Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Should Journalists Vote For Baseball Awards?

PHILLIES FIRST BASEMAN Ryan Howard finished second in the voting for National League Most Valuable Player.

The people who voted? Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Inquirer sports columnist Phil Sheridan declined to vote because, as he wrote, "It is ethically indefensible for the journalists who cover baseball to vote for official awards that have an impact on players' financial rewards."

Should the people covering the teams decide who gets the awards? Can the journalists remain objective? Aren't they just going to vote for their hometown stars?

11 comments:

jessica lista said...

I feel the people who are voting for this award should not be journalists. Journalists need to stay objective so they should not be displaying their opinion on who is the best player for the award.

KIERRAY said...

It's hard for anyone to be completely obejective.

Perhaps they should leave the voting to someone who would be less biased.

Colin K. said...

I do not think journalists should have a say in the voting process of the MVP.

Only people directly associated with the MLB like players, coaches, etc. should cast their ballot. Not a journalist who may only cover one team for the season.

Sean Purvis said...

Well who would better to vote than the journalists who cover the teams on a day to day basis? They're the ones who know the players better than the rest of us. Good for Sheridan for standing up for what he believes in, but I believe that the writers would have a more informed opinion than the rest of us. The voting most certainly should not be in the hands of the fans. The only other thing i could think of is the players or the commissioner. Unfortunately, everyone is going to have their own interests in mind. I believe that the writers are supposed to be more ethically inclined, and that is the reason why they are the perfect ones to make these decisions. But the writers aren't perfect either, we are talking about a group of people who left Nolan Ryan out of the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.

James said...

We can believe that they would vote for hometown stars, but some actually might not. I do not think that journalists should be the ones voting for this. It is our job as a journalist to not be biased on issues and just report them. Which should go for everything, sports and even the weather.

matt yost said...

i think the players, coaches, and fans would tend to be more biased than the writers, whose job it is to be unbiased and objective. Besides, who else would know more about who is the most deserving than someone who covers the sport on a daily basis for a living.

Megan McCue Journalism said...

I don't know if anyone could be completely objective, but I also am not sure if Journalists would be the best people to vote over baseball anyways. I could see it being decided by the media being more controversial than if decided within the league.

Anonymous said...

This one is a toughy. On one hand, the journalists are involved everyday with the players... they see all of the ins and "outs" (get it?, he he). However, I feel it would be difficult to be objective. Naturally, one would aquire a bias. In addition, the journalist would then have the opportunity to cover the scoop if their hometown player wins.
I was shocked when I learned that the Baseball Writers Association of America was responsible for determining MVP. I assumed that the coaches or managers did that... of course, they would be bias too! Aghhh, I just don't know.
Nikki Allen J1111

Jonathan said...

Letting journalists and beat writers who cover these teams vote for the MVP is absurd. It is clear that journalists will have a bias to their hometown hero. This benefits bigger markets such as New York, Los Angeles, etc. becuase their are more media outlets and therefore more voters in favor of these bigger market players. What should be done is either an idependent firm or journalists with no ties or affiliations to the MLB should be brought in and asked to cast their votes. That way you can cut down somewhat on the "hometown voting" and remain atleast somewhat objective. For the record, Ryan Howard was cheated this year. If hitting 48 homeruns and driving in 146 runs does not warrant and MVP then I just don't know what does.

Anonymous said...

The writers should be the ones who vote for MVP. PLayers are just going to vote for their friends, coaches are going to vote for their players and fans are going to vote for their favortie players. This happens all the time in football when voting for players to attend the Pro Bowl. Earlier this year half of the Washington Redskins were slated to start in the Pro Bowl and while they are having a good year, there is no way that they have that many players playing at that level. If this was the case then they would be 11-1 and not the Giants. Owners most likely would not have a bias, but to avoid a bias in case there is one, baseball should change the voting system so that each the Writers and Owners each vote and then combine the votes to get the right person as MVP. As to the above post, getting people completely seperate from baseball is a bad idea because then how do you know they watch enough games to cast an accurate judgment. Most Valuable PLayer, not the best player. Getting people who are seperated from baseball will cause people to look at numbers alone. Most Valuable Player, not the best player. This means the player who meant the most to his team, not the person who hit the most homeruns or drove in the most RBIS. How many times this year have we watching Howard fumble a ball at first base. Also this voting takes in account the WHOLE year. Where was Howard at the beginning of the year? For the record I believe that Howard should have won the MVP, but not for the reason Jonathan says. Without Howard in the second half of the year, the Phillies struggle to make the playoffs. That is why he should be MVP, because he was most valuable to his team when he team needed him the most.

Ken Marone said...

I'm not sure there's anyone else who could possibly vote for the MLB player awards. Like the last post stated, the players won't vote for the right player, the coaches probably wouldn't get it right either. Letting the fans vote? That's absurd, we'd see a Red Sox, Yankee, Cub, or Met win the MVP and Cy Young Awards every season. Take a look at the all-star team starting line-ups every season, that's voted on by the fans and almost never contains the best player of the first half starting at each position.
Sure, we won't all agree on the writer's decision, especially when your hometown player finishes second but, I can't think of anyone else who knows the stats and the box scores better than the BBWA members.
And, for the record, Ryan Howard was not snubbed for MVP. Overall value to a team should be take into account but, the stats should be taken into account at the same time. Yes, Ryan Howard's team made the playoffs and yes he did club forty-eight homeruns and drive in 146 but, at the same time his batting average was some twenty points below the league average and so was his on-base percentage. Albert Pujols, on the other hand, had almost forty homeruns, 116 RBI along with a sky high batting average and on base percentage, all while playing with a bum elbow. Without Pujols the Cardinals aren't in the race the entire season. They didn't make the playoffs but, they won eighty-six game and we're four games out of the wildcard, we're not talking about a team who was in the cellar of the National League the entire season. Pujols was the right choice...in my opinion.