Columnists: Pro-analytics fans are like ISIS. Or maybe the Black Lives Matter movement.


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.

Cardinals beat Brewers, both clinch postseason berths

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS (AP) Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

“You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs.”

The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth after the Padres beat San Francisco 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis’ victory. The Giants finished with an identical record as the Brewers but lost out on a tiebreaker due to an inferior intradivision record.

“It’s fitting for 2020 and everything we went through,” Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. “It felt just as good as past years. This year’s a unique one. There’s so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don’t deal with in a normal year.”

Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that also starts Wednesday.

The Brewers haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston will be the first teams ever to qualify for the playoffs with a losing mark.

“It’s a celebration,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in the playoffs. That’s how you see it. There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs.”

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out three over four innings.

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0), Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes combined to pitch the final five innings. Reyes got his first save.

“We’d have been happy getting in as the eight seed,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We’d have been happy being the one seed, but people can say we got in if there was no expanded playoffs so that’s even another feather in this group’s cap.”

Brett Anderson (4-4) surrendered a triple to Bader and a walk to Tyler O'Neill to start the third inning before departing with a blister on his left index finger. Anderson opened the season on the injured list with a blister on the same finger and did not make his debut until Aug. 3.

Freddy Peralta replaced him a day after being activated from the paternity list, and O’Neill promptly stole second. Kolten Wong then hit a line drive off Peralta’s leg that Peralta threw into right field to score Bader and O’Neill.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong each added RBI singles to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0.

After Milwaukee scored in the top of the fifth, Bader hit his fifth home run of the season.

“That was a big counterpunch,” Shildt said of Bader. “Got them on their heels again.”


Yadier Molina grounded into a triple play in the eighth inning when he hit a one hop grounder to Jace Peterson at third base in the eighth inning. It was Milwaukee’s first triple play since Sept. 23, 2016, when Cincinnati’s Joey Votto lined out to first base. Molina was also the last Cardinals player to hit into a triple play when he grounded out to third base at Boston on Aug. 15, 2017.


Brewers: Counsell said it was too early to prognosticate Anderson’s status after departing with the blister.

Cardinals: St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced that RHP Dakota Hudson will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Monday. Hudson went 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts before leaving his start on Sept. 17 at Pittsburgh with right elbow discomfort after two innings.


Brewers: The Brewers head to Los Angeles and will likely be without two of their top starters in Anderson and Corbin Burnes, who sustained a left oblique injury on Thursday.

Cardinals: This will be the fourth postseason series between St. Louis and San Diego, who faced each other in 1996, 2005, and 2006 in the Division Series.