Hear that scream? That’s the sound of a large number of MLB players cursing as word comes today that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) has voted today to alter their rules regarding players that have bonus clauses in their contract for MVP, Cy Young or Rookie of the Year awards. As reported by The AP:
Starting in 2013, players with such bonus clauses in their contracts will be banned from receiving votes for any BBWAA awards. Hall of Fame voting is not affected, nor are manager of the year or non-BBWAA awards such as the World Series MVP or Gold Glove.
"When we first started giving out these awards it was just to honor somebody. You got a trophy, there was no monetary reward that went with it," BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O'Connell said. "I honestly don't think people vote with that in mind. But the attachment of a bonus to these awards creates a perception that we're trying to make these guys rich."
The vote was 41-21 on the rule change.
And one might ask whether the cursing coming from players that might be in line for such award bonuses is directed at the BBWAA or possibly Curt Schilling. As further reported:
Curt Schilling has a clause in his agreement for next year that would pay him $1 million if he receives even a single third-place vote for the Cy Young Award.
"The Schilling thing is disturbing because he doesn't even have to win," said O'Connell, noting that Schilling joked about a kickback to the voter if he collected the bonus. "That's something that none of us finds very funny."
And, one might surmise that the players that can collect hefty bonuses for the awards aren’t finding this change in the rules funny either.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also an author for Baseball Prospectus, Basketball Prospectus and is an available writer for other media outlets.
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