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The BBWAA’s Empty Moralism


I have more on the BBWAA’s decision to strip Dan Le Batard of his vote for making a point that was insufficiently stupid. One of the self-righteous reactions was especially perfect:

Of the many sanctimonious reactions collected by Deadspin in the aftermath of Le Batard’s identifying himself, one is particularly instructive. Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report tweeted that he was in favor of stripping Le Batard’s vote because he’s a “rules guy”…

As a reader noted in response, however, a rather obvious problem with this argument is that Le Batard—who did not take any money in return for outsourcing his ballot to Deadpin’s readers—did not actually seem to violate any of BBWAA’s rules. Sherman could not identify any rule that Le Batard broke, and instead retreated to an argument that Le Batard’s actions were simply “wrong”…

This sequence is perfectly representative of the more general problem with the BBWAA’s drug warriors. Vastly overqualified players are being denied entry into the Hall of Fame based on self-righteous moralizing that is revealed as utterly arbitrary and incoherent on the slightest inspection.

We must uphold the sacred integritude of the game in the eyes of God and the Brooklyn Dodgers by upholding the rules! And by “rules” I mean stuff I vaguely think should have been against the rules even if I said nothing about it at the time. Now let us ponder Mike Piazza’s troubling back acne. We are not crackpots.

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