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Monday, July 25, 2011

Kernan: Baseball Hall of Fame may lower induction wait to 3 years

“The Post has learned” (trembles)

Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera could become Hall of Famers much faster than expected after they retire. The waiting time is currently five years after a player retires to be named to the ballot. The National Baseball Hall of Fame, though, is considering making the waiting period only three years, The Post has learned.

That would be a great move.

...One reason Hall officials would want to shorten the waiting period is to make it a more “immediate” event. There is a lot to be said for that because, why should sure-fire, first-ballot Hall of Famers have to wait five years?

We’re much more of a quick-response world, and a three-year waiting period would fit the bill. This five-year waiting period was first enacted in the 1950s. Times have changed. There were 50 Hall of Famers on stage.

...The ballot gets a little thin next year. Bernie Williams is on it and does not figure to garner much support. Holdovers Barry Larkin, Tim Raines and Jack Morris are the only ones to really have a shot. It really gets messy in 2013 with the likes of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa on the ballot. Mike Piazza also is a first-timer in 2013.

It will be a while before Jeter and his 3,015 hits (and counting) and Rivera and his 584 saves (and counting) are eligible, but they just may get here a little faster than expected.

Repoz Posted: July 25, 2011 at 06:59 PM | 123 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcements, hall of fame, history

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   1. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3884847)
On the list of bad ideas how does this rank? I would say it's a better idea than contraction and an unbalanced schedule, but worse than the dh, interleague play, a wild card, this time it counts...
   2. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3884849)
why is this a bad idea? I think it is a good idea. They should knock it down to 2 years and knock down the back end to 5 years or so instead of 15 years. Either the writers think you are a HoF'er or you are not.

Now if they would just move the Hall away from the middle of nowhere. . . . .
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:12 PM (#3884850)
Wow I hate this. For non-inner circle types I like the idea of a step back and some perspective. For inner circle players I love the aspect of a wait followed by a chance to once again rejoice in their careers.

No ones asking me but I vote no.
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3884857)
How to alleviate the BondsClemensBiggioPiazzaSosaSchillingMadduxThomasGlavineKentMussina problem: add Pedro, Unit, Smoltz, Sheffield, Delgado, Griffey, Hoffman, Pettitte, and Edmonds!

At least the One And Done Club will get lots of new friends.
   5. SteveM. Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3884858)
I vote no. Why are we always in such a rush as a society? Five years is not that long of a period and allows some perspective.
   6. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#3884860)
How much more perspective are you going to get from two extra years of waiting? At this point in time every single player from now on that comes up for a Hall vote will have had every single one of their at bats recorded. Every single one of their pitches. Every single one of their catches and flubs. What more is there to find out about them that we can't find out within the three years after they retire?
   7. Greg K Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:23 PM (#3884864)
Goes to show how much attention I pay to the Hall of Fame, I thought the wait period already was 3 years.
   8. Gamingboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:24 PM (#3884865)
Now if they would just move the Hall away from the middle of nowhere. . . . .



I have had it up to HERE with people who have problems with Cooperstown. Yes, it has no legitimate claim to the "origin", but god damn it, it's the perfect place to have a Baseball Hall, it fits perfectly into that feeling of mythology that goes with parts of Baseball history. And in some ways, being in the middle of nowhere is a good thing: not just any schmo can go to Cooperstown. No, you have to be a pilgrim, you have to want to go there. That's part of the point.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#3884868)
why is this a bad idea?


Because it will automatically create more of a logjam. I also like the idea of getting perspective, especially if they are going to insists on the silly little 5% rule. Personally I think the real reason the hof is considering something like this is so that they don't have to confront the steroid issue and years where no one goes in.

2012 is going to be a wasteland, but 2013 you have Schilling and Biggio going in. (with holdovers of Clemens, Bonds) 2014 Maddux, Thomas and Glavine go in. 2015, Randy and Pedro go in, 2016 comes up and Griffey is the only rumor free guy... then you move the requirement up and you might get Rivera and others so they don't have to actually talk about roids.
   10. RJ in TO Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#3884869)
Goes to show how much attention I pay to the Hall of Fame, I thought the wait period already was 3 years

The waiting period for the Hockey Hall of Fame is 3 years (except for when they waive it). Perhaps you were thinking of that.
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:28 PM (#3884870)
When they cut the eligibility wait to 3 years, they should also physically move the museum one half-hour closer to Schenectady.
   12. Dave Spiwak Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3884875)
Goes to show how much attention I pay to the Hall of Fame, I thought the wait period already was 3 years.


I would have guessed 8, which seems a tad excessive. 5 seem good, and to me feels like a reasonable change from the number I would have imagined it to be.
   13. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3884876)
That's part of the point.

For whom? Cooperstown would most definitely love more visitors. MLB would love more visitors. Businessmen would love more visitors. So whose point is this again?
   14. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3884877)
How much more perspective are you going to get from two extra years of waiting? At this point in time every single player from now on that comes up for a Hall vote will have had every single one of their at bats recorded. Every single one of their pitches. Every single one of their catches and flubs. What more is there to find out about them that we can't find out within the three years after they retire?
I think the 5 years probably serves to try to distance the decision emotionally as much as analytically.

I guess the question I would ask is: what's wrong with the current process and waiting period that this solves? What's the need to change?
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:34 PM (#3884879)
Because it will automatically create more of a logjam. I also like the idea of getting perspective, especially if they are going to insists on the silly little 5% rule.


This is kind of contradictory. The 5 percent rule limits logjams. I can see making a few changes (maybe two years on the ballot in combination with staggered vote levels to remain on the ballot, 15 percent after 5, 40 percent after 10), but if you give everyone 15 years on the ballot, it will make it even harder to actually elect guys.
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3884880)
At this point in time every single player from now on that comes up for a Hall vote will have had every single one of their at bats recorded. Every single one of their pitches. Every single one of their catches and flubs. What more is there to find out about them that we can't find out within the three years after they retire?

Well, it takes a while to review all that video.
   17. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:37 PM (#3884881)
Because it will automatically create more of a logjam

Only a short term logjam which can be easily remedied or simply waded through.

What's the need to change?


My guess would be butts in the seats. A 5 year wait and possibly a few years on the ticket probably dulls the desire for people to come out for the induction. Obviously I'm not saying the diehards won't come out but people by and large do move on.
   18. Brian C Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3884883)
why is this a bad idea?

I think the better question is, what problem is this going to solve? Five years, three years ... it's pretty arbitrary either way, but I don't see any reason to make a change unless there's some obvious benefit, the dubiously vague need for it to be more "immediate" aside.

EDIT: I see that McCoy addressed some of this in the immediately preceding post. Still, though, I think the question remains. Would this change make any difference in terms of attendance? I don't see any reason to think so. The players who would presumably be affected the most by this change - first-ballot guys - are the guys that are the biggest draws anyway.
   19. Greg K Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:38 PM (#3884884)
The waiting period for the Hockey Hall of Fame is 3 years (except for when they waive it). Perhaps you were thinking of that

Actually I think I was thinking of my fictional strat league Hall of Fame. Which means the 2nd ever ballot is coming up this off-season! Though to be fair I thought I was modeling it on Cooperstown, I guess I was copying Toronto all along.


For whom? Cooperstown would most definitely love more visitors. MLB would love more visitors. Businessmen would love more visitors. So whose point is this again?

His. And mine. Why should I give two hoots about museum curators, MLB officials and some businessmen?
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:40 PM (#3884887)
For whom? Cooperstown would most definitely love more visitors.

How is Cooperstown going to get more visitors if the Hall is moved away from Cooperstown?
   21. Swedish Chef Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3884890)
The best way to attract visitors would be to induct Justin Bieber. Let's hope they're not that desperate yet.
   22. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#3884891)
Personally I think the real reason the hof is considering something like this is so that they don't have to confront the steroid issue and years where no one goes in.

Bingo. Yeah, the switch puts somebody on the podium in 2012. But the anabolic voting war to come (2013-20??) is already coinciding with a high wave of incoming options. Adding another 6-12 qualified players will splinter the vote further, thereby increasing the "steroid effect" on everyone's totals. It would brutalize candidacies like Morris' and Larkin's and Raines' and Edgar's and possibly Bagwell's. And it won't accomplish the purpose of tamping down the steroid controversy; people will be growling and cheering about Clemens' non-election whether there are 0 players going in the same year, or five. I wouldn't want to be Kenny Lofton reading this today.
   23. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:46 PM (#3884895)
How is Cooperstown going to get more visitors if the Hall is moved away from Cooperstown?

It won't. I was addressing his view that the point of the hall of fame was to be so out there in the middle of nowhere that only the true diehards will come. I'm stating that isn't the business model that Cooperstown or the Hall has or wants. They want people to come to their town and to the musuem. The Clarks never created the Hall so that it would be some pilgrimage that only a few would make. They created it as a tourist attraction during the depression to help a dying resort town earn some revenue.
   24. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:47 PM (#3884898)
His. And mine. Why should I give two hoots about museum curators, MLB officials and some businessmen?

Because they create and control the product that you are interested in.
   25. Lassus Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:50 PM (#3884901)
Given that the Post is a piece of crap, I still don't want to react like an old man to indications of change. I don't quite get the reason for this, but I'm willing to hear them. What's the argument? This?

We’re much more of a quick-response world, and a three-year waiting period would fit the bill. This five-year waiting period was first enacted in the 1950s. Times have changed. There were 50 Hall of Famers on stage.

Having read the article, I see that's the whole of the argument. Not compelling.

EDIT: I went to get lunch in the middle of this post, so thanks to those who attempted to answer, but I have to say, the article itself offers pretty much nothing.
   26. Greg K Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:51 PM (#3884904)
It won't. I was addressing his view that the point of the hall of fame was to be so out there in the middle of nowhere that only the true diehards will come. I'm stating that isn't the business model that Cooperstown or the Hall has or wants. They want people to come to their town and to the musuem. The Clarks never created the Hall so that it would be some pilgrimage that only a few would make. They created it as a tourist attraction during the depression to help a dying resort town earn some revenue.

I don't think anyone's arguing about the founders intentions. This is where the whole "mythology" thing comes in. Who cares what some dude named Clark intended to do decades ago, Cooperstown is a fun pilgrimage location (at least it was for me). I don't see why I should prioritize the interests of the founders, museum gate receipts, or the desires of MLB over my enjoyment of baseball nostalgia.
   27. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3884906)
Personally I think the real reason the hof is considering something like this is so that they don't have to confront the steroid issue and years where no one goes in.

Bingo. Yeah, the switch puts somebody on the podium in 2012.

Well, it could be even more than that. The switch could put a ton of players on the podium for 2012. The hall has been losing money for several years now and attendance has been down for several years as well. They might be hurting a lot more than they let on and could be hoping for a huge induction weekend to put them back in the black. In otherwords they might not be able to wait for 2013 and 2014 to come.


Correct me if I am wrong but these would be all of the guys going on the ballot next year if they do this.

2012: Edgardo Alfonzo, Pedro Astacio, David Bell, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Scott Erickson, Carl Everett, Jeff Fassero, Alex S. Gonzalez, Danny Graves, Rick Helling, Dustin Hermanson, Jose Hernandez, Brian Jordan, Matt Lawton, Javy Lopez, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Jeff Nelson, Phil Nevin, Brad Radke, Joe Randa, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Jose Vizcaino, Bernie Williams, Eric Young

2013: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Kenny Lofton, David Wells, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Steve Finley, Roberto Hernandez, Jeff Cirillo, Jose Valentin, Reggie Sanders, Jeff Conine, Jose Mesa, Royce Clayton, Bob Wickman, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Sele, Woody Williams, Rondell White, Mike Lieberthal, Tony Batista, Mike Stanton, Sandy Alomar Jr., Damian Miller, Todd Walker

2014: Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Jose Cruz Jr., Ray Durham, Damion Easley, Jim Edmonds, Keith Foulke, Eric Gagne, Tom Glavine, Luis Gonzalez, Scott Hatteberg, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Jeff Kent, Jon Lieber, Esteban Loaiza, Paul Lo Duca, Greg Maddux, Matt Morris, Mike Mussina, Trot Nixon, Hideo Nomo, Jay Payton, Kenny Rogers, Richie Sexson, J.T. Snow, Shannon Stewart, Frank Thomas, Mike Timlin, Steve Trachsel, Jose Vidro
   28. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:54 PM (#3884909)
Why the hell can't people leave well enough alone?
   29. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3884910)
Cooperstown is a fun pilgrimage location

Do you do it on a yearly basis? How often have you done it and when are you going next? If you don't do it on a yearly basis and you are not planning on going again or going again any time soon then why should the Hall give a fig about you?

I don't see why I should prioritize the interests of the founders, museum gate receipts, or the desires of MLB over my enjoyment of baseball nostalgia.


Well, you are asking them (or is it demanding?) to prioritize your needs over their business needs. Your needs are purely entertainment based while their needs actually have people's careers and jobs riding on the line.
   30. Brian C Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3884911)
In fairness to McCoy, I visited the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto when I was there. If it had been out in, I don't know, Kingston or someplace random like that I would have never gone.

I still haven't been to Cooperstown and don't know when I will get the chance, and I don't think it makes me less of a baseball fan just because I find the place prohibitively inconvenient to get to.
   31. Greg K Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3884912)
Because they create and control the product that you are interested in.

Well yes, they could up and move it if they chose to. But until they actually do that I don't see how they view Cooperstown has any effect at all on how I view it.
   32. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:58 PM (#3884914)
The switch could put a ton of players on the podium for 2012. The hall has been losing money for several years now and attendance has been down for several years as well. They might be hurting a lot more than they let on and could be hoping for a huge induction weekend to put them back in the black. In other words they might not be able to wait for 2013 and 2014 to come.

Could be.

Attendance estimates:
For Alomar and Blyleven: 12,000
For Henderson and Rice: 14,000
For Gossage: 10,000
For Ripken and Gwynn: 70,000
   33. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3884916)
This is kind of contradictory. The 5 percent rule limits logjams. I can see making a few changes (maybe two years on the ballot in combination with staggered vote levels to remain on the ballot, 15 percent after 5, 40 percent after 10), but if you give everyone 15 years on the ballot, it will make it even harder to actually elect guys.


Not really, in one sense I guess, but the number of names on the ballot doesn't create a logjam, it's the number of worthy names that creates a logjam. changing it from one year or three year or five year by itself doesn't create a logjam, but adding a few more worthy names to the vote, before you had a chance to clear out the other worthy names, does create a log jam. Only way I could see this making sense is to have two elections for the first year they try to do this, one with all the eligible names under the five year rule, clear out the winners and have a second election with the remaining players and the added players under three year eligibility rules.

We are about to hit a massive influx of great names, I doubt outside of the initial creation of the hof, that there has ever been such an influx of great players all hitting eligibility near the same time, and historically the system they use almost never has 3 or more names get voted in. Why would anyone be tempted to add more names to this influx?

Currently retired players who have legitimate hof arguments and will be on the ballot over the next 6 years... Clemens, Bonds, Maddux, McGwire, Glavine, Smoltz, Schilling, Randy, Pedro, Frank Thomas, Biggio, Bagwell, Edmonds, Griffey, Mussina, Larkin, Raines, Edgar, Palmeiro, Trammel, Sosa, Kent, Walker, Piazza, Sheffield..... and people want to add more names to the ballot?(like Rivera, Chipper, Thome, Manny, Ivan Rodriguez and Vizquel--I assume Jeter will play out several more years)

Even in a perfect world, where Larkin, Raines and Bagwell get voted in, 2012, and Schilling, Biggio, and Piazza in 2013, and Glavine, Thomas and Maddux in 2014, and Randy, Pedro and Smoltz in 2015. That still leaves you with Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Mussina, Palmeiro, Trammel, Sosa, Kent, Walker, Sheffield on the 2016 ballot which also has Griffey, Edmonds, Hoffman and Pettite joining it.
   34. Lassus Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:02 PM (#3884921)
So this is some kind of devious meta-ironic plot to get Steve Trachsel inducted by shortening the wait?

My mind is blown.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:03 PM (#3884924)
How much more perspective are you going to get from two extra years of waiting?

Ask Mark McGwire. Of course if you think that it would have been great to have McGwire in the Hall of Fame before that 2005 congressional hearing added a bit of "perspective" to his career, I can see your point.

Well, it could be even more than that. The switch could put a ton of players on the podium for 2012. The hall has been losing money for several years now and attendance has been down for several years as well. They might hurting a lot more than they let on and could be hoping for a huge induction weekend to put them back in the black. In otherwords they might not be able to wait for 2013 and 2014 to come.

The Hall of Fame is about in as much danger of going broke as The New York Times, with or without idiotic proposals like this. The Hall of Fame isn't Wal-Mart and it doesn't need to be follow the Wal-Mart business model.
   36. Greg K Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3884925)
Well, you are asking them (or is it demanding?) to prioritize your needs over their business needs. Your needs are purely entertainment based while their needs actually have people's careers and jobs riding on the line.

For the record I went once when I was about 12 or so and had a grand old time. I don't have any immediate plans to go again, though if I have kids maybe...though no immediate plans there either.

I'm just saying I like the current set up. I don't see "MLB doesn't agree with you" as much of a rebuttal. Sure, they can move the museum to New York City or something, and I'd be bummed about that. That's their right. And until that happens I have the right to enjoy the fact that its in an obscure town, whether that quaint charm is a by-product of a resort town scheme or not.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3884926)
Holdovers Barry Larkin, Tim Raines and Jack Morris are the only ones to really have a shot.

Whither Bagwell?

I don't think 3 vs 5 makes much difference in the abstract. In the short term, as #4 points out, it would seem to make the problem worse. So I don't see them making this change anytime soon. It would probably be phased in along the lines of "everybody retired 2011 or earlier waits 5 years; 2012 waits 4 years; 2013 waits 3 years." Anyway, my guess is that somebody at the HoF made a list of the "clean" candidates likely to be elected over the next several years, guesses that the supply runs out sometime around 2017-18 and they're worried there will be years with no serious candidates other than steroid pariahs.

Basically, no it won't alleviate and maybe could intensify the steroid debate in the short term but I'm guessing it's intended to bring that debate to a close earlier by trying to ensure viable "clean" candidates through the 10s and early 20s.

Or, who knows, it could be something as dull as they have remodeling/expansion plans for 2020 and they want Jeter and Pujols rolling through ASAP to pump up the cash flow.

An alternative is to allow the screening committee to, in "rare" circumstance, wave the waiting period. Not just for Clemente-type situations but also for obvious guys like Ripken. I'd imagine Ripken would draw an even bigger crowd if he was inducted the summer after retirement.
   38. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:04 PM (#3884927)
Why would a writer not put a name on the ballot simply because he already put three names on his ballot.

Does a writer not think Maddux is a HoF'er because he voted for Bonds, Clemens, and Thomas already?
   39. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:06 PM (#3884929)
One reason Hall officials would want to shorten the waiting period is to make it a more “immediate” event.

By more immediate, they of course mean bigger attendance/lucrative.

Would guys stay on for 20 years after retiring? Or would they remain on the ballot for only 15 years?

When would they implement it? Would they do it right away and toss on the 2012/2013/2014 classes in one hellish over-mass? Would they wait a few years and then introduce it in stages?

In and of itself, a five-year or a three-year deadline isn't that big a deal. It's how they implement any change, if there is one.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:06 PM (#3884930)
Ok, I could see them making this change to get a guaranteed hofer in 2012(which might be what they are most worried about) If they make a change before the ballots go out this year, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, Biggio, Schilling,
and
Maddux, Thomas, Glavine, Kent...

heck if they are smart they change it gradually, make it four years for now that way it's just Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa, Biggio and Schilling. Schilling and Biggio are probably locks in that case and Larkin probably still makes it. A Red Sox player adds a ton of attendance, and throw in the probable(?) Santo addition and 2012 goes from being a lost cause to a huge success.

short term gain, tons of press articles about Bonds and Clemens etc. From a business point of view, it would be stupid for them not to seriously consider it. From a fan point of view I still hate it.
   41. JE (Jason) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3884931)
FWIW, BBWAA head Ken Davidoff commented on his Newsday blog that the Kernan piece was the first that he had heard of such an idea, was "skeptical of its validity," and said he was not in favor.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3884932)
Not really, in one sense I guess, but the number of names on the ballot doesn't create a logjam, it's the number of worthy names that creates a logjam. changing it from one year or three year or five year by itself doesn't create a logjam, but adding a few more worthy names to the vote, before you had a chance to clear out the other worthy names, does create a log jam.


I agree with this, I just don't understand the objections to the 5 percent rule that I see frequently voiced (other than perhaps extending it two years to get past any first-ballot issues). Guys who get less than 5 percent of the vote are not getting elected. Their presence on the ballots can only serve to inhibit players with a chance from getting in.
   43. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3884933)

Well yes, they could up and move it if they chose to. But until they actually do that I don't see how they view Cooperstown has any effect at all on how I view it.


This is kind of getting odd. I was responding to a poster's opinion that the point of the Hall is to be out in the middle of nowhere. So far you have pretty much disagreed with my view while not really defending the position that I have disagreed with.

It is like someone stating that they think green is the most popular color in the country and me disagreeing with that view and you saying "well, green is my favorite color and that is all that matters".
   44. Brian C Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3884934)
Does a writer not think Maddux is a HoF'er because he voted for Bonds, Clemens, and Thomas already?

As for this particular case, who knows (it seems more likely that he'd leave off Thomas). But I think we've had enough examples of bizarre voting logic throught the years to make this scenario not at all implausible. The football HOF already limits the number of names on any given ballot under what I assume is similar logic (EDIT: by which I mean "they limit the number of inductees each year").
   45. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3884935)
Why would a writer not put a name on the ballot simply because he already put three names on his ballot.

Does a writer not think Maddux is a HoF'er because he voted for Bonds, Clemens, and Thomas already?


It's not about what an individual writer does, it's about the history of the hof. They never induct four people in a year since the current format started. And there is absolutely no way Clemens or Bonds is going in on the first ballot anyway.

The average writer puts something like 6 plus names on a ballot, only one or two names make it in.
   46. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:11 PM (#3884937)
2012 is going to be a wasteland, but 2013 you have Schilling and Biggio going in. (with holdovers of Clemens, Bonds) 2014 Maddux, Thomas and Glavine go in. 2015, Randy and Pedro go in, 2016 comes up and Griffey is the only rumor free guy... then you move the requirement up and you might get Rivera and others so they don't have to actually talk about roids.

In 2012, Larkin goes in. If they do all three classes in one year, the HoF is absolute clownshoes. They'll have such an massively overcrowded ballot that it'll create such a massive ###########.

If the concern is a year without any BBWAA-elected guys, then they should cut the 10-names only limit.
   47. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:12 PM (#3884939)
The Hall of Fame is about in as much danger of going broke as The New York Times, with or without idiotic proposals like this.

From the tax records I've seen the Hall has never had a very large safety net to begin with (I think it was 8 or 10 million dollars) and they have been losing money for several years now and look to lose money this year as well.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#3884940)
I agree with this, I just don't understand the objections to the 5 percent rule that I see frequently voiced (other than perhaps extending it two years to get past any first-ballot issues). Guys who get less than 5 percent of the vote are not getting elected. Their presence on the ballots can only serve to inhibit players with a chance from getting in.


The objection is that there are players who are deserving and have left the ballot, three obvious ones are Kevin Brown, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker, that a little more perspective would have helped their case. In Kevin Browns case it seems part of what hurt him was a big class along with the fact that he's a dckhead, and Whitaker might have gained traction after Sandberg went in.
   49. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:16 PM (#3884941)
They never induct four people in a year since the current format started.

And how many years have there been 4 or more legit HoF candidates on the ballot?
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:17 PM (#3884944)
From the tax records I've seen the Hall has never had a very large safety net to begin with (I think it was 8 or 10 million dollars) and they have been losing money for several years now and look to lose money this year as well.

The point is that if the HoF ever were in any actual danger of croaking, baseball would find ways of making sure it didn't happen. The free publicity baseball gets from the Hall of Fame is worth a hell of a lot more than the relative chump change it would take to cover any losses.
   51. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3884945)
Personally I think the real reason the hof is considering something like this is so that they don't have to confront the steroid issue and years where no one goes in.

Bingo. Yeah, the switch puts somebody on the podium in 2012.


Which is why this is dumb. They'll have someone on the podium. Barry Larkin is in absurdly good position to clear the 75% hurdle next year. He's top of the backlog, with an extremely weak incoming class, and the most similar player (Alomar) no longer on the ballot. Sandberg made a bigger jump than Larkin under worse circumstances.

The hardest time the BBWAA ever had putting anyone in Cooperstown came in the late 1930s and early 1940s, when the ballot was enormously overcrowded. If they HoF does this plan, they'll create an enormously overcrowded ballot. So, yeah, if their goal is to ensure someone on the podium, this is really dumb.

Of all the times to add three classes on all at once, this might be the worst. You have two absurdly loaded classes coming up in 2013-14. Each is among two of of the strongest classes ever individually, and the best back-to-back ever. Putting them on with the 2012 class and all the backlog is a surefire recipe for a monster mess.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3884946)
In 2012, Larkin goes in. If they do all three classes in one year, the HoF is absolute clownshoes. They'll have such an massively overcrowded ballot that it'll create such a massive ###########.

If the concern is a year without any BBWAA-elected guys, then they should cut the 10-names only limit.


I agree with all of that, but Larkin is not the type of player who is going to generate a ton of attendance at the hof, he's not an elite level player to the casual fans, so that is why I referred to it as a waste land.
   53. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:19 PM (#3884947)
The objection is that there are players who are deserving and have left the ballot, three obvious ones are Kevin Brown, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker, that a little more perspective would have helped their case. In Kevin Browns case it seems part of what hurt him was a big class along with the fact that he's a dckhead, and Whitaker might have gained traction after Sandberg went in.

Thus the VC.

Whitaker is now eligible to get in in 2015. If Whitaker hadn't fallen off the ballot in 2001 he would still probably be on it right now. At best without the 5% rule he might have shaved off a few years of wait or at worst it could have taken even longer to get in (if he does get in that is).
   54. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:21 PM (#3884952)
The objection is that there are players who are deserving and have left the ballot, three obvious ones are Kevin Brown, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker, that a little more perspective would have helped their case. In Kevin Browns case it seems part of what hurt him was a big class along with the fact that he's a dckhead, and Whitaker might have gained traction after Sandberg went in.


But in the end, they're not getting elected. You're not moving from below 5 percent to 75 percent in 15 years (or 20, I would guess). It isn't happening, so inviting a whole slew of players to spend extra time on the ballot for the purpose of allowing Lou Whitaker to crawl up to 30 percent on his final year on the ballot (all the while possibly siphoning votes from guys who do have a chance at election) doesn't seem a particularly good way of increasing the number of guys elected.

It would be semi-swell for Sweet Lou if he could have been a 15-and-outer instead of a one-and-done guy. It could only serve to hinder actually electing guys to Cooperstown.
   55. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3884953)
The point is that if the HoF ever were in any actual danger of croaking, baseball would find ways of making sure it didn't happen. The free publicity baseball gets from the Hall of Fame is worth a hell of a lot more than the relative chump change it would take to cover any losses.

So then the real point is that it doesn't matter if they run a horrible operation that has dwindling attendance numbers?

A good HoF is a HoF that can stand on its own two feet and draw large crowds. A bad HoF is a Hof that is subsidized by baseball and draws few people. Secondly if MLB is keeping the Hall afloat you can be damn sure that they are going to make some changes.
   56. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3884954)
Holdovers Barry Larkin, Tim Raines and Jack Morris are the only ones to really have a shot.

Whither Bagwell?

Bagwell and Raines have time on their side at least. They'll be on a while. Morris can only get in through the VC, regardless of whether or not this reform passes. That said, he's a lock to get in via the VC.
   57. Greg K Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3884955)
Well I guess that's how I took your response to the original post.

I was just reading the original comment as "in a world where there are competing ideas for what kind of Hall of Fame is best, here is mine". So to take your analogy I read it as

"My favourite colour is green"

To which the response
"Well it's not MLB's favourite colour, so there!" didn't seem particularly relevant.

You are probably correct that this back and forth has gone on a tad too long. I guess this is what happens when I'm bored and have run out of ways to avoid doing work. My apologies to all for inciting yet another long, pointless argument on BTF.
   58. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3884956)
And how many years have there been 4 or more legit HoF candidates on the ballot?


1999 is a good year, Ryan, Yount, Brett and Fisk(who went in the next year)and Carter(who went in 2003) (not to mention Blyleven)
   59. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:23 PM (#3884957)
Why would a writer not put a name on the ballot simply because he already put three names on his ballot.

Because some do. Whether or not a person finds it sensible is irrelevent.
   60. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3884959)
The hardest time the BBWAA ever had putting anyone in Cooperstown came in the late 1930s and early 1940s, when the ballot was enormously overcrowded.

Well, it was that and the writers had no clear idea on what they should be doing. The writers of that era had to pick players from a 60 to 70 year period based on very little information and no guidance on what they should be doing. The comparison doesn't really work.
   61. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3884960)
Ok, I could see them making this change to get a guaranteed hofer in 2012

Then they're dumb. Larkin has an excellent shot to go in.
   62. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3884964)
You guys have a lot more faith in the Veterans committee than I do, it seems to be pretty much useless as an organization anymore.
   63. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#3884967)
Does a writer not think Maddux is a HoF'er because he voted for Bonds, Clemens, and Thomas already?

That ain't the problem. The problem is a writer votes for Maddux, Clemens, and Bonds and figures - Thomas ain't as good as those guys. Maybe next year. Only the best of the best.

Or maybe he votes for Thomas, but then decides Bagwell is nowhere near them.

And he may not even get aroudn to seriously considering Tim Raines, let alone Kenny Lofton.

The strength of ballot kicks in waaaaaaaay before ballots fill up.
   64. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3884968)
Then they're dumb. Larkin has an excellent shot to go in.


Yes, but as I mentioned he's not going to drive attendance. If they could get a shot at putting a Yankee or Red Sox in by moving up Clemens/Schilling's eligibility then I can see them thinking this idea might be a good one.
   65. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3884972)
They never induct four people in a year since the current format started.

Nitpick: they did it twice, both long ago. Never last elected five in 1936, the only debut year.

Here's an example though: in 1999 George Brett, Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan, and Carlton Fisk all debuted.

Ryan and Brett got over 95% each. Young snuck in with 77%, the worst by any 3,000 hit guy in the last 25 years. Winfield, Murray, and Molitor all got 85%(almost all w/ the exact same vote percentage). Normally then, 85% is the low point for a 3,000 hit guy. But voters saw Yount next to Brett and Ryan and some left him off.

Fisk? Under 75% and had to wait another year. Normally he'd go in.

They only averaged around 7 names/ballot that year, so there was space. But it didn't matter - strength of ballot kicked in quicker than the limit itself did.
   66. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#3884973)
Because some do. Whether or not a person finds it sensible is irrelevent.

Who? Where does this show up in the real world results.

CFB has 1999 with possibly 4 or 5 guys being on the ballot (though I would say only 4 since it took Carter quite awhile to get elected and 1999 was his second year on the ballot). So did this happen a lot or are you basing your opinion simply on theory and one data point?
   67. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#3884976)
And how many years have there been 4 or more legit HoF candidates on the ballot?

You mean years with four new candidates or four candidates period?

Because if you meant the latter (and that's what your post said), then every farking ballot in HoF history has had at least four good candidates. Period.

Fun fact: the top TEN vote getters in almost every single election from 1936-85 has made it into Cooperstown. Seriously. They didn't make it in that year, but they made it in. The big exception is Gil Hodges, who had several top ten finishes but isn't in. Aside from him, Marty Marion once came in tenth, as did some catcher once way back when. And maybe one other guy (Allie Reynolds, perhaps). Otherwise, every single election had 10 or more ACTUAL HoFrs on its ballot. Ballots are as strong now, just we haven't gotten as many VC picks.

At a certain point in time, this creates the HoF's standards. That' an entire generation or two of players, and they determine if future genrations are Hall-worthy.

Heck, you don't have to go that far back. The 2007 ballot had six guys on it already in Cooperstown - all voted in by the BBWAA. 2005 had seven -- all BBWAA guys. 2004 had eight -- all BBWAA guys again. Ditto 2003. And so on.
   68. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:38 PM (#3884977)
This may end up as a separate thread, but here's Joe Posnanski talking about the imminent Bonds/Clemens/Sosa/Piazza/Schilling/Biggio ballot and what it might mean for the Hall's future.
   69. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:39 PM (#3884978)
How much more perspective are you going to get from two extra years of waiting?


Two years' worth.

Glad I could help!
   70. Jay Z Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:40 PM (#3884980)
Is Cooperstown more "out of the way" than it used to be? Have driving habits changed?

Been there three times, in the 1970s, 1990s, 2000s, from three different directions.

1970s was a family vacation, went lots of places, Washington DC was the ultimate destination. Less freeway time then a trip like that now would be, more motels instead of the chains no doubt. Different lifestyle. Do people not take those long driving vacations anymore?

1990s was a straight shot out from Wisconsin just to see the Hall. Going on the freeway past Rochester, Syracuse, etc. was a fine way to go; Cooperstown is only 20 miles or so off that road.

2000s we flew into Boston and did a New England tour. That way was the most painful to go. Castkills are scenic, but it seemed like 50+ miles of meander to finally get to a freeway, then it's still 20 miles to Cooperstown. Given that most of the nearby population comes from that direction likely doesn't help. The family vacation style has probably changed as well. Odd that the increased use of freeways and stuff like in-car video should make the trip easier to swallow, but the contrast probably makes the trip seem more painful today.
   71. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#3884982)
You guys have a lot more faith in the Veterans committee than I do, it seems to be pretty much useless as an organization anymore.

It does two things. It votes in 1) the guys with the highest BBWAA votes that never made it to 75% and 2) then picks random guys they want.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:41 PM (#3884984)
Who? Where does this show up in the real world results.

CFB has 1999 with possibly 4 or 5 guys being on the ballot (though I would say only 4 since it took Carter quite awhile to get elected and 1999 was his second year on the ballot). So did this happen a lot or are you basing your opinion simply on theory and one data point?





I was glad to see Dag Nabbit on this thread, he's done a ton of research on the hof and the voters tendencies.

Nitpick: they did it twice, both long ago. Never last elected five in 1936, the only debut year.


What years, and was it with the current setup which is the five year waiting period and the writers having a ballot?
   73. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:42 PM (#3884986)
It does two things. It votes in 1) the guys with the highest BBWAA votes that never made it to 75% and 2) then picks random guys they want.


In the past, yes. Recently, nope.
   74. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3884990)
So did this happen a lot or are you basing your opinion simply on theory and one data point?

Would you rather I base my statements on zero data points like you do?

Instead, I have the results for every election (both cumulative and for each individual) on a computer file. Guys go up or down on the basis of how strong the ballot is. It's the single most blatantly obvious trend in Cooperstown history.

You can look at what happened to the backlog in 1999. They got killed. You can look at 1989, when a similar scenario played out thanks to the arrival of Bench, Yaz, Perry, Jenkins, and Kaat.

Or . . . you can look at damn near any election in HoF history. When the ballot strength weakens, the backlog rises up. When it strengthens, they lose support.

It it happens despite the HoF averaging from 5.5 to 7.0 names per ballot for the last 20 years or so.
   75. spike Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3884991)
the writers had no clear idea on what they should be doing

And they do now? Given the number of indefensible reasons heard annually explaining why writer x did(dn't) vote for player Y, there is plenty of anecdotal data that this is still the case.


I like the 5 year rule, too.
   76. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:46 PM (#3884992)
I think the five-year waiting period strikes a nice balance - it allows for better perspective of a player's accomplishments over his career. The shorter the waiting period, the more likely it is that the end-of-career hype for a player will outweigh a fuller evaluation of his entire career. I think that someone like Mattingly, Garvey, or Hernandez might have gotten in had there been a shorter waiting period, whereas someone like Blyleven might not have been able to gather the momentum that eventually carried him over.

-- MWE
   77. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:48 PM (#3884995)
The argument occurred on the day Jeter got to 3,000 hits. Someone was talking about how amazing it is that Damon would get to 3,000 hits and eventually go into the Hall of Fame. I said, plainly, that I thought Damon WOULD get to 3,000 hits, but there was no way he was going to the Hall of Fame. Not a chance.

Yes, this led to some fairly severe back-and-forth. At some point, I became so heated in my opinion, I uttered a fanbole — I said that Damon would never even get 20% of the Hall of Fame vote. I probably don’t believe THAT. He will probably get 20% of the vote. But I don’t think he will get even close to the Hall of Fame. Why not? Well: He’s not a Hall of Fame player. That’s not a knock on him. He’s been a wonderful player. But, even in his best year, he has never been one of the 10 best players in baseball. He’s usually not one of the 20 or 30 best players in baseball. Nobody I know argues that. He’s a good player with an amazing ability to stay healthy. That’s not an inconsiderable achievement. But it’s not a Hall of Fame achievement. Nobody — from the person driven by gut reactions to the people driven by advanced stats — thinks Johnny Damon belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame.


I think I may have seen this argument floated around before. (-:

But it's nice to have someone respected on the team.
   78. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#3884996)
What years, and was it with the current setup which is the five year waiting period and the writers having a ballot?

Don't feel like looking it up, and have to go away for a bit, but it was looong ago. Like 1950s or something. I think they both predate the five-year waiting period. I wanna say Joe Cronin got elected in one of those years, but that's pure guesswork.

In the past, yes. Recently, nope.

Eh, but they've re-re-re-re-re-reconstructed it to make it do it again. Their dumb decision to divide up guys into three periods dampens it down, but the players who appear on top of the recent ballots have been the guys who got the most BBWAA support w/out getting in, like Santo and Oliva. That means they're the most likely to go in.
   79. SoSH U at work Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:51 PM (#3884999)


In the past, yes. Recently, nope.



It's too early to throw in the towel on this iteration of the Vet's Committee. It's structured better than the JMSF.
   80. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3885002)
Would you rather I base my statements on zero data points like you do?

Well, yes. Since if they do this it would be like nothing that has come before. When was the last time 5 or more surefire candidates have come up for election at the same time? We simply have no evidence from past elections to use for the election coming up if the Hall does change their rules.

I'm not sure why backlog is an issue. The issue was that some people might not vote for say Greg Maddux because they have already put four or five names on the ballot. I'm not sure why some guy who has been on the ballot for 8 years and now has to wait another year at least is an issue.
   81. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 08:58 PM (#3885010)
Ask Mark McGwire. Of course if you think that it would have been great to have McGwire in the Hall of Fame before that 2005 congressional hearing added a bit of "perspective" to his career, I can see your point.


The 2005 congressional hearing added precisely zero "perspective." As you might recall, McGwire didn't confess until years later.

Anyway, your overall position, from what I can gather, seems to be that you (a) want the voters to keep steroid-tainted players out of the Hall, but (b) don't want to concede that doing so would creat a backlog, which would (c) create a potential problem for the Hall if no players are elected, which (d) the Hall would likely act to address.

Then there's the question of whether the Hall would descend into joke status if some of the greatest players ever to play the game (including arguably the game's best hitter and pitcher) were kept out merely because voters decided that suddenly the line for performance enhancing drugs would be drawn at steroids.
   82. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3885014)
Well, yes. Since if they do this it would be like nothing that has come before. When was the last time 5 or more surefire candidates have come up for election at the same time? We simply have no evidence from past elections to use for the election coming up if the Hall does change their rules.


You keep saying surefire candidates. Who do you mean, Clemens and Bonds aren't getting elected in their first year of eligibility. It has nothing to do with someone saying "I'm only going to vote for three people" it has to do with 30% or more of the voters saying "I'm not voting for this steroid user."

If a writer can avoid putting someone on the ballot they will find a way.
   83. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3885015)
Why would a writer not put a name on the ballot simply because he already put three names on his ballot.


Why would a writer attempt to write in Pete Rose's name even though Rose isn't eligible? Why would a writer leave a player off his ballot in the player's first year of eligibility, then vote for him in subsequent years, in order to preserve some non-existent distinction between "first-ballot" Hall of Famers or "unanimous" Hall of Famers and the hoi polloi of electees? Why would a writer vote for an obviously non-qualified player for the sole purpose of expressing respect or affection for that player?

Sportswriters are, in general, dumb. They often do dumb things.
   84. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3885019)
it has to do with 30% or more of the voters saying "I'm not voting for this steroid user."


"Or Jeff Bagwell, just because."
   85. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#3885021)
You keep saying surefire candidates. Who do you mean, Clemens and Bonds aren't getting elected in their first year of eligibility. It has nothing to do with someone saying "I'm only going to vote for three people" it has to do with 30% or more of the voters saying "I'm not voting for this steroid user."

So if these steroid guys are not surefire hall of famer then what is the problem? Where is the logjam and how is the logjam different than the logjam that would be created by not changing the waiting period?

If anything by having all these names on the ballot it will remove the steroid users and fringe candidates a lot quicker. I could see Sammy Sosa struggling to get above 5% in 2012 with a three year waiting period. Who is going to vote for him when you have Clemens, Johnson, Glavine, Maddux, Bonds, Thomas, Piazza, all the players still on the ballot and several other players getting added to choose from?
   86. 'Spos stares out the window, waits for spring Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#3885032)
...is some kind of devious meta-ironic plot to get Steve Trachsel inducted by shortening the wait?


Trachsel approaches the podium, pauses, continues to approach, pauses again, reaches the podium, pauses, shuffles & reshuffles his cue-cards, polishes his glasses, takes a deep breath, pauses...
   87. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:19 PM (#3885035)
So if these steroid guys are not surefire hall of famer then what is the problem? Where is the logjam and how is the logjam different than the logjam that would be created by not changing the waiting period?


You seem to be acting as if the voters all vote in unison. They don't, some put three names on a ballot, some put ten names on a ballot, some aren't going to care about steroid users, some are going to rail against them etc. You have on type of voter that is going to be severly hurt by the logjam and that is those who vote for the best players regardless of underlying suspicions. You also are going to have voters voting maybe the ten best with tie breakers being lack of ped suspicion.

We know more or less for a fact that 20% of the voters do not care about PED usage(see Mark McGwire totals) beyond that we have to make a guess. This proposal is going to increase the number of potential names on a ballot and allow even more fracturing of the ballot.

Just looking at the potential ballot of 2013 if this gets implemented for that election. Names on that ballot(legit candidates that is) Jack Morris, Bagwell(if he isn't elected in 2012), Raines, Edgar, Trammell, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, Craig Biggio, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield,

Knowing what we know on that ballot, I imagine that Maddux, Biggio, Smoltz, Pedro, Randy, Glavine all do well, I imagine that several of these players don't even break 5% of the vote with this amount of backlog. Clemens and Bonds do well, Mussina, Kent, Raines, Edgar, Trammel, Walker, McGwire probably drop below 5%, the ballot only has a ten man limit, no way all these names make it on enough ballots.

I don't see how you are not seeing this. The tremendous influx of players is going to cause a ton of players to fall off the ballot so that worthy players now instead of waiting 5 years or 8 years have to wait another 15 or so.
   88. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:24 PM (#3885038)
The 2005 congressional hearing added precisely zero "perspective." As you might recall, McGwire didn't confess until years later.


It may not have added perspective but people were PISSED about his testimony (or lack thereof). The backlash against McGwire was pretty strong after that testimony. I have no evidence to support this but I believe his vote total was severely depressed because of that day. I think had he been on the ballot prior to that day he would have gotten in.
   89. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3885040)
"Or Jeff Bagwell, just because."


Bagwell is tough to get a handle on the voters thought process so he doesn't really work, historically a guy getting 40% of the vote in his first year of eligibility doesn't sit around long on the ballot.
   90. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3885050)
The point is that if the HoF ever were in any actual danger of croaking, baseball would find ways of making sure it didn't happen. The free publicity baseball gets from the Hall of Fame is worth a hell of a lot more than the relative chump change it would take to cover any losses.

So then the real point is that it doesn't matter if they run a horrible operation that has dwindling attendance numbers?


The "horrible operation" label is one person's opinion, and the attendance numbers likely have much to do with the economy as anything else.

A good HoF is a HoF that can stand on its own two feet and draw large crowds. A bad HoF is a Hof that is subsidized by baseball and draws few people. Secondly if MLB is keeping the Hall afloat you can be damn sure that they are going to make some changes.

A "good" HoF is not defined solely by short term attendance figures, and a "bad" HoF is one that reacts to short term attendance decline with instant fixes that make no real sense. Jesus, if the only thing that matters is goosing up the attendance for one weekend a year, why not just promise free autographs for everyone and do some promotional tie-in with the New York State Lottery? This is the Baseball Hall of Fame, not ####### Disney World or Six Flags Over Snyder.

-------------------------------

Ask Mark McGwire. Of course if you think that it would have been great to have McGwire in the Hall of Fame before that 2005 congressional hearing added a bit of "perspective" to his career, I can see your point.

The 2005 congressional hearing added precisely zero "perspective."


It added enough perspective on Mark McGwire's career that it caused about 70% of the writers to change their minds about voting for him. As the cliche goes, deal with it.

As you might recall, McGwire didn't confess until years later.

But according to McGwire himself, that was solely because of his fear of a perjury trap. And without the five year waiting period, the HoF would have been stuck with a candidate who never would have made it in, had the truth about him been known.

Anyway, your overall position, from what I can gather, seems to be that you (a) want the voters to keep steroid-tainted players out of the Hall, but (b) don't want to concede that doing so would creat a backlog, which would (c) create a potential problem for the Hall if no players are elected, which (d) the Hall would likely act to address.

The Hall can do whatever it damn well pleases in the unlikely case of a single year's balloting not producing any inductees, but it's certainly given no indication that it wants to resolve its "problem" by requiring writers to go against their own consciences and vote for a candidate without any consideration for character issues.

Then there's the question of whether the Hall would descend into joke status if some of the greatest players ever to play the game (including arguably the game's best hitter and pitcher) were kept out merely because voters decided that suddenly the line for performance enhancing drugs would be drawn at steroids.

What's next, Ray? Are you going to say that your decidedly (at least for now) minority opinion is the only one that can be held by an "honest" or "logical" person? That's pretty much where you wind up every time this discussion comes up, but repeating it like a broken record isn't likely to change anyone's opinion.

The truth is that you don't really give a damn about the actual Hall of Fame. All you want to do is to take the Hall of Merit and transplant it to Cooperstown, perhaps with the addition of a plaque room for a few non-players just to pacify the writers. All of which is perfectly fine, but it's about as objective as a plea from Mark McGwire's mother.

-------------------------------

The 2005 congressional hearing added precisely zero "perspective." As you might recall, McGwire didn't confess until years later.


It may not have added perspective but people were PISSED about his testimony (or lack thereof). The backlash against McGwire was pretty strong after that testimony. I have no evidence to support this but I believe his vote total was severely depressed because of that day. I think had he been on the ballot prior to that day he would have gotten in.

Gee, do you really think that one of the two men who "saved baseball" might have gotten 75% before those hearings took place? Christ, he would have easily gotten 90% or better, and more than likely would have been challenging Seaver.
   91. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 09:54 PM (#3885055)
The "horrible operation" label is one person's opinion, and the attendance numbers likely have much to do with the economy as anything else.

Dwindling revenue and dwindling amount of customers don't usually go hand in hand with well run operations.

A "good" HoF is not defined solely by short term attendance figures, and a "bad" HoF is one that reacts to short term attendance decline with instant fixes that make no real sense. Jesus, if the only thing that matters is goosing up the attendance for one weekend a year, why not just promise free autographs for everyone and do some promotional tie-in with the New York State Lottery? This is the Baseball Hall of Fame, not ####### Disney World or Six Flags Over Snyder.



Your view is that the Hall can lose money indefinitely. I see no reason to believe that nor do I see no reason to believe that the hall wouldn't chase a buck.
   92. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 25, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#3885064)
The voting problem is fundamentally mathematical.

In 2010, you had 581 ballots containing 3,057 votes (5.3 names per ballot).
In 2009, it was 539 ballots, 2,902 votes. (5.4 per)
In 2008 it was 543 ballots, 2,907 votes. (5.4 per)

If there were to be 600 ballots with all 10 slots filled on each, you'd have 6,000 total votes. 450 of those would be required to elect a given player. The "what if" list in #87 includes 22 reasonable candidates while speculatively omitting Barry Larkin. Add Larkin, and 450 x 23 = 10,350 votes. Or don't, and it's 9,900.

That's the 75% level. Let's say Greg Maddux gets 95%. He doesn't just get 450 votes, he gets 570. And 120 slots become unavailable to the rest of the field.

The list in #87 doesn't include the McGriff/ Mattingly/ Murphy/ Gonzalez/ Bernie/ Salmon/ Lofton/ Wells/ Percival/ Finley/ Franco/ Castilla/ Sierra/ Sanders/ Nomar/ Nomo/ Delgado/ Alomar Jr/ Alou/ Rogers/ Gagne crew. Nor the stray "a tip o' the hat to good ol' Sean Casey" nods.

With normal voting patterns, the math would be tough for several candidates. But we're not going to get normal voting patterns. And you're NOT going to see 600 ballots with all 10 slots filled on each.
   93. cardsfanboy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#3885068)
92 said it better than I have been able to.

A few other things, some voters have written that they have a rule, once they start voting for a person, they don't remove that person from his ballot. So even with an influx of all these quality names, there will be writers still voting for Mattingly/Murphy etc. limiting the potential for them to fill their ballot with other names.
   94. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3885083)
The 2005 congressional hearing added precisely zero "perspective."

It added enough perspective on Mark McGwire's career that it caused about 70% of the writers to change their minds about voting for him. As the cliche goes, deal with it.


That wasn't "perspective"; that was a circus, a farce, a sham, and a public lynching. All that was missing was for Jeff Novitzky to slap the cuffs on McGwire for killing Taylor Hooton.

As you might recall, McGwire didn't confess until years later.

But according to McGwire himself, that was solely because of his fear of a perjury trap. And without the five year waiting period, the HoF would have been stuck with a candidate who never would have made it in, had the truth about him been known.


McGwire was dragged into a Congressional hearing, placed under oath, and asked to confess to a crime or deny it. If that's your idea of fairness and "perspective," I don't think you need to say any more. 99.9% of Hall of Fame candidates have not had to endure such lynch mob fueled scrutiny. McGwire and Sosa and Palmeiro and Clemens (and in another context Bonds) did. Schilling made it through, but how many other players would? How many other players, in the half century since steroids became a viable option, have had to be subjected to a sham hearing? How many amphetamines users from your youth had to?

A fair minded person would immediately see the problem with denying some players entry based on PEDs, but not others.
   95. Bruce Markusen Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:04 PM (#3885086)
McCoy, now you've stepped over the line. In the past, you've just sounded like a broken record, but now you've delivered a personal insult. As someone who works at the Hall of Fame, I take personal offense at your implication that the Hall of Fame is a "horrible operation." Granted, I don't have anything to do with the planning or staging of HOF Weekend; I work for the education department, which I can assure you is a very well-run and very successful program that has won numerous awards over the past ten years.

Here's the real deal: the Hall has a hard-working staff that does an excellent job of running and executing a complicated weekend in which numerous events take place within a short span of four days. Attendance problems have little or nothing to do with the staff's highly competent ability; they have far more to do with a still-poor economy (three years after the recession hit) that has assaulted most American museums, exorbitant gas prices that have made long car trips an unaffordable luxury, and recent induction classes that are lacking in big name Yankees and Mets, and to a lesser extent Red Sox players.

You want to see big attendance figures? Let's see what happens when Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are inducted. Either one of those Yankees would easily bring close to 100,000 to town, dwarfing the previous record of 75,000 for the Ripken/Gwynn induction of 2007. Perhaps then, you'll finally stop grousing about "how Cooperstown is in the middle of nowhere."

While McCoy continues his complaints about Cooperstown, I can assure all other readers and posters at BTF that this is a wonderful village offering multiple vacation activities and that the Hall of Fame is a first-class Museum. If you're a baseball fan--and I assume most of you at this site are--you'll love it.
   96. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:08 PM (#3885090)
Bruce - Thanks for the first hand account. Let me say that I was in town in 2009 for the Rice induction (yeah yeah, I know) and was stunned at how organized everything was. Not just the Hall itself but the whole town really did a great job.
   97. McCoy Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3885093)
take personal offense at your implication that the Hall of Fame is a "horrible operation."

You're being too sensitive. I never implied that the Hall is a horrible operation.

Perhaps then, you'll finally stop grousing about "how Cooperstown is in the middle of nowhere."

It still will be. Just imagine what the induction weekend attendance numbers would be if the musuem was in NYC when Mariano and Derek get elected.
   98. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3885108)
I agree with all of that, but Larkin is not the type of player who is going to generate a ton of attendance at the hof, he's not an elite level player to the casual fans, so that is why I referred to it as a waste land.

Missed this one earlier.

Yeah, Larkin won't get the Ripken/Gwynn numbers, but that's inevitable. You rarely get those numbers. The have to play the hand you're dealt.

Larkin will draw some - maybe get them around 10,000 or so. But the real danger is what happens if the big name is the announcer or sportswriter --- "Ladies and gents, please welcome Hawk Harrelson and Dan Shaunghnessy!" Something like that is the worst case scenario.

That's why they keep re-jiggering the VC to get it to elect people after the Joe Morgan Super Friends debacle.
   99. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 25, 2011 at 11:48 PM (#3885115)
What years, and was it with the current setup which is the five year waiting period and the writers having a ballot?

1947: Cochrane, Frisch, Grove, Hubbell.

1955: DiMaggio, Hartnett, Lyons, Vance.
   100. Srul Itza Posted: July 26, 2011 at 12:10 AM (#3885129)
Dwindling revenue and dwindling amount of customers don't usually go hand in hand with well run operations.


When the economy as a whole takes a hit, even well run operations are going to lose customers. Vacations are discretionary items, and when times get tough, it is an easy thing to cut.



Your view is that the Hall can lose money indefinitely. I see no reason to believe that nor do I see no reason to believe that the hall wouldn't chase a buck.


Actually, the issue is not merely the Hall. The Hall is the engine that drives tourism for Cooperstown. The Hall chase attendance and chases a buck, not merely for itself, but for all of the other enterprises in town that rely on it as a draw. Even if MLB was going to prop up the Hall, the Hall would still be pushing to bring in more visitors and more money, because it is well aware of how much Cooperstown depends on it.


EDIT:

this is a wonderful village offering multiple vacation activities and that the Hall of Fame is a first-class Museum.


I don't doubt it, but how many people would make the trip to Cooperstown for the "multiple vacation activities" if they were not already going there for the HOF and Museum?
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