(image taken from Kaplan’s Korner)

Man, imagine what the firestorm would’ve been if Dan Graziano and Jeff Pearlman had taken their shots at Jeff Bagwell’s Hall Of Fame candidacy anytime besides a holiday week? NY Baseball Digest’s Howard Megdal, (above) he of the routinely impressive Mets Haiku and 2010’s inspired campaign to replace Omar Minaya with, well, himself, surveyed yesterday’s shitstorm and sighs, “why it is impossible for some people to make peace with these differences in opinion- yes, weighing statistical evidence less is a difference of opinion- and resort to insults instead- is beyond me.”

Two things happen as a result of this name-calling. One, some writers are less likely to publicize their ballots, let alone explain their reasons behind their choices. It™s not worth the trouble, when the response is likely to be so vitriolic. Two, my guess is that some other writers are going to make intentionally contrarian choices to generate publicity, since the firestorm is apparently guaranteed.

What I doubt will happen is that Hall of Fame voters who can be persuaded to change their votes will be more likely to consider an alternate point of view from someone engaged in scatological nonsense. When it comes from sabermetricians, a group I consider myself a part of, and one that is supposed to value logic over ad hominem attack, it gets embarrassing, and helps nothing.