Baseball Writers Association of America

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is a professional association for baseball journalists writing for daily newspapers, magazines and qualifying Web sites. The BBWAA was founded in 1908 to improve working conditions for sportswriters in the early part of the 20th century. The organization's primary function is to work with Major League Baseball and individual teams to assure clubhouse and press box access for BBWAA members. In addition, BBWAA members also elect players to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which is the organization's most public function. All writers with 10 years of membership in the BBWAA are eligible to vote for the Hall of Fame. The BBWAA also votes annually for the Most Valuable Player Award, the Cy Young Award winner, and Rookie of the Year Award in each of the major leagues.

Considering the ready availability of television broadcasts for the majority of baseball games, plus instant access to information through the Internet, some have called into question why the BBWAA has not broadened its membership rules to include broadcasters and researchers. [] (Similar arguments were made for the inclusion of Web-based journalists, before the BBWAA added Web writers to its ranks in December, 2007. [] .

Others have openly questioned why the BBWAA is involved in the award and Hall of Fame voting processes at all [] , citing in some cases journalistic integrity and the need to remain unbiased in their coverage of newsworthy events. []

Awards Voting

The BBWAA is responsible for voting on several awards annually including:

*MLB Most Valuable Player Award
*MLB Rookie of the Year Award
*Cy Young Award
*Manager of the Year

In addition, the BBWAA votes annually for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The BBWAA's Hall of Fame and award voting results are regularly criticized. [] They are often accused of applying inconsistent standards when judging players for the Hall of Fame [] , as well as ignoring some of the rules put in place by Major League Baseball for determining post-season awards. [] They've been further criticized, even from within their owns ranks [] , for failing to unanimously elect a single player to the Hall of Fame. []

Controversy Surrounding the Exclusion of Rob Neyer and Keith Law

On December 5 2007, the BBWAA voted to open its membership to Web-based writers employed on a full-time basis by "websites that are credentialed by MLB for post-season coverage." [] . The initial group of 16 writers recommended for approval, on the basis of a BBWAA vote, included writers for, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo. Best represented among the sites was ESPN, seven of whose writers were voted into the association: Jim Caple, Jerry Crasnick, Peter Gammons, Tim Kurkjian, Amy Nelson, Buster Olney and Jayson Stark. Notably missing from the list were ESPN writers Rob Neyer and Keith Law; subsequent reports on Internet message boards and Neyer's ESPN blog [] identified Neyer and Law as the only two writers whose nominations were unsuccessful among the 18 considered.

Neyer and Law were not considered individually. The new members were voted on as a slate of candidates. When asked by the BBWAA, ESPN officials said Law and Neyer did not regularly attend games as reporters and had no reason to be members. The BBWAA has refused to identify which ESPN officials they contacted, and both Neyer and Law have stated that the BBWAA did not directly contact them or their respective editors on this issue. The BBWAA said they would be considered for membership again if their positions changed. A post on the Biz of Baseball website included the names and badge numbers of all known BBWAA members, the most complete public listing of BBWAA members to date. It included the names of writers and editors who are known not to attend major league games with any regularity, calling into question why this criteria was cited as a reason to exclude Neyer and Law from the organization.

Neyer and Law are known for their in-depth analysis of baseball statistics -- particularly statistics like on-base percentage and slugging percentage, which have grown rapidly in prominence and general acceptance among baseball's fans, executives, reporters and broadcasters in the Internet era. As documented in Michael Lewis' bestseller "Moneyball", the baseball establishment (notably scouts and reporters) were reluctant, and sometimes bitterly so, to accept changes in the means by which players and teams were being analyzed. The early part of Neyer's career was spent working with Bill James, whose writings are largely credited with fueling and guiding baseball's statistical evolution.

Both writers, especially Neyer, are known to have sharply criticized the BBWAA for many of its choices for major baseball awards, commonly suggesting Fact|date=December 2007 that the voting was generally indicative of a failure to recognize value of these new statistics versus that of more "traditional" baseball statistics like batting average and RBI.

Upon release of the news that Neyer and Law were the two writers rejected by the BBWAA for membership, many commentators on baseball message boards (including those of ESPNFact|date=December 2007 and [ Baseball Think Factory] ) speculated that vindictiveness towards the writers, and bitterness over their bodies of work, were the deciding factors in their exclusion. Some decried the development as censorship on the part of the BBWAA.Fact|date=December 2007

While congratulating new members in a blog post, Neyer wrote that "personal grudges" were responsible for his "not making the cut." Neyer was more candid in a message posted on Baseball Think Factory, where he wrote, "I don't know exactly what went down and probably never will. According to BBWAA president Bob Dutton, my membership was rejected because I don't go to the ballpark often enough (not that anybody really knows how often I'm at ballpark). I believe -- based on some scraps of information I've got -- that was merely a convenient pretext for blackballing me, and today I would be a member if I'd been a bit more circumspect with my opinions over the years." []

List of current members

Names of members are followed by the name of the organization for whom they write. [ Complete list of badge members]

*Peter Abraham, "The Journal News" []
*Dave Albee, "Marin Independent Journal" []
*Maury Allen, "New York Post", retired []
*Dom Amore, "The Hartford Courant" []
*Mel Antonen, "USA Today" []
*Phil Arvia, "Daily Southtown" [,121407sptarvia.article]
*Bill Ballou, "Telegram & Gazette" of Worcester []
*Mike Bauman, []
*Ira Berkow, "The New York Times" []
*Jeff Blair, "Toronto Globe and Mail" []
*Barry Bloom, []
*Ron Blum, Associated Press []
*Paul Bodi, []
*Hal Bodley, "USA Today" []
*Thomas Boswell, "Washington Post" [] (non-voting member)
*Pat Borzi, "New York Times" []
*Ed Bouchette, "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" []
*Mark Bradley, "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" []
*Steve Buckley, "Boston Herald" []
*Don Burke, "Newark Star-Ledger" [,0,6768856.story]
*Jim Caple, ESPN []
*Mike Celizic, MSNBC []
*Bill Center, "The San Diego Union-Tribune" []
*Murray Chass, "New York Times" [] (non-voting member)
*Gene Collier, "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" []
*Bill Conlin, "Philadelphia Daily News" []
*Ron Cook, "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" []
*Joe Cowley, "Chicago Sun-Times" []
*Jerry Crasnick, ESPN []
*Ken Davidoff, "Newsday" []
*Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle []
*Steve Dilbeck, Los Angeles Daily News []
*Mike Dodd "USA Today" []
*Mike Downey, "Chicago Tribune" []
*Rich Draper, []
* Mike Dyer, Long Island Press, Retired
*Gordon Edes, "Boston Globe" []
*Bob Elliott, "Toronto Sun" []
*John Erardi, "Cincinnati Enquirer" []
*Mark Faller, "The Arizona Republic" []
*Jeffrey Flanagan, "The Kansas City Star" []
*Gerry Fraley "Dallas Morning News" []
*Tom Gage, "The Detroit News" []
*Peter Gammons, ESPN []
*Pedro Gomez, ESPN []
*Ken Gurnick, []
*Mark Gonzalez, "Chicago Tribune" []
*Jerry Green, "The Detroit News" []
*Tony Grossi, "The Plain Dealer" []
*Paul Hagen, "Philadelphia Daily News" []
*Jim Hawkins, "The Oakland Press", []
*John Henderson, "Tampa Tribune", []
*Lynn Henning, "The Detroit News" []
*Jon Heyman, "Sports Illustrated" []
*Jerome Holtzman, "Chicago Tribune" []
*Jeff Horrigan, "Boston Herald" []
*Paul Hoynes, "The Plain Dealer" []
*Rick Hummel "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" []
*Bruce Jenkins, "San Francisco Chronicle" []
*Chuck Johnson "USA Today" []
*Richard Justice "Houston Chronicle" []
*Dick Kaegel, []
*Ann Killion, "San Jose Mercury News" []
*Bob Klapisch, ESPN []
*Mike Klis, "Denver Post" []
*Gwen Knapp, "San Francisco Chronicle" []
*Michael Knisley, ESPN []
*Dejan Kovacevic, "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" []
*Steve Krasner, "Providence Journal" []
*Doug Krikorian, "Long Beach Press-Telegram", []
*Tim Kurkjian, ESPN []
*Joseph Liao, "World Journal" []
*Paul Ladewski, "Daily Southtown" [,081LAD2.article]
*Mike Lefkow, "Contra Costa Times" []
*Bill Livingston, "The Plain Dealer" []
*Seth Livingstone "USA Today" []
*Bill Madden, "New York Daily News" []
*Tony Massarotti, "Boston Herald []
*Sean McAdam, ESPN []
*Hal McCoy, "Dayton Daily News" []
*Dan McGrath, "Chicago Tribune" []
*Paul Meyer "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette []
* Rich Glanzer, Lynbrook Times Gazette
*Bernie Miklasz "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" []
*Scott Miller, CBS Sportsline []
*Larry Milson, "The Globe and Mail" []
*Jim Molony, []
*Carrie Muskat, []
*Bob Nightengale "USA Today" []
*Mark Newman, []
*Marty Noble, []
*Jack O'Connell "Hartford Courant" []
*Dave O'Hara, retired []
*Buster Olney, ESPN []
*Woody Paige, "The Denver Post" []
*Rob Parker, The Detroit News []
*Jeff Peek, "Traverse City Record Eagle" []
*John Perrotto, "Beaver County Times" []
*Mike Peticca, "The Plain Dealer" []
*Bill Plaschke, "Los Angeles Times" [] (non-voting member)
*Joe Posnanski, "The Kansas City Star" []
*Luis E. Rangel, "El Nuevo Herald" []
*Ray Ratto, "San Francisco Chronicle" []
*Tracy Ringolsby, "Rocky Mountain News" []
*Phil Rogers, ESPN []
*John Romano, St. Petersburg Times
*Bob Rosen, Elias Sports Bureau []
*Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports []
*Roger Rubin, New York Daily News []
*Jim Salisbury, "The Philadelphia Inquirer" []
*Peter Schmuck, "The Baltimore Sun"; elected President of the BWAA in 2005.
*Alan Schwarz, "Baseball America" []
*Chaz Scoggins, "The Sun" of Lowell []
*Dan Shaughnessy, "The Boston Globe" []
*Bud Shaw, "The Plain Dealer" []
*John Shea, "San Francisco Chronicle" []
*Joel Sherman, "New York Post" []
*Claire Smith, "The Philadelphia Inquirer" []
*Bob Smizik, "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" []
*Jim Souhan, "Minneapolis Star Tribune" []
*Lyle Spencer, []
*Jayson Stark, ESPN []
*Kit Stier, "The Journal News" []
*Larry Stone, "Seattle Times" []
*Joe Strauss, "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" []
*Jim Street, []
*Paul Sullivan, "Chicago Tribune" []
*T.R. Sullivan, []
*Dave van Dyck, "Chicago Tribune" []
*Tom Verducci, "Sports Illustrated" []

The "New York Times" [] and "Washington Post" [] writers have both stated that they are no longer permitted to vote by their employers. The "Los Angeles Times" has a similar policy [] , though it appears to be negotiable.

External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Baseball Library article]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association — The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) is an association of baseball writers, broadcasters, and publicists in the United States.[1][2] It was founded in 1962.[1][3][2] …   Wikipedia

  • Baseball Prospectus — Baseball Prospectus, sometimes abbreviated as BP, is a think tank focusing on sabermetrics, the statistical analysis of the sport of baseball. Baseball Prospectus has fathered several popular new statistical tools which have become hallmarks of… …   Wikipedia

  • Baseball Hall of Fame — Eingang der Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Daten Ort Cooperstown, New York Art Sportmuseum …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Baseball awards — Professional baseball leagues and amateur baseball organizations around the world, various sportswriting associations, and other interested groups confer awards on various baseball teams, players, managers, coaches, executives, broadcasters, and… …   Wikipedia

  • baseball — /bays bawl /, n. 1. a game of ball between two nine player teams played usually for nine innings on a field that has as a focal point a diamond shaped infield with a home plate and three other bases, 90 ft. (27 m) apart, forming a circuit that… …   Universalium

  • Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2007 — The 2007 elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame proceeded according to revised rules enacted in 2001. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) held an election to select from among recent players. The Veterans… …   Wikipedia

  • Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2005 — The 2005 elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame proceeded in keeping with rules enacted in 2001. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) held an election to select from among recent players, and the Veterans… …   Wikipedia

  • Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award — Listed below in chronological order are the Minor League Baseball players chosen by Baseball America as recipients of the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award. Since 1981 the award is given to a single minor league player and is …   Wikipedia

  • Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2008 — The elections to select the 2008 class of inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame proceeded according to revised rules enacted in 2001 and further revamped in 2007. The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) held an election to select… …   Wikipedia

  • Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1946 — The 1946 elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame marked a dramatic revision of the methods used one year earlier. The continuing failure to elect modern players led to changes in the ballot process, and forced a re thinking of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.