MURRAY CHASS TOOK AN AX, GAVE BASEBALL BLOGGERS 40 WHACKS

I’ve told my kids, if I start to get crotchety and nasty when I get old they have permission to dump me at the Port Authority and never worry about me again. I don’t think Murray Chass made that deal with his kids.

As you see on the right hand side of this site, I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and I should say a proud member. I am also honored to be a member from the beginning when Daniel Shoptaw, writer of C70 At The Bat (a St Louis Cardinals blog) sent me an e-mail about his idea. I could not write back to him faster to say “thanks for asking me and yes, I’m all in”. It was one of the best moves I’ve made since I started blogging.

The BBA has grown so much between writing, podcasting and having our own SABR chapter that I guess with success comes the slings and arrows of jealousy. That’s where Murray Chass comes in.

Even though he wrote with a pro-Highlander slant, due to being the Highlander beat man for the Times until 1985 when he was bumped up to the National baseball beat. His baseball columns in the NY Times were always must reads. When labor strafe hit baseball, no one had the access and the coverage of the negogation like Chass. He is also in the Baseball Hall of Fame by way of wining the J.G.Taylor Spinks Award in 2003. Chass “retired” from the NY Times in 2008. I put quotation marks on retired because it was more a buy out that a voluntary decision on Chass’ part. Chass was in poor health for awhile and I can sincerely say I am glad he is back to full strength and healthy once again.

But I do have a problem with Chass and that is because he has a problem with me. Well, not just me, but baseball bloggers in particular. The BBA sent out a press release which had a few spelling, math an grammar errors on them. Instead of just hitting the delete button, Chass thought this would an excellent time to prove his point that bloggers are an embarrassment to the written word. He pointed out every grammatical mistake and ridiculed the spelling errors. He laughed  at the BBA because we felt that with Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven getting 74.468 % of our votes in the BBA Hall Of Fame, because we rouned the number off to 75 %. Chass berated us for not having basic math skills.

Now, when Daniel sent out the response he received in a e-mail from Chass that made the bloggers of the BBA seem to uneducated buffoons, my first response was to act like an uneducated buffoon. I was ready with a post filled with F-bombs, and disparaging remarks about his employer showing him the door, but one of the best reasons to be a member of the BBA is I was the only uneducated buffoon to act this way.

See, even though Chass has a strong dislike to the folks who make up the BBA because we don’t have a college degree in English or Journalism, or some of the membership write and analyze baseball via Sabermetrics, or the fact that some of us are just fans who have played, coached, or watched baseball our whole lives and have now found a new way to express our love for the game, just like Ol’ Murr. In fact, while old thinkers like Murray Chass are sent to the showers, the NEW kids on the block are getting hired for jobs at websites to show their graphs with pitch f/x, UZR, VOPR BABIP and all the other facts and figures that not only give insight to fans but to front offices all around baseball as well, to that the old fedora, cigar smokin’ writers react to like Dracula to a cross.

The other thing that set the BBA apart is they know how to respond to such slights. As I said, I was ready to go jihad on old Murray, but Daniel Shoptaw said “no” and so did a bunch of other members. What Shoptaw did was send Chass a reply e-mail, thanking him for pointing out the errors in the press release and for making him send out future releases for proof reading by other members of the BBA before the are published. Clear, rational, ADULT behavior but Daniel Shoptaw proved that he is twice the man that Murray Chass is.

Oh by the way Murry, I see you have a website now and I really shouldn’t link to it since you can’t stand me or what I do but I link to your site as a public service to my readers to show what you wrote about the BBA and to hopefully show my readership it’s best to grow old with gracefully.

I apologize for any grammatical mistakes or spelling error in this post. I’m not a writer, I just play one in cyberspace.

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ALMOST HALL OF FAMOUS

 

I guess congratulations are in order to Andre Dawson for his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hawk was a solid baseball player and from what you read, was a very nice guy and it seems as long as you’re a very nice guy to the media, you eventually get in the Hall. That would explain why Albert Belle is no longer on the ballot. Belle was an unbelievable offensive player putting up big numbers and one of the great run producers of his time, but the guy made Ron Artest look stable. It’s not just that Belle was a nasty sumnabitch, I honestly think the reporters covering the teams he played for and the out of town media we’re scared shit of him. The only way for payback is to not just keep in out of the HOF but knock him off the ballot altogether.

The only segment of baseball fans that doesn’t have bad feeling for Robbie Alomar not getting in the HOF, are Mets fans. During the reign of the Alomar disaster in Queens, I was dining in one of my favorite spots, the RF food pavilion at Shea Stadum, when I encounter a guy wearing an ALOMAR 12 uni top. When I mentioned that he was one brave Mets fan to wear that jersey, he told me his was a cousin of Alomar’s. We spoke for while and I ask Robbie’s cuz, “what’s the problem with your cousin” he told me the whole family was stumped. He said Alomar was so happy to be in NYC as there was a lot of family there to keep him happy but the cuz then said “he feels like he can’t do it anymore”  The problem that Mets fan had with Alomar was he was coming here off a strong year in Cleveland .336/.415/.541/.956 20HR 100 RBI 30SB so when the deal was made to come to the Mets, we were farting through silk WHAT AN ACQUISTION!!! But what followed was one of the classic crash and burns of a player in baseball history. All said in done, Alomar should have gone in as a first ballot HOF’er his Mets years aside, he is one of the greatest 2nd basemen of all time.

Supposedly 5 voters sent back blank ballots, two of which are Jay Mariotti and Lisa Olson of AOL. Mind-boggling!.  I know it’s in vogue to call Mariotti a douche bag but a few years ago, Mariotti did a radio show on the defunct One On One Radio Network (620 AM here in NYC) along with Jim Lytke of the AP. It was one of the better sports radio shows I’ve listened to. Mariotti was not the dickhead he has evolved into today. As for Olson, she has always sent in a blank ballot since becoming eligible to vote. I don’t know what to say about that but why even be a member of the BBWA?   The Hall of Fame would be better off letting bloggers pick the Hall members; at least we’d take it seriously.

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BERT SUGAR’S BASEBALL HALL OF FAME, A Living History of America’s Greatest Game

 Bert Randolph Sugar is THE sports historian of our time and he has a new book out that is a comprehensive look at the Baseball Hall of Fame called Bert Sugars Baseball Hall of Fame, A Living History of America’s Greatest Game (published by Running Press) I have been to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY four times and each time I’ve been there I’ve seen an exhibit or artifact I’ve missed in my previous trip and now with this outstanding book that is full of great pictures and of course the writing of Bert Sugar  it puts it all the awe and beauty of the HOF in your hands.

There is a section on the great concessions and give aways by teams throughout the history of baseball. One of my favorite pictures is of the fans of the White Sox during the Bill Veck era where he gave the fans in the grandstand cue cards to decide managerial decisions.  There are of course stories and pictures of all the great players enshrined in the Hall that leaves you wanting to make a trip upstate.

This book is a must for the baseball fan that loves the games history and loves the photographs of players and teams from the beginning of the game to the present  Give it a spot  of honor on your coffee table.

 

  

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COME DOWN TO FOLEY’S NY FOR THE IRISH AMERICAN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS

I hope to make it down to Foley’s for the festivities. Check out the details below:

Tug McGraw, Mets Groundskeeper Pete Flynn, John Flaherty, Sean Casey and the Legendary Connie Mack Among Inductees in

Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame

Tues, Aug. 26, 2008

 

Foley’s NY Recognizes Baseball Players, Managers, Executives, Journalists and Entertainers of Irish Descent

 

WHAT:           Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame – Unveiling of plaques, induction of “The Starting Nine”

 

WHO:            

1.      Connie Mack, baseball’s winningest manager – Represented by daughter Ruth Mack Clark, age 94

2.      Sean Casey, Red Sox 1B known as “The Mayor” – ATTENDING

3.      Tug McGraw, Mets and Phillies reliever – Represented by his son, Mark

4.      Pete Flynn, Shea Stadium’s longtime groundskeeper – ATTENDING

5.      John Flaherty, YES Network announcer, former player – ATTENDING

6.      Jeff Horrigan, Red Sox beat reporter – ATTENDING

7.      Arthur “Red” Foley, Longtime official scorer and sports columnist

8.      Mark McGwire, A’s and Cardinals slugger

9.      Kevin Costner, star of Field of Dreams and Bull Durham

 

WHEN:          Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Noon– 1:00 p.m.

 

WHERE:       Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant

18 W. 33rd Street (near 5th Ave, across from Empire State Bldg)

 

WHY:             To celebrate the contributions of Irish Americans to the game of baseball.  Immigrants and their descendants have long been an important to baseball; during the early 1900s, an estimated one-third of players were either immigrants or first generation Irish Americans.  Foley’s Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates current and former players, executives, umpires, sportswriters, and entertainers with Irish connections who have made the significant contributions to the national past time.

 

Foley’s, the “Irish bar with a baseball attitude,” is adorned with 1,800 autographed balls, 300+ bobbleheads, game-worn jerseys, stadium seats and other artifacts that make Foley’s New York’s best baseball bar and one of the best sports bars in America. Visit www.foleysny.com

 

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