January 7, 2011

Blyleven's Election "Perhaps The Greatest And Most Tangible Triumph Of Sabermetric Writing"

For the last seven years, Rich Lederer, who runs Baseball Analysts, has been insisting -- and providing readers with a colossal amount of supporting evidence -- that Bert Blyleven belongs in the Hall of Fame.

All of Lederer's hard work paid off on Wednesday, as Blyleven was elected by the BBWAA in his 14th year of eligibility. Fellow BA writer Patrick Sullivan called Lederer's work "perhaps the greatest and most tangible triumph of Sabermetric writing outside of actual front office influence".

Back on December 20, 2010, SI's Jon Heyman wrote a column in which he explained why he would not be voting for Blyleven (again). He also took some potshots at Lederer -- calling him an internet zealot -- though Heyman did not mention him by name. Two days later, Lederer responded, with a devastatingly informative counterpoint that lays bare, as well as anything can, the sharp divide between much of the mainstream sports media and what exists online on personal websites and message boards.
I would like to note that Tim McCarver said something the other day with which I agree 100%. Talking about Rafael Palmeiro and the Hall of Fame, McCarver said:
You can't change the numbers. To me, you are giving the writers too broad a power to be the judge on whether a guy took steroids. I would vote for all the guys who have the numbers. I just don't think they should have the right to determine the moral aspects of a particular issue.
The same article quotes Ross Newhan, who covered baseball for more than 40 years (mostly for the Los Angeles Times), and believed that he and his fellow writers "are custodians of the game's history":
Somebody said we are not the morality police, but yet I think we are. If we aren't, who is?


laura k said...

Great post! Thanks. I have to wonder, with the death of newspapers, if we will also see the near extinction of these dinosaurs, and the rise of more progressive thinking in the baseball-writing establishment.

allan said...

Maybe, but we know the stupid runs deep.

Side point: As we have often said, it's still amazing to read these guys, whose writing is on the internet, bash other people for having their writing on the internet.

tim said...

Good! Keep it up, BBWAA!

I've gotta read those articles, they sound interesting. Your t-day countdown from the post the other day has got me excited for BEISBOL just around the corner!

Garza out of the AL, yay - see ya, spitta!

Section 36 said...

I know it's not the point, but I wouldn't vote for Palmeiro even if he's clean. He was never dominant enough. Sure, he ended up with nice career numbers. But, I don't ever remember thinking of him as one of the top five or ten players in the game. Being above average for a long time doesn't do it for me.