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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Scott Boras is my new hero. There's no "debate"--they want you to think there is one so you'll visit their sites

The condescending phony of the year, Jayson Stark, ultra ESPN person gets a pass. Because most who care enough about the subject would probably like to work for ESPN or a baseball team, or would somehow like to derive income from an association. He sells it (his recent "book") as another "great debate"--you give your time and attention, but have no vote on any baseball awards and don't broadcast your views to millions year in and year out WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AT STAKE.

  • The one saving grace--Scott Boras--is the first person of consequence to take a shot at a baseball awards voter. Boras took issue with Stark's portrayal of a player who happens to be a Boras client.

Stark's little email to Dave O'Brien regarding his boiler plate book--they all write books and magazine articles about the 50 best or worst fill in the blank. WHO IS HE TO JUDGE? WHO HAS VETTED ANY ESPN VOTER? The current baseball empire exists only because GOOD PEOPLE HAVE KEPT THEIR MOUTHS SHUT.

Jayson confirms his phony "debate" goal in his email to Dave O'Brien's BravesBlog, 6/14/07--in other words, you talk AND HAVE NO VOTE AND WASTE YOUR TIME. He'll just vote.:

. "This book is about perception. It’s about one of the great debates in sports - who’s overrated, who’s underrated. So we’re SUPPOSED to disagree.

I’ve said from the beginning that this book wasn’t intended to settle any debates about these players. But it looks as if it has STARTED about 100,000 debates. And that was the whole idea."

From Dave O'Brien's Braves blog @ ajc

  • "SUPPOSED TO DISAGREE?" TO BE ACCEPTED IN THE BASEBALL MEDIA COMMUNITY, IF YOU DISAGREE IT WILL BE GENTLY OR ONLY ON HARMLESS TOPICS....OR YOU SIMPLY WON'T BE AROUND. IF YOU'RE HAPPY TO BE A PATSY, GO AHEAD.
A commenter on BravesBlog after reading Stark's email to O'Brien sees the "debate" joke:

By Chop Chop

June 14, 2007 8:17 PM | Link to this

DOB, some of Stark’s stuff isn’t posted properly in the blog. It’s probably just as well. His “Rumblings and Grumblings” stuff is alright, but he’s no Gammons or Olney. If Jayson Stark were a little smarter (and didn’t want to sell books…excuse me…cause debate), he’d just make the argument that Andruw’s getting older. To me, it’s Andruw’s inconsistency at the plate that makes him overrated .

There's more to be said about this story, which I'll address when I have more time.

***ADDENDUM: Jayson Stark's comments have more context if you consider the following:

  • In 2005, Andruw Jones and Albert Pujols were up for NL MVP and the race was considered close. The Atlanta Journal Constitution does not allow its employees to vote on Cy Young or MVP baseball awards, as is the case with more and more news organizations. 2 voters were needed from the Atlanta market, so one was obtained from a regional news organization. The 2nd voter was appointed from outside the Atlanta market. The appointee was Jayson Stark and he voted for Pujols. This of course was cause for some controversy. I believe it was the first time the BBWAA had used someone who at the time was not with a newspaper, ie Stark was considered a DotCom writer. As far as ESPN employees voting on post season or "annual" awards, I believe 10 ESPN staffers vote on the Hall of Fame award, but I don't know if any vote on the other post season awards. This addendum was prompted by a commenter who was not aware of Stark's BBWAA voting history.
Addendum: (7/25/07)
  • I recently found a printed copy of a Gordon Wittenmyer article on the BBWAA problem from the St. Paul Pioneer Press on 11/7/05 which confirms the selection of the "Philadelphia writer" as a substitute Atlanta voter. But Wittenmyer says the second "Atlanta" voter was actually selected from the Minneapolis chapter. By his account, Braves players, owners and fans had no voters in the 2005 NL MVP. How many of them know this? I have another document with Jack O'Connell saying that he himself appoints replacement voters. From Wittenmyer's article: "That meant no writer who covered Atlanta's Andruw Jones, one of the top 3 MVP candidates in the NL this year (2005), voted on the award." ("Newspapers Withdrawing from the Voting Process," by Gordon Wittenmyer, Pioneer Press, 11/7/05). Articles relating to these issues are rarely found online, and I'm fortunate to have found and saved some quite awhile ago. (sm)

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