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  • J.T. Snow

    I was surprised there doesn't seem to be a cowtipper poll about him, so I started this thread. Not because I think he's any kind of serious HOF candidate. It's because he should be on the 2012 BBWAA ballot.

    Here's a note I recently sent to the Hall.
    Sent: Monday, February 07, 2011 7:32 PM
    To: Research
    Subject: [Research & Library Center] 2012 BBWAA Candidates

    Daniel Greenia sent a message using the contact form at http://baseballhall.org/contact.

    Looking at upcoming BBWAA candidates I want to bring the strange case of J.T.
    Snow to your attention. Snow was released by Boston in June 2006, ending his career in pro ball. In 2008 this happened (per Wikipedia):

    "On September 24, 2008, the Giants signed Snow to a one-day contract, and he took the field on September 27 against the Dodgers, but was replaced before the first pitch. It was a move that allowed Snow to retire as a Giant."

    Under the official rules this apparently counts as a Game for Snow.
    Should it? Does that rule make any sense?

    I would petition for this "game" to be ignored and allow Snow to debut on the next BBWAA ballot.

    Dan Greenia
    I received this pat response:
    Daniel,

    MLB recognizes Snow having played a game in 2008, so that means he is not eligible for the BBWAA ballot until 2014. This is what the BBWAA recognizes as well.

    Best,

    (name deleted)
    Research Associate
    National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum
    A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Library
    25 Main Street
    Cooperstown, NY 13326
    I then sent this reply:
    Dear ,

    Thank you for your quick response.

    OK, right, rules are rules. What I'm asking is to bring a little reasonable thought to the process of constructing the ballot. My question was, "Does that rule make any sense?" Rules should be guidelines, not constraints against exercising common sense; as the case warrants.

    Obviously, JT Snow isn't a big deal; he won't get 5% from the voters. It's about establishing a precedent in case Ichiro or Pujols or someone truly great does the same thing.

    We know that Snow retired in 2006; he did a one-time stunt that was counted as a game, although he didn't play. No reasonable person would argue that his playing career was extended. More to the point, he did nothing to change his total contribution as a player, his image as a candidate is exactly the same. To restart his HOF eligibility waiting period based on this non-appearance makes no sense and is unfair and disrespectful to Snow, in my opinion.

    You and I have better things to do with our time than to become overly concerned about issues like this. However, to those fans like myself who care about the HOF, this lack of even considering a minor change to the rules to improve the process tends to lessen our respect for the HOF. This lack of self-examination, regularly reassessing the rules, leads to a flawed process.


    Dan Greenia
    J.T. Snow last played in 2006 and announced his retirement after that season. From mlb.com on 12/7/2006:
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Longtime Giant and fan favorite J.T. Snow has announced his retirement as a player after a 15-year big league career and has joined the San Francisco Giants front office, the club announced today.
    If you agree that Snow should be on the next BBWAA ballot, that they should ignore his pregame bow in 2008, send a note to the HOF and the BBWAA petitioning for his inclusion.
    Last edited by Freakshow; 02-09-2011, 10:32 AM.
    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

    Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

  • #2
    Does it matter THAT much? He's only going to get a vote or two anyway, either way. It seems like it is more effort than it is worth.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
      Does it matter THAT much? He's only going to get a vote or two anyway, either way. It seems like it is more effort than it is worth.
      Well, yeah, if one's hobby is the Hall of Fame, it kinda matters when the Hall does nonsense like this.

      But the larger point is, as I wrote:
      Obviously, JT Snow isn't a big deal; he won't get 5% from the voters. It's about establishing a precedent in case Ichiro or Pujols or someone truly great does the same thing.
      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

      Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

      Comment


      • #4
        BBWAA Contact

        I sent this note to the BBWAA:
        On Feb 9, 2011, at 12:38 PM, "Greenia, Daniel" <[email protected]> wrote:
        Dear Writers,

        Looking at upcoming BBWAA candidates I want to bring the strange case of J.T. Snow to your attention. Snow was released by Boston in June 2006, ending his career in pro ball. He announced his retirement officially on 12/7/2006.

        In 2008 this happened (per Wikipedia):

        "On September 24, 2008, the Giants signed Snow to a one-day contract, and he took the field on September 27 against the Dodgers, but was replaced before the first pitch. It was a move that allowed Snow to retire as a Giant."

        Under the official rules this pregame bow counts as a Game for Snow.
        Should it? Does that rule make any sense?

        I would petition for this "game" to be ignored and allow JT Snow to debut on the next BBWAA ballot. I would also add that this isn’t specifically about JT Snow; he won't get 5% from the voters. It's about establishing a precedent in case Ichiro or Pujols or someone truly great does the same thing.


        Best,


        Dan Greenia
        I soon received a response from Ed Price:
        Dan:

        This is something about which you should contact the Hall of Fame, which determines eligibility.
        To which I responded:
        Hi, Ed,

        I did contact the HOF first. They sent me back this brief, pat reply: “MLB recognizes Snow having played a game in 2008, so that means he is not eligible for the BBWAA ballot until 2014. This is what the BBWAA recognizes as well.”

        I sent them this slightly irritated response, to which they have not replied:

        “[quoted in first post here]"

        So I then decided to contact the BBWAA, knowing that if the writers want something changed the HOF will do its best to accommodate them. Or on a similar tack, I think if there becomes a general awareness of this situation among fans that the Hall will feel compelled to address the issue. Unfortunately, bad PR seems to be a prime motivator for change, rather than self-examination.

        So I will continue to agitate on this issue.

        Best,
        Ed immediately replied back to me:
        Speaking for myself, I'm not sure why which year a player becomes eligible is a hug deal.

        Snow did this of his own accord. As would anyone else. And the 5-year rule is in for a number of reasons -- to avoid worries about actual comebacks and to give voters time to reflect on players' careers.
        Fair enough. Here's my response:
        Hi, Ed,

        Well, of course it’s not a “hug(e)” deal. It’s just along the general lines of, Why wait to do the obvious? If a guy is a hall of famer, get him on the ballot and elect him. Five years is more than enough time “to avoid worries about actual comebacks and to give voters time to reflect on players' careers.” In fact, three years would work just as well.

        It’s the final honor for players like Snow simply to appear on the HOF ballot – and yes, it is an honor. And an even higher honor to receive a vote. And an even higher honor to get 5% support. And an even higher honor to get 15 years on the ballot. Why make Snow wait another two years to be honored? The HOF rules say. “A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues … ending five (5) years prior to election.” Snow did not “play” in 2008; he has satisfied the intent of the rule and should not be forced to wait 2 years beyond the next election to receive his honor.

        Speaking for myself, I would not even count a few token appearances after a player’s career to be a restarting of their HOF eligibility clock. For example, Hideo Nomo. Tampa Bay released him in July 2005, ending his MLB career. Then KC let him get pounded three times in April 2008, setting back his HOF eligibility three more years. IMO that’s nonsensical.

        I think the BBWAA screening committee should be tasked to consider players’ eligibility for the 2012 ballot, even if they played a few token games after 2006. Along with Snow, they could put players like Sandy Alomar, Jr. on the 2012 ballot, ignoring his 8 games, 22 PA at age 41 in 2007. Or Rheal Cormier would be eligible for consideration, setting aside his 6 G, 3 IP in April 2007. Again, why wait? They’ve satisfied the spirit of the waiting rule.

        I doubt that in 2008 Snow had any concern that his actions would have an effect on his waiting period for HOF eligibility. Indeed, it makes little sense that it should. And he’s probably not much bothered by it now. The issue here is the precedent being set, as I said before. When the occasion comes that the rules are unnecessarily delaying the HOF entry of a truly great player, the failure to modify the rule may come back to bite the HOF.

        Thank you for your responses.
        Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

        Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

        Comment


        • #5
          But it really doesn't matter. A player who is deserving will get in when he gets in, an player who is not will wait. It's not that big a deal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
            But it really doesn't matter. A player who is deserving will get in when he gets in, an player who is not will wait. It's not that big a deal.
            It's about as relevant as a thread discussing the HOF case of Luke Sewell, right?
            Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

            Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

            Comment


            • #7
              Child please
              Chop! Chop! Chop!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                It's about as relevant as a thread discussing the HOF case of Luke Sewell, right?
                I never brought up the relevancy of it. I am referring to the amount of effort you are asking us to put into this, when really we shouldn't be putting ANY into it because there is really no reason to. The point is, who cares if he came back and played a game? Who cares if Ichiro comes back four years after retiring and plays a game? Then he has to wait a little longer to get into the Hall. It's not a big deal.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
                  I never brought up the relevancy of it. I am referring to the amount of effort you are asking us to put into this, when really we shouldn't be putting ANY into it because there is really no reason to. The point is, who cares if he came back and played a game? Who cares if Ichiro comes back four years after retiring and plays a game? Then he has to wait a little longer to get into the Hall. It's not a big deal.
                  I refer you to post #1:
                  If you agree that Snow should be on the next BBWAA ballot, that they should ignore his pregame bow in 2008, send a note to the HOF and the BBWAA petitioning for his inclusion.
                  You don't agree. That's fine.

                  For myself, as someone who does care about the HOF, I see at least three reasons to commit the effort required to send a sentence or two to the HOF/BBWAA:

                  1) Life is uncertain. Delays to eligibility can result in players not being honored while they're alive.
                  2) Respect for the process. When the HOF adheres to rules that defy common sense, it calls into question the quality of the honor being bestowed. The rules for the HOF (as well as the rules of the Game) have been continuously reviewed and tweaked as necessary. This just another time where a weakness in the rules should be addressed.
                  3) Respect for the person. Snow has earned a place on the HOF ballot with his play. He has fulfilled the necessary waiting period. His honor is now due. Snow's "game" in 2008 is like a pinch-hitter being announced then being replaced by another batter before seeing a pitch because the opposition made a pitching change. That's not counted as a game (Rule 10.03(b) Comment).

                  You're saying there's no reason for concern here, no point to pursuing it. Well, you're right. Do you know why there's no crying in baseball? Because it doesn't matter, it's not important! It's a game for the participants, part of the entertainment industry for the fans. A hobby for us researchers. Who cares if Luke Sewell is a credible HOF candidate or not? We do! I posted a comment in that thread, after all.

                  So please don't try to tell us what we should and shouldn't care about.
                  Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                  Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I sent this two-part message to Fan Feedback at mlb.com:
                    Rule 10.20
                    MESSAGE:
                    Researching players coming up for the Hall of Fame, I came across the case of JT Snow. After retiring in 2006, Snow signed a one-day contract and was listed in the starting lineup on 9/27/08. He took the field, then took his bow and exited before the game started. This actually counts(!) as a G in his official stats. Rule 10.20 says: "…such players, however, shall be credited with one game played ... so long as they are announced into the game or listed on the official lineup card." (cont)
                    Rule 10.20 (cont)
                    MESSAGE:
                    This defies logic. This is like a PH announced into the game, but being replaced before batting. That's not counted as a game. Also, in Rule 10.23(c), Snow's stunt would not continue a cons G played streak. The HOF told me that Snow is not eligible now due to that game in ‘08. Can Rule 10.20 be changed, or at least a pronouncement that his "game" in 2008 should not deny him a place on the 2012 BBWAA ballot? He has fulfilled the Hall's 5-years without playing requirement. Best, Dan
                    So far nothing but a robo-acknowledgment in reply.
                    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                    Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I may have misspoken about one aspect. I wrote:
                      This is like a PH announced into the game, but being replaced before batting. That's not counted as a game.
                      Looking into this, I believe the announced batter IS credited with a game played (against all logic).

                      Is there a rules maven here who can confirm or deny whether a sub who is announced but doesn't play gets credited with a game?
                      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                      Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                        I may have misspoken about one aspect. I wrote: Looking into this, I believe the announced batter IS credited with a game played (against all logic).

                        Is there a rules maven here who can confirm or deny whether a sub who is announced but doesn't play gets credited with a game?
                        This actually came up last season when I was watching a Yankees game. Whether or not they get credited a game is at the discretion of the official scorer presiding over the game.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jjpm74 View Post
                          This actually came up last season when I was watching a Yankees game. Whether or not they get credited a game is at the discretion of the official scorer presiding over the game.
                          Is their decision based on any criteria or is it an entirely inconsistent decision; some do it one way, some do it the other?
                          Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                          Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Freakshow View Post
                            Is their decision based on any criteria or is it an entirely inconsistent decision; some do it one way, some do it the other?
                            From what the announcers said, it is at their discretion in the same way a game where the a pitcher leaves the game before the 3rd out in their half of the 5th inning with the lead is at the discretion of the official scorer. In other words, it is a judgement call. I have no idea how someone can "judge" one announced pinch hitter who is used to get a pitcher out of the game to be officially credited with a game, but not another, though. Maybe it is determined by whether or not the manager successfully forced a pitcher out of the game by having a given pinch hitter announced.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think these announcers were probably just mistaken, and an announced pinch hitter always is credited with a game played. Official Rule 10, the scorer's rule includes this provision, rule 10.3(b)

                              "The official scorer shall identify in the official score report any player who enters the game as a substitute batter or substitute runner...The record of substitute batters and runners shall include the name of any such substitute whose name is announced, but who is removed for another substitute before he actually gets into the game. Any such second substitute shall be recorded as batting or running for the first announced substitute."

                              This is the only reference I've found to the case of a pinch hitter who is called back after being announced. The clause does not refer explicitly to credit for a game played, and in fact nowhere in the rule is the GP mentioned at all, although probably everything else does appear that you'd likely think of as an official statistic. But, at any rate, if the scorer were empowered to decide whether the player was credited with a game or not, that fact would have to be mentioned in the rule.

                              If something similar to Snow's case were to happen to a player like Pujols, someone who was a guaranteed or likely first-year electee, then I can well imagine that it would become a subject of at least some controversy, and quite possibly an exception would be made. But I don't think inaction in Snow's case establishes a strong precedent. The straightforward interpretation of the rule is simply being accepted in his case as it has been in the past, and that's not precedent, it's business as usual. It doesn't at all rule out a new departure in a different case later on.
                              “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes

                              Comment

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