Now, Woody is asking for help filling out his ballot. In doing so, he's making it quite clear that he needs help in a variety of areas.
"Gossage — During a visit to Yankee Stadium in the late 1970s, I wanted to talk to Goose but was told he was cruel and gruff to reporters. I sheepishly introduced myself and said I was from Colorado, his home state, and he talked pleasantly for 30 minutes. We've been good friends since. I would vote for him even if he wasn't deserving."Doesn't this violate some kind of rule? It should. I'm kind of amazed that someone, even a man who aimlessly yells on TV for a living, would write that they don't care if someone is deserving, they're voting for them because they're friends. How is this okay?
"Murphy — Got my vote, but he won't get in. He was two short of 400 home runs and hit only .265, but he won back-to-back MVP awards, made seven all-star teams and earned five Gold Gloves. He played 26 games for the Rockies in their first season, 1993, before retiring. I vote for Rockies. He was who a ballplayer should be. And he always remembers my name. I'm a sap.Notice that there is no ellipsis. This is the entirety of his reasoning. "They're borderline, but they played for a local minor league team, so I'm voting for them." End of discussion.
"Andre Dawson and Tim Raines — I'm voting for them. Both are borderline. But I was amazed by, and wrote columns about, Dawson and Raines when they played for the Denver Bears. Dawson passed through in 1976 on his way to the Montreal Expos, and Raines was the 1980 minor-league player of the year as the Bears' second baseman. (Raines did have a cocaine addiction problem but overcame it.)"
Article II, Section I of the BBWAA constitution (as described here), "spells out four objects as its reason for existing":
"Subsection D: To foster the most credible qualities of baseball writing and reporting."Credible is the first would that come to mind when reading this article, really. Back to Woody:
"Jim Rice — He has been shut out for 13 years, mainly because he primarily was a DH..."Little known fact (definitely not avaiable with six seconds of research on B-R)- Rice played 1543 career games in the outfield, and 530 as a DH. There was exactly one year in which he played over 100 games at DH. So I really don't think the fact that he "primarily was a DH" is keeping him out of the HoF.
"Don Mattingly — Another former player, now a coach, who I became friends with, so I'm prejudiced. I like voting for friends.."From the Posnanski interview with BBWAA President Bob Dutton again:
" Most of the criticism of this decision seems to argue that Rob and Keith know much more about baseball than many current members. That might be true."Just maybe.
The BBWAA tries to take itself all seriously, and makes entry into its little club very difficult (well, sometimes). Which is fine. And it's somewhat inevitable that their members aren't going to be perfect, and may even have some questionable voting tendencies. But don't write an article advertising just how little you care- that makes it really difficult for anyone else to take your organization seriously.
Hat tip: BBTF.