Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Posnanski: A Hall of Fame Idea

I have been wondering whether Lenny Harris would only vote for pinch-hitters.

OK, so I’d like to throw out a new Hall of Fame voting system. It is based a little bit on the current system, a lot on old Bill James idea and a little bit more of something new…

We have four different groups vote on the ballot.

Group 1: The BBWAA. This election can be much like it is now.

Group 2: The living Hall of Famers. I’d actually be for expanding this group so that it is the living Hall of Famers AND anyone else who has ever appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot. I’d be happy if it was widened even more than that and include, say, radio broadcasters.

I’d be for expanding the group beyond just Hall of Famers because Hall of Famers have a habit of not voting for anybody… let’s start by saying it’s just current Hall of Famers. They deserve a say. And we can discuss any expansion of Group 2 later.

Group 3: A SABR-organized panel of baseball historians, researchers, analysts and experts on the game’s history…

Group 4. Fans. I have a very specific suggestion for the fan group. I don’t think an All-Star balloting system or gigantic Internet poll is the way to go.

Here’s what I would do: The basic membership for the Hall of Fame right now is $50. I’d cut that in half — but make it so that one of the perks for membership is getting to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame…

each of the groups gets a ballot. They vote. And here comes our biggest change. Every player who gets more than half the vote is nominated for the Hall of Fame by that group…. And in order for a player to get into the Hall of Fame, they need to be nominated by at least three of the four groups.

The District Attorney Posted: January 11, 2014 at 01:12 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, joe posnanski

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

   1. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 11, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4636525)
This is too clever by half. The Hall of Merit is the answer. Everyone can vote; they just have to explain their rationale and defend it to their peers. The Hall of Fame is broken and can't be fixed. It's more of a museum anyway. Let it be that and let's move on.
   2. Jay Seaver Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4636636)
It strikes me that Poz's suggestion for the fan portion is more or less the system used to award the Hugo Awards for the best science-fiction books/stories of the year, and they seem to have remained respected.

On the other hand, very few of the people up for a Hugo have made enough money in their careers that they can purchase a few thousand WorldCon memberships and basically not notice the expense.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4636640)
I really dislike these extreme ideas to change the hof voting. I have no problem with the writers voting, my problem is only with them becoming senile and cranky old farts.

There is nothing at all wrong with a guy being on the ballot and making it into the hof on the 15th try, it's great way to keep the discussion of the hof alive. I guess it really depends on what your goal for improving the hof is, as to what the best possible system is.

For me, the goal is to keep as many legitimate candidates on the ballot, to encourage the voters to take it seriously, and to eliminate pettiness or incompetence from the voting body.

For the first goal, it's easy to keep candidates on the ballot 1. expand the number of people you are allowed to vote for make it unlimited(and yes I realize that some people will vote for every candidate on the ballot, is that any worse than turning in a blank ballot or a ballot with Jack Morris only on it?) 2. Lower the threshold for remaining on the ballot the first couple of years and maybe raise the threshold at 10+ years...say 2%, 4% and 5% first three years 5% until year ten, then you have to be over 10% for year 10 and 20% year 11, 30% year 12, 40% year 13 and 50% year 14... This allows cases to gain momentum but eliminates those crowding the ballot who have absolutely zero chance.

To make them take it seriously, all ballots will be published after the election. Second the BBWAA has the right to ask ANY voter why they voted that way, and a panel can determine if that is in the spirit of the BBWAA. (other words Chass voting zero out of spite would not happen, and even refusing to vote for candidates because of the era they played would be rejected, as those candidates are eligible, and you can't apply the character clause to an entire generation) Also give the panel the ability to retroactively apply votes....if someone says "I forgot Rickey Henderson was on the ballot or else I would have voted for him...retroactively give him the vote.

   4. cardsfanboy Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4636641)
I could not, nor will I ever, support a system that gives it to the fans. That is idiotic for an honor such as this. All star game, sure it's a one time event, and it's the fans watching it.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4636643)
On the unlimited ballot, the worst-case "some will vote for everybody" issue can also be controlled by setting/applying higher standards to appear on the ballot in the first place. It's a nice "hey, at least we noticed you" honor but there's no need for Benitez (or many of the others) to even appear on the ballot. If you only put legit candidates on, you avoid the silliness of people voting for silly candidates ... which of course is already happening in small numbers.
   6. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:21 PM (#4636649)
It strikes me that Poz's suggestion for the fan portion is more or less the system used to award the Hugo Awards for the best science-fiction books/stories of the year, and they seem to have remained respected.


Hijack!

The Hugo Awards are completely broken because the voting body is such a tiny number (it's "whoever goes to WorldCon that year, plus the people that pay for voting memberships"). For 2013, there were 1649 votes for Best Novel and fewer than that for the other categories. Do you want to have a Hugo for "Best Fanzine"? There were 820 votes, so you only need about 400 people to register and vote for you.

Votes for Hugo Awards are essentially for sale, which means that the awards are, too. This person has done the math, if you're curious.
   7. EddieA Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4636657)
Changing the electorate doesn't exactly change what the problem is. With the exception of 2 mostly 19th century players, every eligible player with greater than 75 baseball-reference WAR that came onto the ballot before 2010 has been elected. It's just clear that 2 with almost double that won't be - and changing the electorate won't change that outcome because voting by its nature is political, emotional, and self-interested. That upsets some of us who are interested in the best players being in the HOF, but it pleases others.
As the WAR lists show, voting and elections have correctly included players who had skills that didn't necessarily show up on traditional stats sheets as Hall of Famers (like Brooks Robinson and Ozzie Smith) and, in general, errors have been in the inclusion direction. The relievers were probably overvalued for a while and somehow a consensus formed on Jim Rice and was forming on Jack Morris, but those aren't reasons to start over. The exclusions do mean something has to be changed.

   8. Lassus Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4636662)
The cries of the Hall of Fame being irretrievably broken are starting to sound like I did when I was 8 and my sister stepped on my Spider-Man hotwheels racetrack.
   9. Jay Seaver Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4636664)
I've heard that they're broken for other reasons, too - basically, that WorldCon members are territorial and skew so heavily old/white/male that the cool stuff that happens on the frontiers of the genre or is done by different voices. That probably contributes heavily to the numbers issue as well - young people who come to sci-fi fandom via other routes and don't necessarily even know F&SF; or Analog exist aren't attending or buying WorldCon memberships to make up for the folks dying.

Not a problem, I suspect, for the HOF under Poz's proposal. And while I think his system seems to be more complicated than it needs to be on the one hand (on the other, trying to properly choose memberships for each group is probably much more difficult than he makes it sound), I do like the idea of giving a voice to everyone who might have expertise and a stake.
   10. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: January 11, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4636669)
I've heard that they're broken for other reasons, too - basically, that WorldCon members are territorial and skew so heavily old/white/male that the cool stuff that happens on the frontiers of the genre or is done by different voices.


Yeah, there's some of that. WorldCon is no longer all that representative of fandom.
   11. Jimbo Posted: January 11, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4636719)
Bill James' proposed system from 20 years ago is much better than Posnanski's. If it had been implemented then, all of the ugliness of the last few years could have been avoided. The current system is badly broken and its unfortunate the HOF either doesn't realize it or doesn't care. The system is broken regardless of PED suspects being on the ballot when overwhelmingly qualified candidates such as Bagwell or Raines cannot make progress. Frank Thomas is one of my favorite players of all time, along with the great Wade Boggs. It's sad that he's going in to a severely diminished and inequitable Hall of Fame.

   12. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:44 AM (#4636740)
I really dislike these extreme ideas to change the hof voting. I have no problem with the writers voting, my problem is only with them becoming senile and cranky old farts.


I like how you say that and then propose extreme ideas (retroactively applied votes? WTF?). I can't believe that people come to this site and don't give the HoM the respect it deserves. As I posted on RLRS, it's amazing that anyone even bothers with the HoF anymore. The HoM is vastly superior and people are putting in a lot of work for a completely VOLUNTARY endeavor. The problem with the HoF can't be fixed by fixing the voting. There are people in it who don't belong. It doesn't need a reboot. It needs to be wiped out and replaced with something better. HoM is something better.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:59 AM (#4636747)
Am I the only person that doesn't think the HOF is "broken?"
   14. McCoy Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4636749)
I just think it is really far away.
   15. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:07 AM (#4636750)
Am I the only person that doesn't think the HOF is "broken?"

No.
   16. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:12 AM (#4636754)
Am I the only person that doesn't think the HOF is "broken?"


I'm not sure where I fall. I think the process is fine and the last couple years are actually a point in its favor. On the other hand, the induction of Jim Rice is a travesty and makes it hard to take them seriously. So I don't know.
   17. Booey Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:25 AM (#4636757)
The HoM is vastly superior and people are putting in a lot of work for a completely VOLUNTARY endeavor. The problem with the HoF can't be fixed by fixing the voting. There are people in it who don't belong. It doesn't need a reboot. It needs to be wiped out and replaced with something better. HoM is something better.


Good point. What city is the HoM located in? I want to take my son to see it.

Snark aside, the HoM is a really cool idea and I agree that it does a much better job of representing the best players in baseball history than the HOF does (of course, having access to modern SABR stats right from the get-go and 75 years of hindsight are pretty big advantages). But the HOF has the biggest baseball history museum in the world, complete with artifacts and exhibits, and most importantly, it's an actual physical place we can go visit. The HoM is a website. It's a good website, but still. It shouldn't surprise anyone that most people still find the former to be more interesting.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4636758)
Like many human organizations, the Hall of Fame is pretty good, but it could be very simply improved if they allowed me to make common sense vetoes from time to time.
   19. Booey Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4636759)
I think the process is fine and the last couple years are actually a point in its favor. On the other hand, the induction of Jim Rice is a travesty and makes it hard to take them seriously. So I don't know.

You really think the 2013 shutout was a point in FAVOR of the voting process? And electing Rice (who I fully agree was a bad selection) was a bigger travesty than electing no one on a ballot with at least a dozen worthy candidates?
   20. McCoy Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4636761)
Like many human organizations, the Hall of Fame is pretty good, but it could be very simply improved if they allowed me to make common sense vetoes from time to time.

Except it takes a 75% vote total to get inducted. You can't call it common sense when that many people are going against it. If the Hall doesn't want "mistakes" to go in they need to do three things. First they need to limit who gets on the ballot in the first place, then they need to raise the minimum amount of votes one needs to stay on the ballot, and finally they need to limit how long you can stay on the ballot.

Give a player a 5 year limit and a minimum of 20% of the ballot to stay on and you have your "veto".
   21. bookbook Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:33 AM (#4636762)
The Hugos may be respected, but it's a very different thing. One novel or story or editor wins each category, no matter what. That the winning novel is usually among the 20 or so best each year (but not always) is very good. That "best story" or "best editor" is a pretty arbitrary designation defuses any controversy before it starts.
0f course, it also helps that the loser's party is reputed to be better recompense for nominees than winning the award.

(the recent controversy has been over a 5% minimum that limited one of the short story categories to two entrants last year.)
   22. McCoy Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:35 AM (#4636763)
You really think the 2013 shutout was a point in FAVOR of the voting process? And electing Rice (who I fully agree was a bad selection) was a bigger travesty than electing no one on a ballot with at least a dozen worthy candidates?

In terms of posterity no one going in in a particular year means nothing. Someone going in that shouldn't is a huge problem since you can never kick them out.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:39 AM (#4636764)
Except it takes a 75% vote total to get inducted. You can't call it common sense when that many people are going against it. If the Hall doesn't want "mistakes" to go in they need to do three things. First they need to limit who gets on the ballot in the first place, then they need to raise the minimum amount of votes one needs to stay on the ballot, and finally they need to limit how long you can stay on the ballot.

Give a player a 5 year limit and a minimum of 20% of the ballot to stay on and you have your "veto".


This wouldn't limit mistakes, it would just change the caliber of players that get in. Suddenly only inner circle quality players will be elected, and a guy like Glavine or Puckett, by comparison, will look like a Jim Rice sized mistake.
   24. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:40 AM (#4636765)
Good point. What city is the HoM located in? I want to take my son to see it.


As I said in post #1 on this thread (scroll up): The HoF is a museum, let it be that and move on.

And these days, many things of importance live entirely on the internet. I'm willing to bet you "shop" at Amazon. Did you pile the kids in the car and drive there when you last did shopping from Amazon?
   25. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:43 AM (#4636766)
You really think the 2013 shutout was a point in FAVOR of the voting process? And electing Rice (who I fully agree was a bad selection) was a bigger travesty than electing no one on a ballot with at least a dozen worthy candidates?


I think it's always better to err on the side of conservatism for a one-way process. Unless it's the final ballot, better to vote no if you're not sure. (Ideally you'd vote "undecided" which would count towards keeping a player on, but given the options, no is the safe bet if you're unsure unless the player is in danger of falling off.)

I think standards statistically need to be higher now, as proven by the fact that there are many many players meeting statistical standards over the next several years, far more than ever in the past. This is likely because conditioning and other advances make it easier to have a long career and to extend peaks for the top players, but whatever the reason for all these guys who stack up to players from a statistical (even era-adjusted) perspective, I don't think it really should result in more HoFers.

I am also a small-hall guy, so I believe in the most stringent of standards.

   26. PreservedFish Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:44 AM (#4636768)
And these days, many things of importance live entirely on the internet. I'm willing to bet you "shop" at Amazon. Did you pile the kids in the car and drive there when you last did shopping from Amazon?


Dear god is this a terrible rebuttal.
   27. Booey Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:53 AM (#4636772)
I'm willing to bet you "shop" at Amazon. Did you pile the kids in the car and drive there when you last did shopping from Amazon?


Um, online shopping is for convenience, not entertainment (for me anyway). For entertainment purposes, actually seeing something is much more exciting than just reading about it online. Looking at pics of the Grand Canyon on the internet just isn't the same as visiting it in person.
   28. Booey Posted: January 12, 2014 at 02:01 AM (#4636773)
I think standards statistically need to be higher now, as proven by the fact that there are many many players meeting statistical standards over the next several years, far more than ever in the past. This is likely because conditioning and other advances make it easier to have a long career and to extend peaks for the top players, but whatever the reason for all these guys who stack up to players from a statistical (even era-adjusted) perspective, I don't think it really should result in more HoFers.


The standards already are much higher now though than they've ever been before. Despite more teams and players and a larger talent pool, the percentage of HOFers (compared to # of overall players) has dropped dramatically the last few decades. Even if you induct all these guys meeting the historical standards you mention, the # of HOFers from the 90's and 2000's will still just be on par with the average decade, and significantly less than the most heavily represented decades (20's and 30's).

I'd understand the "small hall" argument better if the HOF was a new organization and people were trying to figure out what the standard should be, but after 75+ years where it was most definitely NOT limited to the best of the best, it seems really inconsistent (and unfair to modern players) to change the standard so drastically now.
   29. Booey Posted: January 12, 2014 at 02:27 AM (#4636780)
whatever the reason for all these guys who stack up to players from a statistical (even era-adjusted) perspective, I don't think it really should result in more HoFers.


I get this (even if I don't necessarily agree with it), but I really don't see there being more HOF types now than there has been before. David Schoenfield wrote a good article a month or so ago called "One thing Hall of Fame voters get wrong" where he divided everyone who's in the HOF as an MLB player (excluding Negro Leaguers) into the decades in which they produced their most value (according to WAR), and this was the breakdown* (I updated the 90's guys to reflect Wednesday's election):

1990's - 5
1980's - 16
1970's - 21
1960's - 21
1950's - 18
1940's - 12
1930's - 29
1920's - 28
1910's - 12
1900's - 20
1890's - 16
1880's - 13

Since Negro Leaguers weren't counted, the pre-integration decades are actually double counted and even more out of whack compared to the modern ones than what this list already shows. But even if you think 30 team leagues shouldn't have more representation than 16 team leagues, shouldn't they at least have the same? I always considered myself a fairly big hall guy, and my pHOF has about 20 HOFers from the 90's and another 20 from the 2000's. That looks right about on par with the amount that have been elected from previous decades. I don't see any reason to RAISE our standards when inducting all the guys that seem to deserve it would just get us IN LINE with historical standards.

* Schoenfield's one exception was Eckersley, who produced his most WAR in the 70's as a starter, but he placed him in the 90's cuz he decided that Eck is in the Hall mainly as a reliever, and the 90's is when he got most of his saves (and his CY and MVP). However, I disagree with him on Eck - I think he's in the HOF as a combo starter/reliever, and I think the 80's best represents his career, so that's where I placed him on my list (and he has a lot more WAR in the 80's than the 90's). The other change I made to Schoenfield's ranking was Harry Heilmann, who he placed in the 30's. But that's an obvious oversight; Heilmann barely played in the 30's. He should be a 20's player all the way.
   30. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: January 12, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4636820)
The cries of the Hall of Fame being irretrievably broken are starting to sound like I did when I was 8 and my sister stepped on my Spider-Man hotwheels racetrack.

So much this. The BBTF dipshite crowd is the biggest group of (ostensibly) grown up crybabies you'll ever see in your life.
   31. GregD Posted: January 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4636823)
Booey, is it reasonable to expect the BBWAA inductees now to equal the BBWAA plus Vet electees for earlier decades? I'm not sure the comparison works.
   32. kthejoker Posted: January 12, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4636826)
@Booey:That includes VC voting, which the BBWAA shouldn't be held accountable for matching. And just because they elected Lou Brock his first year doesn't obligate them to immediately elect everyone as good as him as they become eligible. So let's wait until all the 90s eligible players are either elected or no longer on the ballot, then do a tally.
   33. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: January 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4636829)
I honestly think most people would be surprised at how much the process would be improved if the only change was to make all ballots public. Nothing else. People would be able to communicate to the voters in subsequent years. Silly votes would go way down. Accountability and sunshine are all you need. Shame - or fear of shame - is a more effective tool than most of the far more complicated, far less likely ideas we are hearing from Poz and many others.
   34. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 12, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4636838)
I agree with #33, though I think some kind of measure to remove voting privileges from those who don't take them seriously and prefer to use them as extended middle fingers could only help.
   35. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4636846)
So much this. The BBTF dipshite crowd is the biggest group of (ostensibly) grown up crybabies you'll ever see in your life.

As far as I know, only one poster has whined that the HOF Gizmo is staying on top of the Newsstand page too long.
   36. The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4636847)
The cries of the Hall of Fame being irretrievably broken are starting to sound like I did when I was 8 and my sister stepped on my Spider-Man hotwheels racetrack.
Yes, when I think "whiny grump who is always complaining about something," I think "Joe Posnanski," and when I think "happy ray of sunshine," I think "Lassus."

This system would probably work fine per se, due to checks and balances (and the VC hopefully electing the Bobby Grich types it would miss...), but I don't particularly see the point of it either. The real issue is that hanging out in one team's clubhouse and recapping their games for 10 years doesn't necessarily make you good at player analysis at all, much less qualified to compare Jeff Kent to Bid McPhee. And neither does being a HOF-caliber player, or being a fan. Really, what you want as the voting group is the beat reporters who are capable of doing this stuff (Poz, Gammons, etc.) combined with the non-beat reporters who are capable of doing this stuff (James, Jaffe, etc.) The issue there, of course, is that what I'm saying sounds elitist and what Poz is saying sounds like "opening the system up."

I will point out that Poz has also suggested a "yes/no/needs further consideration" vote as was discussed in the Gizmo thread here, and an Inner Circle as James did in (I think) the Historical Abstract. So I'm not sure which of his own ideas he actually wants to do. :)

I do wonder if the Inner Circle suggestion could take some heat off the PED thing. Given the fact that Bonds/Clemens/A-Rod would deserve to be Inner Circle on merit, I think it's likely that a lot of people would be willing to vote them into the HOF, if they were able to later make the distinction about not voting them into the Inner Circle. I don't know how the pro-Bonds/Clemens/A-Rod for HOF people would feel about that compromise. (But then again, there are fewer of them to worry about.)
   37. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4636855)
I suspect Lassus' defense of the Hall is because his podunk northern NY state town only gets business driven to it once a year by doobs driving through to see their totes faves childhood heros give terrible speeches about that one time they sexually harrassed that reporter in the locker room.
   38. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4636856)
I think it's likely that a lot of people would be willing to vote them into the HOF if they were able to later make the distinction about not voting them into the Inner Circle.

That would play right into the common (and pretty accurate) criticism of the Hall of Fame voters: that they have lost the ability to honor anyone, and can merely insult. It's electing Carrie as prom queen so you can dump the bucket on her head.
   39. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4636858)
That would play right into the common (and pretty accurate) criticism of the Hall of Fame voters: that they have lost the ability to honor anyone, and can merely insult.


Quite true. The voters can't be bothered to vote on the players who played the game as the game actually existed in the world. They're too busy worshipping a game that never existed through their triple framed nostalgia lenses.
   40. BDC Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4636865)
The voters can't be bothered to vote on the players who played the game as the game actually existed in the world. They're too busy worshipping a game that never existed through their triple framed nostalgia lenses

What, like their slavish admiration for Tom Glavine? :)

Again, I just don't see this. Of course, it's a group of 500+ people and there will always be a few irrational individuals in a group that size: university faculties, Congress, HOF voters, whoever.

But the three guys they elected this year were all great players. The next two in the poll (Biggio, Piazza) likewise, and poised for induction some year soon. The two main reasons to get (overly) strung out about the HOF vote are PEDs hysteria and Jack Morris. Now sure, I would have voted for Bonds and Clemens (and McGwire and Sosa, for that matter); and not for Morris. But it's hardly like the voters who disagree have forfeited their hold on reality.
   41. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM (#4636866)
I suspect Lassus' defense of the Hall is because his podunk northern NY state town only gets business driven to it once a year by doobs driving through to see their totes faves childhood heros give terrible speeches about that one time they sexually harrassed that reporter in the locker room.

You are most likely not this stupid. (Although I have been wrong before.) No tourism passes FROM THE NORTHWEST through Utica into Cooperstown. Get a grip.


Again, I just don't see this. Of course, it's a group of 500+ people and there will always be a few irrational individuals in a group that size: university faculties, Congress, HOF voters, whoever.

Sam, like Murray Chass, finds your numbers and statistics meaningless.
   42. BDC Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4636869)
No tourism passes FROM THE NORTHWEST into Cooperstown

Hey, don't underestimate the hordes of Jays fans driving to Frank Thomas's induction. They're going to drop a lot of loonies along the way.
   43. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 12, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4636871)
No tourism passes FROM THE NORTHWEST into Cooperstown


Upstate NY all looks the same to me. Oh look! The burned out husk of a former useful town, covered in dirty snow! Exciting. Let's go look at the practice bat Ty Cobb used to beat negros in his spare time. That will be fun!
   44. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4636885)
That would play right into the common (and pretty accurate) criticism of the Hall of Fame voters: that they have lost the ability to honor anyone, and can merely insult.


And to me the people who call Jim Rice's election or a Jack Morris vote a "travesty" fall into the same category. I just don't think the problem is big enough, or worth fighting over enough, for all the hand wringing it gets. I've always thought the negative campaigns against guys like Morris hurt more than they help. Better to promote better choices, explain why, and hopefully the someone decides "hey Mike Mussina really was better than Jack Morris."

I do think the composition of the voters should change to include current broadcasters who have been covering a team for more than 5 years, giving votes to the Jon Miller/Vin Scully (and yes, Hawk Harrelson) crowd and figure out a way to include more new media outlets. Also, do away with the honorary voters - we have no idea how much they follow the game. I also think all votes should be public. After that, let the chips fall where they may with the current system.
   45. asinwreck Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4636906)
What I like about Posnanski's proposal has nothing to do with who actually gets elected. Whether or not dues-paying fans vote in candidates I support, giving fans a piece of the vote has the potential to bolster attendance at the Hall year-round. If a purpose of the Hall is to be a functioning museum, this proposal would certainly speak to that purpose.
   46. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4636910)
Oh look! The burned out husk of a former useful town, covered in dirty snow!

"Useful"?
   47. BDC Posted: January 12, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4636920)
"Useful"?

There was once an important clothespin factory in Warrensburg, NY. Think of how much damper 19th-century breeches would have been without it.
   48. Booey Posted: January 12, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4636949)
Booey, is it reasonable to expect the BBWAA inductees now to equal the BBWAA plus Vet electees for earlier decades? I'm not sure the comparison works.


@Booey:That includes VC voting, which the BBWAA shouldn't be held accountable for matching. And just because they elected Lou Brock his first year doesn't obligate them to immediately elect everyone as good as him as they become eligible. So let's wait until all the 90s eligible players are either elected or no longer on the ballot, then do a tally.


The point of the VC is to elect the worthies that the BBWAA missed. If the BBWAA misses fewer greats to begin with, there may be no need for a future VC. That should be one of their goals, IMO. I certainly don't think they should deliberately leave out worthy players just so future incarnations of the VC have something to do. Say the typical decade has 15 worthy HOFers, and the HOF elects all of them plus 5 mistake choices. If recent decades have around 20 HOFers, they could elect all of them without having to include any mistakes to reach the same number. This would increase the quality of the HOFers getting elected without having to increase quantity at all. And again, that's if you don't think a 30 team league should have any more HOFers at all than a 16 team league, which doesn't seem reasonable to me.

And all of the 37 HOFers elected from the 70's and 80's were BBWAA choices, BTW (and Raines still has a shot, so there's possibly one more). And that's even with a few egregious omissions (Trammell, Whitaker, Grich). So 40 BBWAA selected HOFers from the 90's and 2000's wouldn't seem excessive at all.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: January 12, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4636961)
I like how you say that and then propose extreme ideas (retroactively applied votes? WTF?). I can't believe that people come to this site and don't give the HoM the respect it deserves. As I posted on RLRS, it's amazing that anyone even bothers with the HoF anymore. The HoM is vastly superior and people are putting in a lot of work for a completely VOLUNTARY endeavor. The problem with the HoF can't be fixed by fixing the voting. There are people in it who don't belong. It doesn't need a reboot. It needs to be wiped out and replaced with something better. HoM is something better.


First off, the retroactive thing was a minor point and not anything I would actively get behind or be a deal breaker or any type, it's just something I threw out there.

Second the hall of merit is ok, but until they at least put up a decent website, it has no organization for a casual fan or follower it's just a collection of random web pages with people talking about it the votes, etc. They need put out a minimal front page with links to each person put in and maybe a few other links. It would take anyone with minimal web design ability 10 hours or so at most to put out a bare bones website that is navigatable and useful. (It would take at least 80 or so hours to make a decent web site, but since this is a web project, it should have some presence on the web)
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 12, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4637060)
Second the hall of merit is ok, but until they at least put up a decent website, it has no organization for a casual fan or follower it's just a collection of random web pages with people talking about it the votes, etc. They need put out a minimal front page with links to each person put in and maybe a few other links. It would take anyone with minimal web design ability 10 hours or so at most to put out a bare bones website that is navigatable and useful. (It would take at least 80 or so hours to make a decent web site, but since this is a web project, it should have some presence on the web)


Gotta agree ... Problem is my day job ... And a 2-year old. I just don't have a ton of time right now as I'm starting a new job tomorrow.

I do have the domain registered. What's next? Any volunteers? We started the website idea a couple of years ago, but it just died on the vine. I can put some time into it but need help.
   51. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 12, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4637076)
Not really sure how a 16 team league getting as many Hall of Famers as a 30 team league makes sense, after expansion washes out (5-7 years), it's pretty much proportional.

Also, small hall guys, that ship sailed. It cannot be undone 75 years later. To think otherwise seems pretty silly. No sport has a small hall, because frankly, it's a stupid idea. The place exists to honor players. If they aren't electing 2-4 players a year from 30 team leagues with 25-man rosters (~15-16 starters counting SPs and relief aces) it's doing something wrong.

The size of the Hall of Fame is fine. There are about 55-60 mistakes on each side of the ledger. Swap those and it's an absolutely fine historical standard.
   52. Wahoo Sam Posted: January 12, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4637097)
The HoF is a museum, let it be that and move on.


No it' not. The institution is The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Seems you've never been there. The Hall of Fame is very separate from the Museum. The Hall of Fame is a separate thing. The Museum and the National Baseball Library (one of the overlooked gems of the place) are distinctly different.

The Museum was opened in 1939, and it's governed by the laws of the state of New York. It's a Museum responsible for caring for the treasures that are donated (most of them are donated anyway). The Hall of Fame, which began in 1936, is a gallery in the center of the building and the members of it are voted in by the BBWAA and the Veterans Committee. I suspect you may have known that. However, you are gravely mistaken to call "The Hall of Fame" simply a Museum. It's many things - a Hall of Fame gallery, a library, a research center, a tourist destination, an educational institution, and a museum. The Museum is not the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame is not the Museum. Visit it, it's quite wonderful.

Or, just stay here online and denigrate the place because you disagree with some of the people inducted into the Hall of Fame part. That's quite obtuse.
   53. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 12, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4637336)
No one is denigrating 'the place'. Pretty much everyone agrees it's a great place, for all of the reasons you mentioned, they just do a lousy job picking the players in the gallery part.

You sure are taking this personally (based on other comments too).
   54. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2014 at 08:37 PM (#4637370)
Pretty much everyone agrees it's a great place, for all of the reasons you mentioned, they just do a lousy job picking the players in the gallery part.

The point of contention also is that more than a few people consider "lousy job" an oversell.
   55. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: January 12, 2014 at 09:29 PM (#4637439)
That wasn't the point of contention in 52.

And I'd say missing on roughly 50-60 out of 240 or so is pretty bad. It's not all the BBWAA's fault. The system itself is very poorly designed. The fact that the Frisch elections were possible for one is awful. Using a random meaningless 75% standard is another. Allowing just one body to elect made sense in 1936. It doesn't today. And didn't since games started being broadcast on radio.
   56. TJ Posted: January 13, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4637886)
If the HOF is listening, how about...

1. Give the BBWAA the first year guys. Let them keep picking the lowest-hanging fruit. If the BBWAA wants to keep letting the "I don't vote for first-timers" or the "I have a personal limit of votes I will cast" vote, then that becomes their problem if no first year guys are inducted.
2. Create a 500-member body of qualified students of the game, broadcasters, living Hall of Famers, etc. Let them take over years 2-15 (or however many years deemed appropriate) of a candidates HOF eligibility and get on with the business of identifying the HOFers the BBWAA is incapable of recognizing.
3. Keep the VC's as they are- their pickings would be pretty slim, anyway, and someone has to make the call on managers and such.

And tell any voter that thinks the induction ceremonies would be too long with more than three inductees in any year to just stay home if they don't like it, since the induction ceremonies don't exist for their enjoyment, anyway.

   57. DL from MN Posted: January 13, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4637903)
until they at least put up a decent website


Are you volunteering?
   58. James Newburg is in awe of Cespedes' CORE STRENGTH Posted: January 13, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4637904)
Why not make HOF voting a simple majority? Anyone who clears 50 percent is already a lock to make the HOF*, and it would help clear the glut of qualified candidates so that voters can focus on the hard cases.

*This rule would have elected Gil Hodges, Lee Smith and Jack Morris, but the writers have made these sorts of selections before.
   59. TJ Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4638562)
Or you could just go check out everyone's favorite HOF expert and neighborhood curmudgeon Murray Chass, who at the bottom of a blog on A Rod says that the problem with the HOF vote is that not every voter is as selective as he...

Just use the "Murray Chass model" and all will be well in the HOF world...

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harveys Wallbangers
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(241 - 3:26am, Apr 17)
Last: sardonic

NewsblogOMNICHATTER: Wednesday April 16, 2014
(106 - 2:46am, Apr 17)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(181 - 2:16am, Apr 17)
Last: Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad!

NewsblogNightengale: Pujols nears 500 home runs...and no one seems to care
(67 - 2:15am, Apr 17)
Last: Rob_Wood

NewsblogVerducci: Overuse of young pitchers fueling MLB's Tommy John surgery problem
(43 - 12:51am, Apr 17)
Last: KT's Pot Arb

NewsblogPaine: Advanced Stats Love Jackie Robinson
(8 - 12:50am, Apr 17)
Last: JE (Jason Epstein)

NewsblogGleeman: Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”
(38 - 12:46am, Apr 17)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

Jim's Lab NotesWe're Moved! (And Burst.net can bite me!)
(95 - 11:42pm, Apr 16)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogOT: The NHL is finally back thread, part 2
(132 - 10:55pm, Apr 16)
Last: zack

NewsblogExposition:The Jonah Keri Mega Q&A
(6 - 10:50pm, Apr 16)
Last: God

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(52 - 10:46pm, Apr 16)
Last: Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016

NewsblogMinuteman News Center: Giandurco: This means WAR
(60 - 10:30pm, Apr 16)
Last: I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1393 - 10:15pm, Apr 16)
Last: Publius Publicola

NewsblogAstros To Promote George Springer
(40 - 9:20pm, Apr 16)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogGothamist: Yankee Stadium Is Selling Nachos In A Helmet For $20
(72 - 9:04pm, Apr 16)
Last: puck

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.9539 seconds
52 querie(s) executed