Process needs to be fixed

A question worth pondering: How would the media react if the people they cover began to act like the media?

You know. Catty, grandstanding, obtuse, haughty, proprietary. As one tweet read Thursday, "only sportswriters could turn an argument moralizing over baseball players into an argument moralizing over sportswriters."

Latest example: The Great Baseball Hall of Fame Debate. Some baseball writers, who crave headlines more than bylines, turned what should be a thoughtful process that invites healthy debate into an episode of The Jerry Springer Show.

This is about candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame, people. Not the Nobel Prize. Or in a few cases, the Dumbbell Prize.

Where to begin?

Maybe with the fraudulence of it all. The media should be a bastion for transparency. And yet the votes are not made public. Why not? Aren't these the same people who bristle over the anonymous reader comments?

So it's a pox on society when Benny from Bayonne signs his comment as Oscar from Madison, but it's permissible that you can hide behind a form of anonymity, too?

Why, because all the opinion makers are afraid their opinions will be challenged?

Maybe we could get these people some big boy pants one of these days.

Put it this way: If you want to vote for Kenny Rogers, Jacque Jones, Armando Benitez and J.T. Snow, the world should know who you are. No, really. This would be Must See TV on "SportsCenter," some writer defending his choice of Jacque Jones.

Once again: People actually voted for Kenny Rogers, Jacque Jones, Armando Benitez and J.T. Snow.

Now I chuckle along with the next guy at Churchill's quote about democracy being the worst form of government, except for all the others. But this is another example of how totalitarianism is underrated. They're lucky I'm not Czar Of The Universe. Because their ballots would be revoked. Forever. And they'd be banned from the media buffet, too. As one writer said in reaction to this news, "Jacque Jones wouldn't even vote for Jacque Jones."

Maybe if voting was made public and writers were made to defend their choices, the process would be less of a mockery. And let me say this: As a Heisman voter, I'd have no issues with my vote going public. Because you stand for something or you don't.

Then there's Dan LeBetard and Ken Gurnick. LeBetard, tighty whities in a bundle over the voting process, gave his vote to those paragons of humanity at Deadspin. Gurnick, a writer at, didn't vote for Greg Maddux and his 355 wins because he has decided to exclude "everybody from that era."

Gurnick: ''To me, I didn't exclude Maddux. I excluded everybody from that era, everybody from the Steroid Era," he said in an Associated Press story. "It wasn't about Greg Maddux, it was about the entire era. I just don't know who did and who didn't.''

So punish them all.

What a refreshing line of thinking. Like saying, "There must some terrorists in this neighborhood, Gen. Petraeus, so let's just level the whole thing. We just don't know who is and who isn't."

I don't know about you. But I'm developing more of a tolerance for dopes over divas these days. I mean, I'd excuse somebody who voted for J.T. Snow with a pat on the head and perhaps a lobotomy before some grandstanding tool who practices self-congratulatory angst with the cameras rolling.

What, LeBetard, who has his own television program on ESPN, doesn't have enough forums to convey his displeasure with the voting process? He has to hand over his vote a bunch of people who'd mock a church fire? At least the writers got it right Thursday when they stripped LeBetard of his vote permanently.

And Gurnick's self-serving political statement should trump the candidacy of one of the great pitchers in the history of baseball, a man for whom the Hall of Fame exists?

Sorry if I'm coming off here as though my opinion is the only one that counts. I just don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that the voting process should be more transparent and less beholden to agendas, grandstanding and political positions.

And that Jacque Jones is not a Hall of Famer, even after a three martini lunch.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.


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