Baseball's championship season and the fruits thereof are long
gone, buried by stubbornness and greed, eulogized in public
But hey everybody, here come those postseason awards.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America felt compelled to
conduct its annual voting for postseason honors. The BBWAA will
begin announcing the winners today, when the National League
Manager of the Year is revealed.
From this end, the anticipation is almost too much to contain.
What better way to cap this repulsive year of baseball than to pay
homage to some of its participants.
As soon as the writers' awards are passed out, perhaps we
should sponsor a "Bonbons for Bettman Night" at Kiel Center, have
Saddam Hussein to dinner and hold the next meeting of the Mizzou
Quarterback Club at Lou's Palace.
Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz is not taken
with the BBWAA awards this year. Save for the worst ballot-counting
scandal in modern history, Braves pitcher Greg Maddux will win the
Cy Young Award in the NL.
This represents a costly proposition for the Braves. Maddux's
contract includes incentives built around the Cy Young and he
stands to make $750,000 extra for his incomplete effort. That's
seven-hundred-and-fifty-thousand bologna skins, kiddos, or enough
to dramatically alter most of our lives.
Schuerzie is hacked, as well he might be. After all, the
players brought the season to a premature end. There were no
pennant winners, no World Series champions. If the goal of each
individual is to help his team open champagne bottles, everyone
came up dry.
It is ludicrous, Schuerholz suggests, to proceed with these
individual awards in light of this group debacle. The point is well
made, but he probably is not the one to make it. True, the BBWAA
and its awards are costing the Braves mucho money, but that's the
fault of the Braves, not the writers.
One can safely assume Rick Hummel, Post-Dispatch scribe and
national president of the BBWAA, was not consulted when the Braves
negotiated Maddux's contract. The writers do not lobby agents to
demand incentives tied to these awards. Most of the BBWAA members
don't know, and none of them worry, about who collects what as a
result of the voting.
The owners and players have managed to put the national pastime
in the past tense. Fine. But the BBWAA is under no obligation to
If deep-pocketed organizations choose to take this team game
and approve large rewards based on individual achievements, they
deserve whatever they get. …