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Friday, January 11, 2013

Curt Schilling: “The Players that Didn’t Cheat got Dragged Down with the Players that Did”

Break out the Kalahari Kingdom lion shovel out…Schilling is shaking out his Judson Pratt-styled pants!

If you had the ability to have a do-over, what would you have done? How would you have reacted?

“I think I would have reacted to the first time [former pitcher and leading Players’ Association member] Rick Helling stood up in a players’ union meeting and said, ‘What are we going to do about testing?’ And I think there were a lot of players who wanted to react. But I think it was one of those things, like everything else that comes from being in a game mentality, you’re afraid to go against the stream. And I think that’s one of the last times in my life that I didn’t.”

If you did not spend nine seasons with the Phillies from 1992 to 2000 would you have made the Hall of Fame on the first ballot?

“That 10 years was detrimental to my win total, but I loved it there. I always thought we were going to be a competitor next year. I believed the ownership was going to make the moves the next year, because the fan base was so passionate and so adamant about pushing them to win, and they never did. One of my last years, I had Ruben Amaro hitting cleanup for me, if that tells you anything. It was just a bad situation. I think about that. And I think about, in ’97, I signed my first big contract. I went 17-11 and I think I punched out 300 guys. And I had a sub-3.00 ERA. The opening day of that season, I signed a four-year, $24-million extension. Kevin Brown, after that season, signed a $108 million contract. That was the first big contract. So, you could play that what-if game, but I don’t. I’m so blessed and so lucky. The game owes me nothing. It’s good.”

On Hall of Fame voters looking beyond the win-loss record to more important indicators like conventional statistics:

“I won’t think about this again until this day next year, but I also, when I do think about it, I think about a more educated base of voters. I think you’ve seen, starting with Felix Hernandez winning the Cy Young and Zack Greinke winning the Cy Young with 12, 14 wins, I think you’re starting to see a move away from conventional statistics. As a guy who never bought into conventional statistics, I love it. It shows more interest. I still think the process needs to be tweaked. I think voters should lose their credentials. I think if a guy gets over 90 percent of the vote and you don’t vote for him, you should lose your pass. If a guy gets less than five percent and you vote for him, you should lose your pass.”

Repoz Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:38 AM | 73 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Bob Tufts Posted: January 11, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4344889)
‘What are we going to do about testing?’


The State of Rhode Island wishes 38 Studios had asked ‘What are we going to do about beta testing?’
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4344892)
I still think the process needs to be tweaked. I think voters should lose their credentials. I think if a guy gets over 90 percent of the vote and you don’t vote for him, you should lose your pass. If a guy gets less than five percent and you vote for him, you should lose your pass.”

That's an interesting take. I do think they should be able to take away the vote from some people but I'm not sure if this is the way to do it.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4344901)
That's an interesting take. I do think they should be able to take away the vote from some people but I'm not sure if this is the way to do it.


The 90% isn't fair when you have a ballot limit. If Biggio went in next year with over 90%, people who didn't vote for him might still think he's a Hall-of-Famer. On the other side, people who vote for Aaron Sele or Shawn Green (or Pete Rose) are clearly breaking the rules and should lose voting rights.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4344904)
On the other side, people who vote for Aaron Sele or Shawn Green (or Pete Rose) are clearly breaking the rules and should lose voting rights.


What about those that voted for Kenny Lofton? There have been lots of legit candidates that failed to get 5%.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4344910)
What about those that voted for Kenny Lofton? There have been lots of legit candidates that failed to get 5%.


I guess it's really the fault of the screening committee, which doesn't really screen at all, and the fact that simply making the ballot is a lower-level honor that you don't want to deny players. If the ballot was only for possible Hall of Famers (including Lofton, and maybe even Franco and Sandy, but definitely not including Sele) then that problem would go away.
   6. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4344911)
You could theoretically do it if you lifted the 10-man limit. But then you would see such an explosion of voting that nobody would ever fall off the ballot except in year 1.
   7. AROM Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4344914)
That's an interesting take. I do think they should be able to take away the vote from some people but I'm not sure if this is the way to do it.


I think that's probably the worst reform idea yet floated. It more than encourages groupthink, it mandates it. The few voters who thought Lou Whitaker, Kevin Brown, and Kenny Lofton might be HOF worthy are not the problem.
   8. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4344921)
I guess it's really the fault of the screening committee, which doesn't really screen at all, and the fact that simply making the ballot is a lower-level honor that you don't want to deny players.


There's a screening committee?! This is the most useless committee in the world, then. I had no idea it existed, it does such a poor job.

How the #### do you have a screening committee but Aaron Sele gets on the ballot?!
   9. NattyBoh Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4344925)
Not sure how many appreciate it, but got to nominate #1 for a Primey.
   10. GregD Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4344928)
Yes I can't imagine penalizing people for voting for the very candidates--Whitaker, Grich--that we wish they voted for. I suppose you could make a very high threshold--if someone gets 98% the 2% who didn't vote are gone just to clear out a few curmudgeons but that by definition would have a small and very sporadic effect. The way to change the voting base is to broaden not narrow it at this point.

How many wins did Schilling really lose on the Phillies? Has someone studied this? Eyeballing it, I get

Year GS W
1992 26 14
1993 34 16
1994 13 2
1995 17 7
1996 26 9
1997 35 17
1998 35 15
1999 24 15


In the part of his 2000 season with Philly, he had 16 starts and 6 wins.

That gives him a total of 226 starts and 95 wins. Won 42% of his starts.

For the post-Philly part of his career he had 117 wins in 210 starts. Won 55.7% of his starts

If you remake his Philly numbers to give him 50% of his starts as wins, a really good total, you get 113 wins, for an additional 18 wins, for a total of 234.

If you remake his Philly numbers to win 55.7% of his starts that gives him 126 wins. That gives him a total of 246 career wins.

That's a notable difference, and it's possible that getting to 240 could have saved him a year or two in the HOF chase but I don't think that it would be crucial. No one gets into the HOF for winning 246 games; he still would be a peak candidate, and he still would be a very strong peak candidate.
   11. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4344929)
I get the joke @1, and it's humorous, but I don't think the Schil's poor business acumen impacts his HOF case at all.
   12. flournoy Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM (#4344934)
Schilling's ballot reform idea is a bad idea as presented, but I don't think it's meant to be taken literally. That's just an off-the-cuff idea. The basic idea, that voters should somehow be accountable for wildly unusual ballots, is good.
   13. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4344935)
Yes I can't imagine penalizing people for voting for the very candidates--Whitaker, Grich--that we wish they voted for. I suppose you could make a very high threshold--if someone gets 98% the 2% who didn't vote are gone just to clear out a few curmudgeons but that by definition would have a small and very sporadic effect.


The only thing I'd penalize for would be voting for someone his ineligible. If you vote for Aaron Sele, you're an idiot. If you vote for Pete Rose, you've broken the rules and lose your ballot. That, and expanding the ballot to 25 entries, and maybe having a disqualification for submitting blank ballots or failing to submit a ballot three years in a row.
   14. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 11, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4344945)
1998, Rick Helling at the winter meetings: "What are we going to do about testing?"

2013: Curt Schilling remembers his non-reaction: "You’re afraid to go against the stream. And I think that’s one of the last times in my life that I didn’t.”

2005, Curt Schilling to Congress: " ... "

2007, Curt Schilling to George Mitchell's request for an interview: " ... "

2007, when asked whether Barry Bonds' numbers should be stricken: “If you get caught using steroids, you should have everything you’ve done in this game wiped out for any period of time that you used it... Because it is cheating."

2009, when asked whether the Ortiz/Ramirez PED report casts a cloud upon Boston's World Series wins: "This makes me laugh. I have already seen the bandwagon fans start the *04 and *07 threads and remarks, people with teams who are far deeper into this than most other teams — as if this makes it all OK. Every team going back 10-15 years needs an * if you want to consider giving it to anyone."
   15. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4344950)
Schilling's ballot reform idea is a bad idea as presented, but I don't think it's meant to be taken literally. That's just an off-the-cuff idea. The basic idea, that voters should somehow be accountable for wildly unusual ballots, is good.

I could see some form of 3 strike policy working, where you gain 1 strike back every year you hand in an ok ballot.
   16. AROM Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4344955)
Schilling had some years where his W-L record was less than his pitching performance. Sticking out are 1994 (2-8, 96 ERA+) and 1996 (9-10, 134 ERA+) but when he pitched for the Red Sox he had the benefit of a great offense.

Does his career balance out?

First I look at decisions. He had 362 while pitching 3261 innings. A starter typically gets a decision for every 8.5 innings, Schilling is a bit short, he should have had 384. Next look at his run prevention compared to league. Usually, ERA+ does well enough and is easily accessible, but total runs is better and Schilling has a very low number of unearned runs, so I'll do the extra work. His RA+ is 130, 3 points better than his ERA+. That should translate to a winning percentage of .621, better than his actual .597.

So Schilling with average team support should have a record of 238-145, instead of 216-146. Definitely underrated by the wins, but I doubt 238 wins would have made any difference to these voters. David Wells had 239, and that didn't even get him 1%.

   17. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4344956)
If you vote for Aaron Sele, you're an idiot.


If you vote for him because you think he's a Hall-of-Famer, then you're an idiot. If you vote for him because you're friendly with him, then you're breaking the rules.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4344963)
"But I think it was one of those things, like everything else that comes from being in a game mentality, you’re afraid to go against the stream."

And the answer, after that thought process, is to take away voting privileges of those who don't vote for the most popular players or do vote for the least popular. If that doesn't encourage people to go against the stream, what will?

And don't know if I mentioned it here, but longtime NY Daily News baseball scribe Bill Madden said yesterday that he had no problem with Sele votes (!). He said he has told players, 'If you make it onto the ballot, I'll make sure you don't get shut out' - before claiming he didn't recall if he ever followed through on that.

   19. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4344964)
"One of my last years, I had Ruben Amaro hitting cleanup for me..."

At least he wasn't a self-centered player.
   20. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4344967)
If you vote for him because you think he's a Hall-of-Famer, then you're an idiot. If you vote for him because you're friendly with him, then you're breaking the rules.


Stipulated. I think the "give this guy one vote so he can say he got a vote for the HOF to his grandkids" isn't problematic outside of the context of the Great PED Fueled Rage and Logjam of the 2010s. If there are three "real" candidates and you vote for those three, and Mike Crudale, I have no problem with that. If there are 15 legitimate candidates and you vote for Aaron Sele, I have a problem with that.

If you vote for a guy that is permanently ineligible your ballot should be rescinded.
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4344968)
So Schilling with average team support should have a record of 238-145, instead of 216-146. Definitely underrated by the wins, but I doubt 238 wins would have made any difference to these voters. David Wells had 239, and that didn't even get him 1%.


I think 238 makes a big difference. 216 is an awfully low total for a starter, 238 just looks a lot more reasonable to people. I think Schilling is a guy who probably "feels" like a Hall of Famer for a lot of guys but his numbers are just a bit light. Give him another 20-25 wins and I think those voters can reconcile their feeling with the numbers that they look at.
   22. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4344971)
The only thing I'd penalize for would be voting for someone his ineligible. If you vote for Aaron Sele, you're an idiot. If you vote for Pete Rose, you've broken the rules and lose your ballot. That, and expanding the ballot to 25 entries, and maybe having a disqualification for submitting blank ballots or failing to submit a ballot three years in a row.

I've seen the suggestion about the blank ballot thing, but if you're a small hall guy then I could see you looking at a given ballot and not thinking anyone was worthy.

   23. The District Attorney Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4344975)
I think the better approach is to publicize the ballots. As goofy as voting for Julio Franco is, it should not be a reason to be automatically stripped of the vote. And it should go without saying that voting for Lou Whitaker should definitely not be a reason to be stripped of the vote.

But, the writers should at least have their names attached to their vote, and be invited to explain why they felt that the Hall of Fame would be best served by electing these players. I wouldn't require everyone to provide the reasoning for that ballot a la the Hall of Merit, although I think that'd be a very reasonable rule, but hey, declining to explain oneself is its own statement.

I'm more tempted to strip people of votes if they vote for Pete Rose, which is really just being a pain in the ass. If someone repeatedly voted only Rose year after year, I think it'd be fair to say that that writer has no serious interest in the Hall of Fame process... I'd have no problem kicking them then.¹ But if they're filling out a real ballot along with Rose, that seems to me like they're making a reasonable enough protest.

Even as a big-Hall guy, I don't buy that even the most crowded ballot can have 10 "must-elects" and thus a Franco/Rose vote is automatically shafting a deserving candidate. That's being way too dogmatic about the size of the HOF, IMO.

Of course, the larger point here is that it'd be better to get thoughtful and informed voters, as opposed to trying to anticipate and counter every way that lazy and ignorant voters can express their laziness and ignorance.

¹ Ditto if they submit a blank ballot every year, which of course from the point of view of actually electing anyone is the same thing as voting only for Rose every year. I dunno if there actually are any such voters. Given how few Rose/blank ballots there are, I kinda doubt it.
   24. AROM Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4344976)
I think 238 makes a big difference. 216 is an awfully low total for a starter, 238 just looks a lot more reasonable to people. I think Schilling is a guy who probably "feels" like a Hall of Famer for a lot of guys but his numbers are just a bit light. Give him another 20-25 wins and I think those voters can reconcile their feeling with the numbers that they look at.


I think you've got 2 classes of voters here, the ones who look at pitching statistics at a deeper level, and those who look at wins. The first group doesn't care if Schilling's win total is a bit low. The second group would look at 238, and still think it's not enough.

His mid 30's debut is a good sign for his eventual induction. He's the type who should make a bit of progress over the years, and eventually somebody will start pushing his postseason heroics the way people are doing so for Jack Morris. Because first of all, he's got a much better postseason record than Morris, and second, it will be Boston media doing the pushing. When they want to they can push hard, and loud.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:42 PM (#4344983)
I think you've got 2 classes of voters here, the ones who look at pitching statistics at a deeper level, and those who look at wins. The first group doesn't care if Schilling's win total is a bit low. The second group would look at 238, and still think it's not enough.


You may be right about the second group. I think that group wants to vote for Schilling but 216 is just a bit light for their taste (particularly on a first ballot - and that's the group where it's likely to matter). I think at 238 they can start spinning it to fit with their impression that he belongs much the way they do with Morris and 254/most in the 80s. I don't think 238 alone pushes him over the top (Wells is a perfect analogy there) but I think that group is already predisposed to support Schilling so given the chance they will do it.

I agree with you that starting at 38.8 is actually a very good sign. Unless the backlog in the next couple of years forces him backwards I think he's going to get in without needing any kind of major push.
   26. John Northey Posted: January 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4344985)
I'd say that any voter who was clearly ignoring the best over a 5 year period needs to be removed - IE: if a 5 year period passes and you don't vote for anyone who gets in, or if you hand in a blank ballot twice (or just don't hand it in period) in a 5 year period then you are removed. It would be very, very hard for a reasonable person to find a 5 year period where no one got in who they approved of. Have an appeal process just in case someone has a reasonable argument for doing what they did.
   27. Sean Forman Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4344997)
gotta love that the question about steroids is followed by one about the 1992+ Phillies. Is there any doubt that the 1993 Phillies was full of steroids users? A better follow up question would have been.

Given that stance what did you try to do to discourage the rampant PED use going on in the Phillies clubhouse while you were there? Would love to hear Kruk asked the same question.

http://www.astropix.com/SPORTSPIX/BASEBALL/93PHILS/93_09.HTM
   28. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4345010)
On the other side, people who vote for Aaron Sele or Shawn Green . . . are clearly breaking the rules and should lose voting rights.


I love it - you put them on the ballot, but anyone who goes there is eliminated. It's a little Hunger Gamesesque - could be just what the BBWAA needs.
   29. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4345011)
Why not just suspend writers for a year if they turn in blank ballots or don't vote at all? Make it 2 years if they do it again, and just take their vote away on the third time.

And why count blank ballots in the totals? You are allowing a handful of axe grinders to queer the voting they refused to participate in. If you count empty ballots you might as well be counting un-returned ballots as empties as well.
   30. BDC Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:15 PM (#4345012)
Like others here, I hate tying somebody's privilege to vote on something to whether they voted the right way. Smacks of the Irish referendum on divorce where, as an Dubliner once told me, "the bishops left the people free to make up their own minds against it."

Much better to change the bar for election. Top vote-getter or two every year gets inducted, something like that. If you want to vote for Aaron Sele, or not vote for Curt Schilling, or turn in a blank ballot and have no impact at all, fine.
   31. Adam B. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4345014)
They're writers. Their job is to defend their opinions in public Of course their ballots should be public.
   32. Chicago Joe Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4345024)
One of my last years, I had Ruben Amaro hitting cleanup for me, if that tells you anything.

This appears to have happened a grand total of once: September 26th, 1996-Amaro actually went 2 for 4 and scored a run; Schilling gave up five in the 6th (all earned) highlighted by a grand slam from Henry Gonzales.
When you point the finger, you always have more fingers pointing back at yourself.
   33. Howie B. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4345025)
This whole idea of stripping voters of their vote because of their vote is a bit asinine. Even for a silly Internet debate. Strip them of their vote if they don't follow the rules as stated - there's logic in that. Change the rules if the rules are bad. Change the criteria for voting. (i.e., make it so writers have to actually be writing about baseball). But everything else is just noise.
   34. Chicago Joe Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4345027)
Would love to hear Kruk asked the same question.


Kruk? He'd give his left nut to ban.....oh wait.
   35. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4345031)
I think there may be some merit to bringing in a real screening committee and combining it with the elimination of the 5% rule. Make it a real honor to be put on the ballot; charge the committee with nominating only players who are no-doubt hall-of-very-good or better, and justifying the nominations to the rest of the electorate. And don't make that part of the process one and done -- the screening committee should be starting more or less from scratch each year; they should be allowed to put anyone on the ballot who is 5-20 years removed from retirement. This obviously eliminates the Sele/Alomar votes. More importantly, the screening committee would be making a very strong statement by putting someone who got Whitakerred back on the ballot the next year.
   36. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:38 PM (#4345033)
One of my last years, I had Ruben Amaro hitting cleanup for me, if that tells you anything.


Could have been worse. If you'd been born sooner, you might have had Ruben Amaro Sr playing SS behind you.
   37. depletion Posted: January 11, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4345048)
The 90/5 credentials idea is poor; you could lose 15% of the voters in a year. I'd rather the voters be required to write a couple sentences about each player they vote for. It doesn't have to be a statistics treatise, maybe "Played great defense for 5 pennant winners. Led the league in doubles 140 times". I have no problem with an anonymous vote. The vote text would make great reading and BBTF material, too.
   38. AROM Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4345057)
Sean:

Here's a suggestion for either the HOF section or play index. Allow a search for players and voting percentage by nth year on the ballot. For example, in consideration of Schilling I'd like to look up all players getting 35-45% during their first year on the ballot, and how many of those players eventually got into the HOF.
   39. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4345069)
gotta love that the question about steroids is followed by one about the 1992+ Phillies. Is there any doubt that the 1993 Phillies was full of steroids users?


No doubt Darren Daulton was jacked to the gills. And probably Kruk too. Pete Incaviglia was just fat.
   40. DanG Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4345096)
The only way the HOF elects anyone is through agreement by a supermajority of 75%. You need to reach an overwhelming consensus (aka "groupthink") regarding a player. And we know the HOF wants the BBWAA to elect players; they probably would prefer if it was a few more then the historical rate of 1.5 per year.

So the HOF should be looking for ways to increase consensus among the electorate. It's not telling them who you can/cannot vote for. It's saying consider a couple more things: study the players who are currently in the Hall and consider what the established standards are; consider who your peers in this "expert electorate" are voting for.

Taking off from Schilling's idea, here's my suggestion:

Grade every ballot with a consensus score. (One guy does this for the Hall of Merit every year.) The voters among the 10% of ballots that are furthest from the consensus don't get a ballot next year. They get a year to think about who their brothers are voting for, whether they want to continue to be against that, or to move closer to the consensus. In short order you would find the voters coming to much closer agreement and the number of electees would increase.

There are certainly better ways to improve the electorate, but it's a quick and dirty way to eliminate obstructionist voters.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 11, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4345100)
No doubt Darren Daulton was jacked to the gills. And probably Kruk too. Pete Incaviglia was just fat.
Lenny Dykstra for sure. Mitch Williams for probably.
   42. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4345112)
Dave Hollins for sure.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4345113)

"The voters among the 10% of ballots that are furthest from the consensus don't get a ballot next year."

So we might then get rid of some of the few guys who had enough brains to know that Simmons, Whitaker, Grich etc deserve serious consideration. The only obstructing they were doing was against a failure of common sense.

   44. SoSH U at work Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4345119)
No doubt Darren Daulton was jacked to the gills. And probably Kruk too. Pete Incaviglia was just fat.


I'd flip-flop Inky and Kruk in that sentence. All PED denials are suspect, but if I were to give any benefit of the doubt, it would be to the guy who when seen smoking, said, "I ain't an athlete, lady, I'm a ballplayer."

That and his general fatassery.
   45. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4345120)
So we might then get rid of some of the few guys who had enough brains to know that Simmons, Whitaker, Grich etc deserve serious consideration. The only obstructing they were doing was against a failure of common sense.

Yes. We don't want to eliminate the people who are going against consensus. We want to eliminate the stupid voters. Which is, of course, subjective. You're not going to eliminate them with a hard and fast formula like what's being proposed. Therefore, there's probably no good way to do it.

You have to be careful when dealing with a consensus. I mean, by the end, there was a consensus among voters to put Jim Rice in. You want to eliminate candidates based on consensus of that group of people?
   46. Bug Selig Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4345126)
Mickey Morandini gained several ounces there that one time.
   47. DanG Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4345129)
Simmons, Whitaker, Grich etc deserve serious consideration
No argument here. The 5% rule is insane, I have written against it for nearly 30 years.
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4345136)
Simmons, Whitaker, Grich etc deserve serious consideration


And thinking they're going to get substantial consideration from the same folks who almost unanimously rejected them earlier is a pipe dream. I can put liver on my kid's plate night after night - it ain't going to make him like it.

Those guys were never going to get elected to the Hall through the BBWAA, all they can do is suck up votes from guys who can.

If you want to give the overlooked a real second chance, which I think most of us do, take whatever steps you can to get the Vet's Committee to give serious looks at these guys and not take their cues from the BBWAA's vote (starting with allowing no writers to participate in the Vets process at all).

But the 5 percent rule is one of the few tools that work to help get guys elected. You can make some tweaks to give these guys a second chance (preferably tied with a graded ballot removal process for those Mattinglys and Murphys who go nowhere), but you've got to have a way to rid the ballot of its bottom feeders if you want to get more guys elected through the BBWAA.
   49. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 11, 2013 at 03:23 PM (#4345137)
The 5% rule is insane, I have written against it for nearly 30 years.


But Howie's point is that your consensus building proposal could punish voters for supporting deserving candidates who are woefully under-appreciated by the rest of the electorate.
   50. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4345185)
If you vote for him because you think he's a Hall-of-Famer, then you're an idiot. If you vote for him because you're friendly with him, then you're breaking the rules.


Which makes you worse than an idiot and should ideally cause you to be stripped of your voting privileges.

It's just ironic that the same writers who accuse players of cheating don't follow their own rules that have been specifically laid out.
   51. bjhanke Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4345187)
If a player can't get 5% in any of his first five ballot years, then he should get dumped to the VC. Five years gives his supporters enough time to override a one-year freak of a huge "rookie" class. Brock Hanke
   52. DanG Posted: January 11, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4345188)
But Howie's point is that your consensus building proposal could punish voters for supporting deserving candidates who are woefully under-appreciated by the rest of the electorate.
Of course. But now you're talking about changing the electorate, which will only happen gradually over many, many years. Or, as SoSH suggest, kicking players over more quickly to a different electoral body whose job it is to fill in the Hall's Grey Area.
   53. Walt Davis Posted: January 11, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4345326)
There are certainly better ways to improve the electorate, but it's a quick and dirty way to eliminate obstructionist voters.

You realize that by your method, the Bonds/Clemens/Sosa/Mac/Palmeiro voters are "obstructionist" since their ballots do not conform to the consensus. Even moreso if they didn't vote Morris. If they tossed a vote to Lofton, they're now well away from the center. Bagwell, Biggio and Piazza help to draw them back in but they had to go and throw the 10th vote to Walker.

Here's an interesting bit on the 2013 ballot. By career WAR rank:

1. 36%
2. 38%
3. 60
4. 39
5. 22
6. 34
7. 52
8. 8 -- Raffy
9. 3 -- Lofton
10. 36
11. 68 -- Biggio
12. 17 -- Mac
13. 58
14. 13 -- Sosa
15. 1 -- Wells
16. 21
17. 3 -- Bernie
18. 19 -- Murphy
20. 13
22. 68

Yea, verily, we are in the midst of the sabermetric revolution -- 2 of the top 10 got over 50%! :-) The "weird" voters are the ones voting on value.

John's revised idea -- if you haven't vote for 5 years of inductees with an appeal process -- is the closest to a workable idea. It still creates the problem that if you haven't voted for any in the last 4 years, you're going to jump on the bandwagon.

But honestly I see absolutely no reason to reward conformity in voting. Get rid of voting and have a committee select if that's what you want. Or appoint me HoF God.

they probably would prefer if it was a few more then the historical rate of 1.5 per year.

Maybe but not by much. The marginal attendance increase of a 2nd living inductee, especially a backlogger barely squeaking across the line, is probably fairly small. Presumably it's not zero so they'd be happy with something closer to 2 a year. But what they most want from a financial standpoint is annual inductions -- i.e. 1.5 per year is surely better than 3, 3, 0, 2, 0, 3, 3.

   54. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: January 11, 2013 at 07:54 PM (#4345362)
The State of Rhode Island wishes 38 Studios had asked ‘What are we going to do about beta testing?’


There was absolutely nothing wrong, technically speaking, with the game. It works just fine. The problem is that it's extraordinarily dull and uninspired, and that's why it failed.
   55. LargeBill Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4345441)
I'm fairly certain I'm in the minority, but I disagree with the notion that decreasing the number participating would solve the election problem. Actually, with the idea of the intelligence of crowd sourcing the larger the crowd the better. Why does writing about baseball for 10 years make you an expert but calling games on radio or tv for 30 does not. Heck, even fans like ourselves should have some method of qualifying to vote. I do think better guidance should be supplied with the ballot. Specifically, voters should be strongly cautioned against voting based on their memory and should be instructed to carefully review each player's record on BB-ref. Include a note that says it is understood that such a review is cumbersome and if anyone doesn't feel they can give that much effort to the process they are encouraged not to vote.
   56. LargeBill Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:00 AM (#4345443)
Separately, I disagree with this sentiment:
On the other side, people who vote for Aaron Sele or Shawn Green (or Pete Rose) are clearly breaking the rules and should lose voting rights.


No, voting for Sele or Green or Sandy Alomar is NOT breaking the rules. I would choose ten other players, but if a player is listed on the ballot you are not breaking a rule by voting for him. Rose is another matter altogether. Vote for a guy not on the ballot then you are obviously breaking the rules. That foolishness is even worse if you vote for Rose while piously ######## about other players you consider cheaters.
   57. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:41 AM (#4345456)
No, voting for Sele or Green or Sandy Alomar is NOT breaking the rules. I would choose ten other players, but if a player is listed on the ballot you are not breaking a rule by voting for him.


Yes, you are, if you feel that Sele is not worthy of election but you are voting for him anyway for some other "Look at me! This is all about me!" reason. Rule 4B:

Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election.
   58. Howie Menckel Posted: January 12, 2013 at 02:00 AM (#4345461)

"Why does writing about baseball for 10 years make you an expert but calling games on radio or tv for 30 does not."

Well, the part about those announcers getting paid by the team can't be an issue. I can't imagine an owner pushing his employee on how to vote. What could go wrong?


   59. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 12, 2013 at 03:23 AM (#4345482)
But I think it was one of those things, like everything else that comes from being in a game mentality, you’re afraid to go against the stream. And I think that’s one of the last times in my life that I didn’t.

Barf. What an arrogant #######. The two good teams (Phils, Sox) he was on were filled to the brim with roiders, he seemed perfectly happy to accept the run support. At least he had the forethought to balloon up to three bills at the end of his career so he wouldn't fail the eyeball test
   60. vivaelpujols Posted: January 12, 2013 at 07:20 AM (#4345518)
god damnit shut the #### up curt
   61. vivaelpujols Posted: January 12, 2013 at 07:21 AM (#4345519)
If a guy gets less than five percent and you vote for him, you should lose your pass.”


Damn he must really hate Kenny Lofton.
   62. vivaelpujols Posted: January 12, 2013 at 07:45 AM (#4345523)
Well, the part about those announcers getting paid by the team can't be an issue. I can't imagine an owner pushing his employee on how to vote. What could go wrong?


The same issues exist with beat writers who want to maintain a good relationship with their team.

I think the only fireable offense for me is blank ballots, and I guess one vote ballets with just Aaron Sele on them. Obviously it depends on the year, but they could at least be a private review of each ballot and some subject decisions could be made.

Edit: the ones that actually say "this is a protest ballot" should be the easiest to judge ;)

   63. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 12, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4345528)
The State of Rhode Island wishes 38 Studios had asked ‘What are we going to do about beta testing?’


The Washington Post states Schilling's company could eventually rack up 100m in losses RI will be liable for. How the hell does a government get in that deeply with a video game company? I've always though tax breaks were just more corporate welfare, but it means only that you're taking in less revenue, not actually paying out, from other revenue streams. This may be worse than stadium nonsense.

edit: is this an old story? No one seems interested.
   64. Barnaby Jones Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM (#4345552)
The two good teams (Phils, Sox) he was on


Seems like something is missing from the good team list.
   65. LargeBill Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4345554)
57. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:41 AM (#4345456)

No, voting for Sele or Green or Sandy Alomar is NOT breaking the rules. I would choose ten other players, but if a player is listed on the ballot you are not breaking a rule by voting for him.


Yes, you are, if you feel that Sele is not worthy of election but you are voting for him anyway for some other "Look at me! This is all about me!" reason. Rule 4B:

Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election.


Ray,

You're just flat wrong. If someone is on the ballot and the voter deems them worthy then they ARE worthy in his view. The rule does not say vote for up to 10 player that Ray agrees are worthy.
   66. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4345562)
You're just flat wrong. If someone is on the ballot and the voter deems them worthy then they ARE worthy in his view. The rule does not say vote for up to 10 player that Ray agrees are worthy.

Sorry to jump in here, but Ray specifically said that he's talking about a case where a voter does not feel Sele is worthy and votes for him anyway.
   67. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:26 PM (#4345581)
So now we're back to reading minds? The problem with Sele votes, again, is that there is a screening committee that doesn't do any screening. If a player is obviously not worthy, then that player shouldn't be on the ballot. Problem solved.
   68. villageidiom Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4345602)
Create a variable-length ballot. For a given voter, the ballot shall contain only the players who completed ten seasons in the major leagues while the voter was employed writing about baseball as a BBWAA member. Players are elected to the HOF if they achieve 75% of the vote from submitted ballots on which they were listed.

The BBWAA ostensibly has the vote, and gives it to writers with 10 years of BBWAA membership, because they have been close enough to the players and teams for enough time that they can properly assess the players' merits for the HOF. By that standard, if they stopped writing about baseball in 1990 they are no more qualified to assess players whose careers were largely after 1990 than you or I. They still have relevance in considering the merits of Morris, Murphy, etc., but not more recent players. Likewise, younger writers who remember Jim Rice "from when they were growing up" rather than from when they were covering baseball, are no more qualified than you or I. Don't even give them the option of voting for them.

Eventually, a former writer will get to a point where nobody can be listed on their ballot. At that time, bump them to the Veterans' Committee - and give those writers, as a bloc, one vote.
   69. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4345605)


Seems like something is missing from the good team list.


My bad. The team I missed had Matt Williams, Luis Gonzalez and Steve Finley. You get the idea.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4345611)
Ray,

You're just flat wrong. If someone is on the ballot and the voter deems them worthy then they ARE worthy in his view. The rule does not say vote for up to 10 player that Ray agrees are worthy.


Huh? You were talking about a Sele vote. And I'm saying, if the voter does NOT think that Sele is worthy, then he's violating the rules by voting for him. I quoted the rule.

On the other hand, if the voter really does think Sele is worthy, then he's breaking no rule. (He would be an idiot, but he would be breaking no rule.)

Voting for Sele simply to "recognize him" or throw him a bone when the voter does NOT think Sele is worthy breaks the rules.
   71. philistine Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4345631)
"But I think it was one of those things, like everything else that comes from being in a game mentality, you’re afraid to go against the stream. And I think that’s one of the last times in my life that I didn’t.”

"I think if a guy gets over 90 percent of the vote and you don’t vote for him, you should lose your pass. If a guy gets less than five percent and you vote for him, you should lose your pass.”
   72. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 12, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4345646)
The Washington Post states Schilling's company could eventually rack up 100m in losses RI will be liable for. How the hell does a government get in that deeply with a video game company? I've always though tax breaks were just more corporate welfare, but it means only that you're taking in less revenue, not actually paying out, from other revenue streams. This may be worse than stadium nonsense.


Investing in a stadium is low risk, you are almost certain to get what you paid for, a fixed number of seasonal temporary minimum wage jobs that are able to contribute little to tax revenues, while much of the revenues and income of the team is often spirited out of state by the owners and players.

Investing in Curt's company was much higher risk, but had a higher reward. If the company succeeded the state got a large number of full time, highly paid jobs that would be permanent residents and substantial tax payers. The problem was this was unlikely to happen, as Curt was unlikely to succeed, no matter how skilled or well intentioned he was, because most unproven startups don't succeed.

That's why governments usually don't gamble on venture funding, besides being absolutely unskilled at picking good investments, the high number of failures any VC fund has would serve as too strong an advertisement for the need for limited government.
   73. GregD Posted: January 12, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4345653)
I think--I'm not trying to put words into Ray's mouth--that what he's speaking about are cases where people have said straight out that they gave courtesy votes to guys they liked. That's clearly illegitimate. If you penalized people for saying that they voted for someone they considered unworthy, though, the obvious effect would be that people would no longer say that, even if they kept voting for Aaron Sele. Maybe that would be valuable in itself, but I'm not sure how much it would accomplish. And once people kept silent, we'd be back into the reading minds problem.

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