When I first covered baseball for
It wasn't so much the bonding among peers, or the snazzy membership card, or the secret handshake, or the never-ending perks, or the conga line of hot BBWAA groupies, or getting to take long walks on a beach with
No, in the spirit of
Unlike the majority of the country's 304 million people, members of the BBWAA (those who covered the game for at least 10 consecutive seasons) are the ones who decide whether a retired ballplayer is worthy of enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame. That, more than anything, is why entrance into the BBWAA's ranks is coveted by writers the same way 13-year-old girls crave
In a sociological way, it makes sense. Most of us writers weren't exactly the cool kids in school. We stunk at sports, failed at dating and rarely -- if ever -- got invited to the good parties. While our peers were making out with the cheerleaders, we were debating among ourselves whether the Yankees were wise to have traded
And yet, after spending so many of my years itching to earn that elusive BBWAA Gold Card status, I can honestly say that I would rather work as Bieber's "swagger coach" (frighteningly, he has one) than cast a vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Why? Because the whole process is a crock.
To be blunt, sportswriters have no business deciding which men do and do not belong in Cooperstown. It's a farce. A joke. Having spent many of my days covering baseball from press boxes across the nation, I will now proportionately break down for you what, exactly, we scribes do during a nine-inning game:
20 percent: Watch baseball
20 percent: Write skeletal game stories, with blanks to be filled in later
15 percent: E-mail
15 percent: Facebook/MySpace/Twitter
10 percent: Attack press dining room ice cream dispenser
8 percent: Debate the Jerry Mumphrey-Omar Moreno deal
5 percent: Return to press dining room ice cream dispenser
3 percent: Return again to press dining room ice cream dispenser
2 percent: Complain to neighboring writer that press dining room ice cream dispenser lacks chocolate syrup
1 percent: Shoot evil looks toward the overexuberant radio dolt screaming, "I'M FRANKIE ZACCHEO! IN THE FIFTH INNING HERE FROM PNC PARK, IT'S THE BREWERS 3, THE PIRATES NOTHING!!!!!" into a telephone
1 percent: Google "public relations" and "job openings"
In other words, while most baseball writers attend 100 or so games per year, they are no more qualified to determine a ballplayer's Hall worthiness than, well, you are. They watch, they take notes, they even inquire. But do they know what it is to hit a
Or do they merely know what it is to partially observe?
This year's results were just as mind-boggling.
Because he was only so-so with the media?
Or maybe, just maybe, it's simpler than that: Maybe the majority of Alomar's hits came when the press box ice cream dispenser was in operation.
Chocolate syrup and all.