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Calloni’s Corner: MLB Award Voting Bias

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Calloni’s Corner: MLB Award Voting Bias

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

AP

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

AP

AP

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Josh Calloni, Reporter

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The MLB award season has now come to a close, and luckily this year, no undeserving players won their distinctive award.

Each year, the MLB gathers 30 writers from each league to vote. This committee makes up the BBWAA, the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The voting process makes sense, AL writers vote for the AL winners, and same for the NL. Each team has two representing writers, and this is where the flaw begins. Each year, one writers hometown bias goes into the voting. This year, luckily, nothing was affected by a writer doing this. However, there were some obvious signs of bias in the ballots. Shohei Ohtani, the AL Rookie of the Year, was not even put on the ballot of Rays writer Dick Scanlon. Instead, Rays second baseman Joey Wendle appeared second, his only second place vote. Following him in third was Rays starting pitcher Ryan Yarborough. This was Yarborough’s only vote.

In years past, things like this have made a huge difference in outcomes. Last year, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Votto were mere votes away from each other for first in MVP. However, with Diamondbacks writer Bob Nightengale putting Votto 5th on his ballot, the lowest of anyone’s votes, Votto did not win. Nightengale was given some criticism for this, and later said it was because the Reds were not a good team, therefore Votto did not deserve to win. While there is some logic behind that, there is not much. Votto could not be counted against due to the fact that the Reds were subpar. But, with that said, the MVP is the most valuable player, meaning the player that brought the most value to his team.

While Votto was clearly the best player on the Reds and helped them win many games in 2017, there is more to it. Votto did not lead his team to the playoffs, or a winning season. Neither did Stanton, but Stanton won the MVP, solely because had more home runs that Votto. Votto led in every other statistical stat category over Stanton.

While that is the most recent example of this, it has happened many times before, and will happen again. The writers show bias in their ways and do not always look at the right things when voting. Is this the best way to vote? Probably. Could it be corrected in a way that makes more sense and eliminated bias? For sure.

About the Writer
Josh Calloni, Reporter

My name is Josh Calloni, and I am a junior here at Timberland. I like to write, and I want to be a sports journalist. I strive to write like Ken Rosenthal....

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Calloni’s Corner: MLB Award Voting Bias