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Is It Really This Hard to Select Award Winners in Baseball?

Max Kellerman

Yesterday on Max Kellerman’s ESPN Radio show, a discussion of Mike Mussina and his twenty-win season on a subpar 2008 Yankees team morphed into a discussion of whether a baseball player should be penalized for being on a bad team when it comes to things like the annual awards voting. Kellerman argued that one shouldn’t be, since a baseball player can’t carry a team at all times the way a basketball player can. And boy did he feel strongly about it. He called out what he described as “retarded monkey sportswriters” whose arguing against him constitutes “the definition of mental retardation.” (We checked, just to be sure, and the DSM IV disagrees with his definition.)

Our favorite part was that, immediately after this, Kellerman explained that while most of the world operates on a C+ level, he aims to bring A+ analysis to his show. (Again, we’d like to point out he used the phrase “retarded monkey sportswriters.”) Which got us wondering: If this is A+ stuff, what exactly might D- analysis look like? Well, actually, it would look a lot like the MVP ballot of Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who appears to have filled his out while under the influence of psilocybin. Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus absolutely eviscerated the MVP balloting process in his column this week (subscription required), pointing out how random voting accreditation is and how disparate people’s reasonings are. And yet, like the proverbial monkeys at typewriters, sometimes they still get the voting right. Like this year. The wisdom of crowds, we suppose.

Old People Still Getting the Hang of This Online Thing. After the Cleveland Browns’ Monday-night game against the Bills, Phil Savage, the Browns’ embattled general manager, responded to a fan’s angry e-mail with “Go root for Buffalo — f#@* you.” The e-mail leaked to Deadspin, and eventually Savage had to apologize. Mind you, this was after a game the Browns won. The story was actually sent across the AP wire, and almost made for Deadspin’s first mention on SportsCenter, before the story was killed.

So does this mean mainstream media outlets are starting to recognize the work of blogs? Not quite. This week, for instance, Sports Illustrated encouraged readers to go to Fire Joe Morgan, the hilarious blog that ceased publication last week. And while the fact that SI recognizes the work of FJM is great, it sort of misses the whole concept of a blog to direct people there after it has stopped being updated, just to read the archives. But hey, baby steps, right?

Is It Really This Hard to Select Award Winners in Baseball?