November 15, 2010
The unusual news coming from the BBWAA vote was the support Jose Tabata(notes) and Neil Walker(notes) of the Pittsburgh Pirates received from one reporter, and that it came at the expense of Heyward — who was left off the reporter's ballot entirely.
Variety is the spice of life and all, but huh?
Heyward, who led all major league rookies in batting average, was second in OPS and tied for third in home runs, was purposely omitted from the ballot of Dejan Kovacevic.
Kovacevic instead gave a second-place vote to Walker and a third-place nod to Tabata, both of whom he covers for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Yeargh, somebody be tryin' to shanghai Heyward's chance to win!
Not really. Posey had 20 first-place votes out of 30 total, and Heyward finished second in the balloting after getting nine first-place votes — so Kovacevic didn't affect the order of finish where it really matters. And he voted Posey first, as did most of the electorate.
But Walker and Tabata? Nobody else cast a vote for either. Explain yourself, man!
From Kovacevic's Twitter:
Re: ROY voting. Felt very firmly about Posey, thus chose him 1st. Felt Walker/Tabata had strong years, comparable to rest of class.
Neither Walker nor Tabata is off-the-board choice, as seen from list of NL rookies with 400 PA, ranked by OPS.
Obviously saw way more of Walker/Tabata than others, but that also gave perspective on them performing at high level in poor lineup/setting.
Feeling always has been with voting that broadest variety of perspectives bring best results. Few can argue final overall tally, I'd think.
He sounds so reasonable! Walker was actually third in the NL in OPS and he had a better slugging percentage than Heyward, so he's a reasonable guy to put on the ballot. But Tabata, no matter how bright his future appears, did not have a better season than Heyward in any way.
And grouping the Pirates together makes Kovacevic look like a homer. You want objectivity in beat reporters, but I'd want to err on the side of bias against the team I covered. Kind of like the dad who never told you he loved you.
An aside: One reporter also left Posey off his ballot: Yasushi Kikuchi, who is based out of Los Angeles, said Posey's late promotion — he came up May 29 — was why. I have no problem with that. I actually like that at least one person did it. It should be on the record.
I'm not advocating that Kovacevic, either, should be thrown out of baseball for voting this way. If nothing else, he's helped to give us something to talk about in an otherwise boring election.
Anyway, all of this talk obscures the real news from today:
Chewbacca has been named Wookiee of the Year for the 33rd straight time (but Kovacevic put two Ewoks on his ballot).
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