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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Integrity of the Ballot

JohnQ/LeonardP694 has attempted to ‘stuff’ the ballot box. This cannot and will not be tolerated, for obvious reasons. Need to make that crystal clear.

I don’t want discussion of this cluttering up the ballot discussion thread or the ballot thread, but feel free to discuss this here. This hasn’t been an issue in the past, and hopefully it won’t be in the future. We need to nip this behavior in the bud right now.

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:31 PM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:35 PM (#3395902)
John/Leonard, if you have a good explanation, I'd love to hear it.
   2. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3395921)
I move to immediately deny the benefits of the extension to anyone who has not voted previously. No new voters at this time.
   3. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:46 PM (#3395924)
I don't think we need to take it that far DL. I think that's kind of like using a bomb to swat a fly . . .
   4. AJMcCringleberry Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:46 PM (#3395927)
New guy: I want to vote for these guys.
Others: Why those guys and not these guys?
New guy: Cause I said so.
Others: What's your reasoning?
New guy: I don't have to explain myself.
Others: Yes you do.
New guy: *posts another ballot under different name*

Is that basically right? I say we don't accept his ballot even if does justify it.
   5. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:50 PM (#3395933)
Yes AJM, that is essentially the Cliff Notes version of what happened. Although he did reasonably if not enthusiastically (or adequately some would say) justify the original ballot, while complaining the whole way through.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3395939)
Is that basically right? I say we don't accept his ballot even if does justify it.


Agreed. He used up all of get out of jail cards, AFAIAC.
   7. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:52 PM (#3395940)
Why? I don't think we need to spend the holiday weekend vetting new voters. I'm fine with someone who has posted previously or any other new voter who got it in already updating their ballot.

I agree with AJM, don't accept either ballot from JohnQ/Leonard. The ballots are not being posted in good faith.
   8. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:55 PM (#3395942)
This is the Wid Conroy controversy of 1917 all over again. Though not as egregious, John's/Leonard's ballots shouldn't be allowed, IMO.
   9. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 09:56 PM (#3395944)
One other thing I'd like to add . . . if anyone suspects any foul play at any time, please don't hesitate to drop me a line and ask me to look into it. I cannot read every word of every ballot, so I depend on you guys to point things out if I miss something. I definitely would not have caught this if not for the post on the discussion thread saying that a similar ballot was submitted.

It's pretty easy to vet this type of stuff behind the scenes, as long as you know what you are looking for.
   10. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:00 PM (#3395949)
John's/Leonard's ballots shouldn't be allowed, IMO.


I would like to at least hear from John/Leonard as to some kind of explanation if he has any. Maybe we're missing something here. Not that he did it, that is without doubt. But possibly as to a reasonable reason for why he did it. You know, the whole fair trial get all the facts thing and all . . .
   11. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:03 PM (#3395953)
You know, the whole fair trial get all the facts thing and all . . .


Okay, but I can't think of any reasonable excuses for this, Joe. He's welcome to try, though.
   12. Lassus Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:05 PM (#3395957)
As an HOM lurker, I'd like to point out that if you guys have been doing this for as long as you have with no strikingly similar problems in the past (no, I'm not counting the Willie Randolph thing) I think you are doing an incredibly awesome job so far.
   13. DL from MN Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:05 PM (#3395959)
I would like to at least hear from John/Leonard as to some kind of explanation


Good luck
   14. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:08 PM (#3395963)
Wid Conroy? I have a shirt with his picture on it. I'm sure that makes him more culturally relevant, but it probably doesn't make up for his .301 OBP. I'm tempted to find that discussion.
   15. Mark Donelson Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:08 PM (#3395964)
This is the Wid Conroy controversy of 1917 all over again.

Have to say, it's fun to be a participant in a group that has had a "Wid Conroy controversy of 1917." Makes me feel we should all have long handlebar mustaches or something.
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:18 PM (#3395972)
This is the Wid Conroy controversy of 1917 all over again.

I don't seem to be able to find much about this in the threads from that year. Anyone want to offer a quick summary?
   17. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3395983)
We had a new voter post a ballot that 1) included Wid Conroy on it, which is bad enough and 2) had Mr. Conroy above Cy Young, who I believe the latter was in the middle of the pack on his ballot. We then had another voter post almost the identical, insane ballot after that.
   18. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:46 PM (#3396000)
Dang, I wish I'd thought of that. I could have gotten Concepción elected "decades" ago. :)
   19. Lassus Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:54 PM (#3396016)
This is the Wid Conroy controversy of 1917 all over again.

I guess my lurking did indeed miss the Conroy Incident.
   20. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:00 PM (#3396021)
As an HOM lurker, I'd like to point out that if you guys have been doing this for as long as you have with no strikingly similar problems in the past (no, I'm not counting the Willie Randolph thing) I think you are doing an incredibly awesome job so far.


I'm not sure the fact there hasn't been more protest against their draconian voting policies is a good thing, nor something to be praised.

We had a new voter post a ballot that 1) included Wid Conroy on it, which is bad enough and 2) had Mr. Conroy above Cy Young, who I believe the latter was in the middle of the pack on his ballot. We then had another voter post almost the identical, insane ballot after that.


And had that first vote been counted the end result would have been....absolutely no different from what actually happened.

[Note: I am not condoning ballot stuffing, just think that all ballots, even 'insane' ones, ought to count.]
   21. RJ in TO Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3396023)
Until today, I'd never even heard of Wid Conroy.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:03 PM (#3396027)
And had that first vote been counted the end result would have been....absolutely no different from what actually happened.

I believe Cy Young was the first-ever unanimous HOM pick. That would have been different.
   23. Jeff K. Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:06 PM (#3396030)
Wid Conroy? I have a shirt with his picture on it. I'm sure that makes him more culturally relevant,

I don't think your having clothes with a picture of a guy makes them more culturally relevant. I think quite the opposite.
   24. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:10 PM (#3396035)
I'm not sure the fact there hasn't been more protest against their draconian voting policies is a good thing, nor something to be praised.


Draconian? A little heavy on the hyperbole, eh?

If you aren't willing/able to justify and discuss your ballot, you shouldn't be voting. It's simple, and it's been that way from the beginning. Heck, Clay Bellinger is mentioned specifically in one of the docs, maybe the Constitution, it's been awhile, I cannot remember. As in, if some guy is going to vote for Clay Bellinger, we don't want that.

This isn't a pure democracy, you have to earn your ballot - it's a privilege, not a right.

By and large, this is a very good thing. And in the grand scheme of things, there have maybe been one or two instances that I can (vaguely) remember where a ballot without any foul play involved wasn't counted. If I'm wrong, someone please refresh my memory.

We want voters that have a deep knowledge of baseball history. As Bill James suggested in the Politics of Glory, a committee of historians who understand, appreciate and have studied (or are willing to study) the history of the game, not just what's happened since they are old enough to remember. That's nothing ot apologize for.
   25. Lassus Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:11 PM (#3396036)
I'm not sure the fact there hasn't been more protest against their draconian voting policies is a good thing, nor something to be praised. [snip] [Note: I am not condoning ballot stuffing, just think that all ballots, even 'insane' ones, ought to count.]

Well, um, it could also be because the system is good enough that it doesn't merit more protest. And not counting an insane ballot is just common sense. There's a difference between unique and insane, as well as simply not following the charter.

EDIT: What the guy who actually runs the thing said.
   26. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:14 PM (#3396040)
yest has voted for what, a century? If anything, that's evidence of excessive openness. Ginger Beaumont!
   27. Jeff K. Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:16 PM (#3396045)
Until today, I'd never even heard of Wid Conroy.

Oh, and ditto to this. Wid Conroy? I'm always embarrassed, even in HoM threads, when I haven't heard of a guy that's being talked about. This most often pops up when the Lounge/IRC is talking about the Lounge League DMB that's in 1938 or whatever and the Browns' backup catcher is in discussion. I guess I should have heard of Wid, but damn.
   28. Davo Dozier Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:18 PM (#3396048)
OK... I keep searching, and I cannot find the ballot(s) with Conroy over Young. Link?
   29. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:23 PM (#3396053)
How do we know that John and Leonard are one and the same?
   30. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:23 PM (#3396054)
So, I've been wanting to get involved for a long time, but does this turkey's actions mean I will not be able to get involved? What's the vetting process?
   31. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3396055)
How do we know that John and Leonard are one and the same?


I believe people with the keys can see your IP address. From there, it's easy to tell who's who.
   32. karlmagnus Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:26 PM (#3396059)
I think we were more open early on than later, which is why I'm glad I joined in 1900, as I certainly don't have the depth of knowledge many of you guys have. Equally, on my 111th ballot, I think I've acquired a certain amount, even if my ballot is now full of unelected barnacles. So I will carry on voting year by year. But I wish yest would vote this year, as I don't particularly want to be the lowest consensus score; I was always the second lowest.

I also wish JPWF13 would post his ballot. By voting for Addie Joss, he proves he is fair to all eras :)
   33. karlmagnus Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:27 PM (#3396064)
Piehole, of course you should get involved -- put a prelminary ballot in the discussion thread. It's 6 days till the election closes; plenty of time for people to dispute it.
   34. JPWF13 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:32 PM (#3396070)
I also wish JPWF13 would post his ballot. By voting for Addie Joss, he proves he is fair to all eras :)


I'm not particularly fond of my ballot at the minute, I have a sneaking suspicion that I screwed up collating my dee and off numbers for some players
   35. CraigK Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:33 PM (#3396074)
Yeah; I don't find the rules draconian; I just think what they're looking for is consistency, nonbias, and, basically, not filing a ballot full of guys you picked just because you were fans of them as an 8-year-old.

I've voted a few times, and didn't go much farther than Baseball Prospectus's Translated Statistics and OPS+/ERA+.
   36. CraigK Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:35 PM (#3396076)
OK... I keep searching, and I cannot find the ballot(s) with Conroy over Young. Link?


e:better link from Internet Archive:

1917 Ballot (Internet Archive)
   37. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:38 PM (#3396078)
put a prelminary ballot in the discussion thread. It's 6 days till the election closes; plenty of time for people to dispute discuss it.


Fixed. :-)
   38. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:40 PM (#3396080)
plenty of time for people to dispute it.


Of course, he meant, "review it."

Yes, plenty of time.
   39. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:40 PM (#3396083)
Oops, coke to Joe.
   40. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 24, 2009 at 11:47 PM (#3396091)
Oops, coke to Joe.


I prefer beer. And these days at some restaurants the prices are pretty close. You all realize free refills aren't really free, right?

:-)
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: November 25, 2009 at 12:02 AM (#3396107)
according to the link in #36 Wid Conroy appeared lower not higher than Cy Young for the ballot-stuffer
   42. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 25, 2009 at 12:11 AM (#3396120)
You're right, Nate. It's so long ago that I had forgotten. Still, Conroy shouldn't have been in the same area code as the Cyclone.
   43. Davo Dozier Posted: November 25, 2009 at 12:37 AM (#3396135)
Can I just say that, to an HOM outsider, the thought of someone stuffing a ballot box to rig the election in favor of Sal Bando is the funniest thing I've heard all day.
   44. lieiam Posted: November 25, 2009 at 12:50 AM (#3396143)
as someone who's been following the hall of merit for a few years but has never actually voted, what strikes me the strangest about the attempted "ballot-stuff" was how it was obviously doomed to fail. not so much because it was obviously the same person but because the ballot had the same obvious time-lining going on. all in all the attempt seems pretty comical in its ineptness.
and it was funny to learn about the "wild conroy controversy of 1917".

anyway, you guys do a great job, and just want to give you all a kudos and please, "keep on keeping on". in the unlikely event i actually manage to come up with a rating system good enough to vote i'd love to do so! (i've made a few attempts, but haven't liked the early looks of any of them).
   45. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 01:08 AM (#3396155)
come up with a rating system good enough to vote i'd love to do so! (i've made a few attempts, but haven't liked the early looks of any of them).


How would you know? I mean, seriously. I struggled with the idea that on the one hand a rating system would come up with results other than what seemed intuitive to me, you know, Ruth 1, Gehrig 2, etc. On the other hand, why have a rating system if you're not open to being surprised at it's output? It's a catch 22. I just said screw it, here's my ballot. That was in 1898.
   46. lieiam Posted: November 25, 2009 at 01:22 AM (#3396159)
re: post 45

sunnyday2: well, i suppose instead of my problem being so much that i don't like the "looks" of them (which is, of course, exactly what i wrote... sorry for the confusion!) as it is that i have not been able to balance various eras, and come up with (or have access to) something that i feel treats fielding in a way that seems reasonable (etc etc)... basically, i might start something, start to see some of the flaws that i want to correct, and realize that it would take more time than i am willing to put in to come up with something that, frankly, passes anything resembling "common sense". anyway, i appreciate the encouragement, i just need to decide to get serious and put more thought and effort into any system i start working on.
   47. Chamran Knebter Posted: November 25, 2009 at 02:33 AM (#3396211)
I had been thinking of joining the process this year, but I certainly didn't see any of this coming...

Perhaps I should just wait till next year? I'm not sure how far I am from being able to put a ballot together.

I can say I would be very surprised if somehow Sal Bando wound up on top of it.
   48. Howie Menckel Posted: November 25, 2009 at 03:06 AM (#3396232)
I would respectfully suggest that we hold off on any more new voters this year, as the scheduled deadline has passed. Even several potential voters, whose views would be welcomed, seem ok with that.

If anything, we may get right into a more robust 2011 discussion, which as noted, also has a number of tricky calls.
   49. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: November 25, 2009 at 03:59 AM (#3396268)
Democracy is overrated; oligarchy is where it's at. Youse guys are good at this. Don't let in any new voters.

I'm being entirely earnest and genuine right now.

EDIT: Also a frequent HOM lurker.
   50. Howie Menckel Posted: November 25, 2009 at 05:01 AM (#3396294)
"Don't let in any new voters."

Only this week, you mean - I think.

Big difference.
   51. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: November 25, 2009 at 05:08 AM (#3396295)
Christ, did this really happen?

I don't have the time to put together a ballot that I think has the appropriate amount of deliberation for this election...but that's just nuts. I wouldn't let in that ballot under any circumstance.
   52. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:01 AM (#3396363)
Guys, I don't see why we can't allow new voters. I don't get that at all.

I would say that can enforce the 'best practice' of submitting on the discussion thread first for new guys, with reasonable time for discussion, etc..

I don't really understand where this sentiment is coming from.

The scheduled deadline is irrelevant, IMO. The deadline is now 11/30/09. It took a couple of weeks for us to get cranking, but we've had more discussion the last few days than we've had in awhile - and most of it has been productive, despite the JohnQ shenanigans.

I don't see any reason to squelch that. Let's not let one bad apple spoil the cart.
   53.   Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:05 AM (#3396378)

I believe people with the keys can see your IP address. From there, it's easy to tell who's who
.

That's not really true.

I am not trying to give the guy plausible deniability, exactly, but it could easily be:

-his son.
-his dad.
-his partner.
-his friend.
-his co-worker.
-his neighbor (ok, that's a stretch...)

It's also not really a stretch to think a Father/son or a couple or whatever might have the same ballot. Also if I posted an outlier ballot and was feeling self-conscious about it, I might talk my like-minded so-and-so into registering. And it's not really that big a stretch if he does it from the same network...is that still considered "ballot-stuffing?" If you have a couple who both love baseball and share the same views in the hall of merit, is only one allowed to post?

Anyway...
   54. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 03:36 PM (#3396467)
I was more worried about someone going to a new computer and coming up with a new alias. I'm willing to propose a compromise - no BTF handles created after the deadline.
   55. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 25, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3396476)
Regarding new voters:

1) I have absolutely no objections to new voters who happen to be long-time BBTF posters in good standing, provided that they first submit a prelim. AFAIAC, the latter part should be enforced - no ballots from newbies should be allowed otherwise for the future.

2) For new voters who happen to also be new (or relatively new) BBTF posters, I have some concerns. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to vote, since there are many lurkers out there who might just want to dive in at any one time. However, we need to be much more cautious with them than if Maury Brown or Jon Daly wanted to participate.

3) Shock, you're absolutely right that there might be two different people using John's/Leonard's computer. I even thought about this initially myself. With that said, my spider sense says no to that.
   56. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 25, 2009 at 03:52 PM (#3396480)
D*mn Dick Allen groupies. Can't trust'em........
   57. Paul Wendt Posted: November 25, 2009 at 05:50 PM (#3396600)
If you have a couple who both love baseball and share the same views in the hall of merit, is only one allowed to post?

First, consider what Jim Albright does at baseball-fever. Two people who share one internet address may "vote" only with advance notice (and perhaps private followup with the director).

Second, because this isn't simply an election, participate by casting a ballot, the two people must each post and engage critics in the discussion thread.

"Second" may make "first" redundant.
   58. jingoist Posted: November 25, 2009 at 06:31 PM (#3396643)
Stuffing the ballot box!
Near-criminal, absolutely unethical acts come to the HoM.
The shame of it all.
Who'da thunk it?

I am enjoying your collective to and fro-ing about the voting process and the near scandal.
If I'm stuffin' a ballot box it'll have the 1889 White Stocking's outfield prominently featured, not Sal Bando.

That said, as a long time lurker and occaisonal poster, I've read enough to know that I am unqualified to be a positive influence to this earnest endeavor.

Now then, when I can I expect GVH, Ryan and Duffy to finally earn a spot in the Hall?

Happy turkey day guys.
   59. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 25, 2009 at 06:41 PM (#3396661)
1) I have absolutely no objections to new voters who happen to be long-time BBTF posters in good standing, provided that they first submit a prelim. AFAIAC, the latter part should be enforced - no ballots from newbies should be allowed otherwise for the future.


If you simply enforce this, then I think everything else becomes secondary.

-- MWE
   60. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3396693)
I would respectfully suggest that we hold off on any more new voters this year,


Totally disagree. If somebody can do it acc. to the rules, more power to 'em. Prelim on Sunday, final on Monday. It can work. They just need to know that we'll probably be giving 'em extra scrutiny right now.
   61. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 07:05 PM (#3396704)
I said a long time ago that even if we go absolutely by the rules, with a full year between elections there will be a lot more turnover than we're used to, and almost any new voter is going to lack some acculturation, shall we say. My biggest concern is that each year there will be a new bandwagon, this year Edgar groupies, next year Raffy groupies, or whatever. I don't know that the Edgar groupies actually turned out this year, so maybe I'm wrong. I mean, we're still fairly obscure. But anyway, the methods of 100 years probably need updating in this new era of widely spaced ballot activity.

Of course, the MVP project could and should help to recreate the sense of community that has prevailed a little more in the past than it does right at this particular moment.
   62. fra paolo Posted: November 25, 2009 at 07:11 PM (#3396712)
As I implied in the original ballot thread, and someone else declared more explicitly there, and now Mike Emeigh here, this whole mess might have been avoidable if our first response had been 'JohnQ, you have to post a prelim in the other thread first'.

And the need for that might have been avoidable if, as JohnQ complained, we had put in the ballot introduction the recommendation that new voters post a preliminary in the appropriate thread.

Frankly, I *really* don't think we are handling this well. This thread is not a good advertisement for the project. The whole situation has escalated to something unpleasant and unnecessary.
   63. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3396803)
Frankly, I *really* don't think we are handling this well. This thread is not a good advertisement for the project. The whole situation has escalated to something unpleasant and unnecessary.


Nah, it's not that big of a deal in the long run, IMO. It's only the second time that we had to face this in over 100 elections, so we can handle it fine.
   64. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:14 PM (#3396805)
Hi guys. Still without a computer but stopped by the office for a moment and ...Wow. I've gone back and read most of the exchanges. Are we absolutely sure that this a ballot stuffing/fake alias incident? If it is, then I agree with others that the votes shouldn't be counted. We should be sure that this is the case before proceeding with that step.

And I agree with what fra paolo said in post #62. We need to work on our public relations image. Looking back at what started the hubaloo, I can see and understand why both sides reacted the way they did. What I think set JohnQ off was DL's post about the different considerations that needed to be taken into account. DL's concern, I believe, is a valid one and shared by other members of the electorate. But I can also see why that post may have ruffled JohnQ's feathers. It's the first sentence in post #75 that I think caused the perception of "being condescending", as JohnQ put it.

Being a long-time participant I know that this was not DL's intention. He was expressing a legitimate and valid concern that I think most of us have. But I can absolutely understand how someone coming in cold to the process and "our ways" may perceive that first sentence in a negative way even if the intent was different. We're used to the back and forth discussion, the free expression of concerns, and even the idiosyncracies each of us have in the manner we express ourselves. Some of the new voters may take to it with no problems, but I suspect most of them will not acclimate themselves right away.

I think this situation underscores a weakness of where we stand today on our project. The HOM needs new voters but, truthfully, this is not an accessible project. Time, effort, listening, being open to new and different sources of info are necessary traits to be part of this project. These things must come from the voter. Still, I feel we are not really making it any easier for new voters to jump in. Honestly, we're not that well organized. Have you tried looking for info in previous discussions? We are all over the place. Certain aspects of the discussion may be on the player thread, the discussion thread for that year, or some other thread that bears no obvious relatuion to the player or subject in question. But there is no easy access or index point for the different subjects. We should work on this.

I'll sit down this weekend and write up some ideas I've got on trying to make this place a bit more accessible. Hopefully, even though it's unfortunate this incident has happened and gone down this way, this will serve as a catalyst in bettering the HOM process for everyone. Time to make lemonade.

Oh, and to everybody not part of the active election, please do not let this scare you off from joining in the future. We'll work on being clearer about the procedures so nobody comes in cold. With so many different viewpoints among the electorate, the inital vetting may be a bit overwhelming but its a fair process and no malice is intended. Consider it the hazing of pledges in a sense. Hopefully we'll see you here.
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:19 PM (#3396810)
As I implied in the original ballot thread, and someone else declared more explicitly there, and now Mike Emeigh here, this whole mess might have been avoidable if our first response had been 'JohnQ, you have to post a prelim in the other thread first'.


The ballot did get scrutinized right away, so it wasn't as if John was getting a pass on that. Besides, if "John" and "Leonard" had posted prelims on the discussion thread, they would still have been accepted had Joe not have discovered their origination point.
   66. DL from MN Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:22 PM (#3396812)
Anytime you start a sentence "I'm trying not to sound _blank_" it plants that thought in someone's head that it could be taken that way. I might feel bad about this but the other party was not discussing in good faith, they had an agenda to upset the apple cart.

The best way to ensure that new voters get all aspects of the discussion is to have them post a prelim and either defend it or adjust their ballot accordingly. I think that should be stated on the ballot thread that new voters have to post a prelim ballot in the discussion thread from now on.
   67. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:23 PM (#3396814)
And I agree with what fra paolo said in post #62. We need to work on our public relations image.


I honestly don't see this as a black eye, especially since it was caught in time. If anything, it illustrates the differences between the HoM and other election committees. Everybody has to run the gauntlet.
   68. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 25, 2009 at 08:54 PM (#3396850)
I honestly don't see this as a black eye, especially since it was caught in time. If anything, it illustrates the differences between the HoM and other election committees. Everybody has to run the gauntlet.


I agree it's not a black eye John, especially since this is something that every voter (past, present and future) has had to face. I didn't mean to imply that it was. What I do feel is that, going forward, we should better inform possible future voters that the gauntlet will be run and what they can expect on the gauntlet. This incident, to me, illustrates that we need to improve our accessability somewhat.
   69. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:06 PM (#3396877)
What I do feel is that, going forward, we should better inform possible future voters that the gauntlet will be run and what they can expect on the gauntlet. This incident, to me, illustrates that we need to improve our accessability somewhat.


I do agree that we need to make it more bold at the top of the discussion and ballot threads from now on, Esteban.
   70. Esteban Rivera Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:08 PM (#3396880)
Anytime you start a sentence "I'm trying not to sound _blank_" it plants that thought in someone's head that it could be taken that way. I might feel bad about this but the other party was not discussing in good faith, they had an agenda to upset the apple cart.

The best way to ensure that new voters get all aspects of the discussion is to have them post a prelim and either defend it or adjust their ballot accordingly. I think that should be stated on the ballot thread that new voters have to post a prelim ballot in the discussion thread from now on.


I agree that the phrase can cause the message to be perceived one way when the intent is another. Even though the other party has shown a really bad handling of the situation and has executed a really bad faith gesture with the ballot stuffing, it would have probably been best not to have used that phrase in the post for the reason you mentioned. And I absolutely agree with what you say in the second paragraph. This is what I meant by improving our accessability so that new HOMies don't come in cold to the procedure. That's the one legitimate gripe that I think was presented by the other party (about the lack of info on procedures).

I'll clarify that I don't think we've really handled this situation badly. Maybe some slight details that we could improve upon for the future, basically dealing with the accessability of the procedural info.
   71. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:10 PM (#3396884)
And the need for that might have been avoidable if, as JohnQ complained, we had put in the ballot introduction the recommendation that new voters post a preliminary in the appropriate thread.


It's there.
   72. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:15 PM (#3396895)
I'll clarify that I don't think we've really handled this situation badly. Maybe some slight details that we could improve upon for the future, basically dealing with the accessability of the procedural info.


There's always room for improvement. Greater accessibility would certainly be a plus, Esteban.
   73. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: November 25, 2009 at 09:16 PM (#3396897)
The HOM should be flattered that someone determined there is sufficient credibility to attempt to corrupt the process for an alternative outcome.

You don't work to rig the election in a one horse town.

Congrats gents, you have arrived!
   74. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:15 PM (#3396979)
LOL Harvey, you sure have a knack for putting things in perspective.

OK, how is this to sum it up, since it appears our friend JohnQ is not going to respond.

He's temporarily banned for life (yes that is somewhat intentionally ironic, funny, whatever the correct word is) for the ballot box stuffing. If he wants to apply for reinstatement, explain to us that his wife or son has the exact same thoughts and also wants to vote just like him an can defend his/her position on his/her own, fine. Based on his attitude, I'm guessing that's not the case here. I'm going with Occam's Razor.

That means his ballot is out, along with Leonard's.

Going forward, new voters are welcome this week. as it says, in crystal clear type at the top of the ballot thread, please post a preliminary ballot first. It does not say that we expect you to explain your methodology, what you take into account, etc. - but we do. I can add that part.

Anything else I need to cover? Running on fumes here, on about 2 hours of sleep, and had an unexpected crazy day at work the day before a holiday . . . I'm going to be disappearing here soon for a little while, but I should be back in touch sometime tomorrow . . . anything urgent, please drop me an email.
   75. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:25 PM (#3396988)
The following has been added to the ballot thread:

EDIT 11/25 3:18 PM CDT - the posting of the ballot to the discussion thread for new voters is not just a formality. With the posting of the ballot you are expected to post a summary of what you take into account - basically, how did you come up with this list? This does not mean that you need to have invented the Holy Grail of uber-stats. You don't need a numerical rating down to the hundredth decimal point. You do need to treat all eras of baseball history fairly. You do need to stick to what happened on the field (or what would have happened if wars and strikes and such hadn't gotten in the way). You may be challenged and ask to defend your position, if someone notices internal inconsistencies, flaws in your logic, etc.. This is all a part of the learning process.

It isn't an easy thing to submit a ballot, but that's by design. Not because we don't want to grow our numbers (though we've done just fine there, started with 29 voters in 1898, and passed 50 eventually), not because we want to shut out other voices. It's because we want informed voters making informed decisions on the entire electorate, not just the players they remember.

So if you are up for this, we'd love to have you! Even if you aren't up to voting, we'd still appreciate your thoughts in the discussion. Some of our greatest contributors haven't or have only rarely voted.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming . . .
   76. sunnyday2 Posted: November 25, 2009 at 10:26 PM (#3396989)
Works for me.
   77. Paul Wendt Posted: November 26, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3397045)
I think it's ok for now, Joe, no need to change it, but it's overkill in the preface to the ballot thread. Much of it should be in the preface to the discussion thread.

Quoting "2010 Ballot Discussion" thruout:

JohnQ #428:
In fairness there is not that much information posted on the NOV 8th ballot post. I think in the future it would be wise to list 5-10 major points or warnings in Bold print so new people can understand what they are getting into. There should be a warning: This is a serious research project not to be taken lightly, this is a debate society, etc...

Simple reference to the debate society may be good in the Ballot preface. The underlined is hyperbole.


430. sunnyday2 Posted: November 24, 2009 at 07:25 AM (#3395344)
...
In the past we voted every 2 weeks. Now it is once a year. It probably would be a good idea if the ballot thread each year started somewhere closer to the beginning, not just for new voters (though primarily for them) but just as a refresher even for returning voters. Another year from now it is more likely (apparently) that JohnQ and mystikx and epoc will be voting than Chris Cobb or me.

I hope you'll all be participating. When I responded earlier, without quotation, I thought Marc meant the discussion thread. Posting the ballot thread early in the year is another matter. Perhaps it does make sense as a way to grow the electorate, especially if the annual election will henceforth be formally announced and promoted only a short time before a hard deadline. On the other hand, it practically means "we're always open for absentee balloting" in a sense that it invites rather than permits absentia from all discussion.

Why not let me cast a 2011 ballot now, beginning thus?
1. Edgar Martinez or David Cone. He didn't play as long as I like to see in a HOMer, and many insist for a Hall of Famer. He didn't reach any milestones except the obscure 200 career win shares, which hasn't been a useful marker here since Wally Schang came in to catch and hasn't yet become one even for starting pitchers. But he was consistently good, almost never had a bad year. I'm surprised to see for how many years on the calendar and to what age he kept that up ...

(That's a rhetorical question.)


431. Paul Wendt Posted: November 24, 2009 at 10:14 AM (#3395495)
Atop the Ballot thread it should be enough to emphasize (bold?) the reference to the Discussion thread that begins "Please".
: please post your ballot on the discussion thread linked above first.


That was quoted out of the context that directed it to newcomers. I still think so, with moderate amplification
: please first post your ballot on the discussion thread and reply to its discussion, if any.


Note, I don't know what visibility or even promotion the Hall of Merit, or its 2010 discussion or balloting, may get up at BBTF. I don't know whether BBTF relies entirely on passive tools like Hot Topics or occasionally introduces visitors to its subsites.
   78.   Posted: November 26, 2009 at 03:17 AM (#3397149)
Shock, you're absolutely right that there might be two different people using John's/Leonard's computer. I even thought about this initially myself. With that said, my spider sense says no to that.


Sorry for being nitpicky, but technically they wouldn't have to use the same computer, just be on the same network.

I don't disagree with your spidey senses, but I think it could be a wonky situation going forward if you're going to be checking the IP's of all your voters. . .
   79. DL from MN Posted: November 26, 2009 at 05:39 AM (#3397197)
Why not let me cast a 2011 ballot now, beginning thus?
1. Edgar Martinez or David Cone


Because your 2011 ballot should have Bagwell or Brown at the top...
   80. bjhanke Posted: November 26, 2009 at 11:04 AM (#3397252)
I would just like to say that any group that can put up with the cr*p that comes out of my head when I'm under deadline pressure and/or sick cannot possibly be described as "draconian." - Brock (no, you can't vote for guys who are already elected) Hanke
   81. sunnyday2 Posted: November 26, 2009 at 03:37 PM (#3397274)
Anybody who votes for Edgar over Bags should have their voting privileges rescinded.

Just kidding.
   82. Jeff K. Posted: November 26, 2009 at 06:00 PM (#3397322)
Because your 2011 ballot should have Bagwell or Brown at the top...

Kevin Brown? Over Cone? I'm not a voter, but: no. I looked into them (as well as a few others) well enough in last offseason's Mussina thread that I feel up-to-speed enough that I can justify that. It's damn close, and I'll admit that superficially Brown has the IP and ERA+ edge. I'd vote for both (for HOM, neither for HOF), but I'd vote Cone over Brown. It's certainly not to the point that you can just dismiss Cone in favor of the 'obvious' choice of Brown.
   83. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2009 at 07:44 PM (#3397361)
Jeff K....are you serious? I would be stunned if a single HoM voter has Cone over Brown, or anywhere near him. 350 extra innings and seven points of ERA+ is a "superficial" advantage? That's massive, the difference between a no-brainer and a borderline candidate.

What are the mitigating factors in Cone's favor? It wasn't like he was killed by his defenses or Brown was tremendously helped. He didn't have a higher peak. He didn't have better peripherals. OK, Brown's UER rate was a bit above average (as is typical of GB pitchers), and his postseason ERA was marginally worse than Cone's, but neither of those are more than feathers on the scale.

I think pretty much everyone will "dismiss Cone in favor of the 'obvious' choice of Brown," unless you have some stunning insight or data point to offer that we're all missing. And I think if you plan to vote Cone over Brown in 2011, you should post your ballot well ahead of time on the discussion thread to provide a few days for debate of your position.
   84. RJ in TO Posted: November 26, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3397368)
What are the mitigating factors in Cone's favor?


His work in the bullpen.
   85. OCF Posted: November 26, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3397369)
Just to repeat what Dan just said from a different perspective:

Cone: Overall RA+ PythPat record 190-132. Five best years (non-consecutive): 18-10, 14-5 (1994 strike year), 16-9 (1995 strike year), 15-7, 16-9.

Brown: Overall RA+ PythPat record 216-146. Five best years (non-consecutive): 20-6, 20-9, 18-8, 18-8, 16-7.

That is, Brown minus Cone comes to 26-14, which is about one and a half Cy Young quality years, and Brown's 5th best year is a match for Cone's best. Dan's comment about UER is already priced in because I'm using RA, not ERA. We're talking about the same era so the same expectations for IP and the same decentralization of RA apply to both. I'm lukewarm to Cone's case, and have him 8th on by 2010 ballot. Brown will get an "elect me" spot on my 2011 ballot (but probably behind Bagwell.)
   86. sunnyday2 Posted: November 26, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3397377)
O, who's at the top of your backlog? Is Brown better than them? I'd be interested in your head-to-heads on that.

If Brown pans out, and I'm not sayin' he won't, just that I've never considered his case: But if he pans out and we elect him, we really oughta be thinkin' about firin' up this awesome HoM PR machine of ours to get the word out, not about Kevin Brown, of course, (screw him), but about us and how smart we are, being able to see a HoF/HoM career from Brown where obviously nobody else is going to see one, least of all the BBWAA. It might be an opportunity to shine a light on the HoM, but of course that means we would also have to show why we're not crazy.
   87. OCF Posted: November 26, 2009 at 08:46 PM (#3397380)
O, who's at the top of your backlog?

The top three previously eligible players on my 2010 ballot were Tiant, Doyle, and Cash. I'll have no problem putting Brown ahead of all of them. (Tiant 224-164 with top years of 21-8, 23-12, 19-11, 19-12, 14-6.)
   88. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 26, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3397386)
I will bet anyone a large sum of money Kevin Brown is elected, and nearly as large that it is in his first year of eligibility. He is far, far above the HoM's established standard by any credible metric.
   89. Paul Wendt Posted: November 27, 2009 at 01:36 AM (#3397455)
If anyone is offering even odds, I'll bet a small sum of money that David Cone and Kevin Brown won't compete for our votes --not until the "Group 5" pitchers ballot (1987-2010+).
   90. karlmagnus Posted: November 27, 2009 at 03:52 AM (#3397483)
I think there's a quality of competition problem with Kevin Brown. His stats are eye-popping, but his really good ERA+ seasons are either very short or done in weak divisions. I have great difficulty separating him from my memory of him as the "worst contract in history" and Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, but what went wrong in 1994-95, which should have been his prime years? The 95 Orioles were a good team in a good league, but his W/L was pretty mediocre. Also his best years by ERA+ were in his 30s. I suppose we elected McGwire, so we have to ignore if he was a 'roider.

On the numbers he's well above Cone (who's just off my ballot) I agree. But I shall listen carefully to you experts as to whether there is a reason for discounting them.
   91. OCF Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:09 AM (#3397488)
but what went wrong in 1994-95, which should have been his prime years?

I have his RA+ PythPat for 1991-1995 as 10-13, 16-14, 14-12, 9-10, 12-7. He wasn't yet a great pitcher - he was a late bloomer. 1994 is a bit of a down year, but 1995 was up through then the single best year of his career, and perhaps a harbinger of his breakout into greatness starting in 1996. I wouldn't focus on what went wrong with his 1995.

"worst contract in history"

Sure, seven year contracts for 34 year old pitchers are unlikely to be the world's greatest investments, and I said so at the time. That said, Brown actually did better under that contract than I really expected him to. I've got his total RA+ equivalent record for the 7 years as 73-46. That's not really 7 years worth, but it would be a very fine 4 or 5 years.
   92. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 27, 2009 at 04:12 AM (#3397489)
Kevin Brown, the worst contract in history? Are you kidding me? Doesn't Mike Hampton have anything to say about that? Are we talking about the same Kevin Brown who posted three Cy Young-caliber years over his 7-year deal, plus another half-season (2001) at the same level? Sure, the Dodgers didn't get their money's worth, but they did get plenty. And I have no idea what you mean by "very short"--Brown was a horse. He has league finishes of 1, 2, 2, 6, 6, 7, and 10 in IP, and the 5 consecutive top 10 finishes from 1996-2000 were paired with a brilliant ERA+ over that stretch of 168.
   93. DCW3 Posted: November 27, 2009 at 07:16 AM (#3397515)
The amusing thing to me is that Brown is almost certain to be elected to the HoM, and he'll surely be "wearing" a Dodgers cap, even though his tenure there is almost universally viewed as a disappointment.
   94. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: November 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM (#3397529)
The only real argument for Cone over Brown is that Conie wasn't considered a jackass like Brown was, not to mention Brown's stupidity during the 1998 World Series. That's about it and, frankly, it's not enough, IMO.
   95. Sweatpants Posted: November 27, 2009 at 02:49 PM (#3397557)
what went wrong in 1994-95, which should have been his prime years?

Well, for one, in 1994, batters hit .357 against him on balls in play, which is the second-highest figure on record for ERA title qualifiers.
   96. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2009 at 03:42 PM (#3397570)
Kevin Brown, the worst contract in history? Are you kidding me? Doesn't Mike Hampton have anything to say about that?


Only a couple words, as an introduction for Darren Dreifort - $55M for 205 innings of 87 ERA+ ball. Hampton, for all his awfulness, put up 891 IP at a 96 ERA+ over the contract. While it's still not worth anything near what he was paid, it's miles ahead of Dreifort.
   97. OCF Posted: November 28, 2009 at 02:20 AM (#3397835)
A Hall of Fame thread just got started over on the "main" part of BBTF, and people are casting votes. What should we do about it? Co-opt it and try to bring it over here? Let that be the place and tally it for them?
   98. fra paolo Posted: November 28, 2009 at 02:48 AM (#3397850)
I think the HoM should ignore it and run its own.
   99. Howie Menckel Posted: November 28, 2009 at 03:47 AM (#3397876)
Well, they can vote for Tim Raines (we can't) but not for Luis Tiant (we can), for instance.

That's not really the same thing as us here.
   100. OCF Posted: November 28, 2009 at 03:50 AM (#3397878)
Flip.
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