Sunday, July 23, 2006

Randy Harvey, Balt. Sun, says no writers should vote on awards; 11/18/05

From "On the Media," Nat. Public Radio 11/18/05

But how much longer that group names MVPs, as well as Rookies-of-the-Year, Cy Young winners, and even Hall of Famers, is very much an open question. This year a handful of major newspapers issued new ethics policies banning their writers from taking part in the voting. Among them was the Baltimore Sun, whose new sports editor, Randy Harvey, sees the issue as a no-brainer. Journalists, he says, should be covering the news, not making it.

RANDY HARVEY: I mean, I'm a little insulted that editors around the country allow their sports writers to do this because I don't think any editor in any self-respecting newspaper would allow the people who cover the courts to vote on who should be on the Supreme Court.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: So, Randy, if not sports journalists, then who do you think should be determining things like the MVP Awards and the Hall of Fame inductees?

RANDY HARVEY: Well, I think it should come from baseball. I mean, the Academy Awards is a good example. The movie industry decides on the movie awards. Well, the baseball industry should decide. The Hall of Fame, I think, should be voted on by living members of the Hall of Fame. You know, people who are in the Hall of Fame should decide who they want to let into their club.


RANDY HARVEY: I think for the Most Valuable Player, then maybe it should be managers.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Well, that'll be an objective group.

RANDY HARVEY: Well, I mean, I don't know why they wouldn't be objective. You know, the players have bonuses written into their contracts for making the All-Star team and, you know, a manager or managers decide who will be the reserves on the All-Star teams, and I think they do a pretty good job of selecting the All-Star team. I mean, the football coaches vote on the CNN/USA Today Football Poll, and you could make the same claim of them, that, well, they're not going to be very objective or they're going to have agendas. But it's amazing how much their poll ends up looking like the Associated Press Poll or now this new poll, the Harris Poll. I mean, I think we are quite good at what we do, at reporting and analyzing baseball games, but I'm not sure we're any better at evaluating talent than the players themselves or the owners and general managers. You know, I wouldn't want baseball players voting on the Pulitzer Prize winners, so I'm not sure why we should be voting on baseball awards.


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