There is nothing better than a good media feud. I love it when prominent figures in the national media go after each other like a couple pitbulls penned up behind chicken wire in Michael Vick’s backyard. Just tearing at each other’s throats. Just out for blood.
But lacking a great big-time media feud, I’ll settle for what’s going on between Murray Chass and Rob Neyer. Which is more like a poodle war. A couple poodles yipping at each other from across the poodle hair salon.
Of course the whole thing started because of the Hall of Fame. Almost all fights between baseball writers start over the Hall of Fame. Or Sabermetrics vs. Old Timey Gut Feeling Baseball Knowledge.
It started because Chass put together a Hall of Fame ballot that summarily dismissed not only all admitted PED users but all players who in Chass’ estimation might have done PEDs. This made-up list of probable-PED-users includes Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio.
Neither Biggio nor Piazza has much PED evidence piled against him, but don’t tell Murray Chass. Like Dan Shaughnessy, Chass has his own feel for these things. He knows who’s guilty and who’s innocent. He’s the judge and the jury. And he would be the executioner if only someone would give him a hood and an axe. But until murder is legal, he’ll settle for keeping people out of the Hall of Fame.
Abusing PEDs: Bad. Abusing one’s authority as a Hall of Fame voter: Good.
Lots of people got angry at Murray Chass for this. They said things about Murray Chass. They called him names. Rob Neyer got in on the fun, calling Chass out for being out-of-touch and obsessed with steroids.
“It’s odd to see Chass place Craig Biggio among players who ‘were proved to have cheated, admitted they cheated or are strongly suspected of having cheated.’ Strongly suspected by … whom, exactly?,” Neyer wrote.
“I’ve never seen anything in print about Biggio. I’ve not heard any rumors, either. Chass is welcome to his opinion, of course. But if he’s not willing to cite the existence of even anonymous sources, he should at least admit that he is the one doing the strong suspecting.”
Someone must have emailed Chass a link to Neyer’s post or otherwise made him aware of it. Chass shot back by, this is really horrifying…calling Neyer A BLOGGER.
“Rob Neyer is another blogger who has a problem with me. As if he had nothing better to write about – and if he didn’t his employer should dock him a day’s pay (I receive no pay for this column so don’t suggest the same for me), he wrote his entire column about my Hall of Fame ballot,” Chass wrote in his legitimate non-blog column.
“That actually is a popular exercise among bloggers because they are jealous of the baseball writers who get to vote. They think they can do better, but they can’t vote and it pains them.”
Chass’ insult must’ve hit Neyer right in the sweet spot because Neyer got really ticked off and fired back.
“Still not sure what a blogger is, old buddy. I do exactly the same thing you do, except a lot more often,” Neyer wrote. “Do I think I can do better with a Hall of Fame ballot? Sure. Don’t we all? Doesn’t every single baseball writer think his Hall of Fame ballot, whether real or imagined, would be at least slightly better than the next guy’s? Otherwise, why not just ask the next guy if you can copy his?”
Like people on the internet who went to writing school got through writing school. Or whatever they call it.
At this point I forgot what Chass and Neyer were originally arguing about, cause I kept picturing that scene in Community where Annie and Britta got oil all over them and began wrestling.
Oh, Craig Biggio. Well hell, I don’t know. Maybe he did steroids and maybe he didn’t. It doesn’t look like he’s getting into the Hall of Fame either way. Who cares really? The Hall of Fame is kind of stupid. It’s mostly a thing for old men to argue about. Like which is better, Grape Nuts or prunes.
Who won between Murray Chass and Rob Neyer? When poodle baseball writers fight, I say we all win. But yeah, Neyer won. Chass is just awful.