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The broken Hall of Fame voting system
Posted On 12/30/2014 23:06:15 by yyyjia


Over the weekend, I saw "The Imitation Game," the story http://www.officialavalancheonline.com/Red+Lanny+Mcdonald+Jersey of British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack the German Enigma code machine during World War II, allowing the Allies to decipher German secret messages and help bring an earlier end to the war. The movie was sophisticated and compelling and is a definite Oscar contender. It also wasn't completely true to history. One of the key plot points involves Turing designing and building a machine -- an early version of a computer -- to break Enigma. In truth, Turing's machine was an improvement on a Polish device. And there wasn't a small team working with Turing in breaking the German code; there were thousands. What obligation does a movie -- even one "based on a true story" -- have to historical accuracy? After all, it's just a movie. As I researched Turing and thought of this, I realized a similar problem exists with the Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame voting. What's the obligation of Hall of Fame voters? We know the Hall of Fame is supposed to tell the story of baseball, through exhibits and artifacts and plaques honoring the game's best players, managers and important contributors. But that's where it gets complicated. Hall of Fame voters are allowed to tell the story they choose, with little to no direction on the ultimate objectives beyond the vague idea of electing the best players. But how many players? What makes a Hall of Famer? Can voters erase the careers of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds? That's why we have these heated debates every year. Anyway, I had vowed to stay away from Justin Gilbert Authentic Jersey writing about the Hall of Fame this year but ... well, people love to read about the Hall of Fame. Mostly, of course, people just like to argue. Here are six issues and a solution to the current system: 1. The 10-person ballot is clearly a flawed concept. Think about it: What are Hall of Fame voters -- active or honorary members of the Baseball Writers Association of America -- asked to do? They are presented a ballot with a list of candidates with the purpose of electing recently retired players to the Hall of Fame, with candidates receiving 75 percent of the votes earning election. They are instructed to vote for the "candidate[s] of your choice." This year's ballot includes 34 names. Simple enough. Voters, however, are restricted to voting for a maximum of 10 players, implying a ranking or hierarchy of players must necessarily be involved. But no such wording exists on the ballot. Voters don't list their choices in order. Players are either "in" or "out." James proposed a radical tournament-style election that would have 32 candidates running off against each other in a playoff, one candidate nominated from each team plus two at-large candidates from remaining players, managers and executives. I love the idea, in part because it asks voters to weigh in on history: Was Edgar Martinez better than Larry Walker? Was Jeff Bagwell better than Tim Raines? It forces voters to at least consider all the candidates and creates a more defined goal. Of course, the idea is way too fun to ever be considered. The important point is that the current process doesn't work. As James writes, "The BBWAA has little history of selecting unqualified candidates, but the BBWAA has passed on -- rejected -- a large number of well-qualified candidates. The BBWAA whiffed on Joe Torre, Ron Santo, Nellie Fox, Tim Raines, Luis Tiant, Dwight Evans and others. These are failures, too. These failures create pressure to open the alternative admissions process -- and the alternative admissions process is a dart board." On Jan. 6, this year's election results will http://www.officialsanfranciscogiantsshop.com/WOMENS-MATT-CAIN-JERSEY.html be announced. I expect Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Craig Biggio to get elected. While we'll celebrate their achievements and careers, we'll also criticize a system that failed to elect Raines or Bagwell or Schilling. Then we'll start up again next December.

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