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Theory 1: Because they don’t want performance enhancing drug users in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
...The Hall leadership may not want [Barry] Bonds or [Roger] Clemens elected, but it never really looked like they would be anyway. And I don’t think the Hall of Fame directors are manipulative in this way. I’m sure they’re not weeping for Bonds or Clemens, but I don’t believe that was the impetus here.
Every year, in our Hall of Fame voting packet, we will get a statistical packet that offers a brief statistical rundown of each player. In the 1970s and 1980s and even into the 1990s, this statistical packet was ESSENTIAL to vote. There was almost no access whatsoever to even the most basic numbers — not unless you had access to a Baseball Encyclopedia or an extensive baseball card collection.
Thing is they STILL send these packets. Every year, when I get it, I just look at these few stapled pages with basic numbers and shake my head. It’s like being a voter for the greatest mathematical advancement of the year and them sending you an abacus in the mail. These days I can find anything — ANYTHING — in a matter of seconds. Want to know what hitters batted off Mike Mussina after the seventh inning? Three clicks, bam, they hit .246. The BBWAA still sends these statistical relics of another time, and while it’s an innocent thing, it also seems symbolic of something.
Perhaps there is an assumption that some of the voters are so inept that they can’t perform basic statistical research on the internet; that they would be so overwhelmed by trying to identify all the reasonable candidates themselves that they would make a complete botch of the task.
That’s it, isn’t it? They know that a significant portion of the electorate doesn’t have the necessities to do an adequate job without them first performing a drastic culling of the candidates. Does that sound kinda ridiculous to anyone else? It’s an indictment of the entire election process. Clinging to the ten-year rule (and the Screening Committee) is an admission that we are being subjected to an anachronistic charade being perpetrated by the BBWAA electorate. The Information Age has left them behind so that now too many of them are unqualified for the task at hand: performing a thorough analysis of the candidates.
I have been told this by people who would know – getting Buck O’Neil into the Hall of Fame was the biggest reason the Hall of Fame had created these committees and set up this vote in the first place… Buck still fell short…
Unfortunately Buck was simply not a HOF caliber ball player- if the HOF wants him in some other capacity, Baseball ambassador or something, but he was not a great player.
God, Trevor Rabin was awful.
how many members of a major band have dropped off the map so completely?
a) increases by 5% over the previous year
b) their vote percentage is 5 x years on ballot
God, Trevor Rabin was awful.
I was thinking the same thing as BDC.. What possible excuse could a baseball writer with a Hall of Fame vote have for not owning a Baseball Encyclopedia?
Cripes, I had access to a Baseball Encyclopedia in 1969, when I was nine years old. How scarce were they?
2. "Why do I need a book? Everyone knows when a candidate reaches a magic number like 500 homers."
If you got it in 1969, you have a first edition. Last I checked, that was worth a little bit. But I imagine Andy would know.....
He's had such a massively successful solo career since leaving YES. Seriously, how many members of a major band have dropped off the map so completely?
Didn't do soundtracks, like Stewart Copeland? (And more famously, like Danny Elfman.)
So what became of the theory around here a year or two ago that the businessmen of Cooperstown would demand changes in the HoF guidelines that would make it easier to induct Bonds & Co., in order to counteract their dwindling attendance?
You're right. It was a stupid theory built on a stupid premise that was built on projecting from a one time occurrence, a theory advanced in great part by the fervent wishes of its proponents to get Bonds & Co. inducted against the wishes of the writers.
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