Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dear Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

I must be in a charitable mood this week. First handing out accolades to Dayn Perry and now Ken Rosenthal? Yep, Mr. Rosenthal wrote not one but two really exceptional columns. The first column listed his picks for the MLB individual awards, which I assume were official picks since he seems like a dude who would have a vote that counts. The second listed things he got right and wrong over the course of the MLB season.

Like Perry, Rosenthal hands out his picks for MVPs, Cy Youngs, Rookies of the Year, and Managers of the Year. He also hands out Comeback Players of the Year and Executive of the Year as well as listing his top runners up for each category (another reason it would make sense that this is a reprint of his official ballot). I need not cover the individual picks because it would be a regurgitation of the Perry piece. Suffice it to say that he has sounds arguments for al his picks.

And that's not really the reason the column is exceptional anyway. I absolutely LOVE the transparency and accountability. If our government took a cue from Mr. Rosenthal, we would not be knee deep in Wall Street sewage. If all writers followed his lead, we might have avoided nonsense like Jeff Kent winning NL MVP in 2000 just because everyone hates Barry Lamar Bonds. Rosenthal had the marbles to shed the security of anonymity and he deserves a lot of credit for that, even if his picks had been garbage. Even more so since this is, as I've said before, a tough year with no clear cut winners (except Rookies of the Year and Joe Maddon).

Now the second column. I think I might have actually blacked out for a second from shock when I read this. A nationally-recognized sports journalist admitting he had been wrong?!? Tell all the dead lawyers to break out the parkas and sleds.

Almost the entire article was a revelation. I remember Rosenthal absolutely killed the Astros for acquiring Randy Wolf. To a lesser degree, I remember reading his critique of the Shawn Chacon incident. But Ken could have easily taken the easy coward's route since almost everybody thought Houston was crazy to be a buyer at the deadline. Furthermore, it's pretty safe to criticize a grown man who gets into a fist fight. But Mr. Rosenthal again showed some integrity and owned up to blowing both. I respect that.

And that second apology to Ken Williams really had to hurt. From all accounts, that guy is a bit of an ass and it really sucks to have to apologize to someone who will not accept it with grace. That's exactly what Ken did. Again, I respect that.

It wasn't perfect - I don't know why you'd go out of your way to apologize to an empty, vomitous parasite like Scott Boras. That smacked a bit of manipulation, but nobody's perfect and Rosenthal earned a slew of mulligans. That's a good thing because if history has any predictive value, ol' Ken will use every one of them.

But not this week.

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