Friday, January 11, 2013

Scott Miller attempts to defend BBWAA, makes zero salient points, makes BBWAA look exactly as idiotic as it is

This whole HOF thing is just fucking infuriating.  I can't describe it any more creatively than that.  I've spent hours discussing it with various other internet loser nerds the past couple days, but this relatively short post will probably be the only one I write about the subject.  It's just... too... fucking... infuriating.


I'll tell you what's an outrage: 

Distraction?  I'll give you a distraction from my colleagues' idiocy that I wish you would focus on rather than focusing on them:

That 20 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America did not vote for Ted Williams in 1966 (out of 302 ballots). That 11 whack-jobs decided Babe Ruth was not worthy of their votes in 1936 (226 ballots). That, somehow, 36 writers bypassed Jackie Robinson in 1962 (160 ballots).

Can you believe baseball writers have been retarded jackasses for decades?  It's true!  Now let's just agree that because 5% of voters didn't cast ballots for Babe Ruth 75 years ago, what just happened during this election is totally acceptable.

That the first strong wave of the Steroid Era washed back out to sea Wednesday without anyone establishing a beachhead on the shores of Cooperstown is not an outrage.

If that were the only thing that happened, it would sort of be kind of acceptable.  Instead, guys like Time Raines and Mike Piazza and Edgar Martinez and Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio are not in the HOF yet, when they absolutely should be.

It is to be applauded on many fronts (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa). 

You know, if there's one thing baseball writers just don't do enough of, it's applauding themselves.  Good for Scott for taking some him time and giving himself the pat on the back he doesn't at all deserve.

It is to be constructively criticized on others (Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Tim Raines).

Jack Morris doesn't belong in the HOF unless he buys a ticket.  As for the other two guys, and plenty of others on the ballot, you are sadly fucking mistaken if you think the BBWAA deserves some "constructive criticism" for freezing them out.  They deserve a "swift ball-kicking."

But what it is not is a disaster, or catastrophe, or the coming of the apocalypse.

It certainly isn't, and of course it's just sports, blah blah blah, but it's awfully fucking disingenuous to tell readers "Hey don't get all worked up about these HOF omissions!" when a good chunk of the BBWAA spent the last several months getting plenty worked up about the candidates (and telling the public about how worked up they were).

Hall of Fame voting throughout history has been messy, imperfect and, often, contentious. But one thing the test of time has proven, unequivocally, is that the process works. 


Spoken like that awesome BCS Twitter feed that they introduced to try to squash momentum in favor of a playoff. "Hey just a reminder, under our system #1 and #2 always play each other!" "Hey, just a reminder, most players who deserve to be in the HOF eventually end up there!"  Clearly, in each case, there is no better way to do things.

Not only does it work, it works better in baseball than it does for any other Hall of Fame in any other sport.

Again, how about some distractions?  The football HOF is a total joke.  At least we're not them.  Now leave us be.

If Tuesday's voting was circumspect, far better that than rushing ahead recklessly. 

No.  Not far better, or better in any way.  You're holding out on a bunch of guys who have never been linked to steroids and who don't even have stats that suggest steroid use, so that you can posture and grandstand about what awesome responsibilities you have.  You can all go get fucked by a hippo.  Guess what happens next year?  Maddux, Glavine and Thomas join the ballot.  And then there will be like 12 people on there who absolutely deserve to get in, no argument, and another 5 who arguably should get in, when writers can only vote for 10 guys and the vast majority of them vote for fewer.  Had guys like Biggio and Raines been rightfully elected this year, it would be less of a problem.  Not hard to figure out.

As Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said during the MLB Network telecast, given the number of decorated and controversial players on this bloated ballot, “this was one of the most talked about classes in history.”

And somehow this justifies electing none of the extremely well qualified candidates.

Tuesday's shutout is a setback to the joy and pageantry of the Hall's induction weekend in July 


and, larger picture, it is a sad day for baseball. Ever since well-placed flashlights started revealing skeletons in the juicers' closets, there have been many sad days.

Oh my God.  Go fuck yourself.

But as the late Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson regularly reminded, the game is bigger than any one man. It flourished post-Ruth, flourished post-Stan Musial and Robinson and it will flourish post-juicers.


The last time the BBWAA failed to elect a player was in 1996. Yet from that class came six players who eventually were elected to the Hall of Fame.

And from this class should come, even for the mall hall people, at least seven players (Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Clemens, Bonds) who are absolute locks and six more (Walker, Martinez, Trammell, the rest of the roiders) who probably should be in.

Again, a process.

Again, a sentence fragment that tries to justify something that is totally unjustifiable by relying on the mind-numbingly idiotic assertion that "these things take time."

Biggio's 68.2 percent topped a vote requiring 75 percent for election, leaving him well-positioned for the next year or two. Two years ago, for example, Roberto Alomar did not gain entry in his first year on the ballot, falling just short at 73.7 percent (another outrage). Then he jumped to 90 percent of the vote in his second year on the ballot.

This isn't even the thrust of this rant, it's for another time, but why?  Why?  Why did that happen?  Did like 70 voters decide to stop being dipshits during those two elections?

Everyone focus up for this part, I'm about to say something that will sound hyperbolic but I swear is not intended as such.

Major League Baseball issued a statement following the shutout that notes election to Cooperstown is “our game's most extraordinary individual honor” and reads, in part, “achieving enshrinement in Cooperstown is difficult, as it should be.”

That was much more on the mark than players' union boss Michael Weiner's reaction, calling the election “unfortunate, if not sad. Those empowered to help the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum document the history of the game failed to recognize the contributions of several Hall of Fame worthy players.”

Wrong. What is unfortunate and sad is that the union, pre-Weiner, stonewalled every attempt at steroid testing for years. No small part of the reason we reached this point is because the union for far too long permitted and nourished an atmosphere in which its members who cheated flourished (both on the field and financially) as its members who stayed clean were put at a disadvantage.

OK, here we go.  "This is not hyperbole" disclaimer is in place.  This blog has existed for almost six years.  I have probably written something like 500 posts for it, and read a shitload of bad sportswriting in search of articles to post about.  

(/Larry B clears throat)  

This attempt by Miller to sweep MLB's tolerance, if not tacit approval of steroid use under the rug is probably the most dishonest thing I have ever seen in these 5+ years and 500 posts.  It would take time I do not have to go back and review all my old posts to see if any other articles I've read can match it, but I certainly can't come up with anything off the top of my head.  Pretending that it was the union and the union alone that prevented steroid testing from appearing sooner than it did is fuckheadery of the highest order.  Scott Miller is, in a few words, a tremendous asshole.  May he be fired immediately and never again heard from by baseball fans.  Chris W said this and I think it's a good way to end this post so I can go calm down: "Who harms the game more? Some guys using steroids in an environment who encouraged it? Or fringe non-players who turn the game into an adversarial me-fest so people pay attention to the sad little Chasses and Lupicas of the world?" Yup.


jacktotherack said...

You can all go get fucked by a hippo.

Yes. Great takedown Larry.

Chris W said...

I made a typo in that rant once and it's been excerpted two times with nary a typo corrected :'(

Alex said...

Raines and Biggio absolutely belong. Baseball writers can be such pricks for its own sake. I see no point in them denying these players.

They're leveraging these guys to make a point about Bonds and Clemens. Even that's bull shit since they failed to cover the steroids scandal properly in the first place. Too busy, I reckon, cheerleading and acting like sycophants with too much access to information.


And for the record, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a joke too. You don't even have to dominate to get in. Play 24 years score 500 goals and you're in. "Hey, he never led the league in scoring, averaged 21 goals a year, and never won a major trophy."

"But he has 500 goals!"

One Toof Jethro from Arkansas said...

According to CBS Eyeon Baseball blogger Matt Snyder, the HOF is independently operated and has been losing money for the past decade. How can MLB not own the HOF? If this is so how can Commish Bart Giamatti bar Pete Rose from something they don't own? Some of these baseball writers act like the HOF is right next to heaven but it loses money? I am now changing my long held opinion and going on record that I favor the inclusion of swine like Clemens and Bonds. Maybe these cheats can stimulate admissions.

In a totally unrelated matter, did anyone watch HOFer Peyton Manning stink up Mile High?

Biggus Rickus said...

Really, he stunk up the place? Internet commentary about QB play is amazingly hyperbolic and unfair.

Jethro Bodine said...

He lost at home as a substantial 9 point favorite even as his team benefited from two special teams touchdowns. The guy won his only Superbowl when he beat below average NFL journeyman Rex Grossman. He has the golden gift for underperforming in the playoffs. It is unfair that people don't recognize how great Manning is, sure, okay.

The remark was a small tweak for a blogger here who said he was a Denver fan, relax Dickus.

Larry B said...

Everyone play nice and shut the fuck up about Manning and the Broncos (both positive and negative comments) until I get over this, which is going to be a week at least. WOO HOCKEY IS STARTING.

Jack M said...

I just want to echo Alex's point about how the BBWAA loves to paint themselves as the judge and jury for the steroid era when they were the ones willfully turning a blind eye to it and cheering on McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, et all.

This image sums up the media during the steroids era:

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