Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Baseball Hall of Fame

Among serious baseball fans, inclusion or exclusion of particular players in the Hall of Fame is sure to spark a debate. Players gain admittance to the HoF via voting by the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). A player is first eligible for election 5 years after they last played in a major league game and needs be listed on 75% or higher of the ballots that are returned. Additionally, a player needs to be listed on 5% of the returned ballots in order to remain on the ballot in subsequent years. The voters have done a couple things which could seriously undermine the system. First, there have been a few voters who feel there is a difference between a Hall of Famer and a first ballot selectee to the Hall of Fame. Secondly, there are some voters who will give a friendship vote to an otherwise undeserving player. We can call that the Jim Deshaies effect. Usually it means one vote to a good but not great player who that particular voter remembers fondly.

There are two players who could upset the whole apple cart; Rafael Palmeiro and Sean Casey. Palmeiro, with over 500 homers and 3,000 hits, would normally be a shoe in to the Hall of Fame. Casey who has a decent batting average but little power would seem likely to fall far short of induction. That's where things get funny. Based on his recent failed drug test there could be such a backlash to ensure he isn't a first ballot HoF selection that he could fall short of the necessary 5 percent to remain on the ballot. By contrast, Sean Casey is such a popular guy that he could end up accidentally receiving more than 75% of the votes just in friendship votes.

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