JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS –Three cheers for Oakland A’s RP Craig Breslow, whose efforts to raise funding for pediatric cancer research have earned him a nomination for the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award.

It’s an honor simply to have one’s name uttered in the same sentence as Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirate great who died in 1972 when a plane he chartered to bring aid to earthquake-ravaged Nicaragua crashed.

I’d love to recommend that you cast a vote for Breslow, as MLB rules permit. But I can’t.

It’s not that Breslow — whom Sporting News recently called the smartest man in sports — doesn’t deserve it. It’s that the voting process is more like a marketing gimmick for and Chevrolet, the Award’s sponsor.

Click here and you’ll see what I mean. Step 1 is to choose a nominee. Step 2, which is mandatory, is to enter your personal information — name, address, phone, e-mail, time-frame for purchasing or leasing a new vehicle, and three Chevy vehicles you’re most interested in — into a “sweepstakes” form and send it off to and Chevy.

I’m no profit prude. Baseball is a business, and the MLB is entitled to squeeze a buck out of it in any way it can. One day I hope to squeeze a few nickels out of it myself. (See Google Ads at the end of this post.)

But to say to fans: “Sure, we’ll let you vote for the most selfless baseball player, but you’ll have to give up your privacy and endure an avalanche of spam as punishment”?

Just doesn’t seem right to me.

— Scott Barancik, Editor/Curmudgeon

(Note to readers: Your comments are welcome below.)