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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Sporting News: Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson talks character clause, PED users and ballot changes

SN: Why is character so central to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in your view?
JI: Probably because we’re such a big part of American culture and history, and character matters in our country. And baseball is a reflection of our country.
Life is full of opinions, and you can determine character however you like. Everyone has a different opinion of how character should be evaluated. The point of that guideline is to ensure that those who are being considered for election didn’t disgrace the game.
SN: Does the character clause, in your opinion, only apply to players’ respective playing careers or should the character clause extend to anything in their lives, even outside of baseball and after they played?
JI: The voters can define it as they wish.

Defending the indefensible.

DanG Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:06 AM | 47 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: election rules, hall of fame, jeff idelson

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   1. The Duke Posted: September 11, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5742226)
This was a good Q & A. Not sure why the snark above.

Seems like all his positions are well thought through. Most interesting point is that Morgan was not writing for himself if I read the comment correctly. I had not heard that before.

The one question they didn’t ask is when will the board step in and put someone back on ballot (ie if they get less than 5%). They’ve done that in the past
   2. DanG Posted: September 11, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5742254)
Not sure why the snark above.
The short answer is that if I were designing an election system for the HOF there is nothing in the current process that I would retain.
when will the board step in and put someone back on ballot
I think he kind of addresses this when he talks about eligibility being reduced to 10 years:

"The change was made because we have a trend since 1980 where very few players were getting elected after the 10th ballot. In fact, after 1980, there were only a few players who were elected after the 10th ballot. The idea was that instead of letting players twist in the wind for five years, with a very, very unlikely chance of earning election, the change would make them eligible sooner for the veterans’ processes. The change also let us continue to thin the ballot and to allow for a more contemporary group of candidates."

Idelson says it's better to get players off the writers' ballot sooner and over to the VC. Keep the ballot "thin" since the writers are otherwise overwhelmed.
   3. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 11, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5742269)
"The change was made because we have a trend since 1980 where very few players were getting elected after the 10th ballot. In fact, after 1980, there were only a few players who were elected after the 10th ballot. The idea was that instead of letting players twist in the wind for five years, with a very, very unlikely chance of earning election, the change would make them eligible sooner for the veterans’ processes. The change also let us continue to thin the ballot and to allow for a more contemporary group of candidates."


But not all guys remaining after a 10th ballot are equal. There's a difference between Don Mattingly at 16% after his 10th ballot, and Edgar Martinez, who got 70.4% after ballot 9. Edgar should get in this year, but if he falls a point or 2 short, he would definitely get in sometime in years 11-15. Eventually, someone is going to fall a point or 2 short in year 10 and then they will have to address this again. I could go for an increasing support requirement to remain on the ballot after x years. Makes more sense than 5% = 74% = you gone after 10.
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5742272)
I could go for an increasing support requirement to remain on the ballot after x years. Makes more sense than 5% = 74% = you gone after 10.


I think that makes sense all the way along the ballot. You've got to meet a growing minimal threshold each year to stay on the ballot. If you're just sitting at the bottom sucking up votes but going nowhere, you're making it harder for others to get in.
   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 11, 2018 at 01:59 PM (#5742281)
While I think Jack Morris is clearly a mistake, I don't begrudge his honor. And in his case, being on the ballot years 11-15 undoubtably helped his VC candidacy. It's less likely he gets in after being booted after 10 years with 44%. OTOH, he might have gotten more support in year 10 had it been his final shot.
   6. Ziggy's screen name Posted: September 11, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5742283)
Ah yes, give them to the Veterans Committee, the group of voters which has never made a mistake!

Seriously though, I can see a committee of experts getting together to look at guys who played before anyone alive could have seen them. Maybe in the past 100 years we've discovered something about Bill Dahlen that would justify his election. But there's no reason to have them take another look at Jack Morris, who was just rejected by the BBWAA. Nothing has changed about how we can evaluate Morris' career in the past eight months.
   7. Rally Posted: September 11, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5742311)
I think that makes sense all the way along the ballot. You've got to meet a growing minimal threshold each year to stay on the ballot.


I'll co-sign that petition. Nothing more pointless than having a guy stick on the ballot year after year with 15% of the vote. But you can fix that without hurting the chances for a Raines, Blyleven, Edgar, or Morris.

But there's no reason to have them take another look at Jack Morris, who was just rejected by the BBWAA. Nothing has changed about how we can evaluate Morris' career in the past eight months.


Morris probably makes it if the BBWAA ballot had not been so ridiculously crowded in his final years there. It's rare for a guy to get 67-68%, and then drop down to 62% in his last year on the ballot. Why? Not because voters all of a sudden figured out that a 105 ERA+ is not that great, but because Glavine and Maddux were on that ballot. I think Jim Bunning is the only other guy to have a similar BBWAA situation.

We can think Morris's election was a mistake but respect the process by which he got in, because if we don't then Trammell doesn't get in either.
   8. DanG Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5742329)
I think that makes sense all the way along the ballot. You've got to meet a growing minimal threshold each year to stay on the ballot.
Along with this, IMO players who are very near election (+50%) shouldn't be rushed off the writers' ballot; give them an extra year or two. Here are a couple schemes I like.

This is a sum-of-the-years-digits scale for continuing on the ballot:

Yr Need
1 1
%
2 3%
3 6%
4 10%
5 15%
6 21%
7 28%
8 36%
9 45%
10 55%
11 66

This one's a bit simpler. You need 1% in Year 1, then add 7% more in each succeeding year:

Yr Need
1 1
%
2 8%
3 15%
4 22%
5 29%
6 36%
7 43%
8 50%
9 57%
10 64%
11 71
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5742337)
Finally, a use for the Fibonacci sequence! I like that idea.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5742345)
The short answer is that if I were designing an election system for the HOF there is nothing in the current process that I would retain.


Really?

I would keep the five year waiting period. I would have a group of experts look at the eligible and pare them down. I would have a ten year mandatory playing limit. I would have a body of voters, voting. I would have a limit of time on ballot. I would have a minimum to stay on the ballot. I would probably keep most of the 75% to get in rule. I would keep some type of character clause. I would have some type of veteran's committee to go over the misses.
   11. dlf Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5742348)
For all the criticism of the HOF election process, I'd argue that the selectees are better, both on average and at the extremes, than those in either the basketball and football HOFs. I'd also argue that the process itself does a better job of keeping the Hall at the forefront of conversation than do the processes for those other two sports. (I'm omitting hockey because I know basically nothing about its HOF.)
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5742350)
8. I'm fine with increasing the minimum each year to stay on the ballot, but not a big fan of the high percentages you get after about year 7 or so. I think if you reach 30% then you stay the full ten years. I do think that if you reach a certain level like 60% it might add a year or two to the ballot, I like that idea. At least one year if beyond 10 if you reach 70% seems reasonable, where the voters get a wake up call to decide if you belong or not.

   13. jmurph Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5742353)
If we get rid of the limit on the number of players that voters can name on each ballot, is there any reason to keep players on the ballot for 10 years before they go to the VC?
   14. DanG Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5742356)
I would keep the five year waiting period. I would have a group of experts look at the eligible and pare them down. I would have a ten year mandatory playing limit. I would have a body of voters, voting. I would have a limit of time on ballot. I would have a minimum to stay on the ballot. I would probably keep most of the 75% to get in rule. I would keep some type of character clause. I would have some type of veteran's committee to go over the misses
So you would keep the five year wait and the ten years played rules, and change everything else.
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5742360)
For all the criticism of the HOF election process, I'd argue that the selectees are better, both on average and at the extremes, than those in either the basketball and football HOFs. I'd also argue that the process itself does a better job of keeping the Hall at the forefront of conversation than do the processes for those other two sports. (I'm omitting hockey because I know basically nothing about its HOF.)


I fully agree with the latter, the baseball hall of fame gets more ink and coverage than pretty much all the other hof's in the country combined. Heck as it stands, I think the Rock and Roll hof is probably ahead of the NFL hof in coverage. (I might be exaggerating for effect, but I'm not sure myself to be honest---rock hof probably doesn't get the local coverage that the NFL gets when a local player makes it, so there is probably some falsehood in that statement I made)

as far as the selectees go, I agree with that comment, but that is because the NFL hof needs to be about 2 times it's size to properly recognize the hofers, and people aren't fans of ceremonies involving faceless lineman etc... I mean an active NFL team has a minimum of 23 players per game (11 offense, 11 defense, plus a kicker of some sort---and that is of course not fully acknowledging the rotating positions based upon situations...vs baseball which is just nine, although the dh adds a tenth, and reliever specialization added an 11th, and we are getting to the point that is becoming a 12th---note I'm just talking about the people playing the game that would be considered for the hof.)
If you consider the length of career of the average nfl starter compared to baseball, it's hof has to be a different breed than the mlb.
   16. cardsfanboy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5742378)
So you would keep the five year wait and the ten years played rules, and change everything else.


Modify everything else. Everything I listed is what the hof does. I carefully worded it so that it was accurate in that respect. But yes there is of course changes I would make to the hof process if I could. Especially if starting from scratch. But there are concepts that they came up with that I like. Again a body to limit the number of players who the voters can vote on(which is what the hof does) a second, different body of voters(which is what the hof does) I would have a minimum number of votes to stay on the ballot(which the hof does) I would keep the 75% rule(which the hof has) I would keep a character clause(which the hof has) and would have a committee to fix mistakes(which the hof does)

Of course my experts might be different than what the hof uses to pare down the eligibles. But I would probably mandate that they are to err on the side of inclusion. And I would give that group the ability to over ride the minimum ten years eligibility if a large percentage of them think it's necessary.

I would have a group of voters vote on the hof.... I like the concept of bbwaa senior writers, but would also include broadcasters, bloggers, etc.... I would also include a requirement that let's them know that the vote is not secret, and that as a writer/broadcaster/blogger, they must 'advertise' the hof by presenting an article explaining their votes before the induction ceremony in order to keep their vote for next year. I don't want people who aren't active in baseball voting simply because in their 20's they reported on baseball for a few years.

And yes I support a character clause, but not really sure how I would re-word it... The character clause is to me, about maybe intangibles that a player brought to the field or hurt his teammates (Eckstein vs Sheffield type of arguments---not Gaylord Perry vs McGwire arguments) It's there to give a voter wiggle room for a borderline guy.... argue for a guy as a B+ type of player instead of a B or the other way around...it's not there to remove his performance from the record books.
I like the 75% rule, except when there are nobody who reaches the minimum. This is hard for me to come up with a solution. I don't think that we should have one person no matter what type of rule. But at the same time, if there is a guy who is clearly going to eventually make it, but it's too early in his climb to make it, then it makes no sense to keep him out. So every solution I come up with in my head to fix this, just adds a level of complexity that I don't think should be there for this type of thing....so for now I'll accept the 75% rule, but think that there is a way to improve on it, that is practical.

And I like the escalating minimum to stay on the ballot, with 1% or so being the first year minimum, and 3% the second year... and I would probably then go up by 3-6-3-6-3 or so every year thereafter. The alternating allows a player to make a jump then for his supporters to realize he needs more support and help them garner it. Ultimately I think if you can get about 30% of the vote, you should stay on the ballot for the full 10 years.

Edit: I changed a small portion of my comment... originally I said that I would require the voters to explain their votes within 6 months, but I think a more accurate scenario would be before induction ceremony.
   17. The Duke Posted: September 11, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5742379)
That made me laugh. The only two hall of fames I care remotely about are baseball and rock and roll. The rest don’t matter.
   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:21 PM (#5742531)
And yes I support a character clause, but not really sure how I would re-word it...

I like Idelson's answer: The voters can define it as they wish.

Yes, that makes it subjective, and those who basically want a HoM model to replace the HoF see that as a fatal flaw. But I see it this way: Letting the voters define it means that the overall vote will reflect a snapshot of the consensus about character's meaning at any given point in time----subject to revision. When the consensus changes, it'll be reflected in the vote totals.

EDIT: I'd also require all ballots to be made public at the time of the final announcement.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5742539)
Yes, that makes it subjective, and those who basically want a HoM model to replace the HoF see that as a fatal flaw. But I see it this way: Letting the voters define it means that the overall vote will reflect a snapshot of the consensus about character's meaning at any given point in time----subject to revision. When the consensus changes, it'll be reflected in the vote totals.


The issue is that I don't see any problem with players expanding the rules to their advantage. And I find it weird that other people do. If the league isn't pro-actively preventing something, or even passively....then it's hard to penalize the players for playing within the rules that they perceived as normal in their time.

I much more prefer for the character rule to be about beating your spouse, raping children or you know accepting bribes to tank games or intentionally throwing the ball into the stands or just being a bad teammate where no one else wants to be on the same team....actual things that show poor character than simply trying to be the best player you possibly can be.
   20. Greg Pope Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:50 PM (#5742545)
And I would give that group the ability to over ride the minimum ten years eligibility if a large percentage of them think it's necessary.

This is the kind of thing that's nice in theory, but breaks down in practice. If it was a private company holding quarterly meetings, then fine. But this is a public thing. The first time the committee doesn't extend a guy, there will be a small group of people (a few columnists, a couple of broadcasters, some random Twitter users, etc.) that will be up in arms over it. After a few times, the committee will just extend everybody.
   21. Cleveland (need new name) fan Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5742549)
as far as the selectees go, I agree with that comment, but that is because the NFL hof needs to be about 2 times it's size to properly recognize the hofers


I'm not sure the NFL is underrepresented by HOFers. As you said, the NFL has about twice the numbers of players for each game, but it also gets twice the number of HOFs each year already. The NFL inducts 5 current players and 2 "VC"players every year. I don't think baseball averages 3.5 current and VC players a year over time. So the difficulty of making the HOF in football and baseball seem comparable.


If the NFL does a particularly poor job of inducting people, then blame the voters, not the number of inductees.
   22. Greg Pope Posted: September 11, 2018 at 08:58 PM (#5742554)
Letting the voters define it means that the overall vote will reflect a snapshot of the consensus about character's meaning at any given point in time----subject to revision. When the consensus changes, it'll be reflected in the vote totals.

I get what you're saying, but 10, or even 15, years isn't really enough time to change a consensus. I mean, sure, there will be some players who are lucky enough to be on the ballot when things shift, but a lot of players will be left behind.
   23. cardsfanboy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:03 PM (#5742558)
I'm not sure the NFL is underrepresented by HOFers. As you said, the NFL has about twice the numbers of players for each game, but it also gets twice the number of HOFs each year already. The NFL inducts 5 current players and 2 "VC"players every year. I don't think baseball averages 3.5 current and VC players a year over time. So the difficulty of making the HOF in football and baseball seem comparable.


If the NFL does a particularly poor job of inducting people, then blame the voters, not the number of inductees.


I'll do that too... my point is that they focus a bit too much on the big name positions, and that some of the other constants are underrepresented, or it's arguable that the value difference between an average lineman and a hof lineman is not that big etc...

I don't follow football hard, but I do recognize that there is a bias in the hof selection for names and the three or five big positions that the fans recognizes.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:07 PM (#5742560)
This is the kind of thing that's nice in theory, but breaks down in practice. If it was a private company holding quarterly meetings, then fine. But this is a public thing. The first time the committee doesn't extend a guy, there will be a small group of people (a few columnists, a couple of broadcasters, some random Twitter users, etc.) that will be up in arms over it. After a few times, the committee will just extend everybody.


That literally makes no sense... considering that there hasn't even been one candidate that this would apply to in the history of the game, (ignoring negro league players) the entire point of my comment was as a preemptive defense of people arguing for a guy like Trout who dies by being hit by a bus today.
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:08 PM (#5742561)
I like Idelson's answer: The voters can define it as they wish.

The problem with that is that the Hall utilizes an electorate that has a vested interest in exaggerating its own moral judgment and "guardians of the game" role. It'd be a bit different if the voting was done by HoF members, or retired players (or anyone not selling their opinion for profit), but the media always plays up its own role, as witnessed by their constantly conflating winning awards as admission to non-existent writers & broadcasters "wings" of the HoF. That such "holier than thou" columns don't take much real work only compounds the problem.
   26. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:28 PM (#5742581)
Yes, that makes it subjective, and those who basically want a HoM model to replace the HoF see that as a fatal flaw. But I see it this way: Letting the voters define it means that the overall vote will reflect a snapshot of the consensus about character's meaning at any given point in time----subject to revision. When the consensus changes, it'll be reflected in the vote totals.

The issue is that I don't see any problem with players expanding the rules to their advantage. And I find it weird that other people do. If the league isn't pro-actively preventing something, or even passively....then it's hard to penalize the players for playing within the rules that they perceived as normal in their time.

I much more prefer for the character rule to be about beating your spouse, raping children or you know accepting bribes to tank games or intentionally throwing the ball into the stands or just being a bad teammate where no one else wants to be on the same team....actual things that show poor character than simply trying to be the best player you possibly can be.


And since that's as subjective a view as any, if you were a HoF voter I'd encourage you to let that view influence your vote, and use your writings to further your beliefs.

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

Letting the voters define it means that the overall vote will reflect a snapshot of the consensus about character's meaning at any given point in time----subject to revision. When the consensus changes, it'll be reflected in the vote totals.

I get what you're saying, but 10, or even 15, years isn't really enough time to change a consensus. I mean, sure, there will be some players who are lucky enough to be on the ballot when things shift, but a lot of players will be left behind.


And that's one of the many reasons why we have a Veterans' Committee. But if the consensus doesn't change, then the consensus doesn't change.

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

I like Idelson's answer: The voters can define it as they wish.

The problem with that is that the Hall utilizes an electorate that has a vested interest in exaggerating its own moral judgment and "guardians of the game" role.


Citation needed that goes beyond a handful of anecdotes.
   27. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 11, 2018 at 09:58 PM (#5742606)
I could go for an increasing support requirement to remain on the ballot after x years. Makes more sense than 5% = 74% = you gone after 10.

I think that makes sense all the way along the ballot. You've got to meet a growing minimal threshold each year to stay on the ballot. If you're just sitting at the bottom sucking up votes but going nowhere, you're making it harder for others to get in.
Sort of definitionally if you're not getting many votes, you're not making it harder for others to get in. So cutting off people who get 5% but keeping people on who get 40% does not make it easier for other players.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: September 11, 2018 at 10:13 PM (#5742624)
Well, my question with that line of reasoning is why do we want it to be easier for the others to go in? If 20 voters are somehow so distracted by Don Mattingly's presence that they can't vote for Tim Raines, what's the logic that tells us that we ought to remove Mattingly to make things easier for Raines?
   29. Greg Pope Posted: September 11, 2018 at 10:23 PM (#5742643)
That literally makes no sense... considering that there hasn't even been one candidate that this would apply to in the history of the game, (ignoring negro league players) the entire point of my comment was as a preemptive defense of people arguing for a guy like Trout who dies by being hit by a bus today.

You've lost me. You don't think that when Mattingly dropped off after year 10 and the committee elected not to give him an 11th year, that there wouldn't be people howling in New York that he just needed another ballot or two? When McGwire drops off, people wouldn't be saying "give him another couple of years and the voters would have changed their minds"? The committee will very soon stop doing their job and just extend everybody who gets over a certain percentage.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2018 at 10:53 PM (#5742671)
Sort of definitionally if you're not getting many votes, you're not making it harder for others to get in. So cutting off people who get 5% but keeping people on who get 40% does not make it easier for other players.


Not really. With a ballot limit (both the hard 10 and the personal caps some voters operate under, every vote that goes to a nonentity is one that theoretically could have gone to someone with a chance. And the guys at 40 percent (at least, with some years left) have a chance to get elected. The guy hovering at 15 percent eight years in has none.


Well, my question with that line of reasoning is why do we want it to be easier for the others to go in? If 20 voters are somehow so distracted by Don Mattingly's presence that they can't vote for Tim Raines, what's the logic that tells us that we ought to remove Mattingly to make things easier for Raines?


Because the Hall has a desire to have people elected.


   31. QLE Posted: September 12, 2018 at 05:22 AM (#5742739)
The problem with that is that the Hall utilizes an electorate that has a vested interest in exaggerating its own moral judgment and "guardians of the game" role. It'd be a bit different if the voting was done by HoF members, or retired players


Those of us familiar with Joe Morgan (or, more broadly, the history of the VC generally) can't be this sanguine about things being better if it was all in the hands of HOF members......
   32. PreservedFish Posted: September 12, 2018 at 08:28 AM (#5742773)
Because the Hall has a desire to have people elected.


But it also has a desire to not allow too many people to be elected, lest the honor be cheapened. There's a necessary tension there, which means that they don't want to always just grease the skids.
   33. SoSH U at work Posted: September 12, 2018 at 08:45 AM (#5742783)
But it also has a desire to not allow too many people to be elected, lest the honor be cheapened. There's a necessary tension there, which means that they don't want to always just grease the skids.


OK, DanG has a desire to see people elected.

The Hall has already opted to clear out the bottom 5 percent. I don't know what purpose it serves to have someone who has flatlined at 15 percent sitting on the ballot for 10 years. Make some progress or be gone.


   34. PreservedFish Posted: September 12, 2018 at 09:14 AM (#5742791)
I'd prefer a much gentler slope. I believe that Tim Raines, for example, could have fallen off the ballot using DanG's +7% scheme.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: September 12, 2018 at 09:21 AM (#5742793)
I'd prefer a much gentler slope. I believe that Tim Raines, for example, could have fallen off the ballot using DanG's +7% scheme.


I'm not married to any particular slope. Just one that recognizes some progress is being made.
   36. PreservedFish Posted: September 12, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5742798)
Fair enough. I just noticed that DanG also suggested that guys that were really close might get another year or two or three. I agree with that.
   37. Gary Truth Serum Posted: September 12, 2018 at 09:48 AM (#5742809)
That literally makes no sense... considering that there hasn't even been one candidate that this would apply to in the history of the game, (ignoring negro league players) the entire point of my comment was as a preemptive defense of people arguing for a guy like Trout who dies by being hit by a bus today.

You've lost me. You don't think that when Mattingly dropped off after year 10 and the committee elected not to give him an 11th year, that there wouldn't be people howling in New York that he just needed another ballot or two? When McGwire drops off, people wouldn't be saying "give him another couple of years and the voters would have changed their minds"? The committee will very soon stop doing their job and just extend everybody who gets over a certain percentage.

I think you two are talking about different things. The first comment was referring to the rule of playing a minimum of 10 MLB seasons in order to have HOF eligibility. The second is talking about extending the ten year maximum to stay on the ballot.
   38. DanG Posted: September 12, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5742819)
DanG has a desire to see people elected
Sure, but that's just me. I recognize what PF says:
it [the HOF] also has a desire to not allow too many people to be elected, lest the honor be cheapened
The Hall doesn't really want many years like 2018, where six living players were elected. They would prefer to have two or three every year. Why? Well, not exactly because the honor would be cheapened. It has to do with what Bill James said: the hall of fame is "a museum run by an accountant".

At its base, the only thing motivating the HOF leadership is the dollar sign - the bigger the better. They only care about what is right or what is fair or what is logical, to the degree that it impacts the bottom line. So the HOF aims to control the spigot, to allow more than a trickle, but not a flood, of electees each year. And to do this while maintaining the façade of an expert and unimpeded electoral process. IOW, keeping all the constituents happy keeps the money rolling in.

This is why Idelson and his bosses are dead set on maintaining the status quo: ten vote limit, the 5% rule, etc. They're working just fine, at present, at allowing the desired number of honorees into the Hall.

We can propose all the tweaks we want, but if they can't be shown to have any relationship to increasing the bottom line, the Hall isn't interested.
   39. dlf Posted: September 12, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5742828)
I'm not sure why one would argue that the Hall doesn't allow change. In the very recent memory, they've changed from 15 to 10 years on the ballot and completely revamped the VC process. I may not like what they do, but they've constantly been tweaking. And as noted above, the Baseball HOF is by far the most successful in terms of recognizing greatness and keeping baseball at the forefront of conversation so anything more than tweaks would be a mistake.
   40. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 12, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5742832)
The problem with all of Dan's tweaks and suggestions is that they ignore the fundamental issue; the voters. All the tweaks in the world aren't going to fix a universe where Jack Morris>Kevin Brown.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: September 12, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5742838)
At its base, the only thing motivating the HOF leadership is the dollar sign - the bigger the better.


Damn that's cynical.
   42. DJS Holiday-Related Pun Posted: September 12, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5743010)
The problem with all of Dan's tweaks and suggestions is that they ignore the fundamental issue; the voters. All the tweaks in the world aren't going to fix a universe where Jack Morris>Kevin Brown.

I guess I could start picking off my less "cooperative" colleagues at the Winter Meetings this year.

I was at an off-the-record event with Idelson and while I can't go into specifics, he was *not* the favorite of the writer-based audience.

There's a proposal that's been floating around the BBWAA to give retroactive membership for those that would have qualified before they asked for or were eligible for membership. That would speed up the rate that the younger, more analytics-based crowd gets the votes (the first of the internet acceptees like Law and Kahrl only get their ballots for the first time this year). For me, I'd be able to vote next year rather than in several years.
   43. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 12, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5743018)
Those of us familiar with Joe Morgan (or, more broadly, the history of the VC generally) can't be this sanguine about things being better if it was all in the hands of HOF members......

Oh, I'm not suggesting that a player vote would be better, or that the vote should be taken away from the BBWAA, just not in favor of encouraging voters to rely on a phony moral standard, especially one not embraced by a majority of their colleagues.
   44. Greg Pope Posted: September 12, 2018 at 02:23 PM (#5743019)
I think you two are talking about different things. The first comment was referring to the rule of playing a minimum of 10 MLB seasons in order to have HOF eligibility. The second is talking about extending the ten year maximum to stay on the ballot.

Oops, I think you're right. I must have missed the word "minimum" in CFB's original post. Sorry about that.
   45. QLE Posted: September 12, 2018 at 07:01 PM (#5743182)
Oh, I'm not suggesting that a player vote would be better, or that the vote should be taken away from the BBWAA, just not in favor of encouraging voters to rely on a phony moral standard, especially one not embraced by a majority of their colleagues.


Oh, that is a fairer cop- having the BBWAA vote devolve into a contest over morality isn't a good thing (especially since, once you've opened Pandora's Box on the subject of PEDs, good luck closing it with any other topic that could come up), but, at the same time, I'm deeply wary about "if X were in charge, all would be better!"-style utopianism, especially since I deal with it a bit too often in my own profession for my tastes.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: September 12, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5743191)
Damn that's cynical.


And I really fail to see how the Hall's actions support it. If the Hall's directors were really interested in making sure the spigot never got shut off, they'd have taken steps to make sure a 2013 whitewashing never happened again. They didn't.

And I don't know why the Hall would prefer 3 inductions to more than that from a cash standpoint. Attendance in 2017 (Pudge, Bagwell and Rock) was about half what it was this year when six went in.

I guess it's still possible that money is all they care about, but they're just really bad at executing on it.
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: September 12, 2018 at 07:58 PM (#5743207)
You've lost me. You don't think that when Mattingly dropped off after year 10 and the committee elected not to give him an 11th year, that there wouldn't be people howling in New York that he just needed another ballot or two? When McGwire drops off, people wouldn't be saying "give him another couple of years and the voters would have changed their minds"? The committee will very soon stop doing their job and just extend everybody who gets over a certain percentage.


My point was about the 10 year eligibility minimum as a player to make the ballot. Not about 10 years on the ballot.

Edit: catching up on the rest of the thread, I realized that that comment was already figured out.

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