the only writer to cast a vote for Helling, who had gone 20–7 with a 4.41 ERA and 164 strikeouts.)

  3. jarathen - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    I like that Soto can forever say that he beat Joey Votto in an awards race.

    • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      I was going to mock Ben Grieve for beating out whomever he beat out – but with the exception of Magglio Ordonez who finished tied for 5th with Sidney Ponson, and El Duque who may have been 55 at the time, the 1998 ROY class was a bit of a dud.

  4. penale52 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Not as crazy as Lefty Grove getting 2.2% of the HOF vote in 1960, after already being elected in 1947.

    • billybawl - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Maybe confused with Lefty Gomez? Interesting factoid, thanks!

    • cohnjusack - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      In all fairness, Lefty Grove probably deserved to be elected to the Hall of Fame twice.

  5. chacochicken - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Maybe Steve Nebraska can get a few write in votes next year.

  6. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    The 3 guys who voted for Vloquez knew who was not a rookie, but felt they had no choice but to put him on anyway. They were threatened with Bridge Closures in there town if they failed to do so.

    Too soon?

  7. proudlycanadian - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    As there is a maximum name requirement of 10, I would like to see a minimum name (such as 5) requirement on the next HOF ballot. That way, ballots with 0 or 1 names would not count.

    • rje49 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      That would be dangerous Julio Lugo might get elected.
      If a voter hasn’t voted for 5 deserving candidates, he must check more names. So he votes for a guy who he figures doesn’t have a chance, but too many others think the same thing and pick the same name….

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        The number 5 was chosen as an example. It could just as easily be 3. I want away to exclude idiots who send in blank ballots or only 1 name.

  8. rje49 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Besides BBWAA members, who gets to vote? Elected Hall of Fame members? I’d like to see their collective vote!

  9. El Bravo - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:54 PM

    I’m supposed to cut the BBWAA some slack for being merely idiotic as opposed to toally f@cking assclown idiotic? No thanks.

  10. gosport474 - Jan 9, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    After reading this, I just have to say, as a Reds fan, thank God that Volquez doesn’t play for Cincinnati anymore.

  11. jeffbbf - Jan 10, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Kinda like Rafael Palmiero winning the Gold Glove in 1999 after playing a total of 28 games at 1b that year. So, sometimes even the players and managers aren’t paying attention.

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