Is Dejan Kovacevic the new Keith Law?

November, 17, 2010
11/17/10
7:06
PM ET
Hey, a question just occurred to me ... Where is the outrage?

Almost exactly one year ago, National League Cy Young Award voters Will Carroll and Keith Law were roundly excoriated -- in print, on television, the InterWeb -- because they left Chris Carpenter completely off their ballots. Because they were the only voters who left Carpenter completely off their ballots.

As I wrote at the time, leaving Carpenter off was obviously idiosyncratic, but also perfectly defensible based purely on the performance of the five (or six) meaningful candidates.

Keith took most of the heat, because he left off Carpenter and Wainwright (who Carroll had in first place). You can imagine how well that went over in St. Louis.

Again, though, it wasn't just St. Louis. Any number of Law's fellow BBWAA members questioned his intelligence, if not his sanity. And ultimately, the BBWAA changed the Cy Young voting rules for the first time since 1970 -- what's unofficially been dubbed "The Keith Law Rule" has voters listing five pitchers on each Cy Young ballot, rather than three.

I'm sure the BBWAA's spokespeople would deny a direct link between Law's ballot and the switch ... but it hardly seems coincidental, does it?

Granted, the BBWAA -- and by the way, yes I'm a member in good standing, at least for the next few weeks -- isn't exactly known for great consistency and foresight. So, even though before this year the voting systems were exactly the same for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards, when the former was changed the latter was not. The reasoning behind which is fairly hard to fathom.

But if not now, when? One National League Rookie of the Year voter left Buster Posey off his ballot completely, and another left off Jason Heyward. Yet somehow I've detected nowhere near the outrage against these voters that we saw last year. If we really needed a Keith Law Rule, don't we now need a Dejan Kovacevic Rule, simply to ensure that nothing so offensive ever happens again?

I'm just saying.

Correction: Keith Law did not omit Wainwright completely last year. He had him third. Next time I need to read what I wrote the first time more carefully. Thanks to the commenters.

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