The Posey and Heyward omitters speak
Yasushi Kikuchi, the writer who left Buster Posey off his Rookie of the Year ballot, explains himself:
Like I said before, though I don’t agree with it, I at least understand how someone can have a thought process that goes “the players who were there all season get more credit.” It’s a crude way to go about things, and in this case I think such an approach steered Kikuchi into the ditch, but I see what happened, and that’s about as much as you can ask.
Dejan Kovacevic is the guy who left Heyward off the ballot. He did have Posey first, however, so we should probably keep things in perspective. As for his inclusion of Pirates Neil Walker and Jose Tabata, Dejan has been defending himself on Twitter this afternoon. Some of his comments, edited slightly for clarity:
At that point Dejan linked to this leaderboard. I guess I understand what he’s saying about Walker and Tabata not being “off the board,” but it’s worth noting that they’re lower on the board in nearly every significant category -- including the one he cited, OPS -- than Jason Heyward was. Dejan goes on:
I appreciate Dejan defending his votes, and -- if you look at some of the replies to specific questions to others in his Twitter feed -- him being very gracious and polite about it.
Still, while the explanation is welcome, it doesn’t do much to persuade me, to put it lightly. Not that he’s trying to persuade me or anyone else of course. It’s his vote and if he wanted to tell us all to pound salt, he could do so. I disagree with him and think he whiffed badly in this instance, but the same can be said for a lot of these votes, and we’re not entitled to an explanation, even if we want one.
With respect to both Kikuchi and Kovacevic: the only serious question I ever have when I see an outlier awards vote is whether there was any funny business. Was someone trying to make a political point, or were they not taking their task seriously. While I think Kovacevic saw the vote through black and gold colored glasses, I don’t see any way you can accuse him of funny business here. Same goes for Kikuchi whose vote was principled, even if misguidedly so. In either case, anyone saying silly things like their votes should be taken away (Really Jon?) is off base.
But at the same time, I’m not going to simply wave my hand and say that “everyone is entitled to their opinion.” I mean, they are, but that doesn’t make their opinion unassailable. Opinions can be wrong if they’re based on bad facts and poor reasoning, and in this case, I think Kikuchi and Kovacevic’s were.