Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Hall of Merit > Discussion
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
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 
   201. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2409531)
Real life is more important than the Hall of Merit.

Fair enough Joe, but on that same token you can just miss the vote. You're coming off like you want to have it both ways.
   202. JC in DC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2409538)
In one man's humble opinion, Joe should withdraw his ballot and allow the vote to stand, and then the HoM community should address the issue independently of this contested vote. A decision by the Commissioner to count his own ballot and in essence to compel his community to abide that decision cannot but appear improper (as Mark and Dag Nabbit point out). Joe acknowledges that the error is his - the solution ought to be his as well and not borne by the community.
   203. Rusty Priske Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2409544)
If you do that you are saying that the rules, as applied in the past, don't apply to Joe. He should have the same rights as everyone else, and that means a late vote, if advance notice is given, will count.
   204. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2409546)
The Gordon situation is different, since Joe never sent me an e-mail that he was requesting a delay.


You're right John. I mentioned earlier that I knew that was the issue. I'll rephrase my question: Has there ever been an extension granted in a close election before?

What I've been trying to get at before is the fact that I keep seeing mention that we've previously allowed late ballots before and this case is no different from those. I just don't get that part. It's not entirely true. We've allowed late ballots before because they do not change the results. That has always been the reason for allowing the late ballots. Using the late ballot reasoning for this situation is not really appropriate. The late ballots are a catch-22. This is a different situation were the results change. However, this is moot since it appears a decision has been rendered. I'm just saying this to get my thoughts on the issue down.

Keeping with the decision, in the interest of fairness and getting it right, and since I know that not everybody can be contacted within such a short period of time and have them receive the message, why not just extend the deadline to tomorrow. At this point, we are already late anyway. Since this has been done to get it right, then let's get it right. Besides, it would mitigate any appearance of bad faith if we get some more ballots and not have Joe's be the only "late" one.
   205. JC in DC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2409551)
If you do that you are saying that the rules, as applied in the past, don't apply to Joe.


No. What Joe would be saying is that the rules and practices are sufficiently unclear as to compel neither counting nor not counting his vote. As he is the Commissioner, rather than imposing some solution on a community that will be however slightly damaged by a "Yes" or "No" vote, he should recognize the good of the community would be best served by withdrawing his vote. Then, the community could address the question "What to do with late votes?" independently of the matter of his vote, could galvanize behind his magnanimous act, and move forward and not dwell on this issue. The only one hurt would be Joe, whose vote wasn't counted. IMHO.
   206. JC in DC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2409556)
Keeping with the decision, in the interest of fairness and getting it right, and since I know that not everybody can be contacted within such a short period of time and have them receive the message, why not just extend the deadline to tomorrow. At this point, we are already late anyway. Since this has been done to get it right, then let's get it right. Besides, it would mitigate any appearance of bad faith if we get some more ballots and not have Joe's be the only "late" one.


Isn't the problem with this that people know the results of the vote?
   207. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2409565)
I'll rephrase my question: Has there ever been an extension granted in a close election before?


I honestly don't remember, Esteban. I do know that I try to stress the point of how close an election is, so that might give an incentive for late voters to make sure that they post their ballots before the deadline.
   208. Daryn Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:46 PM (#2409573)
I'll rephrase my question: Has there ever been an extension granted in a close election before?


I honestly don't remember, Esteban. I do know that I try to stress the point of how close an election is, so that might give an incentive for late voters to make sure that they post their ballots before the deadline.


What possibly is the point of stressing a strict deadline on close votes (as you have done repeatedly) unless it is to say that extensions will not be allowed in circumstances where the balloting is this close? (I ask rhetorically).
   209. karlmagnus Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2409582)
It's not a rhetorical question, Daryn, it's a real one. In all elections, the process is more important than the result. Here the process has been prejudiced by (i) counting a ballot submitted not just 20 minutes late, but at 10.22, 20 minutes after the results were due and (ii) withdrawing the results after they have been published.

The result is irrelevant; indeed I would prefer that neither Fingers nor Randolph were elected to the HOM, since I voted for neither. Why don't we disqualify both candidates and hold a re-run of the election? Come to think of it, in retrospect that would have been the best answer in real-world 2000, too.

There is no consensus. The Commissioner should withdraw and not decide. He wants to decide and not withdraw. Consensus is unachievable, so the result should be imposed by fiat and the results thread posted as soon as possible. The process is broken, but in the absence of a withdrawal by the Commissioner further wrangling breaks it further.
   210. Backlasher Posted: June 19, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2409583)
Isn't the problem with this that people know the results of the vote?


Yes, and the extended right to vote is given less than 8 hours before the vote is due.

There is no perfect solution to the conflict. The only honorable decision is to remove the conflict---only one person can remove the conflict, and that would be by withdrawing his vote. This is the perfect test of "honorable" action. Anyone can be honorable when there is not any negative ramification to that behavior.

Fair enough Joe, but on that same token you can just miss the vote. You're coming off like you want to have it both ways.


Yes, a big problem with many ventures that want to be taken seriously. They will appeal to "common sense" and "perspective" until they have something at stake, then it starts to be about "same rights as everyone else."

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.


Yes, you have created something and spent many man years on the effort. You have gone to the extent of creating a constitution. You have an organized procedure for voting.

But by the same token:

(1) You have someone that calls himself "commissioner"-- a position that is ultra vires to that constitution.
(2) You are de facto vesting that commissioner with power to unilaterally make decisions on the outcome of voting regardless of procedural compliance.
(3) You have the same commissioner describing the project as "an effort between a few friends" which diminishes it as a social activity rather than a scholarly activity.
(4) You are putting one of your most frequent contributors and laborers, Grandma Murphy, in an awkward position that is entirely not of his doing.
(5) You have the commissioner saying your procedures are only guidelines that can be followed based on his discretion.
(6) Further minimizing the project saying "its not real life" (There is nothing wrong in any endevor from abstaining from a vote).

You set everything up to look like a not-for-profit educational activity, and when controversy arrives its being decided by "who bought the beer."

And people that are outside your circle are already looking at this. Its a topic of discussion elsewhere or else I wouldn't know about it.

There are meritorious arguments to be made whether the vote counts or the vote doesn't count. But no matter what you decide, letting the person with the vested interest in the outcome make the decision, particularly when that person has no power pursuant to your organizational documents will hit your credibility.

You guys can decide whether you want to formalize some of the gaps in your processes and organizational documents. You guys can decide how you wish to decide the outcome of the vote-after-deadline, but vesting that decision in the person that has the contested vote is going to hurt your credibility.
   211. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2409590)
Joe said back in #192 that if the group wanted to create an additional extension for the (by my count) 7 past voters who didn't submit ballots this year, it would be acceptable. I think this is a good idea, as it answers at least 1 objection to counting Joe's ballot, namely that it's unfair to voters who didn't realize they could get an extension.

However, like Esteban said, time is an issue here. I think what we should do right now is for John to e-mail those voters and let them know of at least the possibility of an extension - and ask for a reply as to whether they could or couldn't get a ballot in by 8:00. If anybody requests a further extension - well, at this point I just don't know.
   212. dan b Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:13 PM (#2409598)
103. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 18, 2007 at 07:15 AM (#2407836)

32 ballots tallied so far. Still missing ballots from: Jim Sp, Jeff M, Eric C, Mike Webber, Don F, David Foss, mulder and scully, Trevor P., Chris Cobb, Andrew M, Ken Fischer, Devin McCullen, Esteban Rivera, Patrick W, Tiboreau, Max Parkinson, KJOK, the Commish, rico varian, Tom D, Michael Bass, Dan Rosenhck, and 'zop.

Carl Goetz didn't vote in the last five elections, so he has been removed from the list.

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.


Given this post from John on the ballot thread, it would never occur to me (and I am sure most of us) to ask for an extension. Due is due, late is late and dead is dead. Joe, it is time for you to own up to your mistake and withdraw your ballot. You screwed up, don't claim otherwise - it looks like unmerited executive privilege.
   213. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2409609)
Oh, and Backlasher's correct but not helpful. :) At this point, Joe's decision is going to stand (which hurts our credibility), unless people are going to make a very strong stand on the issue (which would have to take the form of threatening to leave the project - I don't know what else there is to use against Joe), which would almost certainly hurt the HoM in some other way. I know that for me, this issue is nowhere near important enough for me to take that stand.
   214. jimd Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2409635)
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.

Is it too late to amend a ballot?
   215. DanG Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:43 PM (#2409638)
I think we should go with allowing the ballot; implementing Andrew's suggestions in post #183 and establishing who the ballot committee is.

Joe made his decision back in post #191. Further discussion on should/shouldn't is moot. Break it up, nothin' to see, get on with your lives, citizens.
   216. jimd Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2409645)
The sidebar says there are 216 posts but I can only see 214 (yes, after refresh).
   217. karlmagnus Posted: June 19, 2007 at 06:51 PM (#2409646)
It should be; yet another of the problkems is that we know the result, so it will produce tactical voting.

WHAT a mess!
   218. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:00 PM (#2409651)
Well, it COULD produce tactical voting. What it means is that any late ballots should be carefully double-checked against last year's, and if there are major changes, then ballots can be questioned or thrown out. And when you ask "By who?", anyone can challenge a ballot (see the Bill Buckner incident). Judgements go to the ballot committee, which we can agree now, before the fact, means John and the ballot counters (if they're willing). But the truth is that if somebody really wants to tactical vote and move Fingers or Randolph up or down one spot, you can't prove it and can't stop it. Then again, that was true yesterday as well.
   219. ronw Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:04 PM (#2409655)
This is great! How perfect that our 2000 election is just as controversial as the real one. Really, though, a decision has been made. Post the results and Randolph's plaque. Fingers will have to try in 2001.
   220. TomH Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2409658)
How perfect that our 2000 election is just as controversial as the real one

too bad one of the guys wasn't named "Chad".... (sorry)
   221. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2409664)
Isn't the problem with this that people know the results of the vote?


Absolutely agree JC. This can cause appearances of or actual strategic voting. It could also be construed as an attempt to change an unwanted outcome(I do not believe this the case). Lord knows we have had arguments about this since the Spalding-Sutton 1906 argument (Sutton supporters complaining that Spalding nipped Sutton at the end of the election.)

I've already mentioned my predilection for not counting late votes and I've been trying to ask questions that would get people to realize that this situation has never happened before even though people say we have counted late ballots before and granted extensions. The problem with this particular situation is that:

1) All previous late ballots were accepted only because they would not change the outcome of who got elected.

2) Extensions have been granted in non-close elections or because of holidays. I am looking but have not found one that has been made in an extremely tight election where the 8pm warning has been made.

Everything points to this being an unprecedented seituation. And all signs point to it being a bad precedent. I can understand Joe's frustration and I hionestly believe there is no ill intention on his part. However, this is a situation where there is an appearance of bad intention. It would not be fair to Joe to be mistaken for trying to take advantage. What I have seen from joe indicates he is far from this type of person. It would also not be fair for everybody else who made time to get their ballot in on time. Abovce all, it would not be fair for the integrity, spirit and fun of the HOM to have this hanging over it.

I've only suggested going with Guapo's suggestion because the only way this situation will move forward is to accept the ballot, since apparently Joe will not budge. To try to get some movement. This is a situation I actually care about (this the most times I've posted on one topic ever). I've invested too much time, energy and effort to study, analyze and get everything on time to the HOM only to have this situation leave a black mark so close to the end. Just call me... disillusioned and frustrated.
   222. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2409665)
Guy, it's over.

I care about their being impropriety of course. I could care less about appearances. If someone isn't going to take this seriously because of this, then I don't care, they are missing out. We've done great work here, and that's all I care about. There is no impropriety. I've explained everything as well as I can. If you don't get it, you don't get it.

It is obvious to me that it is much more damaging to the 'institution' to not count a vote in a close election that should have been counted, which leads to the wrong result, than to sully the results over a logistical issue. That's a much bigger issue for me, always has been. If you aren't on board with that philosophy that we aren't going to see eye to eye on this one.

I realize I'm coming off like crusty old man here, even though I'm 34. So be it. I'm tired. I don't have the mental energy to expend on this anymore.

There was nothing done here that wouldn't have been done for anyone else. I'm not going to just walk away from the issue, because some people think it's the 'easy' way out. I'm going to stand for what I think is correct. I'm stubborn that way. Some call it a character flaw. Some call it evidence of character. Both are probably right.

I don't in any way see how this compromises anything. Again, those who are so I've explained the issues (ad nauseum I might add). John has explained the issues. Rob Wood, who wrote the Constitution agrees with what we've said. Even Chris (Dag Nabbit), who was ready to virtually flog me for ethics violations last night in post 200 says we've explained ourselves well and the burden of proof has 'shifted', for whatever that is worth.

I've apologized personally to John. I'll do it publicly here.

As far as I'm concerned the issue is closed. See post 192 for the 'philosophical' explanation.
   223. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2409668)
test . . . my last post isn't appearing.
   224. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:16 PM (#2409670)
Man, do I need a spellchecker.
   225. jimd Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:20 PM (#2409675)
Then again, that was true yesterday as well.

I was going to do it yesterday, but I knew the results were very close at that point (for multiple candidates, not just the two principals), and I didn't want to give the appearance of strategic voting or harm the integrity of the process. Now, I wish I had done it then because it would have made Joe's ballot moot.
   226. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:23 PM (#2409678)
Actually, I will budge some.

I've always tried to let the group steer this project, even though I've felt it's been a mistake multiple times - most importantly when we let the group decide on war credit instead of mandating (my biggest regret here).

Even though we don't have a ballot committee, if the ballot counters want to get together and decide this, I'm fine with it. I've made my case, and I feel it's a strong one. The person who wrote the Constitution agrees with me. I'm fine with that.

If the group of ballot counters is going to become the ballot committee, then let's let them decide this one.

I only ask that they follow the Constitution, which specifically says, "The ballot committee has the authority to not accept any ballot submitted after the deadline."

That to me sounds like they have to vote not to accept it, as opposed voting to accept it. In my opinion that means they need sufficient reason (aside from it just being late) to not accept it.

I don't care about appearances, but enough people here do that I'm willing to honor their wishes. I think this is the wrong way to proceed, but what the heck, I'm not always right anyway.
   227. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2409680)
test to see post 227.
   228. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2409681)
Even Chris (Dag Nabbit), who was ready to virtually flog me for ethics violations last night in post 200 says we've explained ourselves well

Post #200 was this afternoon, not last night.

I wasn't "ready to virtually flog" you. I thought you were missing the bigger picture.

I'm not going to just walk away from the issue, because some people think it's the 'easy' way out.

People aren't saying it's the easy way out. They're saying it's the proper thing to do.
   229. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2409687)
They are saying it's proper because it's easier Chris. It takes the issue off the table instead of having to confront it, that's the easy way, IMO, not the proper way.
   230. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2409688)
If someone isn't going to take this seriously because of this, then I don't care, they are missing out. We've done great work here, and that's all I care about.

FWIW, your work is only as good as the credibility that others give it -- no more and no less.
   231. dan b Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:30 PM (#2409693)
I'm a contractor. In my business, if a bid is due at 8:00 PM and I turn mine in at 8:02, before the bids have been opened too bad, they won't open it. It may have been the successful bid had I been on time, but it doesn't matter. It doesn't count.

The commissioner's decision to grant his ballot special privilege is galling.

I have been voting since 1898. Maybe I will vote again. Maybe not.
   232. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2409695)
They are saying it's proper because it's easier Chris.

No, they're saying it's proper because it's proper, Joe.
   233. OCF Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2409696)
Quoting two sentences from an exchange of email messages between me and ronw:

OCF to ronw: I don't think that you and I are the ballot committee. We're just counting clerks.

ronw to OCF: I agree that we are not the ballot committee.
   234. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2409697)
Sorry if my last post was a bit heated. Like I said, I actually feel a bit strongly about this issue. Thanks Joe for budging some. I think every HOMie just wants to work this out so we can move on. I guess what really irked me was that this has never been an issue before in other close elections when we have had other voters wander in mere moments after the ballot closed and never using the mantra of getting it right before(which should always be the case)to try to include them. I guess I just woke up funny today. Or maybe it's the report i should be working and have not finished that's buggin me. Either way, let's get this done.
   235. karlmagnus Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:38 PM (#2409703)
The problem is the ambiguity this has inserted into the process. Whatever our solution this time, imagine having a similar argument for the HOM election of 2057, by which time Joe will be 84 and REALLY cranky! Personally I think that whether or not we accept Joe's ballot this time we need a hard rule for the future that a deadline is a deadline. Otherwise there will be all sorts of tactical late deadlines, post-results voting and goodness knows what, all of which will throw things into this kind of chaos.
   236. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:40 PM (#2409705)
Chris, I just disagree, I'm not going get into a pissing contest. I was stating my opinion, I think they/you are wrong. Your on record with yours, I wanted to be on record with mine.

Well if John, Ron and OCF feel they can be impartial and look at the precedents, evidence and the rules, and leave out personal feelings (such as late is late - if that were the case the Constitution would say it), then I'm fine with having them settle this dispute. If not, I guess we'll have to leave it up to John, which I don't think is really fair to him.

Whatever the result, and whoever decides it, I'm fine with it. There will be no hard feelings.
   237. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2409708)
I'm very against hard deadlines. The Constitution was worded the way it was for a reason.

If someone sends an email at 7:30 next Monday from their cell phone saying they got stuck in traffic and they are going to be late, then I'd have no problems giving them an extension. That's just how I operate.
   238. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2409711)
I don't believe anyone knew that there was the possibility of leniency in these cases. I've always understood before 8 or no good.
   239. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:48 PM (#2409713)
Also, there is no ballot committee. Ron and OCF have said they don't want to make the decision and it would be inhumane to pile any more of what has turned into a rancid situation on John. It'll have to be a whole electorate vote since we have never gotten around to naming a committee.
   240. jimd Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2409714)
It takes the issue off the table instead of having to confront it,

No. The issue is already on the table and has to be confronted anyway.

John has been posting his 8pm sharp warnings since the Pike election (1940) if not before. If you had a strong philosophical disagreement with that message, there has been ample time for that discussion.

Withdrawing your ballot lessens the emotion-level of all concerned and removes all concerns about the appearances of what-have-you. Then the issue can be discussed and decided from a purely theoretical viewpoint with no hard feelings on the parts of others as well as no hard feeling on your part. Theory/philosophy without the specifics of a court case.
   241. mulder & scully Posted: June 19, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2409725)
I don't know what the correct answer is.

As one of the 7 who didn't vote, this was my situation. I wish I knew I could have asked for an extension as well. I normally post on the last Monday and I post from work. I use all the time because I want to get the end of my ballot correct. Normally, work is slow on Mondays, but yesterday had some unexpected projects that had to be finished. I didn't even have time to look at the HoM or post any emails asking for an extension. I never even thought of asking for an extension. I knew the election would be close and I knew John would not accept any ballots after 8, so I didn't even try.

Also, when I first tried to post a ballot, in the 1928 election, my computer crashed while I was trying to send in the ballot. It was late and it wouldn't change anything, but I sent it in anyway. It wasn't counted. And the only comment was OCF's at #153, that "Kelly's ballot doesn't count, of course." From OCF's comment, it appears to me that there was not even a question of a late ballot being counted. The funny thing is next year, KJOK was late and his ballot was accepted in part because it didn't change anything. So, there has been no set rule for 80 years.

In any case, there has to be a ballot committee established post-haste and if any committee member's ballot is questioned, that member cannot participate in the decision.
   242. jimd Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:05 PM (#2409732)
Does Kelly/mulder get to cast a late vote, also?

Late votes should not be only allowed only to those who know the unpublished procedure.

Joe, your "principle" opens a big can of worms.
There's a reason that processes need some ground rules.
   243. ronw Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2409733)
I never said I wasn't willing to make a decision, I just said that we are not currently members of a ballot committee.

If there is one formed, I would definitely agree to be on it.
   244. TomH Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:11 PM (#2409736)
[....COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SUBJECT....]

(But this thread seems as good a place as any)

Browsing a bookstore last night, I came across a book that ranked, in the authors' opinions, the top 10 players in many major sports. I was intrigued, but when I saw their baseball list, I immediately decided to disregard whatever wisdom I thought they might impart to my less-than-knowledgable understanding of basketball and football. Their top 10 was 3 pitchers and a pile o' outfielders. Their three pitchers were Mathewson, Koufax, and Mariano Rivera (!).

anyway, the question I wanted to ask: does ayone know of similar projects to this one among fans of other sports? Got a link to solid "Best ever NFL players" or "Greatest NBA player ever" listings/debates?

if you wish to answer offine, han60man@aol.com
   245. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2409742)
I never said I wasn't willing to make a decision, I just said that we are not currently members of a ballot committee.

If there is one formed, I would definitely agree to be on it.


I apologize for misinterpreting the earlier post Ron. I shouldn't have spoken in definitive of what you said.
   246. Rob_Wood Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2409747)
Okay, I'll add one more thing here. In real elections there is a voting deadline. In California polls are open from 7am - 8pm. However, voting does not end precisely at 8pm. The rule is that whoever is in line at 8pm can vote and will, of course, have their vote counted.

Although the analog is far from perfect, I view an email requesting an extension is the equivalent of being in line to vote. You have demonstrated your intent to vote and have taken steps to have your vote counted, even if it technically comes in after the stated deadline.
   247. JC in DC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2409751)
Joe D:

I have no doubt that you're upstanding, and I also have no doubt that you intend what's best for the HoM. I fear, however, that you don't understand what "appearance of impropriety" means. Every CEO or managing board can claim what you have: "We're above board, we're good guys," etc, and probably most of them are honest, as they perceive it. But that is NOT the issue. In effect, that's utterly irrelevant. As someone (Mark D?) said above, the question is the OTHER PARTY'S perception of what you've done. The HoM is an impressive thing. You guys do good work, of which you should take some pride. You should match the effort you put into it with the regard by which you hold it. What that means, IMHO, is that you cannot waive off "appearance of impropriety." What you will do if you impose a solution is appear to have acted improperly - even to some of your members. They are not claiming you're a bad guy, or even not a good guy. It's just that the action is contrary to the public face of the institution, regardless of your intention. My wife, whose an attorney, deals with this all the time, and despite the good will of all involved, they cannot go to a "harmless" dinner, or receive an "innocent" gift. It's contrary to good practices.

Again: I think you can see the easiest way out for the group might be the most personally difficult, but that's leadership, right?
   248. DanG Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2409753)
I will try to contribute a Solomonic decision to this affair.

I agree with you, Joe. But, for the welfare of the project, I make this appeal: you should agree to not count your ballot. There are pharisees among us and they will crucify you.

Joe, from my point of view (which I let rant from time to time) the HoM is a flawed process; dropping your ballot from this tally will only be a minor event in the denouement of this project.
   249. JC in DC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2409758)
My grammar needs help. I'd like to withdraw some of it!
   250. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:30 PM (#2409762)
The problem is this the first time this procedure has been used. Why hasn't this extension procedure been mentioned before as a possibility for the voters? Especially when in all of our history we have never considered accepting late ballots that would change results or granted extensions in close elections. It is starting to look like Joe's frustrated because his last ditch effort to try to get his vote in didn't work and since he doesn't want to miss another election, is gung-ho on cramming his ballot in. I'm not buying the get it right mantra because we have never tried to get it right before until now, when it's his ballot that's causing the brouhaha and it's his decision whether it counts or not.

Honestly, this is becoming just one big option J contest and we're all just waiting on who zips first.
   251. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2409770)
Chris, I just disagree, I'm not going get into a pissing contest. I was stating my opinion, I think they/you are wrong. Your on record with yours, I wanted to be on record with mine.

Fair enough Joe. Looking back, my last post was a little too stridently worded. Saying something IS proper . . usually, I like to leave myself a little more morally grey wiggle room than that.

I think you're missing the forest through the trees, though.
   252. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:53 PM (#2409784)
Joe has said he'd be willing to except the judgement of the ballot committee. But at the moment, we don't have one, and the people who were nominated for the "ad hoc" version aren't comfortable taking on the role. So, I think we need to go outside the HoM membership to find it. We've been nattering on about this over in the Lounge, I think we could find 3 people willing to sit in judgement on the question of whether Joe's ballot should count. JC, are you willing to be one?
   253. Daryn Posted: June 19, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2409786)
They are saying it's proper because it's easier Chris.

No, they're saying it's proper because it's proper, Joe.


I was stating my opinion, I think they/you are wrong.

Joe, you are not just saying that they are wrong, you are ascribing motives to their opinion. How is it possible that you know that they are saying it is proper because its easier? Perhaps, heaven forfend, they are telling the truth -- they think it is the right thing to do.

As an aside, when I disagree with someone's opinion, I don't think they are wrong. If someone tells me that they think the capital of Canada is Vancouver, I tell them they are wrong; if they tell me that capital punishment is immoral (and if I disagree with that), I don't tell them or think that they are wrong, we just disagree.
   254. EricC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:17 PM (#2409801)
I accept Joe's word that he attempted to email John before the deadline, using an address that had worked in the past. If John had received Joe's request for an extension, would he have granted it? Precedence is not completely clear, but from his above comments, the answer is probably yes. If, as I expect, an extension had been granted, his ballot would be a non-issue; nobody would even care.

I'd vote to accept Joe's ballot.
   255. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2409804)
Okay, I'll add one more thing here. In real elections there is a voting deadline. In California polls are open from 7am - 8pm. However, voting does not end precisely at 8pm. The rule is that whoever is in line at 8pm can vote and will, of course, have their vote counted.

Although the analog is far from perfect, I view an email requesting an extension is the equivalent of being in line to vote. You have demonstrated your intent to vote and have taken steps to have your vote counted, even if it technically comes in after the stated deadline.


In this analogy, was he really in line? Feel free to take this with a grain of salt as I am an interested observer in the Hall of Merit rather than a participant, but my interpretation of the chain of events is that Joe had not properly communicated his request for an extension prior to the deadline. He sent his request to an outdated email address, which I would say is akin to showing up at the polling place where you voted in a previous election but is no longer in use. If you then arrive at the correct polling place at 10:00 with verification that you were at the prior location by 8, will you still have your vote counted? It seems very unlikely, especially if the volunteers have already publicly reported the results.

I can see that Joe made a good faith effort to get his ballot in, and it is certainly consistent with his past ballots in its placement of the candidates, but considering that A) many voters apparently did not know that extensions were allowed, B) Joe did not successfully inform any others of his request for an extension prior to the deadline, C) the results had already been publicly posted at the time his ballot was submitted, and D) his ballot changed the results of the election, I feel that counting his ballot would suggest some special privilege and convey an appearance of impropriety.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for this project and all of its participants, and my esteem for the Hall of Merit will not be altered by the ultimate outcome of this election.
   256. JC in DC Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:21 PM (#2409805)
Devin: Thanks for the offer, but I'll pass. I feel out of place offering more than advice. I'm sure Joe and you guys will get this right.
   257. Rob_Wood Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2409809)
Yes, I think we should move the discussion to forming a ballot committee to resolve this issue as quickly and as fairly as we can. I think it evident that the ballot committee should be all or a subset of current HOM voters.

To my way of thinking, there are two logical possibilities in forming the committee:
- all current HOM voters
- all current HOM voters who have voted at least X times

The extreme version of the latter construct is to include on the committee only voters who have voted in every election -- if I remember correctly this is about 10 voters. However, this may be too extreme since missing an occasional vote should not disqualify a voter from being considered a long-standing and committed voter.

Just to wonder aloud about the viability of such a construct rule, does anyone (e.g., the ballot talliers) have a tally of how many times each of the current voters has ever voted?
   258. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:42 PM (#2409833)
The constitution seems clear on one and only one thing in this matter: that the ballot committee must rule on whether the ballot was late or on time. It is semi-clear in the procedings there is no ballot committee and that Joe may not have necessarily constituted that committee himself. The question of his jurisdiction over timeliness may still be open, though he has expressed the POV that he was, indeed, the ballot committee.

So, as I see it, the questions that must be answered are
-Who is the ballot committee?
-Could it have been or was it Joe?
-Did he have authority to act as the ballot committee in lieu of a standing ballot committee?
-If Joe is the committee, his decision may stand, but if he chooses to retract his ballot anyway, would that also be strategic voting?
-If Joe is not the committee, how do we proceed to resolution?

As to the last question the options on the table are

1) Form up a ballot committee to answer the question on the table
Frankly, this committee would be thankless if formed now, and we don't have any parameters for its membership at this time. Nor even the size of it, I don't think. In addition, since it's a post-facto committee, that in itself is troublesome since the issue is well known before hand. The committee would need to be a standing committee so it does require committment from its members.

2) The group lets Joe's ruling stand without further issue
Enumerated by posters above.

3) Joe retracts his ballot without further investigation by a committee
Enumerated by other posters above.

4) The group lets Joe's ruling standing without further issue but also allows other voters who failed to post by 8 PM to vote as well
Big issues in this one, too. It may or may not relieve the internal pressure on the group, depending on what those "missing" ballots say. In fact, I wonder if it could set up other tie breakers (is a three-way tie with Redding, Fingers, Randolph or any other candidate still possible?)

Not very many good options. In all cases, we should establish a standing ballot committee, and even that requires a good bit of discussion both constitutional and practical.
   259. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2409836)
I'm willing to let Rob Wood (who wrote the Constitution) and John M. handle this the rest of the way if they are up for the task (I know John is pretty busy).

Rob/John - do you guys want to form a ballot committee quickly, of you two, and any ballot talliers that want to be added, and rule on this, as the Constitution says we should?

I'd be willing to do it, but as others have said, I need to be out of the process, not trying to pass the buck here.

The one thing I don't want to do is withdraw the request. I think allowing the request to go through according to the Constitution is a reasonable compromise. I don't think bailing is.

I would certainly allow Kelly (Mulder and Scully) to vote if he wants to. I trust that he's not going to engage in strategic voting (and if he does it will be obvious from his previous ballot). I don't think we should allow anyone to chage their ballot, for obvious reasons that the results are at least partially known at this time.
   260. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:53 PM (#2409838)
Also, if anyone out there (Paul W.?) wants to be an independent 'chair' of this whole thing, I'm fine with that too.

I mention Paul because he's the most frequent non-voting contributor around here. He's very aware of how we've done things, etc..

I'm over and out now . . . I'll check back tonight to see what we've figured out.
   261. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 09:57 PM (#2409840)
Playing devil's advocate for a moment (sorry about this): Your assigning two people, one who hesitantly allowed the ballot to be posted and another on record as saying he would count the vote, to be in charge. This could have a negative appearance and/or perception. I stronly believe at this point it should be a whole electorate vote.
   262. Adam Schafer Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:00 PM (#2409845)
Can we just elect 4 this year, take 1 possible election spot off of another ballot and then everyone wins for now? We've accepted late ballots before, Joe has proved that, so the only possible reason anyone can be upset now whether they admit to it or not is due to the results. If the results were not affected, no one would have made THIS big of a deal out of it. Elect Randolph and Fingers, they're probably going to both be elected anyway. Post the results, end this non-sense. Make the committee, let the committee deal with any future issues.
   263. Backlasher Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:02 PM (#2409848)
Not very many good options. In all cases, we should establish a standing ballot committee, and even that requires a good bit of discussion both constitutional and practical.


Truthfully, you should revise your constitution because it is ambiguous at best on many subjects, and judging from this thread, does not match the de facto way in which you operate.

The "leniency is good" and "we are all just friends" is a nice thing, until you run into a situation like this. If you have a commissioner, then enumerate his powers. If you have a ballot committee, determine the election process and term. If you have a committee to disallow votes, determine the election process, term, and probably some better guidelines on when a ballot may be disallowed.

Heck, the constitution does not even expressly address how one receives vested in the right to vote.

Joe deciding whether Joe's vote counts is not an impartial solution.

Joe appointing a committee to decide whether Joe's vote counts is not an impartial solution.

The best you can do is have both sides to the debate agree to one person as a nuetral, and let the two nuetrals choose a third nuetral for the issue of this vote .

Of course, you can remove the combativeness if Joe withdraws his vote, fiat of disallowing the original vote, petition to have his vote count, and ruling that the vote does in fact count.

That is not the easy way out. You still should address the issue of voting procedures. It is the honorable path.
   264. karlmagnus Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:03 PM (#2409849)
Esteban, I think Rob has the right answer. I suggest the electorate should be "current voters (including those in last 5 years." Rob wrote the constitution, after all.

We can then have a ballot thread running to say 8pm Thursday (firm deadline, no excuses) which would have only two premitted entries "Allow" or "Disallow" (Joe's ballot) with no discussion to avoid inflaming feelings further. Counters can tally votes, and result of this and 2000 election can be declared at 8.00.01 Thursday. No further 2000 votes or modifications allowed.
   265. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:08 PM (#2409851)
I agree, karl. That's exactly what I meant by "a whole electorate vote."
   266. Backlasher Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:08 PM (#2409852)
Playing devil's advocate for a moment (sorry about this): Your assigning two people, one who hesitantly allowed the ballot to be posted and another on record as saying he would count the vote, to be in charge. This could have a negative appearance and/or perception. I stronly believe at this point it should be a whole electorate vote.


Yes, a post hoc selection of a committee by a party in interst is almost as bad as an individual fiat. If you all have faith in Joe, there is no problem from putting him on a "ballot committee", but anyone on said committee should be abstaining from voting when they have a vested interst in the result.

And yes, procedurally, all voting members should:

(1) Vote to ratify the constitution to include selection mechanisms for the "ballot committee";
(2) That committee than should be voted on pursuant to the ratification (and after the ratification is complete); AND
(3) Once duly elected, that committee can resolve any issue (and as 1,2 is a timely procedure, the honorable thing to do is withdraw the vote so that process doesn't effect your timeline for voting. Moreover, it does not put any inpropriety in the steps of 1 and 2).
   267. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:18 PM (#2409864)
We've accepted late ballots before, Joe has proved that, so the only possible reason anyone can be upset now whether they admit to it or not is due to the results.


You hit the nail on the head, Adam. We wouldn't be having this argument if the outcome wasn't changed. Why? Because all the late ballots that have been accepted were only accepted because they did not change anything in the outcome. This late ballot reasoning has no basis or merit in this particular case because this one is different. This one changes the outcome. If it didn't, we'd have been discussing Kirby Puckett and comparing Whitaker and Randolph at this point.

Nobody has yet shown that in a close election, where a deadline has been established, an e-mail reminder from John to those have not voted has been sent to their e-mail (providing John's e-mail to anyone who has not voted yet), where no knowledge of time extensions being allowed exists and where the election results have already been published, have we ever allowed to accept a late ballot or to grant an extension. This has never occurred.

I may sound like a broken. menstrual, screcching record at this point, but can anyone explain to me why we have never bothered to "get it right" in previous close elections and now all of a sudden we just have to? Why are all this arguments occurring now?
   268. Mark Donelson Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:23 PM (#2409869)
We still have six different recommendations for what's going to happen now, in terms of deciding this election. Per Joe's last post, it appears Rob now has the heavy mantle of power on this (it's not entirely specific, but it appears Joe is saying Rob has license to do what he sees fit as far as putting together the ballot committee that will rule on this subject).

So, Rob: It would seem the ball is in your court. Will it be a full electorate vote in the next couple of days, as karlmagnus suggests? Small committee of you, John Murphy, and other ballot counters? Something in between? Let's get something concrete decided quickly if we can, so this doesn't drag on for another day.

I'd also agree with Backlasher and others that we need to resolve the holes in the Constitution et al. to avoid anything like this happening again, but I think we'll have ample time to do that after this specific issue is resolved and before the next election.
   269. AJMcCringleberry Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:30 PM (#2409873)
I'm about 18 hours late on this...I would say to either not allow the ballot or have any regular voter who didn't vote this year be able to submit a ballot before tomorrow night (or whenever).

And as everyone else said establish a ballot committee before the next election.
   270. Chris Cobb Posted: June 19, 2007 at 10:30 PM (#2409874)
I agree with the subtance of Mark's post immediately above. Also,

Karlmagnus wrote:

Esteban, I think Rob has the right answer. I suggest the electorate should be "current voters (including those in last 5 years." Rob wrote the constitution, after all.

We can then have a ballot thread running to say 8pm Thursday (firm deadline, no excuses) which would have only two premitted entries "Allow" or "Disallow" (Joe's ballot) with no discussion to avoid inflaming feelings further. Counters can tally votes, and result of this and 2000 election can be declared at 8.00.01 Thursday. No further 2000 votes or modifications allowed.


I agree that this would be a good process for resolving the question now as fairly as we can.

Joe's post in 259 gives authority to implement a process to Rob and John. Rob has suggested this one, so if John concurs, he could implement the process by posting a thread, as per Karl's suggestion. Discussion of substantive issues, such as how to constitute a permanent ballot committee and describe its role more precisely, could continue here. Andrew Siegel's post in 183 provides a very clear design for the purview of the committee, which could serve (after discussion and revision) as language to add to the Constitution. Since the ballot counters have made it clear that they do not want to be considered the ballot committee, we would need to designate a size of the committee and a selection process.
   271. Rob_Wood Posted: June 19, 2007 at 11:24 PM (#2409923)
I agree with Chris (who agrees with Karl ...).

John, if you concur could you open a thread to allow voters to vote on whether or not to allow Joe's ballot? Sounds like the consensus is to allow all current voters (anyone who has voted in any of the last five elections) to vote on this issue. Please specify firm deadline.

Also, let's really try to keep that thread to votes only -- that is, no discussion. Any additional substantive discussion could take place on this "Our Constitution" thread.

And we should continue to discuss here on this thread ideas to shore up the Constitution, establish a standing ballot committee, etc.
   272. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 19, 2007 at 11:49 PM (#2409972)
In fact, we should probably expunge any posts on the new ballot that contain discussion that is not related to the procedure of the vote or that is not "allow"/"disallow."
   273. Andrew M Posted: June 20, 2007 at 12:43 AM (#2410131)
I’d like to add my support for a ballot among all current voters. At this point, it seems like the solution most likely to provide closure on this issue and produce a result that most, if not all, voters will accept as fair. If we go this route, however, I wonder whether it wouldn’t be better to email our vote to someone (John and/or Rob, perhaps), as public voting, even in the manner described by Karl, could cause further hard feelings down the road regardless of the result.
   274. Daryn Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:03 AM (#2410182)
I’d like to add my support for a ballot among all current voters. At this point, it seems like the solution most likely to provide closure on this issue and produce a result that most, if not all, voters will accept as fair. If we go this route, however, I wonder whether it wouldn’t be better to email our vote to someone (John and/or Rob, perhaps), as public voting, even in the manner described by Karl, could cause further hard feelings down the road regardless of the result.

I'd prefer openness. I think limiting the posts to "Allow" and "Disallow" will limit the hard feelings.
   275. Jim Sp Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:35 AM (#2410237)
So allowing Mulder&scully; to vote is off the table?
   276. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:41 AM (#2410248)
I'm not sure, Jim. I would be OK with it.

"Abstain" should also be an allowable choice in a voting thread. It'll be easier to see when everyone is done.
   277. ronw Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:43 AM (#2410249)
I have never said that I don't want to be on the ballot committee. What I said in the email OCF posted above was simply that we are not the ballot committee.

As a tallier and a longtime member of this ballot, I would gladly decide this issue whether the committee consisted of three people or all of the electorate.

In the alternative, I would gladly pick 3-5 people to decide this tomorrow.
   278. Brent Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:24 AM (#2410467)
Wow! What a mess!

My thoughts (probably too late to make much difference).

I've always thought that the list of 230+ people we honor is the least significant part of this exercise. We foolishly flatter ourselves if we think our list will become the definitive list of all-time great baseball players.

Where the HoM project may have some lasting significance is in demonstrating a better process to use in making these decisions. Doing our homework before each election. Criteria on what arguments are allowed and not allowed. Debating the issues in a public forum on the record. Recording our votes and allowing us to question (and requiring us to respond to questions about) particular votes. An election process that is agreed upon in advance and upheld.

Now the credibility of this process has been undermined and only one of the available options would actually restore it. Unfortunately, it is the option that Joe has refused to consider. Even though Joe thinks he's following the same rules as everyone else, it's clear from the comments on this thread that that much of the electorate disagrees. Neither a newly formed ballot committee nor a vote by the electorate as a whole can restore the credibility of this process.

I choose to vote in elections because I believe in the legitimacy of the process. Unless Joe unexpectedly changes his mind, I no longer regard these elections as legitimate. Which means I have probably cast my final HoM ballot.
   279. Chris Cobb Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:58 AM (#2410513)
Brent,

No process, however well-designed, is executed perfectly, and the fact that we're not perfect doesn't invalidate everything we have accompished or make it impossible for us to continue to have legitimate elections. At a number of points during our history, we have chosen to maintain amity in our proceedings by declining to enforce rules in a hard-nosed way. It was the electorate's resistance to the idea of challenging ballots that helped keep a ballot committee from being established, since handling ballot challenges was the function that was perceived as its primary one. Joe's reaction to this situation is an understandable extension of that kind of practice. It may well not be an appropriate extension, but it's related to how we have seen fit to conduct ourselves to keep the process of ongoing discussion running smoothly. There are _a lot_ of things about our election process that the electorate as a whole has _never_ agreed upon; it's just that those points of disagreement seldom become flashpoints of controversy.

The situation has shifted significantly in 24 hours of discussion, as has Joe's response to the situation. It seems to me that we can and will, as we have before, reach a solution that makes sense.

I am curious as to why you think a vote by the electorate as a whole on accepting the ballot or not would not restore "credibility" to the process. What should we be able to believe when we look at the HoM process, that we can no longer believe if the question of accepting Joe's ballot is put to the electorate to decide by vote? Since I think that is the best method available to us under the circumstances, I'd like to have a better view of its shortcomings as a resolution.
   280. DL from MN Posted: June 20, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2410544)
I'm leaning toward disallow primarily because of the 8pm warning. There is no ballot committee so the constitution doesn't really help. A week is plenty of time to get in a ballot, you're better off posting one early and revising it later if you want to than not posting a ballot until the last minute. If you wanted an extension I don't know why you didn't post it on the forum rather than e-mailing. I would assume you don't have an extension if you don't hear back by the time of ballot close.

I think the decision to grant an extension has to be made before balloting closes in order to be a valid decision. I think the general electorate has to be informed of this decision before the time of ballot closure. I think the rest of the electorate has to be granted the same extension as the late voter. I think the extension itself has to be for a reasonable reason and "I'm really busy today" isn't a good reason. It's hard to think of good reasons actually although "my computer containing my objective analysis is not in working order currently but I'll have it fixed tomorrow" is a pretty good one.

I read through most of this and I'd like to know if the request was open ended or if it had a particular expiration. I'd be more in favor of granting an extension if Joe had provided a new due date/time he would stick to. I don't think I would grant an extension that was essentially "hold the voting open until I'm finished". That disrespects the other voters who were able to get their ballot in on time.
   281. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 20, 2007 at 05:58 AM (#2410551)
"If you wanted an extension I don't know why you didn't post it on the forum rather than e-mailing."


I was at work and a manager was standing basically right over my shoulder. I sent an email off to John, quickly. Easy to slip off an email before going off to follow him on my unexpected task. Not so easy to say please let me post to this baseball message board.

Thought that would be fine, especially since I told him to call me if it wasn't. I even IM'd John when I got home and since the results weren't up, I assumed he got my email - I wasn't aware results weren't being posted until 10 normally now.

Assuming he got my email earlier, all I said was that I'd just gotten home and I'd have my ballot up shortly. I was floored when I went to post my ballot and saw on the sidebar that the results had just been posted, I'm assuming John was finishing that up and didn't see my IM until after it was done.

"I would assume you don't have an extension if you don't hear back by the time of ballot close."


Except that I said to call me if there was an issue, because I wasn't going to be near a computer. Not hearing back meant the extension was fine (as it always has been in the past).

Anyway, it's irrelevant. Focusing on details like that, when they've been explained already misses the point.

Please try to figure something out by tomorrow if you can guys. After some reflection I decided to follow the process deferring to the ballot committee. If there isn't one yet, that doesn't mean you don't resolve it that way. It means you form a ballot committee and have them deal with it.

I'm trying to stay out of it, but I don't see anything happening.

And now JOHN's involvement in any decision is being construed by some as a conflict of interest?? Honestly, are you flipping kidding me? Who the hell else would you expect me to ask? The guy that runs the daily operation and the guy that wrote the Constitution. Maybe the fact that they agree with me on this should tell those that don't something about the way this thing was intended?

Does it basically mean that anyone who is deeply involved in the process and agrees the ballot should be counted is considered a bad seed?

I give up.

I need to stop typing, I'm too tired and worn down, in no small part because of this. I've blown hours the last two days that I shouldn't have and most of the rest of my little world is suffering for it. This is supposed to be fun, and after this, it no longer is. But I can't help, I feel strongly about this and I can't just let it go. There's no way I should have spent the last 30 minutes typing this when I can barely keep my eyes open.

Hopefully this passes once I get some time to decompress. I don't see that happening before the weekend, so you guys are on your own to resolve it however you see fit.

I'm still floored that not counting the founder's vote (or at this point Kelly or KJOK's) in a close election where he asked for a two-hour extension is even a consideration. I just don't understand this at all.
   282. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:07 AM (#2410554)
Oh, and one final thing, if you guys want to circumvent the Constitution, and just have everyone vote, it wouldn't be any sweat off my back either.

I'm really sorry this ended up this way, I never, remotely considered this kind of backlash. I'm pretty sure irreparable harm has been done, and that's a shame.
   283. Adam Schafer Posted: June 20, 2007 at 06:24 AM (#2410559)
Just remember Joe, there is always someone that is going to be unhappy no matter what you do. Sometimes you honestly just can't win. If we count it, one group is going to be pissed. If it we don't count it, the other group is going to be pissed. There's always the 3rd group yet that's just going to be pissed either way. You're officially in a no win situation. There is a group (and hopefully a small one) that is going to be just as upset with this situation after it's settled as they were before it was settled.
   284. Guapo Posted: June 20, 2007 at 10:51 AM (#2410582)
The answer to the dilemma is here.

OK, not really, but don't you wish this could be settled on the field?
   285. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2007 at 12:47 PM (#2410611)
Before we have this vote on Joe's ballot, I'd like ask: what would the rerendum question be?

In my opinion,
a) because we are acting as the ballot committee
b) because Joe asked for an extension
c) because no ballot committee heard Joe's extension request
d) becaue the legitimacy of his ballot is directly related to the email he sent at 6-something PM on Monday night, not to any subsequent discussion

we should be voting to grant the extension or to not grant the extension for Joe's ballot.

Maybe that's what everyone's been saying, or maybe it's obvious, but I wanted to clarify exactly what sort of vote this would be.

Thanks, everyone.
   286. karlmagnus Posted: June 20, 2007 at 12:54 PM (#2410616)
DR C, you've made it less clear, not more. We can't grant an extesnion from 8.00 to 10.22 Monday when it's already Wednesday, it's a logical impossibility. Logically there is only one choice: accept/reject. The quicker a ballot thread's up, the quicker we can put this behind us -- and as I said above, no rationales on the ballot thread (John or whoever should delete them if any appear); this is not explaining why Charley Jones deserves to be in the HOM.
   287. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:26 PM (#2410631)
Karl,

You haven't answered my question one iota. What is the question we should be voting on? And what are the premises? I'm not trying to protract this. Rather, I've been thinking (while gardening, during dinner, in the shower, even talking it over with my wife) about what the fair way to approach this is, and it's not clear to me in part because I don't know what question I'm actually trying to answer.
   288. TomH Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:27 PM (#2410634)
Agree with Doc C, a thru d. We are acting as the ballot committee, because it doesn't exist, and it needs to decide the question of whether Joe's ballot should count. It doesn't matter if it's Wednesday or Friday; it's an appeal question, just like a team makes to discount a run after a game "ends" because the guy tagging up might have left the base early.

Agree with karlmagnus on timing; put up a thread, let us vote, let the people have their say, and let there be much rejoicing that we came through a mini-crisis with the people and project intact regardless of the outcome, and then I can get back to my myopic (I mean my passionate yet clear-headed) defense of my favorite players.
   289. karlmagnus Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:32 PM (#2410637)
The question is "Do we accept or reject Joe D's ballot." We're not granting an extension, we can't at this stage. We shouldn't include in the question any rationale for why we might or might not accept the ballot, because we don't agree on what the rationale would be -- IMHO the adjudicators don't have the right to allow ballots after the due time for the results, as a minimum, so no extension to 10.22 would have been valid. But that's my view, others differ; it doesn't need to be expressed in the question, which is a simple one.
   290. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:42 PM (#2410643)
Doc, I think you are just over-thinking the situation. It's a simple allow/disallow vote by the electorate. Nothing more, nothing less. The sooner we are able to formalize when it will be done, hopefully by tomorrow as Rob, Karl, Chris, et al. have been proposing, the sooner we can move on.

Any questions about the ballot committee will have to wait until after this matter is resolved.
   291. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:47 PM (#2410648)
Of course I'm overthinking the question! I'm irresolute on it, so I'm hoping that by getting more guidance on the actual question, it will lead to a line of thinking on which I'm not consistently hedging.... Blech.
   292. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2410649)
Joe, no one has said John's involvement is a conflict of interest.
   293. andrew siegel Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:52 PM (#2410656)
I'm sorry but this is ridiculous. No matter how well defined a process is, #### happens (cybernanny be damned) and close cases emerge. (Bill James has a short piece in one of his books about the three or four cases in which there was a case that fell in the gray area of the rules for qualifying for an ERA or batting title. This reminds me of that.) Unless something like the Presidency is at stake (and, actually, even then), all you can do is make a judgment call--realizing no outcome is perfect, move on, and fix the procedures so it doesn't happen again.

In this case, it is all particularly ridiculous b/c/ the only thing at stake is what years Randolph and Fingers go in, not even which one goes in.

Time for everyone to get a little perspective, for a decision to be made, and for us to go back to being cyberfriends and debating arcane questions of baseball history.
   294. Chris Cobb Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:58 PM (#2410659)
My sense of the proper framing of the vote matches Karl's.

Here is the Constitutional justification for the process that has been proposed:

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.

We have a ballot submitted after the deadline. We need for the ballot committe to decide whether or not to accept it. As Tom H. says, the electorate would, in the absence of a formally appointed ballot committee, be acting as a committee of the whole.

The justification for the electorate acting as ballot committee is that, in the absence of a ballot committee, Joe (to whom disputes are usually ultimately referred) has expressed his willingness to defer to the judgment of Rob Wood, as author of the Constitution, and John Murphy, as manager of the HoM. Rob has proposed a vote by the electorate instead. Joe has indicated that is ok with him, too. We hope to hear from John soon. His willingness to set up a vote on these terms, as I understand it, would set the process officially in motion. Not everyone may agree with this process, but a number have endorsed it, and I think the vote's authorityy would be clearly derived both from the Constitution and the Commissioner's role as final arbiter in disputes.

The Constitution does not specify the criteria the ballot committee would be using in such a determination, so it should not be further specified prior to the vote, except perhaps to indicate that a majority vote will be decisive.

On this thread, we could continue discuss the rationale for accepting or rejecting the ballot: there are obviously serious arguments on both sides of the case. That Joe asked for an extension, that the request for an extension did not reach John successfully, that extensions have been granted in the past, are all factors that a voter might consider in deciding whether or not to accept the ballot, but there is no Constitutional language concerning the handling of extension requests, so the ballot committee is not empowered to grant extensions, except implicitly by their right to accept or decline to accept late ballots.

That's my sense of where we stand now.
   295. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 20, 2007 at 01:59 PM (#2410663)
When I saw the link to Hall of Merit -- Our Constitution, I thought you had run out of worthy players and had nominated the US Constitution for the HOM. I definitely should go in for a brain rewiring soon.

Certainly for the Written Document HOM, the US Constitution would be a first balloter.
   296. karlmagnus Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:02 PM (#2410665)
Chris Cobb, precisely. Unfortunately, John/Grandma appears to have a life, and therefore isn't busily spending his full time adjudicating/sorting us out :-) We must just wait patiently for him to cyber-reappear.
   297. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:03 PM (#2410666)
Chris, thanks for spelling that out. I needed some fleshing out.

Yeah, let's vote.
   298. dan b Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2410668)
Vote accept or reject if we must. It is most unfortunate that our founder has more ego than integrity. Joe – you had 180 hours to place your ballot, your attempt to request an extension that most of us did not know could be requested (especially since John had posted the firm 8:00 PM deadline) went unacknowledged because YOU sent it to the wrong address. YOU screwed up. Did you ever miss an event you were looking forward to because you got sick or had car trouble? Stuff happens. Stuff prevented you from voting. The only acceptable outcome here is if Joe voluntarily withdraws his ballot before we vote accept/reject.
   299. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:16 PM (#2410679)
That's the problem, Andrew. This is not a close case, it's argued to be a closed case but it isn't because there is no precedent for this. All arguments made are ones that could have been applied to any other close election or voter but are selectively being argued now by the affected party. The procedure has always been no late ballots if they change the outcome, no extensions for being busy. Everything had been defined, understood by the electorate and run this way for basically the entire project run. And now is when it gets ambiguous and it has to be gotten right?
   300. andrew siegel Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:17 PM (#2410680)
Second attempt within the hour to calm everyone down--charges of lack of integrity and counter-complaining about personal insult and lack of sleep get us nowhere. Let's get a decision and drop the damn thing.
Page 3 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Phil Birnbaum
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 1.1575 seconds
49 querie(s) executed