ArmchairGM Wiki

My priorities:

1. Force all voters in baseball awards to make public their ballots & reasoning.

2. Publicize the sham of the entire procedure.

3. Publicize the bias of all so-called baseball writers & reporters.

4. Eliminate or modify the term "Career Stats." This term is a misnomer, as it does not include a player's post season performance.

5. Educate all disseminators of baseball information as to the facts.

6. Get anyone to care about what's going on in the business of baseball.

May 20, 2006

Relating to my priorities #1,2,3,and 6 above, I've realized yet another so-called baseball writer completely under the spell of Selig: Tracy Ringolsby. I can no longer read his material, as it's nothing but gushing idolatry for Selig. Ringolsby is a so-called Hall of Fame writer; why is he beholden to Selig? As one person suggested, maybe he's hoping Selig will appoint him to be the next official MLB historian. There's a lot of money in these titles, of course. Speaking of money, what's being done with the $650 million XM radio is paying MLB for rights to air the games for 11 years (a deal made without the permission of teams or their sponsors)? If Selig has sold you on the fact that no 1 team should have a lot of money, why is it then OK for Selig to have all the money? Personally, I'm not going to go to any more baseball games.

June 20, 2006

I'm starting the Baseball Writers Hall of Shame--it's for all of them who praise Allan 'Bud' Selig.

1. Tracy Ringolsby 2. Mike Lopresti

July 2, 2006. Now is the time to expose the fact that the BBWAA is no longer capable of voting on baseball awards. We must stop them now, before the next round of awards. There's plenty of evidence to support this. Big question--their so-called oversight at the HOF doesn't see any problem. Why would this be?

July 7, 2006. Mariano Rivera named by Ozzie Guillen to be closer for All Star Game. The AP story quotes Guillen saying Mariano is a Hall of Famer. I read many headlines about Guillen's starter, but none about his naming his closer. Even though Mariano has been an all-star many times & was brought in to close last year's All Star game by Terry Francona, this wasn't something announced ahead of time. In fact, Francona probably wouldn't have needed to use Rivera, but the other AL later inning relievers had started to blow the game. Anyhow, Ozzie Guillen says Mo is a Hall of Famer. If voting is taken away from the BBWAA, maybe this will become reality.

July 17, 2006. Memo to Karl Ravetch & the rest of ESPN, Sheldon Ocker, Corey Brock, Fox Sports, Tracy Ringolsby & others in on the scheme

None of you play the game of baseball, but all of you have personal or political views causing you to try to keep Mariano Rivera from getting the recognition he deserves. It's your mission in life. If the most successful managers & hitters in the AL say Mariano is the best, but you DO NOT say that, who is obviously wrong by a mile? YOU guys are wrong.

   * Today from Ozzie Guillen: "On the field and off the field, Hall of Fame," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Young people should look up to him. He's the perfect player."
   * Today from Jim Thome: "For me, and I've said it, he has the single best pitch ever in the game," Chicago's Jim Thome said. (You guys have heard of him?)
   * May 6, 2006, Michael Young from the Ft. Worth Star Telegram: "Mo's the best closer ever by far."
I've documented other such superlatives about Rivera, from people like J.P. Ricciardi, BJ Ryan, and others--people for whom every move from Mariano can make a difference in their lives. Unlike you guys who clearly have jobs that allow you to do and say whatever you want. Oh yes, also from the AP article today...
   * "The closer by which all closers will soon be judged, Rivera waved to a few fans and disappeared into the dugout, another victory safely secured for the New York Yankees."

I'm sorry if you can't get past the team he happens to work for, or if you're pals with guys who are just jealous, small and unsportsmanlike. But none of you should have jobs, in my opinion.

July 28, 2006

Klapisch sinking fast--his July 25 column at shows him fighting to please the baseball mafia

Going for the cash & prizes of the baseball media mafia including ESPN, he tried to fill up space by creating a big war here where none exists. He starts out being accurate about the Yankees, but later thinks better of it, reverting to standard hate form.

     "The Yankees? Like the finished product on "Extreme Makeover," you can hardly recognize them. This former team-without-a-plan now refuses to trade Philip Hughes, the Double-A star who some scouts liken to a future John Smoltz. In fact, the Yankees won't even consider promoting the 20-year-old right-hander to Triple-A. Instead, Cashman is leaning on a group of Lilliputians (Nick Green, Aaron Guiel and Melky Cabrera) as the bridge to Hideki Matsui, Gary Sheffield and Robinson Cano, all of whom are on the disabled list."

So, he admits the obvious, that the Yankees are different from that around which baiters could dupe the uninformed into hate and envy. But, he later panics, remembering his meal ticket is getting people to hate anything involving the Yankees:

   * "...the Mets, in Minaya's words, "are doing what the Yankees did in the mid-'90s, trying to start something and keep it going."
     That means creating a blend of veterans and younger players who, so far, have crushed the National League in a down year. Cashman praises the Mets for seizing the opportunity, saying, "They're definitely going for it all this year."

Klapisch sees a phony hook--Cashman simply says the Mets are doing what they're supposed to do, but Bob turns it into a negative accusation, causing Omar Minaya to demur...

     "Not exactly, says Minaya.
     "If that were the case, I would've traded [Lastings] Milledge for [Barry] Zito by now," Minaya says. Contrary to a popular rumor, the Mets have no plans to deal Milledge or Aaron Heilman for Zito or Abreu or anyone else."

So, far, we've learned nothing. Then he says:

   * "But Minaya speaks for the rest of the baseball community when he says, "If this was a year or so ago, the Yankees would've traded one or two of their prospects for a guy who's about to become a free agent.
     "The Yankees are doing things they've never done. They're going with their kids, and I praise Brian for that.""

So, we're hearing further substantiation that the Yankees have changed. Then he comes up with this non-sequiter:

   * "The diplomatic thaw between the Mets and Yankees won't mean much this winter when they go head-to-head in bidding for Zito as a free agent."

Klapisch is telling us 4 things: 1). His thesis of trying to say there's a new big, contentious competition between the 2 is down the drain. 2). That he, Klapisch, knows after just telling us the Yankees have completely changed their philosophy of going after over-priced stars who've peaked or are about to, that he was really lying. As a member of the baseball mafia, he has to get back to getting you to hate the Yankees. 3). That he, Klapisch, knows the Mets will go after what will be an over-priced pitcher. 4). That either team will get into a bidding war with a new Scott Boras client--he wants you to forget the Yankees turned down an 11th hour offer from Boras for his client Carlos Beltran AT A REDUCED PRICE. Contradicting himself again, he says in referring to the failed 1 year experiment with Octavio Dotel:

   * "The Yankees, as always, were less concerned about the money than the short-term boost to their bullpen, although Dotel suffered his third setback during a rehab start in Double-A Trenton Wednesday, complaining of pain in his triceps."

Klapisch feels the pressure from ESPN & MLB to bash the Yankees about money, forgetting he just told us they "extremely" changed their ways in that regard. By the way, Bob, the Yankee fan paid over $100 million in luxury tax and revenue sharing this year--where exactly did that go? How many Yankee fans can no longer afford to take their family to a game? He concludes this mess by telling us this whole article was a joke, a waste of time, because Zito likes California and will probably prefer the Dodgers.

   * "...although neither Cashman nor Minaya will be able to match the Dodgers' hometown appeal to Zito. Either way, it'll make an interesting arm-wrestle between the two GMs."

Either what way? Where have you proven Zito and any of his baggage are being considered by either team, & if Zito likes the Dodgers, where's the conflict? Klapisch is proving again to be a duplicitous waste of time.

August 8, 2006

Mr. Dave Sheinin must live through a premature coronation

The opening paragraph to his July 28 Washington Post story: OAKLAND, Calif. --" A beautiful gift fell from the sky this spring and landed at the feet of the Boston Red Sox. It was so radiant, they didn't know what to do with it at first. So precious, they have come to treat it with exceptional care. So powerful, the mind races at what the future could hold. For now, however, it is simply a gift that should be shared with and enjoyed by the world. All behold, Jonathan Papelbon."

   * So, after 4 months of regular season experience, this is what you get. He includes a photo of the pitcher grimmacing and punching his fist high in the air in victory. Such a visual is often used in other media like ESPN. Then, Sheinin says there 

"could be a huge haul of hardware this season. Papelbon is a leading contender for rookie of the year.

But a case can also be made for Papelbon as a contender for the MVP and/or Cy Young Award. Such consideration is not unprecedented. In 1989, Baltimore's Gregg Olsen won rookie of the year, finished sixth in the voting for the Cy Young and 12th for MVP. And in 1981, Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the rookie and Cy Young awards in the NL and finished fifth in the voting for MVP."

Mr. Dave Sheinin must live through a premature coronation

The opening paragraph to his July 28 Washington Post story: OAKLAND, Calif. --" A beautiful gift fell from the sky this spring and landed at the feet of the Boston Red Sox. It was so radiant, they didn't know what to do with it at first. So precious, they have come to treat it with exceptional care. So powerful, the mind races at what the future could hold. For now, however, it is simply a gift that should be shared with and enjoyed by the world. All behold, Jonathan Papelbon."

   * So, after 4 months of regular season experience, this is what you get. He includes a photo of the pitcher grimmacing and punching his fist high in the air in victory. Such a visual is often used in other media like ESPN. Then, Sheinin says there 

"could be a huge haul of hardware this season. Papelbon is a leading contender for rookie of the year.

But a case can also be made for Papelbon as a contender for the MVP and/or Cy Young Award. Such consideration is not unprecedented. In 1989, Baltimore's Gregg Olsen won rookie of the year, finished sixth in the voting for the Cy Young and 12th for MVP. And in 1981, Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the rookie and Cy Young awards in the NL and finished fifth in the voting for MVP."

   * So Sheinin is giving him 3 post season awards already from the BBWAA. Annoints Papelbon as an ace, totally reliable relief pitcher, hands down, probably in history.

But 9 days later, Sheinin must've changed his mind. On August 6 he wrote a whole column about how there are no consistent relief pitchers, they don't exist, you can't ever count on them, & gives quotes from a few managers in the game. This column came out after Papelbon blew the save at Tampa Bay, the team eventually losing the game. Sheinin makes no reference to his former savior St. Papelbon, the "precious" and "beautiful gift." He says, "Look around the leagues, and it's difficult to find a team that is fully satisfied with its bullpen.

So why is it so hard to build a great bullpen?

The simple answer is because relievers, more than any other specific type of player, are alarmingly inconsistent from year to year."

   * Of course, Dave still hasn't said word one about St. Papelbon the Divine or the Red Sox. But he soon reveals they're on his mind.

To prop up his thesis-- he quotes, "You can have the best scouts in the room and all the money in the world, but with bullpen guys, you don't know what you're getting from year to year," said Atlanta Braves assistant GM Frank Wren."

   * Sheinin continues to avoid addressing his own recent reporting by talking about last year.

"Indeed, a glance at a list of the top 25 relievers in the majors last season, based on opponents' batting average (a better gauge of a reliever's effectiveness than ERA), shows how fleeting bullpen success can be. Only four pitchers from that list are in the top 25 again this season (through Thursday's games)."

   * Now Dave sticks the knife in:

"For proof of how impossible it is to build a great bullpen, look no further than the New York Yankees. At their best, during the late 1990s dynasty, they had the formula nailed -- first with Mariano Rivera setting up for John Wetteland, and later with Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson setting up for Rivera."

   * First, Mariano only set-up for Wetteland for 1 year, 1996, not for "the late 1990's dynasty." In fact, in Rivera's first post season appearance in 1995, HE relieved Wetteland for 3 scoreless extra innings and got the Win--but Dave I guess doesn't know that. Dave, if you looked at the big picture, the 11 years of MVP dominance of Mariano Rivera has caused some of the nightmare of scrambling and paying for relief pitching. He's been the main reason the Yankees have won the pennant for 10 consecutive years, & that's been affirmed by a number of managers and top hitters in the game. But that sort of interferes with the point you're trying to make. (Maybe you'd refer to it as "ho-hum dominance," as one informed but honest Red Sox blog described it).

It's been said often the Yankees encouraged Rivera to be a ground ball pitcher, in part to extend his career. So far, he's the only late inning relief pitcher in history to have pitched in 11 regular seasons and 11 post seasons consecutively, with a negligible amount of time out for health problems. If you're really concerned about this subject, Dave, you might want to look into why more teams don't do that with their bullpen pitchers. I guess you don't consider Mariano's 909.3 IP in late inning relief to be approaching longevity or consistency. ( Not including his innings as a starter, of course, in 1995, just 798.1 innings 1996-2006 YTD in regular season and 111.2 IP in post season= 909.3) And not including his IP in All Star games. (End of this entry).

Dave's experience annointing K-rod was similar--2003

From The Sporting News, June 9, 2003 by Dave Sheinin

"We fell hard for Francisco Rodriguez last October, We exalted him and exulted in the "legendary feats" of the Angels' "rising star." We labeled him a "brilliant" righthander and a "babyfaced slayer of a reliever." We marveled at his "preternatural mastery of his art" and his "breathtaking display of power and precision." We compared him to Mariano Rivera and all but handed him the American League Rookie of the Year award for this season.

And those were just from my stories.

(If you think that's bad, you should've seen the way I gushed about the Rally Monkey. I think I annointed him "the Next King Kong.")

So what has happened to our Frankie, our K-Rod, the one who, at age 20, became the youngest pitcher ever to win a postseason game; the one who struck out 28 batters, a record for relievers, in 18 2/3 postseason innings?

As he enters the third month of his official rookie season, he has an ERA hovering around 5.00, and he was passed over for the closer's job when Troy Percival was injured. It is worth asking: Did we (which is to say, I) go too far?

October truly was amazing. And by the miracle of network television, the image of Rodriguez mowing down Yankees, Twins and Giants hitters was beamed into some 58 million homes during the Angels' World Series title run, making him, for one glorious month, the darling of the baseball world.

   * Dave acknowledged K-rod's initial success was in part that he hadn't been seen by major league hitters before. In praising Papelbon, he probably should remember this. 

Unfortunately for K-Rod, some 400 of those households belonged to major league hitters. Instead of thinking of how to out-adjective each other when describing him, those hitters were contemplating how to beat him.

   * But, Dave remained hopeful for K-rod...

So we will wait with our adjectives and metaphors for K-Rod to come around again, for the slider to get its tight spin back, for his fragmented arm slots to melt into one, for the ugly swings and the sideways glances from vanquished hitters to return.

Come on, Frankie. Don't make us (me) look bad."

   * Dave sounds very human. I don't know his own situation, but the average person will have a great shot at getting assignments from ESPN, MLB, or FOX if they hype a new closer. They'll have no shot at all if they tell the truth about Mariano Rivera. Check out the management & culture of ESPN--you'll see why. 

(end of this article) By Susan Mullen 8/9/06

Following is a copy of a letter I recently sent a newpaper's sports editor, outlining why his employees should not be allowed to vote on baseball awards.

September 14, 2006

I write you on the urgent matter of newspaper employees voting on high stakes baseball awards, the Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the year and Hall of Fame Award. As you know, with millions of dollars at stake, many newspapers have already stopped their writers from voting, citing ethics concerns. I’m asking that you contribute to the healthier future of baseball by joining with them.

The main reasons: the BBWAA operates in secret--there’s no way to tell if voters are qualified; the few ‘rules’ they have are openly violated by their voters, examples of which I’ll list. You may have heard Randy Harvey’s clear position on this. From the transcript of his interview on NPR’s “On the Media,” November 18, 2005:

RANDY HARVEY: “I’m a little insulted that editors around the country allow their sports writers to do this, because I don’t think any editor in any self-respecting newspaper would allow the people who cover the courts to vote on who should be on the Supreme Court.

Brooke Gladstone: So, Randy, if not sports journalists, then who do you think should be determining things like the MVP Awards and the Hall of Fame inductees?

RANDY HARVEY: Well. I think it should come from baseball. The Academy Awards is a good example. The movie industry decides on the movie awards. Well, the baseball industry should decide. The Hall of Fame, I think, should be voted on by living members of the Hall of Fame. People who are in the Hall of Fame should decide who they want to let into their club. I think for Most Valuable Player, then maybe it should be managers.

Brooke Gladstone: Well, that’ll be an objective group.

RANDY HARVEY: I don’t know why they wouldn’t be objective. The players have bonuses written in their contracts for making the All Star teams, and I think they do a pretty good job of selecting the All Star team. The football coaches vote on the CNN/USA Today Football poll, and you could make the same claim of them, that they’re not going to be very objective or they’re going to have agendas. But it’s amazing how much their poll ends up looking like the AP poll or now the new poll, the Harris Poll. I think we’re quite good at what we do, at reporting and analyzing baseball games, but I’m not sure we’re any better at evaluating talent than the players themselves or the owners and general managers. I wouldn’t want baseball players voting on the Pulitzer Prize winners, so I’m not sure why we should be voting on baseball awards.” (End of interview) Mr. Harvey, now Sports Editor of the Los Angeles Times, was at the time of the interview Assistant Managing Editor of Sports for the Baltimore Sun.

Why are awards still decided in secrecy at this late date? 3 reasons: It takes a bit of time to change things, and most people are busy. But Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune observes:

“Enlisting journalists to vote on awards is, foremost, a means of generating publicity. Much as it might appear to flatter your intelligence, the actual goal is to appropriate your ink. In return for recurring ego gratification, reliable subject matter and recognized influence, media types provide priceless amounts of free advertising.” (From his 12/16/05 column)

The BBWAA’s first job is to protect the writers’ jobs (per Scott Miller). Though voting on baseball awards shouldn’t affect their job, it’s a source of power, openly and strangely coveted. And, of course, there’s a lot of potential money for writers whether in the near or long term in book deals and other endeavors including directorships of the Hall of Fame. It’s a fraternity in power with long standing personal ties to corporate officials at MLB and the Hall of Fame, both highly private groups. Jobs and glory pass among the intertwined therein.

Regarding my earlier reference to the group’s lax procedures:

  • In 2005, the NL MVP had no Atlanta voters--the 2 votes were farmed out to other markets (one to an employee). The Atlanta Journal Constitution prohibits its writers from voting on this award.

One of the top 2 contenders for the award happened to be with the Atlanta Braves. The BBWAA swears by its saintly objectivity, yet assigns voters based on perceived geographic perceptions--pretty much saying they acknowledge geographical bias. It became known the employee from Philadelphia did not vote for the Atlanta player.

Jeff Schultz, AJC beat writer for the Braves, said he would’ve voted for Andruw Jones. (Said on XM MLB Channel 175 on November 15, 2005). AJC sports editor Ronnie Ramos said this was an example of why his writers can’t vote--because they become the news.

  • One of BBWAA’s longtime members, Scott Miller, said on November 10, 2005 on XM MLB Channel 175:

“Chris Carpenter deserved the NL Cy Young award in part as recognition for lifetime achievement.”

The rules clearly state the award is to be given for only 1 year’s performance. Here is devoted BBWAA member and previous office holder casually saying he advocates breaking the rules, and obviously fears no consequence.

Miller also says, the BBWAA’s “first job is to protect newspaper writers.” Why is such a group involved in high stakes baseball awards? Awards like the AL Cy Young or MVP are easier to manipulate--there are only 28 voters, so every position means a lot.

  • Then you have open disrespect and dishonesty in BBWAA command, Jack O’Connell, as his own words describe. In discussing his 1995 vote for AL MVP, he says,

“I’d like to think character didn’t make a difference in my vote, but it could have. Subconsciously, it might have.” from the Boston Globe, November 17, 1995.

The guidelines for the vote include, “general character, disposition, loyalty, and effort.” O’Connell freely states he hopes he didn’t follow the rule, BUT he might’ve, subconsciously. (The voters want you to know they have special minds).

The sight of award hopefuls waiting by the phone in hushed anticipation with family members for a call that may never come springs to mind. Or the lined face of a veteran who bursts into sobs if the phone does ring. Do they deserve the capriciousness expressed by Jack O’Connell (and others I’ve heard)?

  • Another very guarded voter is Ken Rosenthal. He says the system is just fine, but offers nothing to substantiate his strong feeling. In the January 27, 2006 Sporting News, he says,

“Evidence is not required to support a conclusion. Voters go on facts; they go on instincts.” Contradiction and arrogance. He says they can say whatever they want without proof; but don’t worry, they go on facts AND instincts. This is a jumble of meaningless words.

Do players deserve this?

  • On January 13, 2006, discussing on XM why ballots are kept secret, Rosenthal said it’s really the HOF that doesn’t want ballots made public, that HOF maintains “a secret society.” But, since writer/voters can become HOF directors, there’s no separation.
  • On January 13, 2006 on XM, Tim Kurkjian said awards voting was the voters’ “reward” for doing their job. Really? He also said,

“ writers were stomping their feet” at the last BBWAA meeting, begging to be allowed to vote. Kurkjian said “the regular writers” felt writers were “too close to the teams.” Interesting that actually has10 writers eligible to vote for the HOF (as honorary members of BBWAA), and the 10 published their ballots on on 1/7/06.

  • On January 10, 2006 Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe said he manipulated his HOF vote in hopes of reducing someone else’s

chances (others say they’ve done the same). He continued his comments on XM saying, "THE MANIPULATION & JEALOUS GUARDING OF POWER BY TODAY's BBWAA IS CRIMINAL.”

Ryan also said he was “surprised more New York area voters didn’t vote for Goose Gossage.” This shows 2 things--that some voters assume others have a geographical bias, (but in this case disproves the belief New York area voters do so.) However, ignored in all this is a fact that didn’t exist when this group started giving out awards: today many writers are affiliated and financially connected with ESPN or Fox, and their editorial opinions may be adjusted to facilitate success within those large networks. This is just a reality--the writer may see newspaper readership losing ground and seeks to secure his future. Also, writers and potential award recipients change geographic locations throughout their career. Scattered throughout the country are perhaps enough voters with a bias against 1 market or team and hence its player to influence the outcome of the AL awards which have only 28 voters.

On November 9, 2005, 2 voters for the AL Cy Young awards allowed their reasoning to be published in the NY Times in a Tyler Kepner article. Wondering why Mariano Rivera didn’t receive more recognition, Kepner states, Rivera's "dominance seems to have had a numbing effect on voters." He cites the reasoning of one of the voters who left him off the ballot entirely, Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon-Journal: “SHELDON OCKER: "THAT'S PROBABLY ANOTHER THING THAT HURTS HIM: HE'S HAD SO MANY GOOD SEASONS, THAT, WELL, IT'S JUST ANOTHER GOOD SEASON FOR RIVERA. FOR HIM TO GET ANYBODY'S ATTENTION OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK NOW, HE'D PROBABLY HAVE TO SAVE 65 GAMES." Tom Verducci later called the remarks “embarrassing” on a WFAN radio interview, but there were no further consequences I could ascertain. The voter openly states he didn’t vote for someone because he’s good all the time (even though he’s never won a BBWAA award).

  • There are situations where newspapers hold ownership in teams, such as in Chicago and Boston. To the best of my knowledge, the

papers’ reporters also vote on the teams’ players. The papers’ reporters may also be involved in, among other things, book deals with player(s). There’s a book now being written about a popular active player by a voter/reporter from the local city paper, who’s made it clear for some time he thinks his player/subject should win a prestigious award. He may be correct, but he also stands to gain financially if the player wins the award.

In explaining his reasons for quitting baseball awards voting, Tim Sullivan wrote in his 12/16/05 column:

“I shouldn't be casting ballots that can trigger contractual bonuses or endorsement opportunities for athletes I might have occasion to interview.“In general, it is inappropriate for reporters to vote on awards and rankings; doing so could reasonably be seen as compromising their objectivity," the Los Angeles Times declared in ethics guidelines published July 13. "For critics, whose job is to express opinions on the merits of creative works, awards voting is less troublesome.

"Nevertheless, any staff member invited to vote for an award must first receive the permission of the managing editor. No staff member who votes for an award – whether in sports, the arts or any other area – may be part of the paper's coverage of that award." (Sullivan continues)

“Faced with an eroding electorate, the Baseball Writers' Association of America formed a committee during the recent winter meetings in Dallas to explore awards voting alternatives. To some baseball writers, this heralds a looming crisis. To me, it represents an inevitable reckoning. To Peter Schmuck, president of the writers association, it is a curious irony. Because Schmuck works for the Baltimore Sun, he is unable to vote.”

Mr. Sullivan states the obvious. There’s no defense for continuing the current BBWAA voting system.

On August 15, 2005, Rick Swanson of Baseball Almanac asks, “Since there are 825 members in this exclusive club today, why did only 516 cast ballots in the last Hall of Fame election (2005)?” He wonders if the 309 who failed to vote should forfeit their voting privilege. (Mr. Swanson wrote this in his online column, “Around the Horn”). The point is, over one third of the self-appointed electorate apparently skipped out on the procedure. In published reports, the BBWAA says 520 ballots were cast in the 2006 HOF, an increase of 4 ballots. I’ve spent much time searching, but can’t find out how many members the group now has.

Sports television now openly campaigns for their choices for awards. Why should newspapers pretend they make the decisions?

Mr. Adee, I’ve no way of knowing your own position on this matter, but thought it might be helpful to gather these facts on paper for your consideration or that of your colleagues. And to address the issue before the next round of awards, not after. The BBWAA’s procedures are an insult to newspaper reporters, other media outlets, fans and most of all the eligible players. I hope your newspaper will consider abstaining from participation. Thank-you for your interest and for taking time to read this letter.


Susan Mullen Baseball fan

      • End of Letter***

October 11, 2006: Tim Kurkjian no longer allowed to vote for MVP awards! Mentions this on WFAN with Mike and Chris today. Said he voted for 10 years, but is no longer allowed to. I consider this a tremendous victory. The ultimate goal, however, is to entirely remove baseball awards voting from all writers.