Murray Chass: my opinion counts and yours doesn't

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Louis XVI.jpgFormer New York Times baseball writer and current curmudgeonly ass-clown Murray Chass, responding via his blog to a reader who disagreed with his Hall of Fame ballot:

Does that make him right and me wrong? Of course not. Am I right?
Yes. Why? Because my opinion counts and his doesn’t. My ballot was one
of the 539 counted in the election. He did not have a vote. Therefore,
his opinion is worthless as far as the election is concerned.
That’s the real problem self-proclaimed experts have. They want to
be the ones voting, but they don’t have that privilege. It’s their own
fault. They chose the wrong profession. Accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers and salesmen don’t get to vote for the Hall of Fame. Baseball writers do.

That’s the kind of thing that caused monarchs to lose their head back in the day. Thankfully for Chass’ head no one gives diddly durn about how important he thinks he and the rest of his Hall of Fame voting friends are and we’ll all continue to voice our worthless opinions about who should and who shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.

Why? Because unlike Chass — who admitted that he neglected his ballot until a couple of hours before the New Year’s Eve deadline — we actually care about the Hall of Fame vote beyond what it means for our personal status.  It also helps that we, unlike Chass, have a semblance of a clue as to what helps baseball teams win games and would vote along those lines if we had the franchise.

There was a time when it was presumed that newspaper writers knew everything that was worth knowing about the game. That they had access to information and opinion we civilians didn’t and thus their opinions about such matters were more informed. That we mere accountants, lawyers, doctors, teachers and salesmen didn’t have standing to intelligently criticize the writers, let alone attempt to what they do.

Those days have been over for a long time. And Chass would know that if he one day decided to set aside his ridiculous arrogance, get his information from places other than tea leaves, ancient microfiche and dusty, decades-old copies of the Baseball Encyclopedia and reason rather than proclaim from the top of whatever pathetic mountain it is on which he sits.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.

Raisel Iglesias injured elbow and hips falling in the shower

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Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.

Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”

Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.

Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.