Being a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America is something I take seriously. The BBWAA, like any large organization, has issues. But the vast majority of the members take their stewardship of the game seriously.
Baseball writers are a conduit to the fan — more than ever these days with instantly updated blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. — and we work with MLB to guarantee access to the players and information. The BBWAA also votes on membership in the Hall of Fame and for the major awards.
Contrary to what some believe, there is no East Coast bias when voting for the awards. Two writers in each city are selected for a panel. Because there are so many BBWAA members in New York, we each get one award to vote for and it rotates from year to year.
I just learned I will be voting for Most Valuable Player this year. My last MVP vote was in 2005 when I covered the Mets.
Here is what the ballot said:
It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.
The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:
1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.
You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration.
Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters.
So there you have it. I’m going to wait another two weeks before making a list of 25 names and then I plan to whittle it down from there.
We’re asked not to reveal our ballots until the voting is announced in November. So no harassing me.
Driving up to Boston this morning. Check back later for the game post.