MLB Writer Fight: Murray Chass vs. Tom Verducci

MLB Writer Fight: Murray Chass vs. Tom Verducci


MLB Writer Fight: Murray Chass vs. Tom Verducci

Murray Chass, the ornery old bat who used to write for the NY Times – he hasn’t liked this site since we wrote about his departure – loves to attack people. Since starting his blog, Chass has gone after Mike Piazza‘s bacne, former colleague Selena Roberts, and ESPN’s Jayson Stark, to name a few. Chass, irate that his friend Marvin Miller wasn’t elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week (by one vote!), took a few shots at one of the voters he thought was responsible for Miller’s omission, SI’s Tom Verducci.

The Hall does not disclose individual votes so unless committee members say whom they voted for, their ballots remain secret. That practice, however, leaves room for speculation, and Miller said some people told him they heard or believed the other two no votes, besides the three owners, were Frank Robinson, the Hall of Fame player, and Tom Verducci, the sports writer …

I’m not sure what Verducci, the Sports Illustrated writer, thought of Miller, but I know he didn’t think much of the job Miller had. When Verducci covered baseball for Newsday, the Long Island daily, he hated covering baseball labor. And when he did cover it, he wasn’t very good at it.

During the 1990 lockout, there was a Saturday afternoon bargaining session, before which the retired Miller met with members of the union’s negotiating committee and, in effect, gave them a pep talk. The bargaining session turned out to be critical and led to the settlement of the dispute, but Verducci missed the development, writing instead that the situation was growing worse.

Could Verducci’s view of labor negotiations translate into a no vote 20 years later? Only he knows, but that’s what the belief is, and Miller missed by that margin of one vote.

Some fairly damning accusations, right? While Roberts and Stark and in the past never bothered to acknowledge Murray’s musings, Verducci response was swift and incisive.

Former players association executive director Marvin Miller issued an apology to me on Tuesday for telling a blogger that he “was told” that I was one of the five members of the Hall of Fame Expansion Era committee who did not vote for Miller in closed balloting on Monday. The published hearsay from Miller was wrong. I did vote for Miller.
Our favorite part of Verducci’s takedown is his repeated use of the word “blogger” in what one could perceive as a mocking manner:
erroneous hearsay to the blogger
erroneous accusations to a blogger
The blogger did not return phone and e-mail messages from

Why not just call him Chass instead phrasing it so derisively, like he was a criminal or something?

[Murray Chass, SI]

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