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Thread: Santo calls for veteran vote change...

  1. #1

    Santo calls for veteran vote change...

    ESPN

    LAS VEGAS -- Ron Santo, who fell nine votes short of election by the Veterans Committee to the Baseball Hall of Fame, said the process needs to change after the committee failed to elect a new member for the fourth straight time.

    The Veterans Committee, a 64-member panel made up exclusively of all living Hall of Fame players, votes every other year on players from 1943 and after. Santo, who spent 14 of his 15 seasons with the Chicago Cubs and is a longtime broadcaster for the team, led the voting with 39 votes, or 61 percent. But needed to be on 75 percent of the ballots to be voted into the hall.
    ''It's a travesty,'' Santo said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. ''When I saw nobody got in again, I go, 'Whoa, this is wrong.' They can't keep going the way they're going. They've got to put a [different] committee out there.''

    "It'll be eight years now that they've voted and not let anybody in. And personally, I feel like there's a lot of guys that should've been in, not just me," Santo said, according to the Chicago Tribune.
    However, Hall of Fame chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark noted that the goal of the two-stage veterans' process is not to elect someone every time they vote, according to the Sun-Times.
    ''The process was not redesigned with the goal of necessarily electing someone, but to give everyone on the ballot a very fair chance of earning election through a ballot of their peers,'' Clark said, according to the report.
    Santo was an All-Star nine times. He finished his career with 342 home runs, 1,331 RBIs, a .277 lifetime batting average and five Gold Gloves.
    While the post-1943 committee did not elect anyone to the hall, a smaller panel of just 12 members voting on players from 1942 and before did add a member to Cooperstown: New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians second baseman Joe Gordon.
    "They have to change it," Santo said, according to the Tribune. "They're going to still have a Veterans Committee, but it should go back to where it was [in the '90s] when Bill Mazeroski got in. I think they should have a committee of maybe 12 guys that vote, that's the way to do it.

    "Evaluate everyone, but instead of having all the [Hall of Fame] players vote, maybe just a couple players, a couple broadcasters, a couple writers -- a much smaller group. That's how [Joe] Gordon got in."
    Santo said his life would not change because he's not in the Hall of Fame -- but he still believes he belongs in Cooperstown.

    ''Getting in or not getting in is not going to change my life at all. I'm going to be me, and that's it," Santo said, according to the Sun-Times. "But I feel I deserve this. I put up Hall of Fame numbers during the greatest era of baseball for pitchers, and I played with diabetes. Only diabetics can know what I went through. It would have just been satisfying [to be elected].''
    Last edited by MyDogSparty; 12-09-2008 at 09:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Obviously NOT putting someone in the HOF via the VC is not a travesty if there are no deserving players but it is a problem is players are deserving but still don't get in.

    Santo has been overlooked year after year despite this board feeling he is one of the deserving players. I wonder, is the vote of the VC starting to speak volumes about what they think of Santo's talent despite what the statistics may show? For all the folks to regurgitate his statistics do you think the VC knows something about Santo's talent that's not accurately shown in the numbers? Do you think the VC is just sick of hearing Santo whine about his omission? Or do you think the VC doesn't look at the important stats and therefore has no clue?

    If the VC is taking this voting seriously I'd like to see a vote by vote justification for keeping Santo and others out of the HOF. Do you think if the VC were held to a higher standard of justifying their vote that they would take it more seriously?

  3. #3
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    It is time to cease all VC elections. Since they can't get it right why give them more opportunitioes to screw up??
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

  4. #4
    I feel sure that at least a dozen voters, who would be 20% of the electorate, omitted Santo from their votes because they mean to vote No; they doubt that he belongs in the Hall of Fame, or they feel certain he does not. There were more than two dozen nays this year. His own case has become prominent. The pattern of electing no one has become prominent. He was the leader in the 2005 and 2007 votes, and that status was part of the news story both years. If you support the leading incumbent, who also gets the most current attention, you don't vote for anyone else on tactical grounds.

    Further down the ballot, even for second place Jim Kaat who played a bit later and finished second in 2007, there may be a lot of confusion re whom to vote for this year among more than four deserving candidates, both on tactical grounds and on grounds that a recently eligible player deserves to wait. But I feel sure that Ron Santo gets a lot of focused attention on his own merits, not simply anguished comparison with other candidates on the ballot.

    Quote Originally Posted by MyDogSparty View Post
    I wonder, is the vote of the VC starting to speak volumes about what they think of Santo's talent despite what the statistics may show? For all the folks to regurgitate his statistics do you think the VC knows something about Santo's talent that's not accurately shown in the numbers?
    [No.]
    Do you think the VC is just sick of hearing Santo whine about his omission?
    Relying on a couple of internet discussion and analysis sites alone, I have not been aware of Santo's "whining" (does that mean references to his diabetes?) nor even aware that he has made any public statement that he knows he should be in.

    I do think it's possible that whinging cost him votes. So I am a little less sure than I was yesterday that most of the honored writers and broadcasters voted for him two years ago. (He lost 18 votes, from 57 to 39, while the number of voters decreased by 18, from 82 to 64.)

    --
    I'm sure it hurts the cause when other critics of the institution focus so much attention on Santo alone. As JFC says again and again, as others echoed two years ago, it isn't the job of the Board to fiddle with the process until a particular person is elected.
    Last edited by Paul Wendt; 12-09-2008 at 10:29 AM.

  5. #5
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    Santo is right, but I'm not sure it's helpful coming from someone with a vested interest in a change.

  6. #6
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    If we do what Santo wants, we risk going back to a Frankie Frisch scenario, which was the absolute nadir of all the iterations of a "veteran's committee". I'm not sure how you avoid that scenario in a 12 man committee, and if you can't prevent it, I wouldn't want to risk it. That said, it's clear the system is messed up, and that Cooperstown has no idea how to fix it.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
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  7. #7
    This is a tricky situation. Santo belongs in, but he probably isn't the right person to be telling the HOF that. Someone should do it on his behalf, like Sandberg has already done. Conversely, the purpose of the committee is not to elect someone every year, it is simply to catch the few omissions that have occurred and correct them. There are fewer omissions these days than there used to be, but Santo is one of them. The last thing we want is for the committee to elect undeserving players the way it used to. I don't think it needs to be restructured, just a little more lenient.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis Nixon's Bodyguard View Post
    This is a tricky situation. Santo belongs in, but he probably isn't the right person to be telling the HOF that. Someone should do it on his behalf, like Sandberg has already done. Conversely, the purpose of the committee is not to elect someone every year, it is simply to catch the few omissions that have occurred and correct them. There are fewer omissions these days than there used to be, but Santo is one of them. The last thing we want is for the committee to elect undeserving players the way it used to. I don't think it needs to be restructured, just a little more lenient.
    I agree with the idea that Santo isn't helping his case by taking the tack he's taking. Santo also runs the risk of cheapening his own induction. If the VC is changed to where Santo is elected along with some other guys who are questionable, it will reflect badly on Santo. He should have remained silent, and, now that he's spoken up, let's hope he stays silent so that people can forget his statements that, however valid, can't help but appear to be self-serving.

    I would like to propose the following: If a majority of the BBWAA opts to keep a player on the ballot after 15 years, that player is then added to the BBWAA ballot for five (5) more years. Why couldn't Santo be added to the BBWAA ballot and voted on? He's not so ancient that today's writers have no idea of his credentials. Santo deserves a break, but the veterans, for whatever reason, aren't inclined to give it to him. I can't think of a better way to resolve this issue.
    "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

    NL President Ford Frick, 1947

  9. #9
    What I like of this year vote is see the petit-comitte that run the pre-1943 making an election of someone (Gordon) who was in some moment in the same situation of Santo. They will be probably the real chance for Santo to get in the future once the base year they use to cut the line from the HOF players ballot reach him.
    The only problem will be that Santo probably wont be in this world to see that.
    You have to suffer a revolution to know what are you talking about.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    Santo is right, but I'm not sure it's helpful coming from someone with a vested interest in a change.
    That was going to be my next comment. No kidding. I kind of wish someone from the VC would take up the torch and lead the charge for Santo. It looks and sounds like sour grapes when Santo is the voice for change even though he's right. I hate to hear him tooting his own horn and then throw the diabetic argument out there. In most cases I feel that if you have to campaign to get in then you're not deserving in the first place. He might be an exception to that feeling but I don't think he's helping his cause.

    I also think he does himself a disservice when he words things like: "It'll be eight years now that they've voted and not let anybody in." There's absolutely nothing wrong with not letting anyone in if nobody is deserving. He should not worry about the fact that "nobody got let in again". The argument should begin with "there are deserving players that didn't get elected again" and then expand from that point on what needs to be done.

    Every year that he doesn't get in, I am very surprised. The VC has had ample time to digest his candidacy and the fact that he doesn't make it really sends a message as to what the VC thinks of him as a player, at least to me anyway.

  11. #11
    In my experience, the smaller the voting bloc, the greater the chance of this sort of situation. All it takes is a few self righteous and/or intransigent voters to get past the 25% mark and derail a candidacy. I've seen that happen over and over with the Pro Football Hall. It's a main reason that the much larger pool of voters that decide the regular BBWA ballot is the best choice to get a proper result.
    3 6 10 21 29 31 35 41 42 44 47

    "It is not easy to be near your best every single day. Some would even say its impossible. Were all just human beings. But its not impossible. Henry Aaron did it." - Joe Posnanski

  12. #12
    When talking about how Ron is tooting his own horn or things like that, it is important for folks to realize several things. First, Ronnie loves to talk. Second, he's a broadcaster for THE Chicago Cubs. Thus, his opportunities to be asked about it and to have his opinions heard are more frequent. What I'm saying is that it might look to some like Santo is going out of his own to make his own case, when in reality, it probably has more to do with the increased opportunities he has to have his opinion heard. I'm sure if Dick Allen or Tony Oliva was the radio voice of one of the most popular franchises in the world, you'd probably hear his opinion on the matter more often than others as well.

    Like someone mentioned earlier, the fact that he is the leading vote-getter the last few years also makes him more notorious and thus the subject of more news stories, etc. He's the poster boy in a sense. So it's not like he brought this all on himself.

  13. #13
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    Yeah this is obviously someone crying over a situation where they are heavily biased. The system may not be perfect. IMO Santo is not a HOF and even people in his camp aknowledge he is marginal at best. Just because they dont elect someone doesnt mean the system is flawed, in fact, i would be against it if they elected too many people.

    G Rizzle

  14. #14
    Can a mod correct the title of this thread?? I'm going into seizures looking at that horrific misspelling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OleMissCub View Post
    Can a mod correct the title of this thread?? I'm going into seizures looking at that horrific misspelling.
    Hahaha...I think that's the first time I've had a good laugh since ummm, about 1:00pm Monday. This "election" just makes me (and a lot of others) really angry. I would LOVE to have all of the ballots exposed. Call everyone out...who voted for who? Of course, no way that's going to happen...but it's the only way I could find any satisfaction from yesterday's events.
    Last edited by BSmile; 12-10-2008 at 07:28 AM.

  16. #16
    I agree that Santo's vested interest makes his criticism dubious.

    I'm of two minds about changing the current set-up. It may be that those listed don't deserve to go in, though I think a case can be made for Gil Hodges ahead of Santo (I'm a Dodger fan but I was born after Hodges retired from playing, so I don't think my interest is nearly so vested as Santo's in himself!). The players themselves certainly are good judges of the ability of those who played.

    But I also remember Reggie Jackson and a couple of others saying when they were also voting on non-players that non-players don't belong in the Hall of Fame. Well, I am a history professor, and that's a bit like my telling a class that I once dated a blonde who was evil, so no blondes can pass my classes. It's a bias coming in that shouldn't be allowed. That makes me wonder how many of them are sitting around thinking, I made it, so no one else does.

  17. #17
    Never studied Santo's case in-depth, but I have a bias towards NOT letting him in. This is because someone on BF once pointed out that Santo's Slugging % was like 120 lower on the road. Not a sign of greatness, but then again, haven't really put my nose to the grindstone with his case.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by OleMissCub View Post
    When talking about how Ron is tooting his own horn or things like that, it is important for folks to realize several things. First, Ronnie loves to talk. Second, he's a broadcaster for THE Chicago Cubs. Thus, his opportunities to be asked about it and to have his opinions heard are more frequent. What I'm saying is that it might look to some like Santo is going out of his own to make his own case, when in reality, it probably has more to do with the increased opportunities he has to have his opinion heard. I'm sure if Dick Allen or Tony Oliva was the radio voice of one of the most popular franchises in the world, you'd probably hear his opinion on the matter more often than others as well.

    Like someone mentioned earlier, the fact that he is the leading vote-getter the last few years also makes him more notorious and thus the subject of more news stories, etc. He's the poster boy in a sense. So it's not like he brought this all on himself.
    While that's all good and true. It's also true that no one is putting words in his mouth and that he's responsible for what comes out of it.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by MyDogSparty View Post
    While that's all good and true. It's also true that no one is putting words in his mouth and that he's responsible for what comes out of it.
    Of course he is responsible for his words. I would never deny that, and truthfully, I really don't like that he's saying anything at all about his situation. It rubs me the wrong way a bit and looks like blind self promotion. Regardless, the point I was originally making was that he is given more opportunities to be heard than other candidates.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Maddux's Biggest Fan View Post
    Never studied Santo's case in-depth, but I have a bias towards NOT letting him in. This is because someone on BF once pointed out that Santo's Slugging % was like 120 lower on the road. Not a sign of greatness, but then again, haven't really put my nose to the grindstone with his case.
    If road Slugging % is your determining factor for someone's HOF candidacy so be it.

    Top Win Shares of the 1960's:

    Hank Aaron - 340
    Willie Mays - 337
    Frank Robinson - 307
    Roberto Clemente - 260
    Harmon Killebrew - 257
    Ron Santo - 247
    Mickey Mantle - 247
    Willie McCovey - 237
    Brooks Robinson - 233
    Carl Yastrzemski - 230

  21. #21
    Santo's a good guy. He's not a whiner.

    The quoted story is ESPN's amalgamated version of a Trib story and a Sun-Times story, both based on interviews initiated by those papers after the HOF results came out.

    The result being some comments Santo made in reply to questions, twice removed from the actual Q&A and spun to seem as if he was indulging in some sort of unmotivated free-form rant.

    Of course if you want to judge a guy's character from that you are free to do so.

  22. #22
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    The 19th Century Peer Committee hasn't elected somebody for over 30 years.

  23. #23
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    Lets face it this group of 64 HOFers can't get together on who should go in, Joe Morgan said it on Monday ""There are some guys out there who I believe belong in the Hall of Fame," Morgan said. "I think all of the players feel there are some guys out there who belong. The problem is, we can't find 75 percent that agrees one guy is the guy." They have had 4 votes and everyone has come out the same way. I think a new committee of 16-20 people made up of a few HOF players, a few writers and broadcasters plus some historians would be a better choice then 64 HOFers. They should vote every other year for all groups, this 2 years for one group and 5 years for another group isn't right. Also the 1942 cutoff, why isn't it 1955 if you look at the 2 groups Gil Hodges played against more players in the pre 1942 group in his prime then the group he was in. For the 10 players I feel should be in there needs to be a change in veterans committees so it is fair for all.
    Lets support Gil Hodges for The Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    I'm not sure we should retain the Veteran's Committee, but ife we're going to keep it, perhaps the best way to deal with the issue is for that committee to elect a limited number of players (say 1 or at most 2 in a year) using an MVP style vote. The up-down vote combined with a limited number of votes really works against electing anyone, especially when combined with the 75% requirement and a large voting group. If it's a small group, Frankie-Frisch style abuses are an issue especially if the number of electees isn't tightly controlled. I think if you leave the larger group intact and elect say 1 player every other year, perhaps alternating the pre WW II generation with the post WW II generation, it might produce acceptable results. It's the best alternative I can come up with without scrapping the old system and starting over.
    Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
    Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
    A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

  25. #25
    We may guess based on the election results that these players would have elected.

    2003 Gil Hodges
    2005 Ron Santo
    2007 Jim Kaat
    2009 Tony Oliva

    Oliva consistently enjoyed strong support. Nevertheless the speculation is rather wild by 2009. Certainly there would have been no cut in the ballot from 25+ to seven candidates, probably no cut of honored writers and broadcasters from the electorate, plausibly no reform after 2007.

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