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Baseball Blogger Obliterates Legendary Newspaper Writer


BaltimoreTerp

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http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2010/01/in_response_to.php

Recently, former New York Times journalist and J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Murray Chass took to the pages of his blog titled Murray Chass On Baseball to discuss Hall of Fame voting. He addressed an array of topics, from Hall voting eliciting strong opinions, to Tommy John's Hall of Fame candidacy, to my own personal "track record". There's no need to FJM someone like Chass - he's just writing on his blog that he refuses to acknowledge is a blog, snarling at (certain) stats and just sort of watching the world pass him by. Honestly, it has to be difficult. On a human level, I pity Murray Chass.

Since I guess Chass probably maintains a broad readership and has decided to come at me personally in his column, I suppose I should respond to a few of the points he made.

...

Someday, a curious individual might set out to understand why it was that baseball websites were able to amass strong followings at a time when the profession of mainstream media baseball writing was still so entrenched in American culture. How could Rob Neyer and Nate Silver and Jonah Keri and Joe Sheehan and Keith Law and David Cameron and Sky Andrecheck and Cliff Corcoran have risen to such prominence, when the baseball writing establishment was still churning out columns? Well, that individual researching why it was that new internet baseball writers succeeded will stumble across what Chass has written above, and it will all make sense.

You don't get credibility because you hung around clubhouses for 30 years. Or because you traveled on the team plane, have had cocktails with Lou Gorman, were at Fenway the day Bucky Dent hit his home run or because you can recall the fear in opposing pitchers' eyes as Jim Rice came to the plate. You don't even get credibility because you have a vote. You get credibility by doing good work. And if your work is good, it stands on its own. If a new age of writers comes along with a new way of thinking about the game, and a new medium like the internet emerges, you don't kick and scream and yearn for yester-year, you evolve and learn and continue to do good work.

...

All I can say is if you're going to be called out in public by a washed-up sportswriter on his baseball blog, this is how you want it to be done; in a fashion that is so self-evidently discrediting. We learned three things from this Chass excerpt:

1. Chass thinks Shaughnessy is right and I am wrong because Shaughnessy has a track record with which he's familiar.

2. Chass thinks Shaughnessy would be right and I would be wrong on ANY subject because Shaughnessy has a track record as a baseball sportswriter and I do not.

3. He thinks Jack Morris was better than Curt Schilling.

Two thoughts. One, how harebrained do you have to be to admit freely that you won't entertain the merits of a particular argument, but rather will simply appeal to authority? What a great way to discredit your whole philosophy in one fell swoop.

Two, and I can't be clear enough about this. If you think Jack Morris was a better pitcher than Curt Schilling, THEN YOU DON'T KNOW THE VERY FIRST THING ABOUT BASEBALL. Talk about life's work? The life's work of Murray Chass, all those days and nights hanging around a smelly clubhouse, and what does he have to show for it? A baseball mind that leads him to believe that Jack Morris is better than Curt Schilling. It's nothing short of embarrassing.

There's some other stuff in the post directly related to direct quotes, so I recommend reading the whole thing.

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