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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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Reader Comments and Retorts

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Page 4 of 4 pages  < 1 2 3 4
   301. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:20 PM (#2410683)
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.


Chris, no one has provided an example of an extension being provided in a close election or that it was common knowledge that such a thing could be requested. There just isn't a precedent for this.
   302. karlmagnus Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2410685)
Nobody's perfect guys. But a simple vote will settle the question and leave the losers not too upset, which is the main thing. They will think the majority is cuckoo, but that's democracy! Process matters more than result, as almost always.
   303. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:42 PM (#2410700)
I just hope something happens soon.

First, we need to put this behind us as best we can.

Second, I'm going out of town tomorrow afternoon and will be computerless till Sunday evening. If there is a general vote in the meantime, I won't be able to vote.

Unless, of course, I can get an extension. :-)
   304. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2410702)
Meanwhile there's this parallel topic: Amending the constitution.

Here is the paragraph in question:

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.


Here is a first pass at amended copy. It's much longer, but it hits a lot of the issues at hand, and we can simply pare it down as needed. Sorry for spelling and gram/punc errors, I'm working quickly so we can resolve this quickly:

Overview
Elections will be held regularly with accurate results posted in a timely manner and the resolution of disputes handled in a civil and systematic fashion.

Election timeline
Elections will typically end at 8 PM EDT on the Monday following the start of the election (which will also start on a Monday). The deadline will be chosen for the mutual benefit of the voters, the ballot counters (see below), and the ballot committee (see below). Exceptions to this schedule, accouting for national holidays or other events that affect the majority of the electorate, will be made by consensus of the electorate.

The Two Election Committees
Two committees will be formed: a committee for the tabulation of the voting results and a ballot assessment committee.

The tabulation committee will be of three members chosen from the electorate by volunteering or election and will consist of the Hall of Merit Secretary and two cross-checkers. All three will tabulate the results then cross-check to ensure accuracy. It will be the Secretary's role to post the results on the Hall of Merit website. There is no term limit for membership on this committee.

The ballot assesment committee will consist of three members chosen form the electorate by volunteering or by election. In addition, one alternate member will be chosen. The ballot assessment committee will have the authority to resolve ballot disputes. It may reject any challenged ballot and any ballot submitted after the deadline. For challenged ballots, the committee should act with due dilligence and deliberation, weighing a voter's individual expression of preference and the electorate's objections very carefully before rejecting any ballot that is reasonably constructed. The rejection of a late ballot should occur when the lateness of the ballot is deemed either strategic in nature or of unreasonable delay. In the instance that a member of the ballot assessment committee is challenged or late, the alternate should be appointed to that member's role temporarily. If this committee cannot come to resolution, the commisioner will constitute a tie-breaking vote. There is no term limit.

Resolution of Disputes
Ballots challenged for their content may be refered to the ballot assessment committee only after reasonable discussion among the electorate to first resolve the dispute. The committee should be a last resort, not a first strategy.

Amending of Ballots
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.

Voting After the Deadline
We do understand that stuff happens and all effort within reason should be made to ensure that those who wish to vote can. But voters are encouraged in the strongest terms to vote as early in the election cycle as they possibly can and to avoid last-second voting. Those who must post their ballots late should make that intention known at the earliest possible moment by contacting the committee and/or by posting their intention on the ballot thread along with an estimated time by which their ballot will be completed. No reasonable extension request should be denied except when it is deemed strategic in nature or creates an unreasonable delay. Posting a ballot within the period between the end of the posting period and the typical reporting of results will be seen as a general guideline for reasonableness, but not an absolute guideline. Care should be taken to weigh the case-by-case nature of late requests with the need for consistency in handling these requests.

Reporting of Results
Results will be typically posted within two hours of the close of the election, assuming the ballot-counting process is complete and that un-rejected late ballots are posted by the their estimated time of posting. When a result is in question, the tabulations will not be posted until the resolution of the question.
   305. karlmagnus Posted: June 20, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2410714)
Your voting after the deadline para doesn't work.

"Voters are encouraged in the strongest terms to vote before the deadline. Requests for extensions will be valid only if posted on the ballot thread before the deadline. Such requests will normally be accepted if the extension requested is for up to 2 hours, but requests for extensions of more than 2 hours or ballots submitted more than 2 hours after the deadline will not be accepted in any circumstances.

That gives a 2 hour "stuff happens" window and a hard limit thereafter. Itt also removes the "I'm sure I e-mailed Jim, but it may have been to the wrong account" problem. Only extension requests on the ballot will count.

Obviously sensible people will file early.
   306. Chris Cobb Posted: June 20, 2007 at 03:50 PM (#2410777)
Andrew:

I heartily agree with your sentiments, and I hope that readers will take them to heart. At present, though, it appears that we have no mechanism for settling matters and moving on. As Karlmagnus wrote above, we must wait patiently for John to have time to conveniently take the next step. The calmer we all are when that time comes, the better.

I would also say (and here I think I agree again with Karl's point about the importance of a process that the losers will accept, even if they disagree) that dan b's post, in saying "vote if we must" shows a continuing involvement in the process, which is a significant step towards compromise from his earlier statement of (more or less) "well, this was my last HoM election!" It thus seems to me that both Joe and those most upset about the situation like dan have taken an important step away from rigid positions towards a compromise resolution process that does not make them happy but which they find acceptable.

Estaban wrote:

Chris, no one has provided an example of an extension being provided in a close election or that it was common knowledge that such a thing could be requested. There just isn't a precedent for this.

I think you are correct that it was not common knowledge that an extension could be requested -- the contemporary examples of mulder & scully and KJOK make that clear. I also think you are correct that none of the previously granted extensions so far mentioned were requested in a year with a close elections. Those are both points that a voter might want to take into account.

In making the statement that you quoted above, I was not trying to build a case for or against accepting the ballot. I was attempting to answer to Eric's question about whether we were voting on an extension or voting to accept the ballot, by drawing a distinction between factors a voter might consider in deciding whether or not to accept the ballot, and what we would actually be voting on.
   307. OCF Posted: June 20, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2410905)
I guess I'm a de facto member of the "tabulation committee." Shall I assume that the authority of the tabulation committee extends to making common-sense determinations of the meaning of slightly confused ballots, e.g. 'zop's 2000 ballot (#120)? If such an interpretation needs to be made, a tabulator should post a statement of intent to count in a particular way - in this case, ronw made precisely such a post. ('zop's ballot was also, shall we say, lightly commented - but no one explicitly complained, so there's no issue there.)

I would add that disputes among tabulators are frequent, and governed by one overriding decision rule: get it right.
   308. jimd Posted: June 20, 2007 at 08:30 PM (#2411053)
Late ballots and extension requests from 1950-1999:

1997: Max filed ballot name-list before the deadline (7:59), full ballot later (8:22).
1989: KJOK granted extension, files ballot at 8:06 (Bench,Yaz,Perry)
1988: DanG granted extension, files ballot at 8:07 (increases Childs lead)
1971: Devin granted extension, files ballot at 7:58 (extension not needed)

1965: ballot amnesty granted due to site issues;
1965 (cont) 3 ballots filed between 8 pm and 8:23 when election was closed
1965 (cont) two more ballots were later accepted (8:43 pm and 8:39 am the next day)
1965 (cont) Doby and Slaughter were easily elected

1963: KJOK granted extension, files ballot at 8:03 (Campanella and Irvin)
1962: Joe amends ballot at 8:07, forgot Irvin was eligible (Feller and Robinson)

1957: jimd "lost cause" controversy: files ballot at 7:33, disqualified at 7:50;
1957 (cont) jimd files "acceptable" ballot at 9:06 after email notification of DQ
1957 (cont) Joe files his ballot at 12:01 am (not clear when extension was granted)
1957 (cont) DiMaggio and Beckwith (not close)

1953: KJOK granted extension, files ballot at 8:25 (Dickey and Greenberg)
1953 (cont) Constitution amended

1952: KJOK granted extension, files ballot at 7:58 (extension not needed)
1952 (cont) Joe granted extension, files ballot at 8:42 (Gibson and Ott)

Some pertinent commentary may be found at the ends of the election threads for:
1994, 1985, 1975, 1957, and 1953.

The timestamps I see in 1994 appear to be off by an hour. (Or did we actually have a 9 pm cutoff that year?)

1994
1985 Sewell
1975 Gordon
1957
1953 Constitution amended
   309. Paul Wendt Posted: June 21, 2007 at 12:58 AM (#2411313)
Hi, My parents are in town and other family members will follow, four generations I believe. We have a wedding-plus, Friday evening to Sunday.

On the current matter I agree with what Dan Greenia wrote. Search for 'denouement' and I trust you will get only one hit. I am not available to help out beyond saying that and alerting all to a more general but less critical problem that should be corrected now, I believe. (I made a similar point by btf email service to John Murphy yesterday noon. If he did reply it was probably to a bouncing eddress.)
   310. Paul Wendt Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:07 AM (#2411344)
I was surprised to read this Monday three weeks ago. I wondered whether some voters expect email reminders in general or when the election seems to be a close one.

1999 BALLOT
>>
128. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 29, 2007 at 07:38 AM (#2382311)
42 ballots tallied so far. Still missing ballots from: Jeff M, Mike Webber, mulder and scully, Trevor P., Ken Fischer, Esteban Rivera, Patrick W, Max Parkinson, KJOK, the Commish, Tom D, Carl Goetz, Dan Rosenheck and 'zop.

Since they didn't vote in the last 5 elections, jwinfrey and James Newburg have been removed from the list.

The election will end at 8 and results will be posted at 10. Since the three inductees are a foregone conclusion, I'm not going to e-mail anyone to remind them.
<<

When I read this on Monday, it occurred to me, I wonder whether John will send email reminders. Honestly, I considered observing that I think he should, but I didn't do it.
>>
2000 BALLOT
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.
<<

(both emphases mine)

This matter of email reminders should be addressed.
Reminders to whom? I suggest striking no one from the list until s/he asks to be deleted.
Reminders only if the outcome seems to be in doubt? I recommend all or nothing.
   311. Paul Wendt Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:09 AM (#2411354)
Note. Email reminders make it easy for any past participant to communicate with the sender, here John Murphy, by putting his return address in their inboxes.
   312. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:25 AM (#2411401)
Well, I just want to say that I support pretty much whatever method Murphy chose.
If people would cooperate and offer ballots in timely fashion, or denote that they will be too busy to vote, none of the other stuff would be necessary.
I'm not going to place any bright lights in the wrong direction.

The "no ballots allowed after 8 pm" couldn't be any clearer, and it's not the first time we've read it.
   313. sunnyday2 Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:29 AM (#2411414)
>('zop's ballot was also, shall we say, lightly commented - but no one explicitly complained, so there's no issue there.)

I did.
   314. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:49 AM (#2411468)
sunnyday2 Posted: June 20, 2007 at 09:29 PM (#2411414)

>('zop's ballot was also, shall we say, lightly commented - but no one explicitly complained, so there's no issue there.)

I did.


Yes, but you complained incorrectly. Under the parameters established in previous elections, minimal commentary is necessary if the votes are consistent with a well-explained, publically available system. In my case, I was using Dan R.'s numbers, with slight subjective modifications that I outlined in the introductary paragraph. All I would have written, had I written commentary, would have been "Player X: $106 million in salary estimated system".

Explanations are required in order to ensure that voters are using a clear, consistent methodology. While my ballot may have been disastrously organized, such methodology was clearly evident. Stop being such a prig.
   315. Max Parkinson Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:57 AM (#2411507)
Thank you, Jim D, for digging through some history - you too on the recent stuff, Paul.

What I take away from "precedent", as you will, is that John's continued message has been a hard deadline, with only confirmed allowances under odd circumstances. That is what will lead me to vote "disallow", should the matter be put to the electorate.

On the other hand, Joe had the exact same comments to make in "1985" that he did in this election. To whit:

146. Joe Dimino
Posted: September 18, 2006 at 07:54 PM (#2181117)

I'm willing to cut a little slack. And that's coming from someone whose only missed ballot cost a guy an election.
I think 'getting it right' is more important than 'sticking to the letter of the law'.

and

152. Joe Dimino
Posted: October 02, 2006 at 03:51 PM (#2194747)

When it comes to elections where there is no real contest, I totally agree. However, if we allow voters to post ballots after the deadline when it's a close election, it's going to raise hackles on the backs of some of the friends of the defeated candidate.

Heh - see I think the opposite.
In elections that are close, that's where getting everyone (that wants to be) in is what is important. In elections where the ballot doesn't matter, I don't think it's nearly as important . . .
Any thoughts?



I trust that this is enough to end the questions of Joe's character, in that there have been repeated statements to the effect of: "You only believe that because it's your vote, and your guy was helped".
   316. sunnyday2 Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:09 AM (#2411542)
>Yes, but you complained incorrectly.... Stop being such a prig.

Obviously the rules that used to pertain don't anymore, anything goes. Remember when this was fun? Oh yeah,that was before 'zop.
   317. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:09 AM (#2411544)
Actually, I disagree.
I'm not sure anyone at all questions Joe on that issue.
He HAS been consistent in many ways. And his well-meant sentiment is an issue with no or VERY few voters. Not a problem there.

The problem is that it's Murphy who has run the balloting decisions for decades, not Joe - that is, the rulinf is that when an election is not close, ok, we cut slack. But when it IS close - no slack. That's been very consistent as well, and Murphy has such stature here that he is taken at his word.
You can disagree with that mindset, quite reasonably.

But that's also been established, repeatedly.
"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."

We all understood that quite clearly, which is why other 'tardy' voters gave up.
It's not surprising that most or all other voters deferred to "Murphy's Law."
And I realize there is no disrespect meant by Joe not recognizing the significance of that 'law.' But it's out there for all of us to see.
   318. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:10 AM (#2411549)
"ruling"
   319. dan b Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:35 AM (#2411611)
Joe has indicated that he does not care about the appearance of impropriety. That's too bad, leaders need to live to a higher standard or they cease to be leaders. Appearances matter. Just drop it Joe so we can move on.
   320. ronw Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:14 AM (#2411645)
Our problem is that we do not have access to a new thread to resolve this. Murphy's not talking, and Joe rightfully is not setting up a voting thread.

Can anyone set up a ballot thread to vote on one issue:

Should we accept Joe Dimino's late ballot?

One of three answers is necessary: Yes, No, or Abstain.
   321. Esteban Rivera Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:15 AM (#2411646)
Too me, the most important thing about the handy summary links jimd provided is that Joe is actually on record as having mentioned "getting it right" way before this situation. On that front, since I know I've harped on that point since Joe's argument was made, I offer an apology to Joe for going overboard with the harping on that particular phrase.

On another tangent, any word on when we'll get movement for closure on this issue. I (and I'm certain everybody else) just want to get it over with and move on.
   322. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:28 AM (#2411656)
If John still hasn't posted a thread for us to vote on accepting Joe's ballot by tomorrow morning, I'll e-mail Jim Furtado and ask him to do it. If this solution isn't acceptable to people, I don't know what else to tell you at this point.
   323. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:34 AM (#2411659)
I would support that, Devin.
   324. Chris Cobb Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:16 AM (#2411679)
I would support that also.

It's possible that John's absence is just coincidence -- other business has taken each of us away from the HoM for days at a time.

I can't imagine, though, that this dust-up hasn't been deeply distressing for John, so he may be staying away from it all.

Some commenters on this thread have threatened to walk away as a result of this, but the MOST MOST MOST sad and disastrous outcome would be for John to be driven away. He has seemed increasingly stressed and desirous to be freed of the responsibilities he has assumed for the smooth functioning of the site, and I'm sure none of this helps AT ALL.
   325. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:38 AM (#2411692)
I will reiterate my unbridled and unambiguous support for Mr Murphy.
   326. yest Posted: June 21, 2007 at 07:14 AM (#2411744)
this is the first time (after 1:30 AM) I got a chance to look who "won" the 3rd spot (of course I knew Ryan and Goose were going in) in this election and I find out that I'm not alone in this quest (I read the 2000 ballot thread and the late ballot thread (though it is after 2:00 AM so I may have missed somthing) and I'll try to read this thread tommorow morning) and I'll like to throw in my 2 cents first of all I don't like being contriversiol (policy, personalty wise not ballot wise) but here's what I think

1. I vaugly recall there was once a ballot thrown out because it was to late (I don't think it was a close election)(I'm not reffereing to the Gordon instance) and there were definatly some (uncounted )ballots that were posted slightley after the election to get the posters on the ballot record (despite good exuces see the 1928 ballot thread post 151 though there was a great exucse).
I'd like if someones has the time and is willing to search to list all the years that there were ballots posted (accepted or not accepted after the deadline)

2. I don't think if it counts it's fair that someone who in the past saw it was 8:01 when he was about to press the post button and then noteiced the time and therfore didn't post.

3. I think a rule is a rule and thats it (a deadline is arbitrery but it's a nessety to the credibilty of this project and no matter how late it would be there would still be people who missed it) meaning that there vote wouldn't count.

4. there was plenty of time to vote eirler if need be (there were times I and others didn't have time or internet acesess for around a month straight and we voted on the previous years ballot or discusion threads respectivly)

5. When the site was moved a few years ago I missed a couple of elections because I couldn't register on the new site if I had known that late ballots would count under certian conditions I would have voted in the 1928 ballot
I was finally able to register on June 23, 2004 at 07:04 AM and this is when Joe posted the results June 24, 2004 at 02:19 AM but the election closed at june 21st at 8:00 PM

6. Though I don't think Joe (or almost anyone) can be completly (conchisly yes subconchonesly no) impartial due to his personal connection

in case I wasn't clear the the ballot shouldn't count
if I said anything that was already resulved I remind you that I dind't read this thread yett any way that was my 2 cents
or if I insulted anyone (Joe I'm talikng spesiphcly to you) I apoligize that wasn't my attention at all
   327. yest Posted: June 21, 2007 at 08:34 AM (#2411763)
from the constitioution
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.

in practice what we have consedered the entire electrotoral body to email(post) on this issue and make judgement calls therfore it seems to me that the whole electrotoral body is considered the <u>ballot committee</u> thereforee we all should get a vote on this though I think personaly Joe shouldn't have a vote on wheather or not his vote should count do to it being his ballot
   328. yest Posted: June 21, 2007 at 09:08 AM (#2411773)
in the 1929 election kjok's vote was counted souly due to it not efecting the outcome
   329. Rusty Priske Posted: June 21, 2007 at 12:16 PM (#2411807)
If we put up a vote thread (which I hope), just make sure the rules are clear. (When votin gstops, etc.)

I'm voting for inclusion based on the fact that Joe sent John an e-mail askign for an extension.
   330. karlmagnus Posted: June 21, 2007 at 12:25 PM (#2411811)
I don't know who has access to put up new threads here, but I think it would be avery helpful if ANYONE with such authority put up a ballot accept/reject thread ASAP, with deadline now Friday 8pm or Monday 8pm I really don't mind. That's a democratic process that appears to be agreeable to all and this needs to be settled so we can move on. Doesn't matter what the outcome is, we just need to stabilise the process. 2000 was a very close election but not thank goodness a very controversial one.
   331. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:56 PM (#2411874)
OK, the bullies win.

Despite what I think is a very valid request for an appeal, despite the writer of the Constitution and the manager of the day to day operations agreeing the ballot should count based on our documented procedures and prior practices; in the best interests of getting everything back on track, I'm going to withdraw my request to have my ballot accepted.

Make no mistake, I think this is a terrible decision on my part. But it seems to be what everyone wants.

After reading the comments from the group, it has become clear to me that the group was voting based on a firm deadline - my interpretation of the rules was out of step with the HoM electorate - despite prior actions (cited earlier), which clearly show precedent. I should have pursued the comments I made in September and October that Max quoted above more vigorously.

So I reluctantly withdraw my ballot, tainting the results of this election in my mind. And I propose that the results prior to my vote stand as final.

Further, I propose that a committee (myself, Rob Wood, John Murphy & Andrew Siegel if they want the roles - as well as anyone else who is interested) be tasked with amending the constitution prior to the beginning of 2001 voting, in order to clarify voting rules, specifically in regard to deadlines.
   332. Chris Cobb Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:11 PM (#2411889)
Thank you, Joe.

I think you are doing the right thing for the process, regardless of the actual merits of the case, and I'm sorry you feel bad and bullied about it.

I'd argue with you about what gives our election results validity, but now is not the time.
   333. karlmagnus Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:17 PM (#2411896)
Joe, I would regard that as the wrong way round. The system needs firm rules in order to work properly, which the 8pm deadline, when emphasised by JTM on the ballot thread achieves. If you fuzzify the rules in 2001 you will introduce huge uncertainty into the process, as well as the ability by silly/malicious people to game it. Your ballot as such was a perfectly good ballot, it was merely 2 hours 22 minutes late, without notice that anyone recieved. We need to make sure that that kind of fuzziness is not permitted, in order to prevent doubt and disputes. Whatever the rules are, they must be firm, comprehensible and rigidly enforced.

That was why I want a ballot thread, in order that you can either win or lose on the disputed point, and all would feel the process was fair, without accusations of "bullying." You were not playing games, you were a victim of circumstances, but personally I feel we have to disallow your ballot because of we don't disallow it there is no firm rule as to deadline in the future. A vote would clarify if I am in a majority in this belief.
   334. TomH Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2411907)
Thanks, Joe.
   335. dan b Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2411918)
Thanks Joe. The high road is not always the easy road.

I would favor a firm 8:00 PM deadline going forward with no exceptions. Last minute voters need to change their mindset - think of the extra 12 hours over a full 7 days to be for the benefit of those on vacation during voting week.
   336. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:44 PM (#2411934)
Further, I propose that a committee (myself, Rob Wood, John Murphy & Andrew Siegel if they want the roles - as well as anyone else who is interested) be tasked with amending the constitution prior to the beginning of 2001 voting, in order to clarify voting rules, specifically in regard to deadlines.

Now that an amicable, if not easy resolution is reached, let's finish the job swiftly.

In post 304, I provided draft text for an amendment that clarifies the late-ballot issue (and with any luck honors the important and valid intentions of both sides of the issue).

Karl has alredy commented, let's keep this discussion moving.

My proposal is just a rough draft, a basis to work from, not a final proposal, and quickly find language that keeps the works from being gummed up again.
   337. karlmagnus Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2411935)
If this is the way we're going, I would also add thanks, together with sympathy and a slight apology, since historical research has shown that you believed in a fuzzy deadline all along not just in this difficult case. I believe a fuzzy deadline doesn't work, but no accusation of any kind should flow from our disagreement on that.
   338. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:53 PM (#2411945)
"OK, the bullies win."

That is NOT the high road, and frankly I am offended.

It seems to me that the majority agreed that a ballot committee is mandated by the Constitution, and that in the absence of a defined one, it should be the electorate.
Yet that road is not being taken, seemingly out of spite.

I would have had no quarrel with whatever the majority decided.
Instead, one "I am the law" decision has been replaced by another.

That is very unfortunate.
   339. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:03 PM (#2411955)
Howie, I guess I can't win then.

Several people asked me to pull out, so I did, despite having the merits of the case clearly in my favor, IMO.

I guess you can't please all the people all the time.

I'm not going to pull punches, I call it how I see it. I'm going against my own judgement, hoping that others that I trust see this situation better than I do, so I'm taking their advice. Leaders surround themselves with good people, and trust their judgement - I feel that's what I've done here.

But I'm not going to say I saw it wrong, if I don't think I did. I've always thought honesty was the best policy. I hate when an athlete in a press conference just spews cliches, instead of telling us what's really on his mind (which is probably why I like guys like Bonds and Sheffield). So I'm not going to do it myself.

I really don't know what else to say.
   340. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2411960)
And frankly Howie, I'm offended that my character was called into question, simply because I didn't have the time to find the quotes Max did, despite clearly saying that I've felt this all along. You'd think 5 years would build a little credibility and benefit of the doubt.

If we're going into who is offended and all . . .
   341. Paul Wendt Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:11 PM (#2411961)
Good move, Joe.

BTW I read only #226 (alerted by JoeD in a content thread) to #260 where he suggested that I might chair a committee; then posted 309-310; then skimmed to the end just now. I am honored that Joe thought I would be valuable facilitator.

--
It turns out that my parents are enjoying Western Mass before arrival today and we have no wedding events this eve. But it is the first day of summer, university hours return to normal on Monday, I need to spend my limited time and leadership resources on SABR 19th Century Cmte (convention in five weeks, much for me to do even if I cannot attend). And having spotted "the great Jones" on October 1875 Cincinnati Red Stockings, then a likely Jones on the ambitious local Ludlow club during the summer, I feel the need to continue making microfilm time.

This hour I posted a Hall of Merit Candidates table compatible with the Baseball Database lahman5.4
(continued at HOM Election History)
   342. Daryn Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2411962)
Joe,

Do you have the ability to post the results? I'm not sure what happened to John.
   343. Paul Wendt Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2411963)
Do resolve the matter of 309-310 - who should get email reminders when?
   344. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2411964)
I'm not declaring anything by fiat by withdrawing my appeal, I'm not depriving anyone of anything.

I simply withdrew my appeal. If you feel that's in error, then submit an appeal for me, if you want to see the results. If you think spite is the reason I withdrew the appeal, you really don't have a clue about my motivation, and I'd rather not have it submitted to speculation.
   345. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2411965)
Gentlemen,

Everyone's a little raw. The emotional state of the HOM at this second is a little like a peeled grape, and not without reason.

Let's focus instead on the work we need to do now. Let's fix the lateness loophole, do it right, and get back to the (fun!) work we're here to do. And by 2007, we'll look back on this as a low moment that led us to a solid reform, setting us up for fewer electoral bumps in the road.
   346. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2411968)
Daryn, I do not, I don't have the results to post. If someone could send me a fully formatted text file with them I could do it, but I really don't have the time to write the 'blurb', etc.. If someone has the blurb too, I can post it.

I sent John an email, I'm sure he'll respond as soon as he can and the results will be posted tonight.
   347. Mark Donelson Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:25 PM (#2411971)
What karl said. Thanks, Joe, for being willing to go against your own instincts for the good of the project (and being willing to listen to those of us who feel that's what's you're doing, since I know you were never even convinced it WAS for the good of the project).

As one of the crowd that was encouraging you to withdraw, I want to add my voice to the consensus: There was never any doubt in my mind that you were coming at this honestly and with integrity. This whole fracas was about process, which many of us clearly feel is quite important to a project we've all spent this much time and energy on.

And Howie, I don't see this as "I am the law" from Joe--I see it as Joe going very much against his own views to make this issue go away as quickly as possible. That he still doesn't feel that's right (and isn't shy about saying so) doesn't lessen the fact that he's showing exemplary leadership, in my opinion, by doing so. I could have done without the "bullies" line too, but it's actions that matter, not words, at this point.

Can someone let John know so he can post the 2000 results, and then we can move on, both with 2001 discussions and with the conversation here over clarifying the Constitution? (Perhaps someone can e-mail John?)
   348. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:40 PM (#2411981)
I will admit the bullies comment was probably stronger than it needed to be.

But I definitely felt those against my appeal spoke louder and harsher than those that supported it. I also felt like they didn't really read anything I wrote, especially when I tried to open up as to the thought process. That was my main point, and I probably should have left that line out.
   349. OCF Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2411995)
First of all: thank you, Joe. I think you did the right thing.

I have a question about the 8 P.M. (Eastern) closing time. That was once 5 P.M. (Eastern) wasn't it? Did the justification for moving it later have to do with accomodating voters in the Pacific time zone? How many of us are in the Pacific time zone? I am, for one, but I'm a habitual early voter. "Running late" for me means I get my ballot in on Friday or Saturday. If it were just my choice, I'd go back to 5 P.M (Eastern), which is 2 P.M. for me.
   350. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2412000)
The 8 p.m. time was definitely added to accomodate the person who is finishing up his ballot at the end of the workday on the Left Coast, while being reasonably early enough for the talliers to not have to stay up too last on the Right Coast.
   351. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2412045)
Hmm, I guess it's a good thing that what I thought was a little cold knocked me out so bad that I didn't get out of bed until noon & couldn't ask Furtado to set up a voting thread. We were able to settle it ourselves, and now we can move on.

And, thanks, Joe. I would have voted to accept your ballot, but given the way this has developed, I think you did the best thing for the HoM.
   352. Chris Cobb Posted: June 21, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2412056)
Looking ahead toward Constitutional revision:

I think a committee should be consistituted. We should discuss the issues as a committee of the whole, but we need a small group to draft. I hope those that Joe named and others who are interested will respond promptly.

As to the contents of an amendment. Joe wrote:

After reading the comments from the group, it has become clear to me that the group was voting based on a firm deadline - my interpretation of the rules was out of step with the HoM electorate - despite prior actions (cited earlier), which clearly show precedent.

I think that's a fair account of the problem as it arose this election. I would call it a discrepancy between specific precedent and general practice.

This discrepancy has arisen, I think, because the HoM has grown considerably in the number of participants and the number of observers over its history. The extension policy is both methodologically valid and socially good-hearted for a group of people working together informally on a shared project of interest, and Joe had good reason to believe that he could call upon it in this case, even though many voters were not aware of it at all or understood its scope differently than Joe did. However, the close-of-voting process has gradually developed a more rigid form to respond to the fact that there are now 50-60 people who may vote in a given election and a considerably larger number who cruise over to the HoM on Monday night or Tuesday morning to see election results. We build important credibility with that group by having validated results posted in a timely fashion, and John has been exemplary in making that happen. It's also important to keep in mind the need not to impose an undue burden on John and the tabulation committee.

Would a formal extension policy be fair if everyone knew that it existed and how it worked? I think it would.

Would a formal extension policy be manageable if twenty voters asked for extensions and the ballot counters work was delayed for hours past the set time for posting results? I think it would not.

Because I think that an extension policy could interfere with the smooth proceeding of the tabulation process and could place an undue burden on the site manager and the tabulators, I think the Constitution should be amended to make the set submission deadline much more firm.

Would that lead us to get things wrong that we could otherwise get right, a concern Joe has raised? It's a serious concern, but I don't think a harder deadline would lessen the quality of our results. Because our pool of voters is not consistent every week, we are already aware that our ranking of candidates fluctuates somewhat purely as a result of these changes, especially at the borderline where the candidates are so closely bunched that adding or subtracting a single vote might move a player multiple spots in the rankings. We also don't know that we are the "right" voters for this project. We are self-selected because we have the interest and the willingness to engage in the process, but none of us is involved because we have any credential or reputation that lends authority to the results of the group's elections. The authority resides in the process of reasoned discussion & ballot creation, the quality of the eligibility & voting systems, and the strength of aggregated, informed judgment. I don't think it can be determined that the 51 who vote one year will be more right than the 49 (51-3+1) who vote the next year. I'll generally trust the results from an election involving 50 responsible voters over the results of an election involving 25, but I can't see a difference in reliability between 49 and 51. The results will probably be different in a close election depending upon who exactly is in the group, but that difference is arbitrary.

I think having a little bit of wiggle room to catch additional ballots or allow errors to be corrected is probably a good thing. Excessive rigidity can be as damaging as excessive flexibility. However, that flexibility should be allowed only to a degree that is convenient for the tabulators. I could imagine a system that requires extension requests to be submitted on site by 5 pm, with extensions of no more than 30 minutes being allowed, but if the tabulators said that's actually a huge hassle for them, then we should go with whatever their needs are.

Another place where there could be a bit of give in the system is with ballot explanations. To get a ballot submitted on time under adverse circumstances, a voter might not be able to work from a prior ballot with all its complete commentary (as we have seen happen from time to time). If we had a ballot committee with some discretion to review those kinds of ballots, with the understanding that voters whose methods are well-established (and who have a substantive history of previous ballots that can be examined for comparison) will be able to submit an abbreviated ballot in the interests of timeliness, but that ballots from new voters will generally not be accepted on those terms.

Those are some thoughts I have about desirability of system with firmer deadlines, and what some modest elements of flexibility might look like.
   353. TomH Posted: June 21, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2412193)
Eric, nice job (304) on the draft.

I would only recommend consistency when naming and referring to the tabulation committee and assessment committee
   354. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 21, 2007 at 07:49 PM (#2412294)
I would only recommend consistency when naming and referring to the tabulation committee and assessment committee

Agreed. A bit of a rush job on my part, but those kind of errors are easily fixable.

I think Chris in #353 raises some very good points about the viability of formal extensions, and in combination with Karl's comments after my proposal, it begins to paint a good picture of where we're headed:

-you got to ask for an extension
-you got to ask by a certain time
-your extension is not indefinite
-the tabulators' needs must be factored in
-a regular and complete posting of results is important and desireable
-having processes for challenges is important to avoid paralyzing contingencies
-getting it right, expressing voters' individual preferences, and having a good process are mutually beneficial goals that support a better HOM and that need not compete with one another

etc etc etc.
   355. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 22, 2007 at 02:18 AM (#2412638)
(I made a similar point by btf email service to John Murphy yesterday noon. If he did reply it was probably to a bouncing eddress.)


I did reply, Paul, and that's exactly what happened.
   356. Chris Cobb Posted: June 22, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2412647)
In an effort to keep rules-related matters gathered on this thread, I have copied the following statement by John Murphy from the 2001 election results thread:

Guys, as long as I'm in charge of handling the elections, here is the new rule: All ballots will not be counted after 7:59 PM EDT, either in runaway or extremely tight races. I will e-mail everyone early that day if it looks like it will be a close one as a reminder, but whether or not I receive a response from you, I'm shutting it down at 8. No ifs, ands or buts. I don't want to see what happened on Monday.

It would also be nice if we could end the last minute ballot posts, too. We have an extra week, yet we have more of these posts on Monday than we ever did.

This is not a knock on Joe, BTW. The rule was too flexible and was bound to explode in our faces. Fortunately, Joe was big enough to rescind his ballot and I thank him for that.

Let's remember that without Joe's vision, our lives would be the lesser. I personally don't consider that an overstatement.


I assume this settles the HoM's policy for the foreseeable future, but I would suggest that

(1) it would be prudent to make the Constitution's language consistent with this policy (it wouldn't need necessarily to enshrine it verbatim, but it should give the "project coordinator" (John's title from the home page) lattitude in consultation with the tabulation committee and the electorate to set rules that are necessary to govern the closing of elections.

(2) it would be prudent to create a ballot commitee, so that we have a designated body to make decisions in the event of a future dispute. I think it will be important to have a body of this sort after the 2007 election, because we will be able to rely less on continuity of practice and institutional memory when the votes happen only once a year, and a designated ballot committee could be responsible for making sure that our rules are clear, are enforced when necessary, and are applied consistently from year to year.
   357. Howie Menckel Posted: June 22, 2007 at 03:37 AM (#2412681)
I am satisfied both with Joe's apparent withdrawal of the "bullies" comment and what appears to be a continued clear - and I hope, universally accepted - statement by Mr. Murphy on what will and what will not be accepted in terms of late ballots.
I also never have questioned Joe's integrity; that has never been an issue in my mind. And I suspect most if not all dissenters feel the same way.

All I hoped for was either a polite withdrawal of the ballot, or a willingness to let the electorate decide it.
I guess at this point, we're in position to move on, in my mind at least.
   358. Rusty Priske Posted: June 22, 2007 at 12:37 PM (#2412796)
I think the bullies comment was appropriate, personally.

No matter whether you agree or disagree with Joe's position, I feel that he was treated very shabbily this week.


To repeat what I said in the results thread, I guess a bad decision is better than no decision.

To not extend Joe the same rights that have been extended to others in the past is shameful. Right now I am questioning whether I want to continue with this project (which would not be a big loss to anyone since I use other people's analysis and do very little creation of my own).

I am sure this will pass and I will continue, but right now, Joe's treatment has left a very bad taste in my mouth.
   359. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 22, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2412864)
One thing everyone should remember is that Joe had one ballot that was not allowed by me because he never contacted me asking for a delay. This caused his consecutive streak of submitting ballots from 1898 to end. If Joe had wanted to use his position for his own benefit, he could have tried then, but didn't.
   360. Chris Fluit Posted: June 25, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2416156)
Thank you, Joe. I realize that you feel pretty bad about how all of this went down. As one of the first to argue against you on this point, I want you to know that nothing personal was ever meant. I would have accepted an outcome of "allow the vote" if it had come from an impromptu balloting committee or a vote of the electorate. My main concern was that the person who asked for the extension was the same one granting the extension. Thank you for showing true leadership and withdrawing the ballot. I hope that we can all learn from this controversy, improve the process and avoid similar arguments. As has been noted by others, in an institution such as this, the process is more important than the results.
   361. Chris Dial Posted: June 25, 2007 at 12:40 AM (#2416162)
Happy Birthday (tomorrow) John.
   362. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 25, 2007 at 01:49 PM (#2416498)
Thank you (today), Chris. :-)
   363. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 25, 2007 at 03:05 PM (#2416575)
OK, so here's where we currently stand

1) John will enforce a no-questions/no-exceptions 8 PM deadline for all elections.
2) There is a call for amending the constitution to clarify the deadline question.
3) We still have no ballot committee and no idea what such a committee would look like.

To points one and two, we can simply codify the no-exceptions rule in the constitution as recommended by Chris Cobb above. If so that means we're closing discussion on extensions altogether. That does not address Joe's concerns about getting it right versus having an arbitrary deadline.

As to point three, this remains a very good idea, and I think either the electorate or a subset should begin discussing it soon so we can actually form it up to avoid any more vote-stoppages.
   364. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 25, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2416582)
That does not address Joe's concerns about getting it right versus having an arbitrary deadline.


If I need to post a reminder everyday to all of the procrastinators, that's more preferable than what happened last week. :-)
   365. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 25, 2007 at 03:12 PM (#2416586)
As to point three, this remains a very good idea, and I think either the electorate or a subset should begin discussing it soon so we can actually form it up to avoid any more vote-stoppages.


I think the committee should exclude Joe and myself, IMO.
   366. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 25, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2416948)
I disagree with #365 - I think we should definitely be on the ballot committee - unless you don't want to be for time/outside responsibility issues John.
   367. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 25, 2007 at 11:57 PM (#2417161)
I would rather have someone else take my place, Joe, for a variety of reasons, but mainly to give someone else here a voice within the project.

As for yourself, I certainly wouldn't argue against you having a seat on the committee, but I personally like the split roles that we have with our Diamond Mind league.
   368. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 27, 2007 at 01:23 AM (#2418969)
John, we can give several people voices within the project, but I definitely want mine to be involved with any type of decision making process on all levels. I don't think the roles ('commish' and 'ballot committee') are mutually exclusive.
   369. Mark Donelson Posted: June 27, 2007 at 05:08 PM (#2419767)
OK, so the ballot committee is currently Joe and a group of PTBNLs. Are the ballot counters on it (do they want to be)? Can any other voter who would like to be on it just volunteer, or is there some limiting criterion for eligibility? And how many people should be on it, in total? Five? Ten? Should there be a set limit?

To make volunteering/recruiting easier, perhaps we should also address the question of precisely what the ballot committee will do, and when/how often it will do it? Is it a "in case of emergencies" committee, or will it need to be conferring before the announcement of every election?

(The problem is, I'm not even sure who should be answering these questions, other than perhaps Joe?)
   370. Backlasher Posted: June 27, 2007 at 05:18 PM (#2419780)
(The problem is, I'm not even sure who should be answering these questions, other than perhaps Joe?)


If you have a constitutionally enacted organization, your members should be the ones answering the questions. (Of course, this leads to a small problem of determining your members, but I'd say whoever Grandma has as a voting member could make the vote.)

You have delayed your constitutional tragedy by the withdrawal of the late vote (albeit with a decree that the vote is suspect). Inevitably, you will run into some problem if you don't grant powers before powers are used. That is why you should amend and ratify your constitution first to answer your questions and others. Then use the agreed upon procedures to vote a ballot committee. If you have a "Commissioner" then you should define those powers and elect said commissioner.

If you want Dimino to "be involved with any type of decision making process on all levels"; you should define the scope of that involvement and elect him to that position. If not, you will face the same problem again at some point.
   371. DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2010 at 06:48 PM (#3705772)
Proposed update to Voting Process Section:

Voting Process:
Voting will take place yearly in November. Voters who will be unable to submit their ballots during November can vote ahead of time by submitting a special ballot that will be used for the upcoming election they will miss.

Elections will end at 8 PM EDT on the Monday two weeks 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.
   372. DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2010 at 06:54 PM (#3705780)
Proposed insertion after Ballot Structure section:


Instant Runoff:

In addition to the 15 players ranked on the ballot, each voter must rank the top 15 returning players from the previous year’s election. This rank can be off ballot but they must be ordered. In addition each voter must rank every new player with greater than 40 WAR according to baseball reference. If after the balloting is completed any candidate placing an elect-me position receives less than 50% of total points an instant runoff election will proceed. All candidates in an elect-me position at the conclusion of the first ballot will be considered elected if they receive greater than 50% of total points and will not carry over to the run-off election. All other candidates not in the top 12 finishers at the time of the original ballot will be eliminated and the remaining candidates will be re-ranked according to the ordered ballot rankings. Rankings will be in reverse point order (10-12 points for 1st depending on how many candidates are remaining) down to 1 point for last place with no elect-me bonus for the runoff balloting. The top finishers will be considered elected at the end of runoff balloting until all election slots are filled for that year's election.
   373. OCF Posted: December 08, 2010 at 08:51 PM (#3705935)
In addition to the 15 players ranked on the ballot, each voter must rank the top 15 returning players from the previous year’s election.

What about significant newcomers? For instance, should a voter have been required to include a rank order for Olerud on a 2011 ballot? Chuck Finley on a 2008 ballot? Javy Lopez on a 2012 ballot? Not that I have in mind a proper threshold for this. We shouldn't get into having to express opinions on Jose Offerman or Carlos Baerga. (DanG's lists err on the side of inclusion, intentionally.)

I could see for instance, my 2011 ballot as being something like:

1. Bagwell
2. Walker
3. Brown
4. Tiant
5. Bando
6. Palmeiro
7. Cone
8. Willis
9. Chance
10. Doyle
11. Olerud
12. Pesky
13. McGriff
14. Cash
15. Reuschel
X1. Rizzuto
X2, Concepcion
X3. Duffy
X4. Cravath
X5. Redding
X6. Newcombe
X7. Leach

The idea there is that X1 through X7 aren't 16 through 22 - there are plenty of other candidates out there, and some if these guys could be a long way away.

I also would have to redesign my ballot counting spreadsheet. This could be pretty messy.
   374. DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2010 at 09:21 PM (#3705982)
"In addition each voter must rank every new player with greater than 40 WAR according to baseball reference."

Did you miss the next sentence? FYI - for next season that's Bernie Williams, Tim Salmon, Brad Radke, Steve Finley and Julio Franco.

I agree that instant runoff voting counting can get messy. It would require a different equation depending on how many players in the top X are above 50% of total points.
   375. DL from MN Posted: December 08, 2010 at 09:43 PM (#3706012)
So, suppose this year had been an elect-5 year. Your runoff ballot would be

1) Tiant
2) Cone
3) Reuschel
4) Rizzuto
5) Duffy
6) Cravath
7) Redding
8) Newcombe

my runoff ballot would be
1) Reuschel
2) Cone
3) Rizzuto
4) Cravath
5) Tiant
6) Redding
7) Newcombe
8) Duffy

It looks like the 10-12 points statement should technically be amended to "13-X to 12 points where X is the number of electees."

The result of our mock election exercise would be
1) Cone 14
2) Reuschel 14
3) Tiant 12
4) Rizzuto 11
4) Cravath 10
6) Duffy 5
7) Redding 5
8) Newcombe 3

I don't think you'll run into a tiebreaker with 40 ballots but I'd go with # of 1st place runoff votes as the first tiebreaker. In that case Reuschel would win election.
   376. rawagman Posted: December 09, 2010 at 01:00 AM (#3706242)
We have enough problems getting people to actually submit a ballot on time - I can't see this actually getting any traction as well intentioned as it is.
   377. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 09, 2010 at 01:12 AM (#3706253)
I vote against this. The current system allows for both peak and career candidates to be elected since a candidate with strong support from a minority of the electorate can gain election. As I understand it, this change would require increased consensus, such that a candidate would have to be listed on a larger percentage of ballots to achieve election. This is not a good thing in the HoM context because of the peak/career divide; we don't want an HoM that comes down too strongly on either side of that debate, and one of the beauties of the HoM is that is has space for both John McGraw and, next year, Rafael Palmiero. A HoM that rejects extreme peak and career candidates is, IMO, a less interesting one.
   378. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2010 at 02:10 AM (#3706289)
I don't see this at all. It just requires "cult" candidates to garner half the possible points or go head-to-head against other candidates with similar fragmented support. I actually see it as enfranchising those voters who have a ballot full of teddy bears. It also legitimizes the process to outside observers. People have a hard time understanding how a candidate can be elected while appearing on only 1/3 of the ballots.

I also fail to see how this causes enough extra work to cause people to fail to submit a ballot. Ballot comments are already required for most of these returning players. This just says to rank them in order. Most people already have this information as their consideration set is at least 50 players. I don't think it is arduous to translate your consideration set to a ballot in the YEAR we get to write up a ballot.
   379. Rob_Wood Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:31 AM (#3706333)
As a voter who frequently has little overlap between my top 15 and the returning top 10, I am definitely open to the idea of an instant runoff. It would require little additional work for each voter while providing the two important benefits DL lists above: (i) giving all voters, however fragmented, real input into each vote outcome, and (ii) removing a great deal of the concern outside observers might have about the low percentages some of our electees receive.

I only have one notable concern and that is the lack of any "elect me" bonus points in the instant runoff tallying. I don't see why we cannot include such a bonus since there is typically a significant difference in intensity of feeling among the ranking slots for all voters. Maybe operationally we can give additional bonus points (N, N-1, ... , 1 say) for the top N ranked players on each voter's instant runoff ballot, where N is the number of players that need to be elected via the runoff.

Anyway, I like the instant runoff idea and hope we give it serious consideration. Maybe we can try a mock 2012 election so everyone can see how it would work.
   380. Alex King Posted: December 09, 2010 at 04:44 AM (#3706384)
I only have one notable concern and that is the lack of any "elect me" bonus points in the instant runoff tallying. I don't see why we cannot include such a bonus since there is typically a significant difference in intensity of feeling among the ranking slots for all voters. Maybe operationally we can give additional bonus points (N, N-1, ... , 1 say) for the top N ranked players on each voter's instant runoff ballot, where N is the number of players that need to be elected via the runoff.


I agree. However, since typically only 1 or 2 players will be elected via runoff, it may make sense to give bonuses for, say, the top 5 finishers.

Also, I object to the 40-WAR cutoff, just because it's too reliant on one stat, WAR. Among notable candidates, David Concepcion is well below 40 WAR. I think we should also include players with over 40 Dan_R WAR, or 40 WARP, or some Win Shares cutoff, or allow players to be included at the discretion of the ballot committee...obviously we don't want voters to have to rank too many candidates, however.
   381. DL from MN Posted: December 09, 2010 at 05:59 AM (#3706429)
Since the support is by definition fragmented I would choose not to give an elect-me bonus. Would you really rather prefer the 11th best guy on your ballot that much more than the guy ranked 14th? How about 2 off-ballot guys?

I agree with the sentiment that tying it to BBREF WAR somehow makes their calculation more legitimate than others and I'd rather avoid that. It is rather simple to find, which is the major benefit. I'm fine with letting the ballot committee determine the new candidates that must be ranked. A simple nomination and a 2nd would probably be enough.
   382. Rob_Wood Posted: December 09, 2010 at 08:15 AM (#3706506)
Yes, but in some real sense we are trying to mirror a runoff election. In such an election one's rankings are of paramount importance, meaning that the intensity of preference differences will surely come into play for virtually all voters.

Voters will be asked to consider carefully how they rank their "leftovers". And we should give credit to the players at the top of those rankings. The fact that they are really the voter's 30th favorite vs his 45th favorite is not really germane. The most salient factor, as on a real runoff election, is their relative rankings.

Bottom line: on balance I think there is much to gain and nothing to lose in employing elect-me bonus points.
   383. DanG Posted: December 09, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3706678)
Would you really rather prefer the 11th best guy on your ballot that much more than the guy ranked 14th?
In the normal case, these close-ranked players down-ballot are not the guys that would be getting the "elect me" bonus. Except for the madcap ballot with non-consensus choices near the top, the bonus would be going to players the voter does feel are a cut above, guys that he would like to see elected.

Rob is right.
   384. Mark Donelson Posted: December 14, 2010 at 11:02 PM (#3710801)
A question: What do we do if someone submits a ballot without the required runoff rankings? Or one that's incomplete?

Obviously, we first attempt to get the voter to resubmit "correctly," but what if, for whatever reason (a vacation, or the original ballot's being submitted right at the deadline), he/she doesn't? Is the whole ballot invalid, even the regular part? Does that voter's ballot simply not get included in the runoff, but the main ballot that's submitted properly DOES count?

We should sort out these details so they don't come back to bite us at election time...somehow they always seem to, eventually, when we don't.
   385. Alex King Posted: December 15, 2010 at 01:34 AM (#3710918)
Mark/384:

First, we publicize the changes, both in the ballot thread and the ballot discussion thread. If at all possible, Joe should also send out an email to voters reminding them of the change.

Obviously, we first attempt to get the voter to resubmit "correctly," but what if, for whatever reason (a vacation, or the original ballot's being submitted right at the deadline), he/she doesn't? Is the whole ballot invalid, even the regular part? Does that voter's ballot simply not get included in the runoff, but the main ballot that's submitted properly DOES count?


I think that for the runoff, we should be somewhat lenient with the deadline by allowing people to resubmit soon afterwards if they submitted an improper ballot shortly before the deadline. I think the whole ballot should be invalid if the voter fails to include a valid "runoff ballot;" the purpose of the runoff will be defeated if not all voters submit runoff ballots, as the absence of certain voters could bias the runoff results.
   386. DL from MN Posted: December 15, 2010 at 06:24 PM (#3711416)
RE: 371 - can we all agree on this one? The current constitution is incorrect describing the current voting process.
   387. Paul Wendt Posted: December 20, 2010 at 05:52 PM (#3714607)
DL 372
candidates not in the top 12 finishers at the time of the original ballot will be eliminated and the remaining candidates will be re-ranked according to the ordered ballot rankings. Rankings will be in reverse point order (10-12 points for 1st depending on how many candidates are remaining) down to 1 point for last place with no elect-me bonus for the runoff balloting. The top finishers will be considered elected at the end of runoff balloting until all election slots are filled for that year's election.

RobWood 382
Voters will be asked to consider carefully how they rank their "leftovers". And we should give credit to the players at the top of those rankings. The fact that they are really the voter's 30th favorite vs his 45th favorite is not really germane. The most salient factor, as on a real runoff election, is their relative rankings.

Bottom line: on balance I think there is much to gain and nothing to lose in employing elect-me bonus points.


From something in the discussion (Joe Dimino?) I inferred intention to go the other way and count only relative rankings. There would be no quantification by any point system, only pairwise preferences. The tie-break rules would handle cycles (A beats B, B beats C, C beats A) and perfect splits when the number of ballots is even (A equals B).
   388. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 23, 2010 at 10:40 PM (#3716970)
From something in the discussion (Joe Dimino?) I inferred intention to go the other way and count only relative rankings. There would be no quantification by any point system, only pairwise preferences. The tie-break rules would handle cycles (A beats B, B beats C, C beats A) and perfect splits when the number of ballots is even (A equals B).


This is true - I would MUCH prefer this type of system, although I still don't love the idea of a runoff.

If we applied this type of system to the main ballot, instead of scoring with points, we wouldn't need a runoff, right?
   389. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 23, 2010 at 10:43 PM (#3716973)
BTW, guys, I've just briefly skimmed this for reasons mentioned over on the once we catch up thread. Hopefully I have some time in the next few days to fully catch up.
   390. DL from MN Posted: December 24, 2010 at 05:38 AM (#3717211)
A couple things - you can do a runoff if a person doesn't list a candidate - it just assumes they listed them tied for last.

I think you're right that you wouldn't need a runoff - however you would need everyone to rank every candidate.
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