Son, there was once a time when the BBWAA awards did not have “Finalists,” they just had winners


This may be hard for you to understand, but there was once a time when the BBWAA award winners were announced at 2:00 in the afternoon, and you heard about them on the evening news, or read about them in a newspaper the next day, or, in later years, saw the results on the Internet, and there was simply a list of the players who got votes, and a ranking of how many votes they got, and you read the list, and it was sort of exciting to see who won but also which players got one silly vote from a hometown writer, and then you went about the rest of your life, perfectly satisfied with how these award winners were revealed and never even contemplating that there might be a way to milk this nonsense for weeks and make it extra-stupid.

See, son, back then there was no MLB Network, with 24 hours a day that they needed to fill with programming, and there were no shows where they counted down the top 9 players to ever choke on a hot dog, running sixteen times a day, and there was no need to create some sort of fiction where there are three “finalists” for every award. Son, there are no “finalists.” The voting still happens exactly the way it used to happen, where the writers vote for whomever the heck they want to vote for, except now, in order to squeeze an extra hour of programming out of the awarding of awards, they announce the three top vote-getters a week in advance, call them “finalists,” and pretend it means something.

It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just stupid.

Like a lot of things. I mean, on balance I guess things are a lot better for you now than they were for me, when I was your age. You get instant box scores. Your fantasy team statistics are computed automatically, without you having to add up long columns of numbers with your TI-85 graphing calculator. There are more games on TV than you can possibly watch, and for the cost of, I don’t know, a couple months of diapers, you can watch pretty much any game you want all season (which is the deal I’ll be attempting to make with your mother — let me toilet train you a couple of months early, and, if I do, I get to buy MLB.TV in 2015, or 2016, or whenever it is you’ll eventually be toilet trained).

But some things were better in the old days. And not having to read nonsense articles about the fake “finalists” for the MVP award is one of them.


*Born 10/8/13. Yay!

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

4 Responses to “Son, there was once a time when the BBWAA awards did not have “Finalists,” they just had winners”

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  1. Nav says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Blachman! Cheers.

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  2. triple-A city says:

    I have no time whatsoever for nonsense articles about fake finalists, but somehow I do have time for nonsense fake articles about fake finalists. NotGraphs is a strange place.

    *Wonderful news! Is he your first? If so I expect an increasingly existential turn in your viewing of baseball, with a 300% increase in life lessons found. Because, dads.

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  3. Utah Dave says:

    With all the drivel on MLB Network, couldn’t they manage to show the old Home Run Derby shows from the 50’s or 60’s? Eddie Mathews versus Ernie Banks!

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  4. Nivra says:

    Congratulations, Papa!

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