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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best
Monday, October 27, 2003
Ballot explanation issues
This is an attempt to move the discussion started with RMc, Rob C and John Murphy to it’s own area.
I have to agree with John and Rob, we’ve got to enforce the policies we’ve agreed to. I realize that RMc thoughtfully thinks through his ballot and he isn’t just throwing darts or anything. But, explaining the ballots is part of the process, in fact it’s been one of the foundations of this whole project from the outset.
I don’t have any problem with including his (or others like it) for this week, as he has established credibility, it’s really late in the process, etc..
However, if we don’t nip this in the bud now, there will be more people only submitting lists of names in the future, and we’re just asking for trouble. Remember the first Historical Abstract, where Bill James wrote about rules that are selectively enforced (like speed limits) and how that is just asking for trouble? That’s what I’m thinking of.
For example, I realize you might not have anything to add on the Start debate, but explaining what arguments convinced you to vote him 3rd (as opposed to 12th, 5th or 1st) is important. Please include more explanation next week. JeffM, Ed, Mark McKinniss, Dan B, Ken Fischer and MichaelD . . . this would apply to you guys also. It’s possible I missed one, but I think all of the other ballots have at least a minimal explanation for each player.
As for the policy regarding explaining players that are left off a ballot, if they were in the top 10 in the voting the year before . . . I think we need to enforce that also. We are asking everyone to explain who they are voting for - it’s not unreasonable to ask people why they are leaving off players most of the others are voting for.
Some people feel strongly about this issue, and they really are on the right side of the coin; so I will do a better job of enforcing both of these policies in the future.
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