You can watch the animated version here.*
BBWA member Donald “Old Man” Williamsport – An old crusty sportswriter who will never vote for a steroid user, a suspected steroid user, or any player with too many Os or Is in his name. He drinks 15 cups of coffee a day and has no trouble with the rampant amphetamine use in baseball in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and part of the 00s.
Dedicated Polling Place Volunteer BadgerNoonan – A concerned citizen doing his civic duty.
Donald – …and now to dot the Is in Williamsport with baseballs, and cross the t with my signature baseball bat, and we’re all set. Another MVP ballot well done.
BadgerNoonan – All set?
Donald – Yes sir, I just slide the ballot into this machine?
BadgerNoonan – Yes sir, isn’t technology great? Hmmm, it seems to be having some trouble, let me just take a look…
Donald – Maybe it doesn’t like the way I dotted my Is.
BadgerNoonan – Ah, there’s the problem. I should have guessed; this is like the 45th time this has happened today. I’ll just need a urine sample and we’ll be all set here.
Donald – Excuse me?
BadgerNoonan – Oh, the machine is telling me that this ballot requires a urine sample.
Donald – What? Why is it saying that? Is this a joke?
BadgerNoonan – No sir. In order to show their support for due process in America the leadership of the BBWA has implemented a few rules this year regarding MVP voting. It appears that your ballot has run afoul of these rules, but not to worry!
Donald – What do you mean?! This is outrageous! Why, they have no right to tell us who to vote for!
BadgerNoonan – Oh, it’s not like that at all! You can still vote for whoever you want, it’s just that some votes require a drug test. We have a nice room over here where you can fill the specimen bottle…
Donald – (Angrily) I will absolutely not be subjecting myself to any such thing. Now try the ballot again.
BadgerNoonan – Sorry sir. It’s still not working. I’m afraid I can’t process this ballot unless you either change your MVP vote or submit to a urine test.
Donald – What’s wrong with my vote?
BadgerNoonan – I’m not permitted to see the votes sir, but if you tell me who you voted for perhaps I could be of assistance.
Donald – I voted for Matt Holliday.
BadgerNoonan – Ah, yes, that makes perfect sense. We’ll definitely be needing that sample. If you just log onto the BBWA website it’s all explained very clearly.
Donald – I’ll have to wait until I get back to my office. My phone only makes phone calls. No twitzing or sportsjabbering for me. Can you fill me in since you seem to be up on all of these rules?
BadgerNoonan – Poll workers have to be. We’re in charge maintaining the integrity of the process. I’m sure you’re very concerned about maintaining the integrity of the process, right?
Donald – Of course.
BadgerNoonan – Very well. The association determined that there are a few reasonable choices for MVP, one of which is Ryan Braun; however they were concerned that many members might be reluctant to vote for Mr. Braun due to the positive drug test that was improperly leaked and that he subsequently defeated. They wanted to make sure that voters were being intellectually consistent without placing any actual restrictions on their choices.
Donald – What does any of that have to do with me taking a urine test?
BadgerNoonan – You selected Matt Holliday, and while Mr. Holliday is a fine player he is not close to MVP caliber this season. Moreover, he plays the same position as Ryan Braun but was more than 2 wins less valuable. Selecting Mr. Holliday is a clear indication that you believe Ryan Braun to be a steroid user even though his positive test was overturned. In order to maintain the intellectual consistency of the association anyone voting for Matt Holliday, or any similar player, is required to undergo the same process as Ryan Braun.
Donald – He’s clearly a user. Are you kidding? He’s the only player ever to beat the system, and he did so on a technicality. I’d never sully Baseball’s good name by voting for that cheater.
BadgerNoonan – Very good sir, all you have to do is pee in this cup.
Donald – And then my vote will be counted?
BadgerNoonan – In 3 days time, yes.
Donald – Why 3 days?
BadgerNoonan – That’s the amount of time your sample will have to spend in my basement.
Donald – Come again?
BadgerNoonan – Ryan Braun’s sample spent a weekend in a Rubbermaid container in the non-temperature-controlled basement of a FedEx employee. Your sample will be spending the next 3 nights in my basement in an authentic Rubbermaid container. After 3 nights I will personally deliver the samples to the lab. Don’t worry; my basement is in great shape. We just had asbestos remediation, and the Radon levels have really tapered off lately.
Donald – I don’t care about any Radon.
BadgerNoonan – Oh, you really should. It causes all sorts of cancer and it’s really not a hard problem to fix.
Donald – No, I mean, I’m not subjecting myself to this. I just want to cast my vote. Why would they do this? It’s an outrage!
BadgerNoonan – Indeed. It’s important that we don’t punish people unjustly, so as long as you’re OK with the process, and willing to demonstrate your confidence in the process by subjecting yourself to it, you can vote for whoever you want. And don’t worry, I’m really trustworthy, I totally won’t switch your sample with TJ Simers’. Scouts’ honor.
Donald – Say I decide to do this…
BadgerNoonan – Yes?
Donald – Do I find out the results?
BadgerNoonan – All results will be sent to Buster Olney, who will leak them to the public. Don’t worry, if you’re clean you shouldn’t have anything to fear, and my landlord is totally fixing the part of the furnace that’s giving off all the brown smoke.
Donald – You know what, I think I may just not vote this year. Baseball is getting too corrupt to bestow such an honor on anyone.
BadgerNoonan – Not at all cowardly of you sir. The BBWA will miss your input but we completely understand how you may not want to be subjected to such treatment. No one will judge your decision to not be tested as an admission of drug use. Guilty until proven innocent, I always say.
Donald – Go screw yourself.
BadgerNoonan – That’s OK sir, we’ve been talking a long time. You’re probably just experiencing withdrawal.
*I used Xtranormal. It worked OK, but did not want to say “T.J. Simers” properly.