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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Friday, December 06, 2002

Our Constitution

I think this works, as I said on the email, I think we should go with this as our rules document, based on the discussions we’ve had.

Many kudos to Rob Wood for drafting this.

If you feel strongly that something isn’t right, let us know. But unless there is strong and widespread dissent, or if someone points out an obvious error of some kind I think this is what we are going with.


Statement of Purpose:

The Hall of Merit is an internet group of baseball enthusiasts who will create its own “Hall of Merit” to rival the “Hall of Fame” in Cooperstown.  Many believe that the National Baseball Hall of Fame has done a less than perfect job of selecting the game’s greatest players to honor.  We will attempt to rectify mistakes made by Hall of Fame selections by conducting our own series of elections.  A more thorough description of the Hall of Merit can be found here.

We will start with the 19th century players on the first HoM ballot, and then step through baseball history one year at a time.  Our goal is to identify the best players of each era and elect them to the Hall of Merit.

The HoM journey throughout baseball history will be just as important as the final destination.  Lively, spirited discussion will help shape voters’ beliefs regarding the relative merits of baseball’s best players.  All members are expected to be considerate of others’ opinions/arguments and be willing to consider alternative points of view.  Disagreements will inevitably arise, but we will strive to maintain civility at all times.

Eligibility:

All major league players are eligible for the Hall of Merit.  Also eligible are all “excluded” players, most notably Negro Leaguers, and pre-MLB players that played professional ball in the US.  Following the timing of Hall of Fame ballots, players are generally eligible for the Hall of Merit five years after their last MLB (or equivalent) season.  Unlike the HoF, players’ HoM eligibility never expires.

For the first HoM ballot (held in 1898), all players who were retired at the conclusion of the 1892 season are eligible.  We generally want players to appear on the HoM ballot with their contemporaries.  Accordingly, we will ignore token appearances at the end of a player’s career in determining when a player’s HOM eligibility begins (i.e., the first HOM ballot he can appear on).

To discount token appearances, a player becomes eligible 5 years after the first time he plays fewer than 10 games in the field or pitches in fewer than 5 games, assuming he never plays in 10/pitches in 5 games again.  If he does play in 10/pitch in 5 games later in his career, the HoM ballot committee will determine in which year the player’s HoM eligibility begins.

In the normal circumstance if a player retires in 1910, then he becomes eligible for the 1916 HoM ballot.  Non-MLB players such as Negro Leaguers will follow the same eligibility rules, though it may be harder to identify token appearances from the available records.

The names of the reasonable candidates (those that made a STATS retroactive All-Star Team at least once or others that are nominated) entering each HoM ballot for the first time will be made publicly available by the ballot committee as early as practicable.  Each voter is responsible for knowing who the newly eligible players are each year.

Voting Process:

Voting will take place weekly, with the proviso that voting will be skipped during certain weeks containing national holidays (e.g., Christmas).  The ballot committee will make the final determination of which weeks will be skipped during the year. 
Voters who will be unable to submit their ballots for any week (e.g., on vacation) can vote ahead of time by submitting a special ballot that will be used for the upcoming weeks that they will miss.  They are encouraged to include more than the normal number of players on this special ballot; where the number of additional players should be equal to the number of players who could be selected during the interim weekly ballots.  The ballot committee will then consider the voter’s special ballot to be properly submitted for the weeks the voter misses.

Elections will end at 8 PM EDT on the Monday following the start of the election (which will also start on a Monday).  The ballot committee has the authority to not accept any ballot submitted after the deadline.  The deadline will be chosen for the mutual benefit of the voters and the ballot committee.  If a voter discovers that he made an error on his ballot (even after the ballot deadline), the committee will typically accept a revised ballot from this voter up to the time that the weekly results are announced.

The results of the weekly balloting will be made public to the HoM group as soon as practicable.  For each player who appeared on any ballot, his overall group ranking will be reported, his total number of points, and the number of 1st-place votes, 2nd-place votes, 3rd-place votes, ..., 15th-place votes the player received.  The total number of ballots submitted and the number of ballots excluded by the committee, if any, will also be reported.

Voters shall give serious consideration to “excluded” players such as Negro League stars.  The total number of players currently in the Hall of Fame, which is the number that we are tieing HOM membership to, includes 17 Negro League stars.  Many would consider this a significant under-representation of Negro Leaguers given how many blacks starred in post-integration MLB and the quality of some of the poorest pre-integration HOF selections.  Statistics covering the Negro Leagues are often sketchy; nevertheless it is clear that there were many blacks who would have been MLB stars pre-1947.

Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games. When tallying up value for an eligible player, any managerial contributions created as a player/manager should not be included under any circumstances. In addition to major league and Negro League accomplishments, particularly noteworthy minor league or non-US professional league accomplishments can also be considered meritorious (in a HoM perspective) in certain circumstances.  However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be elected to the HoM. 

A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates).  In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears.  If that player does not get elected on his first ballot, the voter shall give the player full consideration in all subsequent ballots, regardless of the “personality” factors.

Allegations (proven or otherwise) about throwing baseball games may be especially troubling to some voters.  It would be appropriate for such a voter to discount such a player’s accomplishments to some degree.  In rare and extreme cases, it may even be appropriate for such a voter to choose not to vote for an otherwise worthy candidate.

Voters agree to take the voting seriously and to put in sufficient time in researching the merits of the players and in filling out their ballots.  In addition, voters pledge to refrain from “strategic” voting; that is, manipulating one’s ballot (i.e., so it does not reflect one’s own beliefs regarding the relative merits of the players) in an attempt to achieve a more desirable group ranking. Voters should simply vote for the 15 best eligible players, ranking them from 1 to 15. Even if it appears a player won’t be elected, you should still vote for him if you feel he is worthy.

The HoM ballot committee will review and tally all ballots.  The committee will identify any obviously unintelligent or especially questionable votes (e.g., voting for Clay Bellinger).  The committee would then email the voter asking him to re-submit an adjusted ballot.  If the voter chooses not to do so, the ballot committee has the authority to exclude the voter’s entire ballot and/or the specific unintelligent or questionable votes.

Ballot Structure:

Voters will vote for 15 players on each HoM ballot.  They will list the players from best to worst, identifying their top ranked player with a 1, their second ranked player with a 2, etc.  Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.

Each player appearing on a ballot will receive the number of points associated with his rank on the ballot and the number of players to be selected that year.  In order to reward the voter’s top players on each ballot, special “bonus” points will be given for each of the top N slots, where N is the number of players to be selected.  The following table gives the tally-points:

Electees
1: 24-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
2: 24-23-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
3: 24-23-22-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
4: 24-23-22-21-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6
5: 24-23-22-21-20-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6

In the event of two or more players tying with the same number of points, the players will be ranked according to the following tie-breakers: (i) the player who was more highly ranked on more voters’ individual ballots (votes will be weighed 3-2-1 if more than two are tied); (ii) if still tied, the player who was listed on more voters’ ballots; (iii) if still tied, the player who had the most 1st-place votes, (iv) if still tied, the player who had the most 2nd-place votes, etc.
Voters should consider only players on the current ballot, and should not anticipate players who will be entering the ballot in subsequent years.

Schedule of HoM Selections:

The number of HoM selections for each ballot is pre-determined so that by the time we reach the present day, the number of HoM selections will be similar to the number of HoF selections.

The following schedule was developed in order to reflect the number of MLB players in each era and the quality of competition. Click here for a complete explanation. Scroll to the post of April 14, 2002; 10:36 a.m.

Ballot
1906: 5
1907: 3
1908-1912: 2
1913-1918: 1
1919-1975: 2
1976: 3
1977: 2
1978: 3
1979: 2
1980: 3
1981: 2
1982: 3
1983: 2
1984-1995: 3
1996: 4
1997-1999: 3
2000: 4
2001-2003: 3
2004: 4
2005-2007: 3
2008: 4
2009: 3
2010: 4
2011: 3
2012: 4
2013: 3
2014: 4

Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 06, 2002 at 11:55 PM | 392 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Brent Posted: January 14, 2005 at 05:36 AM (#1078764)
Chris Cobb wrote:

It's consistent with our purpose to honor the best players to include them, but it will be a lot of work, and I say that as one who has put a lot of work into the study of the Negro-League players, both in making a systematic identification of candidates and in evaluating individual players.

Very good point! I hope a few of us will volunteer to do the necessary work.

It sounds like many of us agree with robc’s suggestion to establish a Japanese wing that would be filled in later. As long as we can establish that the residents of that wing will need to meet the same standards as for the HOM players, I can support that idea.

Devin McCullen wrote:

The problem with including the Japanese players in with North American players is that it requires us to decide ahead of time how many players we would include, which takes away from the whole point of considering them together in the first place.

Looking at the list of candidates that Jim Albright proposed for the HOF, and if we assume (a) his MLE projections are correct, and (b) he has identified the best qualified candidates, then I would guess that about a dozen Japanese players would qualify for the HOM. (Several others on his list look like HOF-, but not HOM-worthy players.) But I agree the pre-determining a number is risky given our current lack of expertise.

John Murphy wrote:

I'll go along with the separate wing so as to stay true to the HOF/HoM compartive nature of the project, but it would have been more fun placing Sadaharu Oh's name next to Willie MCovey's in '86...

It's interesting that when Jim Albright calculated his MLEs for Sadaharu Oh, he found that McCovey (and Reggie Jackson) were among his most similar players.

Gary A wrote:

Jim Albright has a site with lots of Japanese baseball data, including league totals for every year 1937-2003.

Thanks. Checking under Japanese baseball on Amazon, I found a couple of books that look like they should be useful: Japanese Baseball: A Statistical Handbook by Daniel E. Johnson. A reader's comments say that it shows data only for regulars and doesn't include batters' walks – sort of like the data that used to be available to us in the 1960s before Macmillan. But it still sounds better than what's available for the Negro leagues.

Another book that looks like it may be interesting is Baseball’s Other All-Stars: The Greatest Players from the Negro Leagues, the Japanese Leagues, the Mexican League, and the Pre-1960 Winter Leagues in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic by William F. McNeil.

Since it is still unclear that any career minor leaguers, or Cuban League players who didn't also play in the Negro leagues or in "organized" baseball, would meet the qualifications for the HOM, I don't think the idea of creating a (possibly empty) minor league wing is a good one. I'd prefer to simply include them in the regular HOM balloting similarly to how we've handled pre-NA and Negro league players.

Are we ready to consider drafting an amendment to our Constitution? Here's a possible amendment (in bold) to the first paragraph on eligibility:

All major league players are eligible for the Hall of Merit. Also eligible are all “excluded” players, most notably Negro Leaguers, and pre-MLB players. Players whose qualifications are based predominantly on their play in leagues outside of North America and the Caribbean (for example, in Japanese baseball) are not eligible at this time, but it is our intention that they will be considered for the HoM in a subsequent special election. Following the timing of Hall of Fame ballots, players are generally eligible for the Hall of Merit five years after their last MLB (or equivalent) season. Unlike the HoF, players’ HoM eligibility never expires.

I think the word "predominantly" is sufficiently clear for the period in question, since very few Japanese players started MLB careers before 1995.

I also suggest modifying the paragraph dealing with non-major league play to clarify that Japanese play can be considered for players whose qualifications are predominantly based on their North American play, and also to clarify that minor league players can be considered:

Voters are strongly encouraged to consider only a player’s on-field accomplishments and other factors which had an impact on the outcomes of the player’s baseball games. When tallying up value for an eligible player, any managerial contributions created as a player/manager should not be included under any circumstances. In addition to major league and Negro League accomplishments, particularly noteworthy minor league or non-US professional league accomplishments can also be considered meritorious (in a HoM perspective) in certain circumstances. In particular, play in leagues outside of North America, such as Japan, may be considered provided that the player's qualifications are predominantly based on his North American play. Career minor league or Cuban League players may also be considered provided they meet the same standards of merit as major league and Negro league players, taking account of the differences in quality of competition. <strike>However, it would be extremely unlikely for a career minor leaguer or Cuban league player to be</strike>Therefore, it is likely that few, if any, career minor leaguers or Cuban league players will be elected to the HoM.

After we've discussed and edited the amendment, we could add it to the ballot in one of our up-coming elections (assuming that's how amendments get made).
   102. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 15, 2005 at 01:29 AM (#1080763)
Ho wmany full-time cuban players would cuba-only guys? A lot fo the best players make it here at some point, making it esay for us to do translations if possible. The best players of a generation or two ago played here, and guys like Luque and Mendez had substantial time here. I guess my question is, how many Omar Linares' are there? And does Linares seem like a Sadu Oh type HOM player or not?
   103. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 15, 2005 at 03:36 AM (#1080968)
It's interesting that when Jim Albright calculated his MLEs for Sadaharu Oh, he found that McCovey (and Reggie Jackson) were among his most similar players.

Who needs to calculate MLEs when I can give you the comps without them! :-)
   104. Brent Posted: January 15, 2005 at 06:11 AM (#1081164)
Ho wmany full-time cuban players would cuba-only guys?

I'm gradually working my way through the Cuban statistics, and so far I have to say I think the best ones also played in the U.S., either in the Negro leagues or in the majors.

I may take a stab at Cuba-to-majors equivalencies based on players like Luque and Mike Gonzalez who played long careers in both leagues. If that proves successful, it would help in identifying any possible ML-quality players we might have missed. (It might also help evaluate players who may need some help from their Cuban play, like Minnie Minoso). But the available Cuban statistics aren't as complete as I would like.
   105. Rick A. Posted: February 06, 2005 at 05:33 AM (#1127575)
Moving this from the 1944 ballot thread.

Brent wrote:
I’m not sure how you interpret a “majority” (the Dade County hanging chad definition?) but I went back through the threads and will try to summarize the comments that were posted.

The discussion began on January 10 with a comment by sunnyday2 on the World War II thread about reasons for missed playing time, in which he said he wouldn’t give major league credit for minor league play. The debate quickly shifted to eligibility of Japanese players, and eventually the debate was moved to the “Our Constitution” thread.

I’ll split the “voting” into two rounds, before and after Robc made the suggestion of creating a separate wing for Japanese players, because after that suggestion was made the discussion mostly revolved around a separate wing versus total exclusion.

In the first round, four voters made comments that favored excluding career minor league or Japanese players (Sunnyday2’s original comment WWII # 21; Michael Bass # 25 & 26 & OC # 105; Rick A WWII # 27; and Daryn OC # 109); six voters made comments that favored including career Japanese and/or minor league players (DanG OC # 101, Devin McCullen # 102, Ardo # 103, KJOK # 104, Karlmagnus # 108, and me WWII # 24 and OC # 100).

In post OC # 111, Robc mentioned the possibility of adding a Japanese League wing after the voting catches up to modern time. In addition to Robc, 7 more voters posted comments favoring the idea (including from the first round two voters who favored including career Japanese players and one voter who favored excluding them) (Michael Bass # 114; Jschmeagol # 116, 117, 124, 125; Kelly from SD # 122; KJOK # 123; John Murphy # 127; Dr. Chaleeko # 128; and me # 130). Four more voters posted comments opposing career Japanese and/or minor league players without necessarily endorsing the idea of a separate wing (PhillyBooster # 119; Howie Menckel # 120; Dan B # 121 – opposing inclusion in regular votes, noncommittal on separate wing; DanG # 126 – opposing inclusion, noncommittal on separate wing).

Is there a “majority” opinion here? Since there wasn’t a formal ballot, it’s a bit tough to interpret, but it seems to me that there were majorities on two questions. (a) A majority supported some kind of inclusion of career Japanese players, either in a separate wing or otherwise (I’ll interpret 12 unique voters as commenting in favor, 5 opposed, several others noncommittal). (b) A majority oppose including career Japanese League players on the regular ballots (I’ll count as opponents all 8 who supported a separate wing, plus the 7 other unique voters who specifically opposed including them either in the HoM as a whole or on the regular ballot). Combining these two majority positions apparently implies support for a separate wing to be added at the end of the project.

It also appeared to me that several issues were not resolved. In particular, a number of options were mentioned for determining how much MLB playing time is needed for consideration – Daryn suggested one game; Jschmeagol suggested 5 or 6 years; Kelly from SD suggested 6 or 7; DanG suggested 50 career WS. The discussion mostly focused on Japanese baseball; I didn’t see that there was any consensus to create a separate wing for career minor leaguers, nor did I see a consensus to exclude career minor leaguers. (I counted 5 comments that could be interpreted as favoring the exclusion of career minor leaguers, 3 comments that favored their inclusion, but most of the posts ignored the minor league aspect of the issue.)


Well, I'll go on record saying that I support the Japanese wing of the HOM idea for career Japanese league players. As far as including Japanese stats for major league players, I could go with either DanG's suggestion of 50 career WS or jschmeagol's suggestion of 5 years major league service.

As for career minor leaguers, I must say that I think they should be excluded from the HOM. The line must be drawn somewhere. As stated before, I believe that the HOM is a response to the HOF, and including career minor leaguers just gets us further and further from that thought.

I'm all for adding minor league credit for players such as Gavy Cravath and Jack Fournier, players who had a substantial major league career, who found themselves in the minor leagues during there peak years, through the stupidity or cheapness of major league owners. Maybe we should use the same 50 WS threshold that we're suggesting for Japanese players who play in the majors. If a player accumulated 50 WS in his major league career, if he has any substantial playing time in the minors during his prime(not playing out the string in the minors) we should consider giving him credit for his minor league years during that time. If he doesn't meet the 50 WS standard, sorry, but he can't be considered. Whatever the majority decides is fine with me, but these are my thoughts on the subject.
   106. andrew siegel Posted: February 06, 2005 at 06:29 AM (#1127632)
It seems to me that the easiest way to set eligibility is to say that only those who played professional baseball in the United States are eligible, but that for anyone who meets that rule voters are free to take into account any evidence of their skill or accomplishments including play in other nations, amateur play, armed forces play, etc.

On that rule, Sadaharu Oh is ineligible but Kaz Sasaki gets to count his years in Japan. Cubans who never left the island are out, but Jose Mendez gets credit for being the best pitcher ever in Cuba. Guys whose careers ended prior to the mid-1860s are out, but Dickey Pearce gets credit for his play back into the 1850s (I realize Jim Creighton got a few votes, but no harm, no foul.) Dobie Moore gets credit for his army years, but we don't have to scour the newclippings for some kid who struck out 6 major leaguers in one army game then died gallantly without ever signing a professional contract.

What do you think?
   107. Sean Gilman Posted: February 06, 2005 at 10:41 AM (#1127894)
I see no reason to limit anyone's eligibility.
If the player Merits election to the Hall, then he should be elected. If not, then he shouldn't.
The method we have in place for determining if Eiji Sawamura or Sadaharu Oh are Meritorious is the Ballot, not the Constitution.
   108. DavidFoss Posted: February 06, 2005 at 06:33 PM (#1128165)
As stated before, I believe that the HOM is a response to the HOF

I'll weigh in that I agree with this sentiment. Making career Japanese players eligible is just going to muddy up the comparison between the HOM & the HOF too much. I vote for a separate wing.

Andrew's rules of "US-Professional" look good to me. That would coincide the cutoff date for pre-NA eligibility with the post-Civil War boom in NABBP membership/schedule-length which appears reasonable to me. Start & Pearce would be the only ones with significant pre-credit and only Pearce would need it. (Start's superb play from 66-70 would have been enough for induction, IMO). Some people have mentioned Jim Creighton. He certainly was a star of the highest order, but he only played four seasons and was dead at 21. That hasn't been enough career-value for even our most peak-friendly voters. He would be a great player-pioneer pick (a la Candy Cummings, but better) if we ever had any of those.

If the majority does decide to make Japanese League players eligible, I'll also echo the statement above that extra slots would have be allocated for these guys. How many slots, and when? That's a good question. It would be great if there was some league size/quality estimates that could spit out those numbers, but I have no idea the amount of data that exists of stuff like that.
   109. Chris Cobb Posted: February 07, 2005 at 05:10 PM (#1130230)
It looks like the electorate is moving towards agreement that Japanese players should not be included in regular elections, at least not yet.

I agree that this is appropriate. Although Sean Gilman has said that the ballot is the place to determine merit, not the Constitution, that can onoly be true if the electorate is informed, and we are not informed about Japanese baseball.

I think the separate wing is a viable solution, and I supported it above. That solution would maintain the clarity of the HoM as an improvement upon the HoF.

However, if we are to make sure that we are holding Japanese players to the same standards we are holding North American players, it would be preferable to consider them in the same elections.

Waiting until we have caught up to the present day to bring Japanese players into the pool would hold them to the same standard without disrupting the comparative intent of the project.

However, that solution would not quite be fair to the Japanese players, since they would have to wait many years to achieve eligibility.

Let me lay out, therefore, a third possibility for consideration.

When the HoM began, the group faced the problem of doing a good job with 19th-century players. There were many months of discussion and data-gathering about them (and discussions about how to run the elections and when to begin, etc.) before the HoM go to work. That long period of preparation enabled the early electorate to be fairly well-educated when voting began and to do, therefore, a _much_ better job with the 19th century than the HoF has done. However, even with all that lead time, there were holes in our knowledge: 1860s baseball, issues in evaluating early pitchers both led to significant changes in the electorate's view of certain early players after voting began.

One of the things that the group decided was _not_ to begin elections as soon as players would have begun to be eligible, but to wait until 1898 (a date pushed forward from 1904) to hold the first election. The first election was held after 27 years of professional, league-based baseball had been played.

When I learned about Eiji Sawamura, I also learned that professional baseball in Japan began in 1934. If we give the Japanese leagues the same 27 years to develop and establish a body of data that we gave to the U.S. leagues, that would mean that we begin to consider Japanese players in 1961.

That would give us 8 months of discussion to decide how, if at all, to change the number of electees per year to reflect the expansion of our pool, 8 months to gather information on the history of the leagues, the eligible players, serious candidates, the level of play, etc.

It would also bring Japanese players into elections just after Negro-League stars will have finished entering, which would mean we're only dealing for the first time with one group of non-ML players at a time: we eased into the Negro-League pool at about the same time that we were finishing most of our work with pre-1893 players.

RMc's vote for Sawamura (the Jim Creighton and Al Spalding of Japanese baseball?) has alerted us to the need to make some decisions about Japanese baseball.

I'd suggest that if we decide to consider them together with North American players but give ourselves 8 months to hash out the details and educate ourselves, we can be ready to do it right at just about the time when Japanese baseball will have developed enough to be ready for eligibility.

Does this sound like a good idea?
   110. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: February 07, 2005 at 05:30 PM (#1130261)
Chris C.,

Just to clarify for my own understanding.

Are you suggesting that we have a Japanese Wing that begins elections in 1961?

Or are you suggesting that in 1961, we begin folding Japanese players into the HOM process without a seperate wing?

If the former, I'm all for it, and I think it makes all the sense in the world. We'd be electing Japanese alongside their MLB/NgL chronological contemporaries as well as preserving the HOM/HOF comparison. That's a great compromise solution that should benefit everyone.

If the latter, in addition to losing the direct HOM/HOF there is another big issue to consider. If we want to have other internationals as well, those players whose careers took place in Cuba and elsewhere were well established before 1934. They might be getting an unfair shake as compared to their Japanese bretheren just as you mentioned about Japanese having to wait until we caught up.
   111. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 07, 2005 at 06:27 PM (#1130372)
Chris has an interesting idea, but we would need to expand the number of electees to take this into account. One problem with this is that if we, say, expand the number of electees by 15 from 1961 onward, how can we be sure that those 15 spots are going to Japanese players and not to borderline American players?

I still favor the idea of a seperate wing and seperate elections after we catch up to the present. I would actually favor lumping Japanese, Korean, Cuban, Mexican, etc., etc. leagues together. We could have a 'committee' investigate league quality and set aside a certain number of spots for this and simply do smaller ballots (5 men? 10 men?)les frequently.

As for who would be eligible in our elections in am not too particular about this. My one reservation would be that we should be careful of making the distinction based on a metric like WS or WARP. I believe we should use some sort of playing time requirement instead of an achievement requirement.

I also have no problem for inlcuding career minor leaguers in our elections now. If voters want to vote for a guy like Buzz Arlett that is fine by me. So long as he played mostly in the United States.
   112. Chris Cobb Posted: February 07, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1130429)
Dr. Chaleeko,

I was suggesting that the Japanese players be included in regular elections.

My rationale for making that suggestion is that I believe that is the only way to make the standards for Japanese (or other international) players the same as the standards for North-American players.

If we have a separate wing, we will have a separate standard. We may strive to make it similar, but we can't make it the same.

If we want to have other internationals as well, those players whose careers took place in Cuba and elsewhere were well established before 1934. They might be getting an unfair shake as compared to their Japanese bretheren just as you mentioned about Japanese having to wait until we caught up.

Yes, the problem with going international is that it becomes much harder to tell who the candidates are that need serious consideration. We don't have any resource but our own knowledge and vigilance not to miss anybody. This is a good reason to limit ourselves to leagues based in the United States: we can't be sure that we are making errors of omission if we expand our purview beyond players in the U.S. leagues.
   113. yest Posted: February 07, 2005 at 08:54 PM (#1130662)
I'm very against the idea of putting international players in the HoM see the basketball hall of fame for how many less then great players would be elected
   114. Chris Cobb Posted: February 07, 2005 at 11:27 PM (#1130957)
I'm very against the idea of putting international players in the HoM see the basketball hall of fame for how many less then great players would be elected

This is exactly the attitude that makes it important for us to consider international players, if we can do so responsibly.
   115. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: February 08, 2005 at 12:23 AM (#1131026)
I would like to propose taht we have a vote on whether or not Japanese, Cuban, Mexican league players are allowed to be voted for in the regular elections this week. Just a simple up or down.

After that we should decide what to dowith them inside the next month just in case we want to use Chris's idea.
   116. Jeff M Posted: February 20, 2006 at 05:01 AM (#1868905)
Anyone heard of the Basketball "Ring of Merit". If not, see this: Ring of Merti

They are reading our Constitution and debating some parallel issues. The APBR group just started talking it in mid-January and it looks like they'll be modeling their Constituion after ours.

There's not much there yet, but it's pretty interesting if you were here at the HoM from the beginning and watched this thing germinate.

By the way, should someone do a Wikipedia entry for our HoM? We'll all be famous! LOL
   117. Jeff M Posted: February 20, 2006 at 05:04 AM (#1868910)
Oops, I mean "Ring of Honor".
   118. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: February 20, 2006 at 05:41 AM (#1868948)
They are reading our Constitution and debating some parallel issues. The APBR group just started talking it in mid-January and it looks like they'll be modeling their Constituion after ours.

Joe should very pleased!

There's not much there yet, but it's pretty interesting if you were here at the HoM from the beginning and watched this thing germinate.

Feels nice to be part of something that may have some influence on an other similar project.

By the way, should someone do a Wikipedia entry for our HoM? We'll all be famous! LOL

I put it on my to-do list if Joe doesn't want to handle the chore.
   119. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:02 PM (#2020644)
This issue has been raised before but I thought the time might be ripe for raising it again. I'd like to be able to leave the bottom part of my ballot blank. For example, this year I only want to show that I would support the induction of 10 players. I would move my 11th place candidate to 16th, leaving 11 through 15 blank and backing up everyone else. It seems unfair that my vote for Mendez might put him in when I don't support his inclusion. And I see nothing philosophically wrong with blank ballots because it doesn't effect the inexorable election of players each year, it just allows each voter to set his own demarcation line regarding who he wishes his ballot to support.

It is not an endorsement of a Smaller Hall, it is just an indication of where these players fall in each theoretical PHOM.

The proposal has its flaws, but I'm wondering if I am its lone proponent or if I represent a silent majority these backlog days.
   120. DavidFoss Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:10 PM (#2020652)
It is not an endorsement of a Smaller Hall, it is just an indication of where these players fall in each theoretical PHOM.

I dunno. #15 on your ballot in 1976 is almost certainly going to end up in your PHOM. This backlog election is just a taste of what's to come in the mid-1980s. You can't find 15 guys you like better than someone you don't want to vote for? The ballots are getting thin at the top, but there is simply an ocean of borderline guys to choose from.
   121. Howie Menckel Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2020655)
Well, I don't even think I have 10 guys I'd like to see get in at this point, but I'd still disagree with this.
If you do this, what about a voter who has five guys he LOVES plus 10 he just likes? Can he demarcate that, too?

I was one of the leading Van Haltren opponents back in the day, but occasionally he still sneaks back onto my ballot - in part because I don't have many guys I enthusiastically endorse, so at times I'd be being unfair if I didn't give him that 14 or 15 slot just because I don't want to see him do well.

I understand the point - giving votes to guys you don't really like. Ironically, Mandez nearly got back onto my ballot this year, because a reevaluation moved him up somewhat. And if it puts him on one day at 14 or 15, so be it.
But this seems like a cousin of the strategic voting we don't allow, albeit it would be an honest cousin.
   122. Daryn Posted: May 15, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#2020691)

The ballots are getting thin at the top, but there is simply an ocean of borderline guys to choose from.


My philosophical problem is that an ocean of borderline guys makes them all not worthy of distinction.

#15 on your ballot in 1976 is almost certainly going to end up in your PHOM.


That is probably true.

Maybe this proposal makes more sense, if it would ever gain any traction, in 2007, when the PHOMs are all filled, then each voter really will have a sense of who he thinks should be in the Hall and who shouldn't. If someone, had a perfect consensus between the HOM and his PHOM, maybe he should be allowed to vote for only the elect me spots. But even that becomes problematic because then he would not be showing any gradation between his 5th favoured candidate and his 100th favoured candidate. Nevermind, 15 is probably an okay number to balance the two issues.
   123. Paul Wendt Posted: May 15, 2006 at 07:43 PM (#2020936)
A player’s “personality” is to be considered only to the extent that it affected the outcomes of the player’s games (e.g., via his positive or negative effect on his teammates). In rare and extreme cases, a voter may opt to exclude a player on “personality” grounds on the first ballot on which the player appears.

Since you asked . . .
I mean the basketball Ringers: I hope you are reading this!


Without benefit of participation in the consitutional debate, my opinion is:

The first sentence concerns ranking (and underlying rating, if applicable). One may rank a player 7 rather than 4 on grounds P if and only if that difference reflects (in a complete rating system, measures) the affect of P on the outcomes of games.

The second sentence concerns balloting. One may cast a ballot that omits a player who ranks in the top 15 on grounds P but only once for each player.

The purpose must be to recruit and maintain a slightly larger and more harmonious group, here where that seems possible with negligible expected effect on who is finally elected. Sincere participation is quite restrictive, especially the vow to do sufficient research, but it's clear, too, that participants are expected to suppress their own P in many respects, for a few years of calendar time, for thousands of hours and thousands of articles on part of the most active participants. The momentary boycott is a safety valve providing for limited self-expression.

I suppose that a significant number of delegates hoped no one would exercise a boycott but a majority recognized that strong negative feeling about a few candidates in 150 years might be rather common among prospective sincere participants (who don't grow in meadows), enough so that the group chose to preempt any commitment to expel people or disqualify their ballots for that.
   124. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 15, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#2021156)
I always get nervous when I see the Constitution thread on hot topics . . . :-)

David, I would give an unequivical 'no' to the proposal. Everyone has to submit a complete ballot. If you have Mendez at #11 or #13, you support his election more than everyone else below him, whether you think you do or not. I hope that makes sense.

I don't have a lot of time right now, but wanted to clarify that in case it matters for tonight's ballot.
   125. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 16, 2006 at 12:48 AM (#2021485)
I also want to say, not that I think David would do this, but to anyone else thinking about it, I'd be very disappointed if you purposely put people you don't think will be elected just to keep others you think higher of out.
   126. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2021511)
Yeah, David. You got some nerve! ;-)
   127. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: May 16, 2006 at 02:43 AM (#2021778)
Whoops, was rushed to post, I don't think Daryn would either :-)
   128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 16, 2006 at 11:48 AM (#2021914)
:-D
   129. Wombat Pete Posted: March 25, 2007 at 12:33 PM (#2317404)
I'm not a member, but I've long been a fan of this kind of project.

There is one recommendation I would make, however - and one aspect of the current system that reduces its value in my eyes.

The recommendation - rather than trying to accomodate "large hall" and "small hall" thinking in a single HOM, wouldn't it be both possible and productive to have a HoM-LH and HoM-SH? Each ballot could simply have two columns for each one column it has now...

The one thing I don't like about the current set-up - and perhaps if I went back and reviewed the reasoning set forth in your pre-HoM discussions I would understand it better - is the rationale behind having the number of HoM-ers mirror the number of HoF-ers. Couldn't the HoF get this number as wrong as it gets many other things?

Finally - as new statistical approaches emerge (imagine the long run - over the next 50 or 100 years), wouldn't it make sense for the HoM (unlike the HoF) to be under continual reconsideration? In other words, we should be tied to truth, not to some idea of "winning" by having the guy we advocate in there. Shouldn't continuing discussion have the potential to lead to the REMOVAL of an inductee from the HoM if, in light of the available evidence, the voters have changed their collective mind?

Thanks for your attention, and I apologize for any of this that you believe I "should have known"!
   130. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 25, 2007 at 01:06 PM (#2317410)
The one thing I don't like about the current set-up - and perhaps if I went back and reviewed the reasoning set forth in your pre-HoM discussions I would understand it better - is the rationale behind having the number of HoM-ers mirror the number of HoF-ers. Couldn't the HoF get this number as wrong as it gets many other things?

To me, the number of HOFers was never the problem, but who it excluded and included compared to the others already enshrined. No, I wouldn't want the HoM to have 1,000 inductees as of 2007, but the idea of a number of electees is arbitrary. I certainly wouldn't want it to just include "no-brainers" (which is an arbitrary demarcation in itself) because that would be very boring. For me, the Sam Thompsons, Bob Caruthers, Max Careys and Billy Pierces are what make the project fun.
   131. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 25, 2007 at 01:16 PM (#2317414)
Finally - as new statistical approaches emerge (imagine the long run - over the next 50 or 100 years), wouldn't it make sense for the HoM (unlike the HoF) to be under continual reconsideration? In other words, we should be tied to truth, not to some idea of "winning" by having the guy we advocate in there. Shouldn't continuing discussion have the potential to lead to the REMOVAL of an inductee from the HoM if, in light of the available evidence, the voters have changed their collective mind?


I doubt anybody here would want that, Pete. Besides, whatever "errors" that we might have made are borderline ones, anyway.

Thanks for your attention, and I apologize for any of this that you believe I "should have known"!


No apology necessary, Pete. Thanks for being a fan of The HoM.
   132. Wombat Pete Posted: March 25, 2007 at 01:27 PM (#2317419)
To me, the number of HOFers was never the problem, but who it excluded and included compared to the others already enshrined. No, I wouldn't want the HoM to have 1,000 inductees as of 2007, but the idea of a number of electees is arbitrary.


I think this is the point I was trying to make. Didn't I read that the number of HoM members was to be pegged to the number of HoF members? And aren't you saying (and, if so, I agree entirely) that it shouldn't be pegged to anything?

Also, if any of you have a reaction to distinguishing large-hall from small-hall, I'd love to hear it - in my view they represent the application of quite different principles (and, as Grandma says, "no-brainers" = "an arbitrary demarcation in itself," which I might rephrase by saying that a small-hall is as debatable as a large hall (homogenous in the center, toasty-debatable on the outside).
   133. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 25, 2007 at 01:49 PM (#2317425)
I think this is the point I was trying to make. Didn't I read that the number of HoM members was to be pegged to the number of HoF members? And aren't you saying (and, if so, I agree entirely) that it shouldn't be pegged to anything?


Actually, I like the idea of tying it to the HOF, Pete. In fact, I hope it continues once we reach the present and have only annual elections in real-time. For one thing, if the idea was to be a comparative to the HOF showcasing their bad selections and baffling omissions, then how can we make a detour from that mission? Secondly, it makes it easier not worrying about our own "in-out" line.
   134. rawagman Posted: March 25, 2007 at 02:02 PM (#2317428)
WP - an exercise without boundary is not really an exercise. I wasn't here for the beginning, but this self-imposed boundary is exactly what makes this project unique. Without forcing ourselves to stick to a set limit, the project would be nothing more than baseball naval gazing.
   135. Howie Menckel Posted: March 25, 2007 at 02:03 PM (#2317429)
The whole process has actually helped us find out which of us are "small Hall" or "big Hall."
I didn't consider myself either one, but in 4 years of voting I've basically seen all my favorites voted in already. If I had a "none of the above" this year, I might have chosen it. So now I know I'm "small hall." :)

I still like the matching number, though, as it tells us roughly how many HOF choices are mistakes in our collective eyes. That will be around 55, or just about 25 pct of their picks.
And via our career votes, it's easy to see which ones are most absurd and which are debatable (HOFers were still arguing about as HOMer candidates). Some "mistakes" are a lot worse than others.
   136. Wombat Pete Posted: March 25, 2007 at 02:14 PM (#2317432)
OK, fair enough. I now see your rationale for appointing the number. Still, as a small-hall type, I'd love to see what the HoM would do with a small hall. It could be pegged either to a number (say, 60 or so members) or, to take into account the march of time, either to a percentage of the HoF or to a number of players per unit of time (year or decade).

What do you think?
   137. DanG Posted: March 26, 2007 at 02:20 AM (#2317730)
This discussion reminds me of this thread from last year: Once We Catch Up: The Hall of Merit After 2007.

Also, IIRC, the idea of stratifying the HoM is discussed in the Jim Fregosi thread.
   138. DanG Posted: March 26, 2007 at 02:25 AM (#2317733)
the idea of stratifying the HoM is discussed in the Jim Fregosi thread

Wait, it's not. Gotta find that.
   139. DanG Posted: March 26, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2318001)
Wait, it's not. Gotta find that.

OK, it was in a few email exchanges with some guys here back in August. I'll send John and Joe the latest version of my stratification plan, maybe they'll give it a thread.
   140. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 26, 2007 at 05:56 PM (#2318073)
Voters are encouraged to include 15 players on each ballot, though ballots with fewer than 15 players will be accepted.


It's always been a de facto rule that each voter had to have 15 players on their ballot. Obviously, the part of the Constitution that you posted was never reconciled. I'll correct it in a moment.
   141. Paul Wendt Posted: May 27, 2007 at 11:59 PM (#2380892)
This may show up nowhere.

Following the link to Our Consitution
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/our_constitution
now I get a blank template (no title or introduction).
   142. Paul Wendt Posted: May 27, 2007 at 11:59 PM (#2380893)
This may show up nowhere.

Following the link to Our Consitution
http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/hall_of_merit/discussion/our_constitution
now I get a blank template (no title or introduction).
   143. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:14 AM (#2409001)
Just a hunch, we probably want to have this on Hot Topics.

Looking it over, the Constitution does lean in the favor of leniency. It says the ballot committee has the authority to reject late ballots. That would imply that late ballots would be accepted unless there was a reason not to.

I'll ask the obvious question: Is there a ballot committee? Or have we let the Commish serve as the de facto committee?

In any case, after looking at this, I'll say that I definitely vote to accept Joe's ballot.
   144. Chris Fluit Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:21 AM (#2409010)
From the 2000 Ballot Thread:

103. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2007 at 07:15 AM (#2407836)

Since the third spot for induction will be extremely close, no ballots will be allowed after 8 PM EDT. Results will be posted at 10.


Since there isn't a standing ballot committee, it looks like the decision was already made. No late ballots will be accepted.
   145. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:29 AM (#2409021)
That's wrong IMO, those posts, as I explained to John earlier.

We've always had differing opinions on this, and never resolved it.

John thinks that close elections are the ones where you stick to 8 p.m..

I think the exact opposite - which is probably why the Constitution was worded as such.

I think, rather strongly, that the close ones are the ones where you let people in a few minutes late, because you want everyone's voice to be heard.

If the election is a landslide, 'perfect attendence' is the only reason to allow a late ballot, other than that, who cares? That's when you stick to the administrative rules.

But if the election is close, I think you go out of your way to make sure everyone that wants to gets to vote.
   146. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:43 AM (#2409042)
From EricC on the late ballot thread.

"If we're going constitutional on this, we might need to ask whether Joe's ballot is technically late.

Scenario 1) If Joe is saying that his contacting John constitutes a de facto extension, then his ballot is not late, it's merely given an extension of ontimeliness.

Scenario 2) If Joe is saying the ballot is, indeed, late, then the ballot committe should have the ability to reject it (or not). [this then suggests that the request for extension is not granted immediately upon asking for it.]

In other words, does the mere intention to ask for an extension constitute an extension, even if the extender doesn't get the message? If it does not and there is no extension granted, then the ballot committee (whoever they are) can act in accordance with the rules as Devin has noted. Which chicken-and-eggishly gets back to whether Joe consitutes a committe of one for extensions in balloting or as a ballot committee."


My contacting John, IMO constituted a de facto extension.

1) We've never denied such a request

2) When I didn't hear from John, especially when I said call me if this is an issue, I assumed there was no issue.

3) I was posting my ballot as John was doing the results, and before the results were posted, I put up a post on the thread, saying I'd have my ballot in shortly (assuming John had told everyone the results would be late)

3 is especially important, in response to Chris' statement about the mere appearance of conflict of interest being conflict of interest.

I had no idea that my ballot would change the election, and I told everyone on the thread that my ballot was coming in a few minutes, before the results were up. Who got elected was completely irrelevant.

What happened was a technical snafu, a strange confluence of events. But I'm shocked there's this much issue about whether or not to count the ballot after the explanation of what happened. I really don't know what else to say.
   147. Mark Donelson Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2409047)
But if the election is close, I think you go out of your way to make sure everyone that wants to gets to vote.

I agree with this. And (as noted on the other thread) I don't feel strongly about this myself, either way, really.

But many people do. And I think were I in your shoes, I'd feel that avoiding even the appearance of favoritism--even in a case where it's pretty clearly not there--trumps the "everyone who wants to gets to vote" mandate. It's up to you, and I really don't mean to pressure you, honestly--again, I personally don't feel strongly about this. But only you have the power to make this go away.
   148. Adam Schafer Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:04 AM (#2409056)
sorry, moving to Constitution thread...

To keep things on the up and up, I honestly feel that as commish Joe shouldn't have any say in the matter other than pleading his case. It is his project though, so he has the power to do as he will. However, who SHOULD have the say? Do we take it to a popular vote? Then it would be the Finger's supporters vs. the non-Fingers supporters in the popular vote. Is that fair either? Trying to leave Joe out of this as much as possible, I do personally feel that he had the best point, should we not let all voices be heard in a close vote to get the most accurate results? It's not like Joe just all of the sudden put Fingers on the ballot for the very first time and that was the deciding factor. He has been consistent there. I hear the other side of the argument too. A deadline is a deadline and we've had a lot of days prior to now to have got our ballot in. All in all, my own strongest feeling on the matter is that his vote should stand. I am borderline on that stance though. It's late, I'm rambling, I'll shut up now
   149. Chris Cobb Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:12 AM (#2409059)
To recap quickly what I just posted at greater length on the earlier thread,

if there have been earlier extension requests granted, and Joe indicates in 146 that there have been, then I think that should settle the matter. I don't remember those cases, however, so it would be helpful to have the precedents reviewed.

In the absence of clear precedent, Joe has the authority to decide, but use of that authority has the appearance of impropriety, so I would advise him either to withdraw his ballot or put its acceptance to a vote of the 2000 electorate.
   150. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:17 AM (#2409064)
As the "Oh yeah, he votes here too"/speaks rarely guy, and having seen all the permutations of this argument since the Spalding-Sutton post-election argument of 1906, I just have one question:

If this were my ballot (or a similar "vocal" voter), would we be having this discussion?

Answer honestly.
   151. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:19 AM (#2409067)
Cross-posted to "Late Ballot" thread

All right, if we're going to get legalistic about this (maybe we're not, but I want to say this anyway). Not that I'm a lawyer.

The Constituion has been available for everyone to read and comment on since the foundation of the Hall of Merit. If anyone had any objections to the wording of the Consitution on ballot issues, or any questions about the existence of the ballot committee, they had the opportunity to raise them. To my knowledge, no one has done so.

The rules were available for everyone to read, and as members of the community of the Hall of Merit, I think there is an implied obligation to do so. I am reasonably sure that when someone mentions that they have an interest in voting, Joe or John advises them to check the Constitution thread. So, if people object to the rules, it is a little late to say so after their application has come into question.

On the other hand, the rules also specify that there is a deadline for voting, and it's Joe's responsibility to be aware of that and get his vote in before the deadline. And while the role of Ballot Committee may have devolved onto Joe by the inaction of everyone, it has also been the case that the day-to-day decisions have been given to the custody of John, and he has always stated the view that the deadline was more final in case of close elections.

My view, as I said earlier, is that the Constitution seems to call for leniency, and that it should be the ultimate authority. While John and Joe should have worked out their differences on the late ballot issue, that didn't happen, and we can't change that now.

Having said that, given the issue of a percieved conflict of interest, the best thing for everyone might be for the "no count"ers and Joe to take it to a neutral arbitrator, if they can find someone willing to fill the role. (And yes, I know how silly this sounds, but I think the important thing here is for everyone to feel they were treated fairly.)

If most everyone is willing to agree to a vote of the electorate as Chris Cobb suggests, that would be an easier solution, as long as everyone feels confident that nobody's voting with the results in mind.
   152. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:24 AM (#2409072)
Honestly, Esteban, I think a major part of the issue here was that Joe felt comfortable sending a quick note to John telling him that he would be voting late, and didn't worry when he didn't hear back from him. I know that I wouldn't have been so sure about it, but I don't talk with John as often as Joe does. If you had just posted a late ballot and raised a fuss...it probably would have depended on whether Joe was around (or whether John would have kicked the question upstairs). He seems to be the one who feels most strongly about this.
   153. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2409073)
"If this were my ballot (or a similar "vocal" voter), would we be having this discussion?

Answer honestly."


No the ballot would have been accepted and it would be done with.
   154. Chris Cobb Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2409075)
If most everyone is willing to agree to a vote of the electorate as Chris Cobb suggests, that would be an easier solution, as long as everyone feels confident that nobody's voting with the results in mind.

I'm pretty confident that, given our commitment to non-strategic voting, that voters would consider the issue in terms of interpreting the Constitution and the integrity of the process, rather than their preference for electing Fingers or Randolph in 2000. The one not elected is very likely to be elected very soon, in any case, and we were almost perfectly divided on that question, anyway.
This is less about Fingers vs. Randolph than it is about "how we do things."
   155. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2409080)
As far as precedent goes, I can't go back and look at every thread, and I don't have emails back to 2004.

But in 1938, Max Parkinson voted at 8:46 and the results were posted at 8:53.

I spot checked a few others and didn't see anything irregular. I'm assuming Max sent a note, and John and I discussed it and we allowed the ballot.

I really don't have the time to look further, I've got to get to sleep guys, I've got to be to work an hour early tomorrow.
   156. Mike Webber Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:41 AM (#2409082)
I could be happy either way, strategically speaking. I personally think Finger's argument is weak, so if he is out, I win. If Willie Randolph gets the shaft, well he is a Yankee, though probably the only one I respected on the Yankee teams that crushed the spirits of a young Royals fan in the 1970's three straight years. Still he is a Yankee, and keeping him out I'd count that as good too.
If it comes to a vote, I'd count the ballot.
   157. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:42 AM (#2409084)
I think the late ballot should be counted, but I'm biased because I'm sympathetic to the problem. Ever since my laptop was stolen in late March, it's been very difficult to submit a punctual/neat ballot. As I result, I've missed elections or had to submit a ballot at the last moment. But, it doesn't mean my ballots don't reflect my actual opinion, nor are they any less relevant than someone's ballot who is blessed with enough time to make one all shiny and neat and punctual.

When in doubt, count it, unless there's a compelling reason to suspect impropriety or ignorance. Obviously, there's none of that here, though I can't speak to the "political" benefit of avoiding an apparent conflict of interest.
   158. sunnyday2 Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2409091)
I'm with Howie.
   159. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:36 AM (#2409101)
Even as recently as 1997 Max posted at 8:22 and his ballot was counted. Do I have to keep going back through?
   160. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:39 AM (#2409102)
When KJOK posted at 8:06 in 1996, Devin said this:

A quick thought - we might want to put a bigger gap in between the ballot closing and the announcement. If someone has a problem with KJOK's ballot (or any other last-minute poster), they should have time to register their complaint. Close the ballot at 8, announce the results at 10?


Guess we should have discussed it more at the time? That ballot was counted too.
   161. Chris Fluit Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:48 AM (#2409107)
Taking a look at a couple of pertinent paragraphs from the constitution:

Paragraph 10:
Elections will end at 8 PM EDT on the Monday following the start of the election (which will also start on a Monday). The ballot committee has the authority to not accept any ballot submitted after the deadline. The deadline will be chosen for the mutual benefit of the voters and the ballot committee. If a voter discovers that he made an error on his ballot (even after the ballot deadline), the committee will typically accept a revised ballot from this voter up to the time that the weekly results are announced.

From Paragraph 17:
The HoM ballot committee will review and tally all ballots.

I would like to address a number of Joe Dimino’s arguments.

One, Joe has defended the inclusion of his ballot based on the arbitrariness of the deadline. It may be true that the deadline has been set somewhat arbitrarily at 8 pm. However, that could be said of all decisions. Yet these are the decisions that were mutually agreed upon by the founders of the Hall of Merit. And they were agreed upon for the benefit of all. A specific deadline benefits all voters by giving us a clear guideline as to when our ballots are due. And a specific deadline benefits the ballot counters. Without any specific deadline, their work would become burdensome. Furthermore, ignoring the rules that have been set and lifting the deadline is also arbitrary. Such a decision makes more than just the deadline arbitrary. It makes the rules arbitrary.

Two, Joe has argued that the request for an extension is a de facto extension. However, the Constitution notes that the ballot committee has the authority to not accept any ballot submitted after the deadline. There is no specific reference to granting extensions. Therefore, the granting of extensions is not mandatory. The ballot committee still has the authority to not accept any ballot submitted after the deadline whether or not an extension has been requested. The fact that they have granted extensions in the past is not an abrogation of that authority. A request can be denied and a requested extension is not a de facto extension.

Three, Joe has argued that a ballot should be accepted if it is submitted before the results are announced. However, the Constitution does not recognize late ballots at all. It only recognizes revisions of previous ballots. Joe did not submit an earlier ballot for this election. His ballot is not a revision. Therefore, the balloting committee continues to have the authority as to whether or not to accept the ballot. The existing phrases concerning ballots being posted after the deadline but before the announced results all have to do with revised ballots instead of late ballots and are therefore not directly relevant to this argument.

Four, since the authority to accept ballots resides with the balloting committee, it is important to determine what the balloting committee is. As far as I know, there is not an official standing balloting committee. However, the balloting committee can be determined by seeing who does the job of the balloting committee. Among the various duties assigned to the balloting committee is the duty to “review and tally all ballots.” The closest that we have to a de facto balloting committee is that those who count the ballots constitute the balloting committee. So the balloting committee is either John Murphy, or it is John Murphy plus the people who help him count (OCF and one other). As far as the Constitution is concerned, it’s their decision. Yet, as John Murphy noted in post #26 of the now titled “What to do about a late ballot?” thread, he wasn’t involved in the decision.

The position of commissioner is not actually included in the Constitution. However, most of us would agree that it was an oversight, that the position of commissioner does exist and that the commissioner has the authority to overrule any decision. Yet this is where we get into the area of the conflict of interest. The commissioner overruled the balloting committee on behalf of the commissioner. It would be one thing for the balloting committee to grant an extension or accept a late ballot. They have the authority to do so. It is another thing entirely for the commissioner to overrule the balloting committee on his own behalf. Whether or not he would have made a similar ruling for another member, it is clearly a conflict of interest for the commissioner to rule on his own behalf.

The person who cast the late ballot should not be the same person who makes the decision. This is especially true when according to the Constitution it isn’t even his decision to make in the first place. Joe has argued that he isn’t being selfish in making this decision. Well, Joe is the only one who gains from this decision. If he truly desired to be selfless, he would have left the decision with the balloting committee as dictated by the Constitution.

Finally, Joe has defended the inclusion of his ballot based on precedent. This is the most compelling of his arguments in that a precedent has been set for granting extensions. However, the precedents cited to date all include both a request for extension, a conferral of the balloting committee and the commissioner and the granting of an extension. This incident includes only the first of those three elements. Furthermore, the precedents cited to date all include the judgment of a second and third-party on behalf of the one making the request. This incident does not as the person making the request is also the one who made the ruling. While there are precedents for granting extensions, those precedents are not identical to this incident.

The decision as it currently stands is marred by special privilege and self-interest. The decision should be reversed and the original decision of the balloting committee reinstated.
   162. ronw Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:00 AM (#2409110)
Wow, I feel so insignificant, being relegated to "one other" status. I suppose I need a better handle.

I've been tallying ballots for decades, probably since around 1911. I have never participated in a request to extend the ballot, but that didn't mean it didn't occur. It does mean that ballot talliers don't get consulted about extensions. Therefore, the talliers are probably not the "ballot committee" which simply doesn't exist.
   163. Chris Fluit Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:03 AM (#2409111)
Sorry, ronw. I was pretty sure it was you but I couldn't find a specific reference and decided I'd play it safe and leave you out rather than state a name and get it wrong.
   164. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:03 AM (#2409112)
There are many examples of late ballots being accepted. But have there been any instances where a late one that would change the outcome have been accepted after the deadline? At this time of night, I can't rememebr if there has. Has there been?

However, there is a precedent established for not willing to rock the boat after the deadline, the the Moore?-Gordon election.
   165. Rob_Wood Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:19 AM (#2409119)
Wow. I just logged in and noticed the "controversy". I am 100% in favor of counting Joe's ballot. If it had been me who was running late and sincerely tried to give John a heads-up, and then not hearing back from him would naturally assume that it was okay, I would expect my late ballot to count. Perhaps it is because I am an original member of good standing that I would expect such consideration. Perhaps every voter should expect such consideration. In any event, I really really think the "fair" thing to do is to count the ballot (fair to the voters).

In addition, the fact that the election results would change if the ballot is counted is totally irrelevant.

Finally, the de facto ballot committee has always been the entire membership, with Joe's and John's able leadership. In this light, I would hope that we can arrive at an amicable decision. Let's keep the rhetoric and personal comments to a minimum.
   166. Sean Gilman Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:22 AM (#2409153)
Would an extension request always be granted, even after the "no ballots after 8 pm" declaration by John?

If so, then I think we should accept the ballot.

But what then, is the point of said declaration?

I'm with Howie and Sunnyday in that I can't believe that with three weeks to create and submit a ballot, people still can't manage to get it in before the deadline. It's not like our ballots change that much. We even use the same comments over and over again.

But I don't think that's particularly relevant to this specific case.

We should have created a ballot committee 5 years ago, and I'm fine with appointing John, OCF and ronw to that post now and letting them decide the issue among themselves.
   167. EricC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:53 AM (#2409180)
Not an exhaustive list of precedence, but what I found from looking through a few past ballots:

....

In 1970, Joe Dimino voted after the 8 pm deadline, and his ballot was accepted. The thread does not explain the circumstances of the extension. Was permission granted by private communication?

....


Also, 1988 Ballot Thread Post 132:

132. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 30, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2228454)

Since Dan asked for permission before the deadline, I'll allow his, but no one else's because of the closeness of the election.


.....


Given past precedence, and that Joe Dimino posted an extension request on the 2000 ballot thread before results were announced, I lean toward accepting his ballot, although I can understand the other point of view.
   168. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 19, 2007 at 11:17 AM (#2409186)
In the past, there have only been two ways that I would allow a ballot after the deadline (within reason, of course). The first one would be in a runaway election where the ballot in question wouldn't affect anything and wouldn't upset anyone. The second one would be in an e-mail in advance asking for a delay (like I did for Dan in the above post).

Though I didn't get his e-mail since he e-mailed an old, dead address of mine, I believe him when he said he did this so I would allow it in this case.

With that said, the solution would be to get the ballot in way in advance of the deadline. I honestly don't understand the last second postings every single week.
   169. TomH Posted: June 19, 2007 at 12:04 PM (#2409194)
It is impt, for the benefit of the rest of this project and for posterity, that we follow our Constitution. To me it seems clear:

The ballot committee has the authority to not accept any ballot submitted after the deadline

Rather than each of us chiming in, let the ballot committee (even if it is de facto, I assume it's pretty agreed who is on it) make a decision. Even if it isn't the one I would make, I will go along with it. They are empowered to make the decision by whatever means they choose.
   170. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 12:08 PM (#2409196)
"The decision as it currently stands is marred by special privilege and self-interest. The decision should be reversed and the original decision of the balloting committee reinstated."

Huh? What orginal decision of the ballot committee?
   171. Daryn Posted: June 19, 2007 at 12:08 PM (#2409197)
I don't understand why Joe would want his ballot counted. It calls into question the validity of the voting and the project. What interest does it serve? His own? Willie Randolph's? Certainly not the interests of the Hall of Merit.
   172. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: June 19, 2007 at 12:43 PM (#2409209)
As I posted on the other thread, I don't think the ballot should be counted. However, I'm not going to lose sleep about it either way, because I see the other side of the coin. However, two things need to come out of this. We need to define clear rules for this going forward, and we need to end the onslaught of last minute ballots.
   173. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 12:44 PM (#2409210)
It does not do any of that Daryn. The only reason this is even a question is because it was my ballot.

It was a close election and I wanted my voice heard, as if I would want any other heard. I made the effort as John said, but there was a mistake.

I'm shocked that this is becoming the issue it is. John has said that the ballot would be accepted if it was anyone else.
   174. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 12:47 PM (#2409212)
Just to nip it in the bud, I don't care about the appearance of impropriety, if anyone thinks I've been anything but honorable throughout this project, that's on them.

My only concern, as with everything throughout this project is getting it right.

If anything, I have much more issue with the way I handled the issue with the Gordon election much more than I regret how this is being handled.
   175. Howie Menckel Posted: June 19, 2007 at 01:04 PM (#2409222)
What bothers me the most is that someone can perpetually vote at the last minute, create headaches in previous elections, and then try to justify it.

I don't care what the result of this specific controversy is.
I do care about whether people who, recognizing their own blunders, are willing to apologize to the group and clearly prioritize the "I will vote in much more timely fashion in every future election" theme over "Let's make every ballot count even when they keep coming in late." I'm not seeing that so far from Joe, though I appreciate that a few others have made that leap.

For those of you who haven't met Joe, he's a wonderful guy who's created a great project.
But frankly, he needs to take the blinders off here. I'm sure that even many of those who want to count the vote are thinking the same thing I am, but they're too polite to say it. So I'll be the 'bad guy' here I guess.
   176. Chris Cobb Posted: June 19, 2007 at 01:14 PM (#2409226)
On the basis of more information, I see the following:

1) Some people feel strongly about this, more strongly on the "ballot shouldn't count side" than the "ballot should count side," but opinion is clearly divided and not likely to be reconciled by argument.

2) There are precedents for late votes being accepted, and the Constituttion clearly permits late ballots to be accepted.

3) John has said clearly in post 168 that this case -- except for the misdirected e-mail, for which we ought to cut Joe some slack, seeing as he is/has been moving half way across the country -- fits with established precedents for people getting extensions.

4) In the absence of a ballot committee, Joe as Commissioner and John as site master are the ones who have always had authority to judge in doubtful cases.

5) Joe in post 174 has said he doesn't care about the appearance of impropriety but about making the right decisions.

Given this evidence, it seems to me that Joe and John should just decide to count the ballot and post the results.

If this discussion were continuing for any reason except that Joe would rather there not be (let me estimate) 10 long-time voters who view the decision as wrong, he would already have withddrawn his ballot or agreed to put the matter to a vote or (and I think this is a good idea, too) turned the matter over to the de facto ballot committee of the people who tabulate results each week and cross-check them with John. ( They are the ones who each election ensure the integrity of our results. I would trust them, as I would trust the electorate.) Those people who see the decision as wrong aren't going to change their minds, and continuing to argue is going to only raise tempers more.

I don't see that further discussion can add anything to our knowledge of the factors relevant to the situation.

Joe, please make a decision soon so that we can A) close this discussion and B) get election results.

As to surprise that this has become an issue: part of what makes the project fun and worth doing is that we have a good process and we take that process seriously. We are a group of friends doing this because we treat each other in a friendly fashion, not because we, as a pre-existing group of friends, decided to do this thing (there was a small, pre-existing group, but the HoM is much larger than that now.)

I'll advise again to put the matter directly to a vote of the 2000 electorate or the de facto balloting committee. But Joe, if you're not going to do that, then make the decision to count your ballot or withdraw it now. The relevant issues have been presented, and a fair number of people have made it clear how they feel about the issue. It's time for you to decide or move to a formal decision-making process.
   177. Howie Menckel Posted: June 19, 2007 at 01:23 PM (#2409233)
Excellent post by Chris Cobb, as always.

To be clear, I'd rather just have this thing settled right now, either way - and I'll be mostly mollified if I see a promise that it won't happen again. That could well include a few people posting a provisional ballot during the discussion phase, with instruction to move it to ballot thread at noon Monday (to make it easier on ballot counters) unless an actual new vote is submitted there before then.
I realize we all get defensive at times. But it's crucial to most of the frustrated voters, I think, that some tangible promise of improvement be made.
This isn't the first time we've skirted this line.
It should be the last.
   178. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 19, 2007 at 01:29 PM (#2409242)
[bursts into the room, huffing and puffing, red from massive exertion]

Wait! I'm the ballot committee!!! I've just escaped from captivity among cannibals in the wilds of a small, unnamed island nation, single-handedly fighting off a hoarde of them with only a toothpick and my own woefully unmanicured fingernails, then swimming across 100 miles of open, shark-infested water to arrive at the subcontinent where, pursued by angry Punjmen, I rode on camelback, disguised in a burkha until I reached the Dardenelles, whereupon I stowed away as a cabinboy on the HMS Meritorious as she steamed westward, finally arriving to my native land and the comfort of my home computer. And now I have returned with godspeed to render my decision.... And the ballot shall...

[falls over in exhaustion, unconscious and cannot be revived]

Seriously. At this point, I think we should accept the ballot.

1) Joe has demonstrated precedent.
2) Joe has demonstrated intention and produced the text of the email which he sent to John.
3) John has testified that he would typically accept this extension.
4) Joe has consistently demonstrated his commitment to the best interests of this institution and has not, to anyone's knowledge, ever voted in a way that suggests strategery.
5) We have examined the evidence, and it fits the pattern of someone voting with an extension.

I believe we should allow Joe's ballot, but that as a group we should admonish all voters to make every attempt to vote by Sunday night and rely on Monday as a fall-back plan rather than a common pratice.

Finally, I think that once the 2007 election is over, we should reconsider the language in the Constitution regarding this very situation to be more explicit about who the ballot committe is, what they do exactly and when, and under what circumstances they are asked to make rulings.

In addition, I think that after the 2007 election we should AMEND the Constitution with a near-zero-tolerance policy for late ballots during once-yearly elections. There is no reasonable reason anyone should be voting late during a once-per-year election. Unless your house got nuked, you've got 10 frickin' months to get it together, no moving vans, no job-emergencies, no nothing.

Not trying to be a hardarse here, just saying that we all have these kinds of things come up, and with a year to discuss, we're all going to be ready to earlier.

One thing we could explore post-2007 is having a secret, binding provisional balloting round of some sort. A pre-vote vote of sorts. This way if a regular voter does fail to make the election on time, they are counted. Or they can choose to amend the provisional in their final ballot. Or new participants without provisionals can add their ballot to the normal final round.
   179. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2409259)
I understand the sticking point is the request for an extension but I'll ask again since I'm not sure if it was answered earlier: Has there ever beeen an election were a late ballot has been accepted that has changed the results of those elected post-deadline? If so, which year was it?
   180. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 01:49 PM (#2409269)
I don't see why we should wait until after the 2007 election to deal with the ballot committee issue. Straighten it out now (well, after we come to a conclusion on the immediate problem).
   181. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 19, 2007 at 01:54 PM (#2409279)
I don't see why we should wait until after the 2007 election to deal with the ballot committee issue.

In part because we are on a shorter election cycle, and it might be needlessly complicated to address the question in medias res rather than do it when we have a more open-ended opportunity. The ballot-committee issue is so infrequently problematic (publically at least) that it might not be worth working through now, but should be remedied by the time we get to a more wide-open, more deadline dependent era of voting (the one where we are directly competing with the HOF in realtime).
   182. sunnyday2 Posted: June 19, 2007 at 02:02 PM (#2409295)
Yeah, what Chris said. For sure, just settle it now and post the results.

As to surprise that this is an issue. Say what?

That is my final word on this. I have no desire to post again on this though, well, there will be this on my ballot in coming weeks and years.

(52a. Willie Randolph)

and this:

4. Kirby Puckett (PHoM 2001). What? Willie Randolph was better than Kirby Puckett? You 're kidding me, right?!

;-)
   183. andrew siegel Posted: June 19, 2007 at 02:41 PM (#2409340)
I'm not going to weigh in on whether the ballot should count--I see arguments both ways and, as a Supreme Court law clerk during the 2000 term, have spent more than enough time dealing with these kinds of issues. However, I think we need to be clear looking forward. I propose that we adopt the following rule:

(1) The voting period shall end at 8 PM EDT on the Monday following the posting of the ballot thread, unless Monday is a legal national holiday, in which case voting shall end at 8 PM EDT on the Tuesday following the posting of the ballot thread.

(2) There shall be a ballot counting committee made up of the Commissioner and the individuals who participate in tallying the ballots and posting the results. The committee shall determine among themselves how they shall vote and proceed in adjudicating disputes, save that no member of the committee is eligible to participate in the discussion of any issue involving his or her own ballot.

(2) If any voter posts a ballot in the discussion thread but fails to post one in the ballot thread, that ballot shall be transferred to the ballot thread and counted if but only if the voter expresses an intention that such a transfer be made in the event that no final ballot is posted. (Said intention may be transmitted in the post itself, in a later post, or via an email sent and received by the designated member of the ballot counting committee [i.e., Grandma]).

(3) In exceptional circumstances, a voter may request a brief extension of the balloting deadline via a post or an email received by the designated member of the ballot counting committee before the deadline for voting has passed. It shall be the normal practice of the committee to grant such extensions, but the committee shall have the discretion to reject such a request if the voter has abused the privilege, if the reason for the extension appears to be strategic, or if, in their judgment, the best interests of the project require it. When the committee receives such a request via private email, it should post the fact that a request has been received as soon as possible.

(4) For the purposes of asking for extensions or the shifting of a ballot from the discussion thread, only posts logged in before the 8 PM deadline and emails received before the 8 PM deadline shall be considered timely.
   184. Willie Mays Hayes Posted: June 19, 2007 at 02:41 PM (#2409342)
Schedule of HoM Selections:
The number of HoM selections for each ballot is pre-determined so that by the time we reach the present day, the number of HoM selections will be similar to the number of HoF selections.
The following schedule was developed in order to reflect the number of MLB players in each era and the quality of competition. Click here for a complete explanation. Scroll to the post of April 14, 2002; 10:36 a.m.
Ballot
1906: 5
1907: 3
1908-1912: 2
1913-1918: 1
1919-1975: 2
1976: 3
1977: 2
1978: 3
1979: 2
1980: 3
1981: 2
1982: 3
1983: 2
1984-1995: 3
1996: 4
1997-1999: 3
2000: 4
2001-2003: 3
2004: 4
2005-2007: 3
2008: 4
2009: 3
2010: 4
2011: 3
2012: 4
2013: 3
2014: 4


Dis-ir-regardless...it seems above that Joe's ballot had no impact - shouldn't 4 be going in this year?
   185. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2409369)
That's an old version of the "how many inductees per year" list. This was definitely an elect-3 year.
   186. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:12 PM (#2409373)
I know there were some adjustments made to the number of electees per year when the project start date was shifted to 1898. That said, if the elect 4 years were not changed, than I think this going to open up a can of worms, seeing as this would change the elect me vote weights and all ballots would have to be recounted. That, and we goofed on 1996 if it was indeed an elect 4 year.

I would say no to counting late ballots but if Joe's were to be accepted, I would prefer Guapo's suggestion to extending the deadline to today and informing those that have not voted that they have until today to vote. And I still have not found yet an election where a late ballot was allowed that would change the results of who has been elected but have found the precedent of not doing so with the Gordon situation many "years ago". The "all votes should be heard" was not enacted in that instance by the Commisioner himself.
   187. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2409409)
And I still have not found yet an election where a late ballot was allowed that would change the results of who has been elected but have found the precedent of not doing so with the Gordon situation many "years ago". The "all votes should be heard" was not enacted in that instance by the Commisioner himself.


The Gordon situation is different, since Joe never sent me an e-mail that he was requesting a delay.
   188. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:48 PM (#2409411)
(4) For the purposes of asking for extensions or the shifting of a ballot from the discussion thread, only posts logged in before the 8 PM deadline and emails received before the 8 PM deadline shall be considered timely.


Personally, I would like to have this carved in stone.
   189. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:51 PM (#2409417)
I don't care what the result of this specific controversy is.
I do care about whether people who, recognizing their own blunders, are willing to apologize to the group and clearly prioritize the "I will vote in much more timely fashion in every future election" theme over "Let's make every ballot count even when they keep coming in late." I'm not seeing that so far from Joe, though I appreciate that a few others have made that leap.


Check my post from yesterday before I voted Howie - I specifically said, I'll make a point of getting it in before Monday in the future. I'm not going to keep repeating myself. I screwed up, I admitted it, and I gave a reason. That's about all I can do.

I'm justifying it, because in my opinion it's justified. Real life is more important than the Hall of Merit.
   190. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:54 PM (#2409419)
Real life is more important than the Hall of Merit.

So says Cooperstown and the BBWAA.
   191. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2409423)
I definitely agree with what Andrew says in post #183.

I don't think that whether or not the vote changes the winner of the election is relevant to this situation. That makes the situation more heated, but to me it's entirely irrelevant. We've certainly accepted ballots after 8 p.m. and counted them in the past.

I have no problem with allowing anyone who missed last night's deadline, and is a regular voter to post his ballot before 8 p.m. tonight if that's the way the group wants to go. I might not be able to check back in today, but given the posts this morning, I think we should go with allowing the ballot; implementing Andrew's suggestions in post #183 and establishing who the ballot committee is.

I'll check back in this evening.
   192. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:20 PM (#2409449)
I'd also like to apologize again for causing this issue. I should have got my ballot in Saturday, but it just didn't happen, one thing led to another, and I didn't do it.

I don't like voting early, I like to take the full time to consider everything, especially when the margins are razor thin. But going forward, I'll do it early.

I'm not going to both re-summarizing my thoughts, they are spelled out above, other than to say that I have different views on deadlines than a few of you. I regularly allow late moves in the fantasy leagues I run. I always tend to give the benefit of the doubt to getting it right vs. following the letter of the law. I don't run these types of things like a business or a professional league because it isn't either of those things.

Policies are set in stone. Procedures are flexibile. I believe the 8 p.m. rule is a procedure to facilitate the process, not a policy. A policy would be something like no strategic voting. Or you have to consider Negro Leaguers fully.

I've always felt rules (especially administrative ones) should be a guide, not and end. I realize I'm probably in a minority there. One of my earliest (and wisest) managers told me that the only reason we have deadlines is so we eventually finish - when we finish (within reason) isn't always relevant.

Hopefully we can just move forward from this with no hard feelings.
   193. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:24 PM (#2409456)
As an outsider who has never voted in the HoM, but support its aims, it’s a troublesome issue to me, even moreso because I consider Joe a friend.

Still, it seems to me that one of the very purposes of the project wasn’t just to vote for their own “Hall” based on their own sabermetric inclinations; it was to create some sort of online institution that would be free of the biases of what takes place in the BBWAA—not only the biases of ignorance, but also the biases of self-interest and cronyism.

When Joe says, “I don’t care about the appearance of impropriety, if anyone thinks I’ve been anything but honorable throughout this project, that’s on them,” he’s exactly right. What he forgets, though, is that the very credibility of the HoM project itself rises and falls based on the perceptions of the community. To the extent the process appears to lack integrity, so will the HoM itself.

It seems to me that if that’s what Joe wanted, he shouldn’t insist that his ballot be counted. Perhaps the rest of the electorate should decide whether the vote should count, but I agree that it shouldn’t be something that Joe and/or John should decide on their own.

Just my $0.02—really less than that, considering that I’m not in the project.
   194. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2409460)
Voters who will be unable to submit their ballots for any week (e.g., on vacation) can vote ahead of time by submitting a special ballot that will be used for the upcoming weeks that they will miss.

I think this provision should be considered an advisory to not be late. Vacation is just an example. I'll leave it those involved as to whether it is meaningful and how to interpret/apply/use it.

The late ballot provision which calls for the ballot committee should be look at, as well, obviously, but if there is no committee, it should be inapplicable here IMO. The leniency spirit may be in the rules, but insofar as it was to be administered by a non-existent entity, there is no basis for using that sentence to authorize what happened here IMO.

Good luck.
   195. Mike Emeigh Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:33 PM (#2409469)
I would say no to counting late ballots but if Joe's were to be accepted, I would prefer Guapo's suggestion to extending the deadline to today and informing those that have not voted that they have until today to vote.


As someone else who checks in from time to time, I should note that if this is to be done, it better be done quickly.

-- MWE
   196. Mark Donelson Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2409480)
When Joe says, “I don’t care about the appearance of impropriety, if anyone thinks I’ve been anything but honorable throughout this project, that’s on them,” he’s exactly right. What he forgets, though, is that the very credibility of the HoM project itself rises and falls based on the perceptions of the community. To the extent the process appears to lack integrity, so will the HoM itself.

Precisely. I don't think anyone here is questioning Joe's integrity.

But the problem is, once you get outside we happy few, suddenly people don't know Joe anymore. And the commissioner voting late and insisting on having his ballot count starts to look bad. WE know that's just appearances, but the further outside the group you get, the less clear that's going to be. And if we want the HOM to be taken seriously outside of this group of voters, this election could become a big, big problem. (It may already be too late for it not to be.)

And I really do think that as commissioner, Joe should be thinking more about the good of the project--including, yes, appearances, even illusory ones--than about his personal opinions on deadlines and procedures (with which I don't disagree, for the most part, but which are clearly somewhat controversial among at least some of the electorate).

But even more than that, I agree with the ever-reasonable Chris that we need to finish this. A decision needs to be made on this election, and the sooner the better. At present it's unclear who's going to do that, since Joe seems unwilling to drop the ballot or submit it to a vote, but also seems to be stopping short of just unilaterally making the call himself. How are we going to settle this?

It appears no one really has the authority to make a call other than Joe. So he might as well make it: Just say the ballot counts and let's move on. Or say that it doesn't count, or that we're going to vote on whether it will. Or that the ballot counts, and any other ballots submitted today do as well. But let's do something that allows results to be posted, or that at least moves this issue forward.
   197. Rusty Priske Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2409499)
If there is a vote, I vote to count it. I also vote to have a firm deadline.

The exception is why prior notice is given that the ballot will be sent in late. This has happened in the past and nobody has ever been turned away. The same should apply now.
   198. DanG Posted: June 19, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2409500)
I know there were some adjustments made to the number of electees per year when the project start date was shifted to 1898. That said, if the elect 4 years were not changed, than I think this going to open up a can of worms, seeing as this would change the elect me vote weights and all ballots would have to be recounted. That, and we goofed on 1996 if it was indeed an elect 4 year.


From the thread "Number of Electees by Year":

Here is the election schedule:

Four in 1898; two each year from 1899-1905. After that . . .

1: 1906-11, 1913-14, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1923, 1931, 1961

2: 1912, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1921-22, 1924-30, 1932-57, 1959-60, 1962-71, 1973-79, 1981-84, 1986, 1988, 1992

3: 1958, 1972, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1989-91, 1993-2010, 2012-15, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029, 2031, 2033, 2035, 2038, 2040

4: 2011, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028, 2030, 2032, 2034, 2036-37, 2039, 2041

It was subsequesntly decided to eliminate all "elect-4" years because it would inflate our membership well beyond the HOF's number. Still, there is ongoing concern that continuing to elect 3 every year will have the same effect. After the 2007 election, the HoM will have 231 members. By my reckoning, the HOF has 233 (198 MLB, 29 NeL, 3 managers (Griffith, Foster, McGraw) and 3 "pioneers" (Spalding, G. Wright, Cummings). If the HOF reforms the VC to start electing players, we should be OK. If the BBWAA is the only elector of players, we will soon pull well ahead of the Coop's number. One suggestion I made was to consider the HoM adopting an alternating 3-2 election schedule after 2008.
   199. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:00 PM (#2409506)
Chris, I made the decision in post 191, I apologize if that wasn't clear.

I hardly think allowing a late ballot in one more election, something that has happened throughout the project, especially given the circumstances, which have been explained to death, is going to hurt the credibility of the project. If that's all takes, we've got much bigger issues.
   200. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2409525)
I don't care about the appearance of impropriety . . . My only concern, as with everything throughout this project is getting it right.

These things aren't opposed to each other. In this case a large chunk of getting it right is making sure there's no apperance of impropriety. It's not just an issue of image. In this case the phrase "the appearance of impropriety" means making sure that its effectively sure all participants in the HoM know there's no cronyism.

I really don't care who gets elected. The other will get in soon enough. Right now, it looks like a good case for including the ballot has been made both with the precedents of late ballots accepted and to a lesser extent with the e-mail. Right now I'd say the burden of proof is on those who want to toss the ballot. That's not what I thought last night.
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