#Hot Corner

H.C.B.C. - On the baseball beat

Another new book just showed up: Dennis D'Agostino's Keepers of the Game: When the Baseball Beat was the Best Job on the Paper. Essentially, it's a sequel to Jerome Holtzman's classic, No Cheering in the Press Box; both books consist of well-done interviews with longtime baseball writers. D'Agostino talked to 23 guys, including nine Spink Award winners.

Actually, he spoke to 24. Including Bill Conlin. And as D'Agostino writes, "our two-hour conversation was easily the funniest, most colorful, and most emotional that I had with any of the writers." Man, I would like to read that chapter. But D'Agostino spoke to Conlin before this happened, and so he left Conlin out of the book.

Just flipping around, I happened across this bit from Joe Goddard, who covered the White Sox and Cubs for many years:

I took my Hall of Fame vote very seriously and still do. Once in a while, you'll get a guy who abuses it, who doesn't deserve a card. That happened a few years ago with the MVP voting.

I won't give you the writer's name; he was a punk guy. He refused to vote for Carlos Delgado for American League MVP. Delgado had a great season, and this guy didn't even have him in the top ten. I asked him about that, and he said, "I hate Toronto, I'll never vote for anyone who plays for Toronto." I told him he shouldn't have a card or a vote. He said, "I don't care about the card. I can tear it up and still cover this team." I told him, "Well, go ahead."

Assuming Goddard's correct about the American League part, this would have happened before 2005, when Delgado signed with the Marlins. He figured in the A.L. balloting four times: 21st in 1998, 12th in '99, fourth in 2000, and second in 2003. He really was great in 2003, but Alex Rodriguez beat out Delgado by 29 points, so no single voter could have cost Delgado the award.

Still, it makes you think.

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