T.J. Quinn, a former baseball beat writer, and one of the two key reporters on the BALCO case and other baseball PED matters, has decided not to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But too often, I've seen writers use their votes as a way to punish or reward players, and I don't think journalists should be in that position. I don't see voting for the Hall of Fame as the equivalent of a political reporter voting for a candidate; it's more like a political reporter serving in the Electoral College. I liked having that power, but I just can't justify it.
This is a really prominent and respected guy, doing a really unusual thing, and he's doing it for extraordinarily sensible reasons. I'm shocked, and I commend Mr. Quinn.
I've been saying for years that anything that sports reporters vote on is inherently worthless. Most of them are clowns, and in the football realm, very few have any real idea of what they're talking about. To be a member of the Baseball Writers of America for 10 years, chances are pretty good that you became a columnist at some point. That means that you get to grind personal axes, try to get coaches fired, and basically vomit your ill-informed opinions upon everybody, as part of an alleged journalistic product.
Tom Nalen isn't going to make the Hall of Fame someday, because he was the leader behind the "no talking to reporters" thing. Sterling Sharpe, who was nearly Jerry Rice's equal when both were playing, will never get in for the same reason (his injury-shortened career is a convenient excuse). Charles Haley may never make it because he was/is viewed poorly by media types. These are travesties.
You have to play the media hacks' stupid game, and make them feel loved, powerful, and respected. If you don't, they're going to screw you when they can, because they can. Quinn talks about a number of issues, and his whole article is worth a read, but this is the point that resonates with me. Let's get reporters out of the voting business.