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The Baseball Hall of Fame voting procedures are a joke, now even more so with random rule changes to ensure that those big bad steroid users everyone loved at the time and weren’t breaking any rules don’t get in. A sensible way to improve those voting procedures is to expand the number of people voters can choose. Of course, baseball will probably react to this by lowering the number since everyone knows that baby boomers’ childhood nostalgia of the right kind of baseball players is the real important dividing line between who belongs and who doesn’t.

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  • howard

    just for the record, generalizations about baby boomers have about as much validity as every other type of generalization. as it happens, speaking as a baby boomer, i think there are too many players in the hall (i think the hall should basically be the top 1% and it’s currently about 1.25%) but i will only oppose ped-users in the hall when those who benefitted from speed or segregation are kicked out.

    • Joshua

      I don’t think Erik is generalizing baby boomers here. Older sportswriters, many of whom are baby boomers and were the core of the profession in the late 1990s, actually do believe in baseball as some pure apple pie bald eagle Americana that the big bad steroid cheats ruined.

      Barry Bonds wrecked the place, and it wasn’t his place.

      • rea

        Barry Bonds wrecked the place

        Not to mention Biggio, and Trammell.

        • Joshua

          And Mike Piazza’s bacne.

          • AlanInSF

            baby boomers’ childhood nostalgia of the right kind of baseball players is the real important dividing line between who belongs and who doesn’t.

            Actually it’s our childhood nostalgia for greenies.

    • DrS

      The dominant bloc of voters for the HoF that has driven both the players elected and the rules under which they are selected are boomers. This observation is no different than noting that the voting and political behavior of Silents is pushing our government rightward.

      #NotAllBoomers
      #NotAllSilents

      • howard

        I like erik, which is why I know he’s capable of saying “a bloc of baby boom voters.” But he didn’t.

        Nor is opposition to ped users in the hall uniquely a boomer mindset: there are plenty of 40-something non-boomer sportswriters who feel the same way.

    • Fearless Navigator of the New LGM Comment System

      howard, out of curiosity, in your opinion, have there been any recent inductees who don’t belong? I can’t really think of any.

      Which is another way of saying, if there are too many players in the HOF, that’s the fault of long-ago voters, and there’s nothing we really can do about it short of kicking people out.

      • howard

        Yes, but I’m about to go into a meeting so I can’t take the time now. Check back in 3 hours or so!

        • drkrick

          While you’re at it, I’d be interested in where 1% vs. 1.25% came from. Besides the obvious problem that the way we balance the various factors to evaluate these guys doesn’t really lead to that level of precision.

          • Fearless Navigator of the New LGM Comment System

            On the other hand, he’s pretty clearly right. There are a bunch of HOFers who shouldn’t be there, but setting aside the PED class, it’s hard to think of many people who should be in but aren’t.

            • tsam

              Pete Rose is the only one I can think of.

              • rea

                Lou whitaker

                • MattT

                  And there’s probably about to be a whole bunch more like Trammel or Raines, who aren’t who people are generally talking about with a phrase like “PED class” but won’t make the cut in their last years of eligibility.

                • rea

                  Derek Jeter–1st ballot HOF
                  Alan Trammell–stats as good as Jeter’s

                • tsam

                  Seems like certain people just get a no-HOF tag on them, and it’s just never going to happen. It’s stupid, because Trammel definitely belongs there.

                • Fearless Navigator of the New LGM Comment System

                  You could make a decent argument that Trammell is the most deserving non-PED-era player eligible for the HOF.

              • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

                Even assuming that Rose hung it up after 1980 (and spared the world the pitiful spectacle of his last few years), he’d still just have a 124 career OPS+, which would likely be enough to get in (keeping in mind that he mostly split time between being a pretty decent corner OF and being a middling 3B). But keep in mind Jim Rice finished with a 128 career OPS+, and everyone kept using the word “borderline” about his candidacy.

                • tsam

                  44 game hit streak (DiMaggio got something like 55 to hold the record that might never be broken)…

                  Rose still holds the career hits record, which he took from Ty Cobb.
                  Rose: 4,256
                  Cobb: 4,189
                  Aaron: 3,771
                  Musial: 3,630

                  Look at the drop in numbers from 1 to 5. There are some notable names there…
                  He belongs in the Hall.

                • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

                  I’d vote for him if he was eligible and I had a ballot, because he was reliably excellent for a long time, but he wasn’t a transcendent player. One eight-win season and three more six-win seasons over a long career is, y’know, really good, but it doesn’t scream “first ballot” or anything.

                • Ahenobarbus

                  There is no friggin’ way Rose wouldn’t have been voted in. At some point, you have to ignore OPS+ and look at career WAR and stuff like that.

                • Manny Kant

                  The Hall of Fame is based at least as much on accumulation of counting stats as it is on excellence in the average stats.

                • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

                  I’m hoping that Hall voters’ weird focus on Key Career Milestones will fade over time, but yeah, he would have had over 3500 hits even if he retired after 1980 (chosen arbitrarily as his first season with enough of a dropoff that many players would retire, although he had a better 1981). Is anyone else eligible with even 3000 hits not in the hall?

                  EDIT: Biggio and Palmeiro

                • rea

                  Is anyone else eligible with even 3000 hits not in the hall?

                  Rafael Palmeiro

                  Bonds was 65 short

              • AlanInSF

                Rose sure seemed like the transcendent getting-on-base pest of his time, but I just checked and he’s 212th in career OBP, so maybe not.

                Ty Cobb, BTW, is 9th.

      • howard

        nothing like knowing that i could rejoin a baseball discussion to encourage me to keep the meeting moving along. let me make 3 points in response to various comments here:

        1. the 1% is arbitrary. i had felt for a long time that the hall had too many players (see point 2) and i finally thought i should test my own prejudice. i began by saying to myself what echelon of players should be recognized as the greatest in the game’s history? and the answer i came up with was the top 1%, for no other reason than that seemed to me to be likely the cream of the crop. i then took a look at the actual numbers, and of course there’s some ambiguity (is joe torre in the hall as a player, as a manger, or as both?) but roughly speaking, there were something north of 16,000 players in major league history through 5 years ago, and there are roughly over 200 major league players (i’m not counting negro league, for example) in the hall, which amounts to 1.25%, so basically i’m saying that there are 40 players or so too many in the hall. (and yes, i would say the bulk of them are old-timers put in by ignorant drinking buddy sportswriters and the veterans committee.)

        2. since 2000, there have been 2 players i definitely don’t think should be in the hall elected – tony perez and jim rice – and there’s one i’m ambiguous about – bert blyleven.

        3. to pick up on rea’s point – and this is one that tends to make people look at me like i’m crazy, so let me stipulate that i’m a yankees fan – even though jeter is of course going into the hall on the first ballot, and even though by the standards of the hall he is a hall of famer, i don’t think he should be there.

        now, ten years ago i would have felt differently, because 10 years ago i felt that jeter was merely a mediocre shortstop. but we’ve had a lot of development in the realm of defensive stat analysis in the last decade, and every single serious analysis concludes that derek jeter is the worst fielding shortstop in major league history.

        now whether he looks that way to me or not (he doesn’t), i am not one to fight with that much empirical support for the notion that he’s the worst fielding shortstop in major league history.

        so he’s a good enough hitter to have gone into the hall as a mediocre-fielding shortstop, but in my mind, he’s not a good enough hitter to justify electing the worst fielding shortstop in major league history to the hall.

        ymmv, of course….

        • mpowell

          I feel like I agree with your 1% vs 1.25% distinction. It doesn’t seem like it would make much difference, but when you see the cluster of players around the two different thresholds, subjectively it seems like a bigger difference than the two numbers would suggest.

          Also, my memory is that you think Jeter (with his empirically determined bad defense) falls between the 1 and 1.25% threshold? Also, speaking of watching him, I read an article a while back that claimed that, basically, his terrible defense in the early half of his career could at least partly be attributed to simply playing too close to the plate. And it was only mid career when the Yankees finally acknowledged publicly (and apparently privately) that he was hurting the team defensively that he improved his positioning and actually improved considerably defensively when you correct for expected age related physical decline. Did you chance upon that article? I have no idea where I read it unfortunately. It could help explain the difference between his stat based performance and perception just watching him.

          • howard

            mpowell, sounds interesting but i haven’t come across it.

            as for jeter, the way i look at it is that within the 1% we have the A+ and maybe some of the As; because of his fielding i see him just outside that, but he certainly wouldn’t be the worst travesty in the hall if he went in, so almost by definition i place him in the top 1.25%.

        • Fearless Navigator of the New LGM Comment System

          I forgot about Rice and Perez. Blyleven I think is an above-median HOF pitcher.

          Speaking of, looking at Blyleven took me to one of his two non-HOF comps, Tommy John. How did he have a successful 25+ year career striking out 4.3 batters per nine? That’s absurdly low. Even his modern day comps — Tom Glavine and Mark Buehrle — are a K per inning higher.

          • howard

            effective sinkerballers are the one type of pitcher who can maybe be successful without a high k-rate, although when push comes to shove, you’d much rather have a guy out there on the mound who can strike someone out if and when he has to.

            • Fearless Navigator of the New LGM Comment System

              I don’t think it’s as much situational as it’s just strikeouts means less contact means less hits.

              • howard

                there’s a yin-yang here: sure, on the overall level, the fewer balls in play, the fewer hits, and therefore in the scheme of things, that’s a benefit.

                but arms only have so many effective pitches, and so many peak fastballs in them (well, if you’re not, say, ryan or verlander at his best), so sometimes even the best k pitchers are better served just letting them hit the ball, whereas other times – we especially of course see this in relief – a k is really called for.

                and it’s that latter ability that virtually all your very best pitchers have – the ability to get a k when you really need one – that i was referencing.

                but of course, overall, yes, the reason we rarely see successful pitchers with low k rates is plain ol’ math for sure.

        • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

          2. Blyleven had a better career than Nolan Ryan.

          3. I’d vote for Jeter, despite his horrific fielding, just because it’s so valuable to have a shortstop who can get on base like he’s done throughout his career. That said, it’s a travesty that he’s getting in on the first ballot and Trammell isn’t getting in at all; as rea pointed out, they’re pretty equivalent players overall.

          • howard

            so the question i was responding to was recent entries into the hall of fame, but nolan ryan isn’t in the hall becuase i think he should be: i would agree that blyleven was a better guy to have on your team than ryan.

            the reason i’m ambiguous on blyleven is that on a pure state line basis, i think his case is very strong, but as fine a pitcher as he was, watching him year in and year out i never felt he was dominant, just very good for a long time.

            so i’m ambiguous about him, but i will say that i’d be willing to bet that if i were to keep the numbers in the hall the same by position as they are today but revamp the players, it’s the pitching side where i’d make the most changes. (now that’s a research project i should look into someday.)

            • Fearless Navigator of the New LGM Comment System

              It’s too difficult to compare pitchers across eras. While hitting has ebbed and flowed with the live ball and dead ball and PED eras, the evolution of pitching has been in a pretty straight path — pitchers strike out more and more hitters.

              To show you what I mean, let’s take elite pitchers from the 1920s, the 1960s, and the 2000s and look at K/9.

              1920s: Walter Johnson: 5.3 k/9, Lefty Grove: 5.2 K/9

              1960s: Sandy Koufax: 9.3 K/9, Bob Gibson: 7.2 K/9

              2000s: Roger Clemens: 8.6 K/9, Randy Johnson: 10.6 K/9

              (Incidentally, if you look at the best pitchers so far from the 2010s, you get Felix Hernandez: 8.5 K/9, Clayton Kershaw: 9.4 K/9, Chris Sale: 9.7 K/9).

              • howard

                fair enough, but what i’m really referencing is won-lost record has had an inflated impact and based on contemporary metrics (everything from era+ to FIP to babip to opposition ops to quality starts percentage to game scores) we would make some different decisions about which pitchers of the past were hall of fame worthy.

            • efgoldman

              watching him year in and year out i never felt he was dominant, just very good for a long time.

              Didn’t we have the same argument about Yaz a week or three ago?

              • howard

                not you and i! maybe someone else did, but jeez, putting every other consideration aside, 1967 was a dominant season.

                • efgoldman

                  not you and i

                  Definitely not. I don’t argue with stats guys. I mean the blog/editorial “we.”

                  1967 was a dominant season.

                  I think maybe the best individual season by a position player in my lifetime (1945- ). And I saw much of it with my own eyes. I was working just down the street from Fenway, at BU, and going to summer school.

            • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

              HOLY SHIT, IT’S BEEN 20 YEARS SINCE NOLAN RYAN RETIRED. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

              Time is passing way too aggressively for my taste these days.

              • efgoldman

                HOLY SHIT, IT’S BEEN 20 YEARS SINCE NOLAN RYAN RETIRED

                It’s 53 years since I saw Teddy Ballgame play (not, alas, his last game, immortalized by John Updike.)

        • Manny Kant

          How much empirical support is there, really? The advanced fielding stats seem incredibly dubious to me.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Christ, what is it with this blog and sticking up for PED users?

    • rea

      Yeah, WTF? Being baseball fans rather than drug warriors is just inexplicable.

    • drkrick

      Somebody has to do it. The Hall of Fame is full of cheaters of various types and the mid-stream reclassification of PEDs from “cheating we don’t care about” to “cheating we do care about” makes no sense at all.

    • Murc

      Scott and Erik simultaneously love baseball, hate a certain kind of sportswriter, and are of the strong opinion that the guys who were juicing are no worse than their much-beloved predecessors?

      I take a dim view of juicing, but I long ago came to the conclusion that unless you throw out everyone who was doing greenies in the 60s and 70s, there’s no justification at all for keeping them out of the Hall, where they can join a proud array of drug abusers and violent racists.

      • efgoldman

        I long ago came to the conclusion that unless you throw out everyone who was doing greenies in the 60s and 70s, there’s no justification at all for keeping them out of the Hall,

        Unless you want to be a real asshole about it, and don’t put *anyone* in who played between, say, 1985 and 2010.
        I go on the assumption that everyone was doing it, and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were the best juicers, and therefore belong in the HOF. If, e.g. Maddux and Glavine accomplished what they did without chemical assistance, well good for them, it makes them that much better.

    • Joshua

      PEDs weren’t against the rules and the same sportswriters not voting for these great players were praising them for saving the game in the 1990s. Literally.

      I’m not in favor of PED use but I’m also not in favor of greenies or a white-only sport. Yet players from both eras are in the HOF.

      • This is the real sticking point in my craw. The sheer hypocrisy of the sportswriters.

        • Chet Manly

          Exactly, and they’re hypocrites even if you give them a pass for not owning up to their own complicity and completely accept their arguments for PED disqualifications.

          If you won’t let in players like McGwire or Clements because of steroid use then why the hell are managers like LaRussa and Torre allowed in? At the very least they turned a blind eye to their players’ steroid use.

    • Four Krustys

      Imagine if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had a “no PEDs” rule. Or the Nobel Prize. Or the Fields Medal. Do symphonies require that none of their performers are on beta blockers? Of course not. Do boards require their CEO’s to not be on Provigil or Adderall?

      No. Nobody gives a shit. Only sports get turned into this stupid fucking morality play where you’re not supposed to take medicine that makes you better at your job. And only baseball and the Olympics to such a ridiculous extent.

      • Joshua

        This situation is even dumber than what you describe. There is no rule, it’s just a bunch of guys on a high horse. For another thing, for many of these players, there is absolutely no evidence they used PEDs. For guys like Piazza and Biggio, it’s all speculation.

        • tsam

          It’s fucking purists, who are the lowest form of life on Earth. Well, except for fascists and murderers and rapists and lots and lots of other forms but they’re WAY DOWN THERE.

          Seriously, you’re right, this “you gotta put an asterisk by Bonds’ accomplishments!” stuff is a bunch of sanctimonious crap, as far as I’m concerned.

          • efgoldman

            stuff is a bunch of sanctimonious crap

            Sanctimony has been part of baseball since Judge Landis threw Joe Jackson out.

      • Murc

        Only sports get turned into this stupid fucking morality play where you’re not supposed to take medicine that makes you better at your job.

        Well, I mean, to be fair… in professional athletics, anything that’s allowed is in fact required. I’m perfectly fine with their being sensible limits on what athletes are and aren’t allowed to put into their bodies, not because of some attachment to the purity of the game, but because I’d really these guys rather not be required to inject increasingly exotic and finely-balanced cocktails of god knows what into their bodies in order to remain competitive.

        My issue with the PED howling is, as has been said elsewhere, is that it was a winked-at form of cheating until very suddenly it wasn’t, and it wasn’t something magically invented in the 90s. The people all pissy about it are childlike.

  • Roger Ailes

    It’s the Hall of Fame.

    Entry should be determined based solely on name recognition.

    • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

      Oh god, Colin Cowherd flashbacks

      • tsam

        Ugh.

        I so want to slap Cowherd with a fish. Hard.

        • rea

          I so want to slap Cowherd with a fish cow. Haerd

          • tsam

            HAHA! I always thought slapping a guy with a fish was the funniest thing ever. I may have to rethink my stance on that.

          • toberdog

            Slap him with a cow herd, or a cowherd? It may make a difference.

            • tsam

              As God is my witness, I thought cows could fly!

    • Richard Hershberger

      Including Crash Davis and Roy Hobbs…

  • CaptBackslap – YOLO Edition

    Just because there were no penalties doesn’t mean it wasn’t against the rules (in fact, the very emptiness of the rule is what made it legitimate without being collectively bargained).

    • Scott Lemieux

      In this context rules with no enforcement mechanism are not, in any meaningful sense, rules.

  • Downpuppy

    Sportswriters are getting better at telling how good baseball players are at baseball. They’re still quite poor at judging character (cf. the sainted Twins) and totally useless at spotting the uncaught steroid users. So we most likely have a fair number of recent inductees who shot up at least as much as the guys who’ve been blackballed.

    In a few years, when nobody plays baseball any more, there will be penty of time to sort it all out.

  • Aren’t all Halls of Fame exercises in nostalgia? When we talk about the baseball HOF being too crowded (which, c’mon) what we are really complaining about is in large part the result of the Veterans Committees of years past. This is pretty much the reason that the great Steelers teams are so highly represented in the NFL HOF. Voters vote for the athletes they saw play. I can look at career statistics, but I’m not so sure that I am qualified to opine as to Rabbit Marrenville’s HOF qualifications. And if statistics were all of it, why bother with a HOF at all?

    A HOF is a lot of different things, and maybe the least interesting thing about any of them are the plaques. When I am in Cooperstown I wanna see Brett’s pine tar bat, and Ruth’s locker, and the old uniforms. I want to use the research facilities. When I get to Cleveland, I’m not going to care about the KISS plaque: I’m going there to see Jeff Beck’s Esquire guitar from his Yardbirds days.

    • efgoldman

      Voters vote for the athletes they saw play.

      Right, which is the ostensible reason for the five-year waiting period. Maybe that’s not long enough.

    • Ahenobarbus

      The Veteran’s Committees were awful. Fred Lindstrom. Lloyd Waner. Jesse Haines.

      Bill James once wrote of a pitch he received for a campaign to get Ken Keltner in the Hall.

    • Richard Hershberger

      Testify, brother! Especially about the room with the plaques. The Hall of Fame has a superb baseball museum and research library. The plaques? I past them while going to more interesting stuff.

      I am a 19th century baseball guy. Were I inclined to get worked up about who is and is not in the room with the plaques, it would be Jim Creighton I got worked up about. I always have a little start of surprise whenever I remember that he isn’t there.

      Then I remember that George Wright got in many years before his brother Harry. George was a very good player. Harry revolutionized how the game was played. The feats ascribed to George on his plaque look suspiciously like the voters got confused about which was which. Not coincidentally, Harry died in the 1890s, while George was still around until 1937: late enough for voters to remember him as an actual person.

      In short, the room with the plaques simply is not a serious enterprise. There is no point in getting worked up about it.

      • efgoldman

        In short, the room with the plaques simply is not a serious enterprise.

        I don’t know. The first (and only) time I went, as a 50-something adult, I got a bit of a shiver walking down the hall saying “I saw him play… I saw him play… i saw HIM in an All Star game once… I saw him play….”

  • tsam

    I can’t bring myself to give a shit about PEDs. They do it, they have since they arrived, and they’ll continue to do it.

    ARod: PED user. Supreme asshole. INARGUABLY a HOFer. I’ve hated him since he left my beloved Mariners, and I’ll always think he’s prick with a God complex. But you can’t deny that he helped make watching game fun (for those who get and enjoy baseball).

    Bonds–(See ARod)

    • efgoldman

      Supreme asshole.

      If that were a reason for keeping people out – in any sport – you could tear down half the HOF buildings.
      Although A-Rod would have his own wing in the asshole HOF, surely, he’d be joined by the likes of Teddy Ballgame, the aforementioned Clemens, Ty Cobb….
      [This game, I expect, will go on for hours.]

      • tsam

        Exactly. Pete Rose…

        Even Babe Ruth was an asshole, but an undeniably great player who is inarguably one of the all time greats.

        • tsam

          But I’ll bet he didn’t have redundancy issues or repeat himself.

          • toberdog

            I’ll have a bloody mary, a steak sandwich and . . . a steak sandwich.

            • tsam

              Better make that a steak sandwich and a bloody mary and a bloody mary.

        • rea

          Kirby Puckett

          • tsam

            Jim Bunning

  • Gregor Sansa

    Yay! A front page post on voting theory! And one which links to an article by my friends and colleagues, Aaron Hamlin and Andrew Jennings!

    If you’re interested in getting voting right, which really could make a things work better (things like progressive power, campaign finance, the Arab Spring, and corporate governance; as well as awards and halls of fame), you should consider donating to the organization that Aaron and Andrew and I are part of: electology.org.

    • Schadenboner

      Greg, baby. Never change.

      • Gregor Sansa

        What? You don’t expect me to talk about baseball, do you?

        I’ve talked to Aaron or Andrew at least 8 times in the past two weeks. Aaron is the executive director for electology (aka The Center for Voting Science), and the organization runs on a shoestring; a few thousand dollars a quarter. I really do think it’s a worthy cause, and what better moment to promote it than an article by the two of them?

        Yeah, I go on and on about voting systems. I invited a regular commenter here to a party once, using her blog to make the invitation, to welcome my wife to the US; and I guess I was so much of a voting-systems bore that said regular commenter didn’t want us to have her phone number at the end of that. I’m still sad about that, because it’s not been easy for my wife to make friends and develop a community here in Cambridge, and she has the same interesting profession as said regular commenter.

        But… OK I got distracted there but the point I wanted to make was that this is actually the first time I’ve asked for donations to electology.org (remember, that’s electology.org, like the science of elections, get it?). In fact, I promise that I won’t make a habit of asking for donations to electology.org, even though electology.org is a really good cause and could really use whatever money you could spare.

        • Gregor Sansa

          Wow, that middle part came out a lot more pitiful than intended. I guess it goes to show that when you nurse resentments, they only grow more pathetic. Said regular commenter, I forgive you. You can’t help it that you’re cooler than me.

          • Aww.

            • Gregor Sansa

              Now that I’ve gotten it a bit off my chest, I can see the humor in it. I mean, there she was, leaving the party with her husband, and I asked for her “digits”, as if I were an undergrad hitting on her. No wonder she looked at me funny. My only excuse is, I’d been in Guatemala for 10 years, so I didn’t know that you didn’t say “digits” anymore.

        • tsam

          Do you mean voting systems as in paper ballot vs Diebold Republican machines vs mail in…or something referring to how the Electoral College works…?

          • Gregor Sansa

            Why, Tsam, I’m glad you asked.

            I mean voting systems in the mathematical sense. That is, how many people you can vote for, whether you can rank or rate or grade those choices, and how those votes are added together to get a winner. Plurality voting, where you can vote for only one, is about the worst system there is; because you don’t want to “waste” that artificially-limited resource, you are basically forced to choose the lesser evil. By “Duverger’s law”, this leads to two-party domination; and since your party knows they have you where they want you, you have less power to influence them (as, say, a progressive voter).

            There are plenty of other systems which don’t have such horrible pathologies. For instance, approval voting is the system where you can vote for as many candidates as you want, and all votes count equally. You’d still vote for the lesser evil; but you can also vote for anybody you prefer. Because this removes the risk of “vote-splitting” handing the election to the worst candidate, better candidates could run; and since simply being a frontrunner wouldn’t be such a circular self-fulfilling prophecy, upstart candidates would have a better chance, and early funding wouldn’t be so determinative.

            There are other systems, such as “SODA voting”¹, where you can delegate your vote to your favorite candidate. This makes the task of voting even simpler, and helps ensure that everyone can cast a ballot which helps decide between the true frontrunners after the ballots are counted, not just the two whom everyone expects to be the frontrunners.

            The article that’s linked to in the OP is about similar issues in the Hall of Fame voting. Except in that case, instead of limiting voters to 1 vote for 1 seat, they’re limiting them to 10 votes for a handful of seats. Still, the dynamics and pathologies involved are pretty similar.

            ¹ Simple Optionally-Delegated Approval

            • tsam

              Ok–cool. I’ll check it out!

        • Jordan

          ha. When I read that deadspin/regressing post last night I actually idly wondered whether you had wrote it.

  • calling all toasters

    Why not get rid of all the voters and just use criteria of JAWS and WAR? Let all those old assholes vote for each other for the sportswriters’ wing– which should be moved a half mile north of the rest of the hall.

    • efgoldman

      which should be moved a half mile north of the rest of the hall.

      You’d move the writer’s wing to the Glimmerglass Opera House? I mean, some of them are divas, but….

      • advocatethis

        Does anybody really care about the writers’ wing? I can see having broadcasters in the hall because for a lot of people, even now, listening to the game on the radio is a big part of the baseball experience. But would anybody’s appreciation of the game be notably different if any particular writer had been assigned to writing about gardening instead?

        (I might make exceptions for the Rogers, Kahn and Angell, but I’m just assuming that they’re in there in the first place.)

    • tsam

      I can’t decide if I’m just naturally prejudiced against sports writers because I see so many terrible ones or if they really are just terrible. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter, but I hope I’m wrong, because some of these writers are just insufferable people.

  • efgoldman

    Semi-related but OT: My local Little Leaguers (Cumberland RI) are in Williamsport for the LL World Series, second time in three years.
    I’m reasonably certain that none of them use PEDs.

    • tsam

      NICE! Congrats to them!

    • Denverite

      Semi-related to your semi-related:

      My eldest is playing softball. In a career spanning the grand total of four practices and two games, she’s already perhaps the best on the team. (In fairness, we’ve been playing catch and practicing hitting with her for years, so it’s not like she’s new to hitting and catching.)

      She’s a tall, lefthanded hitting first baseman with a good bit of power, relatively speaking. She hits a homerun as often as not (basically any ball hit to the OF is a HR at this age).

      Question: I’m trying to get her to say “straightball, I hit it very much” a la Pedro Cerrano style when she hits her next HR. Her mother says that’s inappropriate. Who’s right?

    • Murc

      I’m reasonably certain that none of them use PEDs.

      I feel like I ought to make a joke asking how many of them have sketchy-ass latin american birth certificates, but can’t figure out how without being racist.

    • I note your silence on corked bats.

      • efgoldman

        I note your silence on corked bats.

        You have to have a very special set of tools to cork an aluminum bat.

    • They are all high on Dunkin.

  • Brien Jackson

    FWIW, I don’t think the purpose of the new rules are to exclude Steroid Era players, but rather to get them to the Veterans Committee sooner, which I expect the Hall to retool in such a manner as to take every effort to induct them.

  • c u n d gulag

    Boomer baseball fan:
    Greenie PED’s – ok.
    Other, later, PED’s – evil!!!

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