Man-Handing-out-Money

Deadspin is trying to buy a Hall of Fame vote. It’s a fantastic idea.

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Viva chaos: Deadspin is trying to buy a Hall of Fame vote from someone.

After correctly observing how screwed up and ridiculous the spectacle of watching people moralize and over-think come Hall of Fame vote time is, Tim Marchman lays out his plan:

The sensible thing to do would be to just stop paying attention to this raging trash fire, but we don’t think that’s enough. We’re going to seize some small, symbolic bit of power and turn it over to the public. We’re going to buy a Hall of Fame vote.

If you’re a 1o-year member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, we want to give you cash in exchange for allowing Deadspin’s readers to fill out your ballot. We’re not entirely sure what the market value of a vote is, so we’d like you to contact us—at marchman@deadspin.com, or in the comments below—and name a price, so that we can start negotiations.

I think it’s a hoot. Sure, it’s corrupt, but it’s no more corrupting to the process than it is to have people who have never covered baseball — or who haven’t covered baseball since the 70s or whatever — voting on Hall of Fame candidates. It’s no more unseemly than the appalling game of character assassination that Hall of Fame voters have engaged in in recent years when it comes to guys who they suspect of PED use, but either can’t or won’t tell us why. Or can’t make a coherent case for why it matters.

But most of all it’s fun. And fun is one thing the actual, un-bought-and-paid-for Hall of Fame voters have taken out of the process in recent years. They’ve done so by talking down to baseball fans and claiming that what we thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated on the baseball field was, in reality, horrible. By acting as if their task in filling out a ballot is some awful dark night of the soul. About how how utterly serious it is and how they wish they didn’t have to make such hard choices. Well, don’t. Take $150 form Deadspin and let people who actually like sports vote on the thing.

Or write a column about how Deadspin’s offer is obscene and a disgrace to journalism. That will be just as fun, actually. Indeed, now that I think about it, I’d rather see that.

Report: MLB approves new rule allowing a dugout signal for an intentional walk

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 29:  MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred laughs during a ceremony naming the 2016 winners of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award before Game Four of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.

MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.

Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.

Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this:

Tony Clark responds to Rob Manfred’s claim that union had a “lack of cooperation”

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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Earlier, Craig covered Rob Manfred’s comments in which he accused the Major League Baseball Players’ Association of “a lack of cooperation” concerning some proposed rule changes. The union would need to agree to any such changes, which have included automatic intentional walks, limiting mound visits, pitch clocks, and swapping batting practice times for home and visiting teams.

Manfred went on to say that MLB will impose those rule changes unilaterally next year as allowed in the latest collective bargaining agreement.

Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, responded to Manfred’s comment. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

“Unless your definition of ‘cooperation’ is blanket approval, I don’t agree that we’ve failed to cooperate with the Commissioner’s office on these issues.”

“Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this off season we’ve been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened.”

“I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don’t continue, notwithstanding today’s comments about implementation. As I’ve said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open.”

“My understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2min limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of Game warning/fine adjustments.”

Clark’s response isn’t anything too shocking. Manfred’s accusation was pretty baseless, but it’s behavior to be expected of a commissioner who comes down on the side of the owners over the players almost always.