Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Remember: Check your work

As I tell my kids when I review their homework: Always check your work before handing it in. Note to BBWAA voters: DO THE SAME!

Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News clearly didn't check his work and completely left AL MVP Dustin Pedroia off his ballot. To his credit, he fessed up, but it still doesn't make it OK:

Did I perhaps get too "cute" at the bottom of the ballot? Yeah, probably. Was that a mistake? Yeah, probably. Was it a mistake to leave him out of the top five; in retrospect, yeah, it was. My colleagues all thought he belonged in the top five. My opinion on this one was obviously wrong. What I'm happiest about is that if my analysis was so wrong, at least it did not cost Pedroia the MVP award. I can assure you I give the MVP vote an awful lot of time. In this case, perhaps I gave it too much time and overanalyzed, particularly at the bottom of the ballot. In retrospect, it's hard to argue that Pedroia wasn't one of the 10 best players in the league.
Maybe he did check his work, but maybe he also needs someone to simply check his work before he handed it in. Someone who could say "Evan, don't you think you ought to consider Pedroia somewhere in your Top 10?" You know, like an editor. It's possible he couldn't see the forest thru the trees due to spending so much time "being cute". Still, inexcusable if you ask me. Which you didn't, but so what.

And this concludes my complaining about the BBWAA voting (until the next time they screw up).


Ron Rollins said...

I don't think the editors have a say in this. Membership in the BBWAA is outside the purview of the papers the voters work for.

The ballots aren't vetted and are mailed in.

And while I understand your point, aren't we a society based on free and secret elections so people don't have to explain who they voted for and why?

I mean, if a lot of people had to actually explain to the public why they voted for a certain presidential candidate, I'll bet they wouldn't vote that way in the first place.

Either love it or hate, but it is the system in place.

Jason @ IIATMS said...


Techically, you are correct; there are no "editors". However, if I were a voter, I might ask a peer to "check this out, see if I missed anything". You know, just in case.

Ron Rollins said...

Jason, that's a vailid point, but these guys are being so scrutinized and chastised for every vote that doesn't fit conventional wisdom, that they don't want any criticism from anyone close to them.

I'm not defendinf them, because they make mistkes. But if someone criticised every decison you made based on nothing more than their own personal decison (and that includes the use of stats/sabermetrecs/etc) and no more rational thinking than what rational thinking that what they accuse you (the voter) of, you would eventually say screw, I'm doing it my way and I don't care.

Then try to defend yourself later from all the critisicm. Its life.

No matter what they do, no matter how they vote, no matter who they pick, no matter how accurate or insane it is, they will get nothing but criticism, ridicule and scorn.

And afterall, in regards to having someone check the ballot prior to submission, it's not someone else's ballot. It's the individual. Once you let someone else tell you how to vote, it becomes a collective ballot, and that's against the rules. Of integrity and honor. No matter how good or bad.

And nothing will ever change, but guess what all this is. Free publicity for baseball in the off-season. Ever wonder the NBA and NFL make all of those announcements during the summer?

Same thing.