As I noted a couple of weeks ago, I’m mostly out of the Hall of Fame vote criticizing business. However, just because I am no longer particularly interested in writing pedantic posts criticizing anyone’s particular votes doesn’t mean I won’t point out some ridiculousness once in a while. Over the weekend there were two particularly fun bits of ridiculousness in this regard.
First up was Thom Loverro of The Washington Times, who in the course of his Hall of Fame column made the argument that Hall of Fame voters who cast votes for guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — guys such as Ken Rosenthal of Fox and many top reporters and columnists — are akin to the Black Lives Matter movement. He goes on to mock them as the “No Justice/No Peace Wing of the Baseball Writers Association of America.” It’s pretty vile stuff. On Saturday, over at my personal blog, I wrote a lengthy piece about that. Not going after Loverro as such because who cares about him, but using it as the jumping off point for the argument that sports writers, as a rule, should criticize their colleagues more often as a means of raising the discourse in the overall conversation about sports.
Second up was our old friend Murray Chass. As I said in my “I won’t criticize ballots anymore” post, I make an exception for Chass because he’s positively wonderfully delicious when he wants to be. He didn’t disappoint in his latest blog post either. On the voting front he has one dude on his ballot: Ken Griffey Jr. Which, hey, his ballot, godspeed. It’s worth a read, however, because he goes after Dan Szymborski of ESPN — who he calls “a digital dandy” — with serious vigor. At the end of it he compares someone’s criticism of the Baseball Writers Association of America as an “ISIS polemic,” because that’s the first comparison any reasonable person thinks of when talking about baseball arguments.
Anyway, I will tip my hat to Chass. While he’s wrong and overheated on about 50 levels, he’s at least taking my “baseball writers should criticize one another more often” idea to heart. I’d rather see a bunch of yelling like this than a bunch of polite nodding and phony, surface level professional respect which has the effect of sanctioning horrible ideas because everyone’s afraid to argue with their colleagues. Say what you want about unhinged rants, but they inspire you to take a side. And I know Dan Szymborski. He’s a big boy. He can handle it. And frankly, I bet he’s pretty darn pleased with himself to get a rockin’ nickname like “The Digital Dandy.”
The Hall of Fame announcement is Wednesday evening at 6PM. Here’s hoping for some more silliness between now and then.