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.

Report: Marlins will retire Jose Fernandez’s No. 16

MIAMI , FL - SEPTEMBER 09:  Pitcher Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlin Park on September 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images
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The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.

Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.

Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.

Report: Majestic workers stayed up all night making No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 05:  Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during 2016 Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers  at Marlins Park on April 5, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.

We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.

FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :

Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.