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  • #16
    I received this note today from the same guy at the Hall of Fame:
    Daniel,

    The BBWAA sets these rules, not the Hall of Fame. If the rules aren't black and white, then where do you draw the line? One game? Five games?
    And who makes that call?

    I hope this helps clarify,
    My response to him:
    Dear Freddy,

    Thank you for giving more thought to this issue. Unfortunately, your rationale doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny.

    The fact is, for more than 40 years the BBWAA has employed fuzzy rules in deciding who makes the ballot. Since 1968, the BBWAA screening committee employs subjective criteria in deciding which 10-year players among those retired five years ago will actually appear on the ballot. The perils of this subjective process were starkly revealed in 1978, with the flap surrounding the screeners' rejection of Milt Pappas.

    Given this history, it would not be much of a reach to give the screeners the authority to put on the ballot players who made only token appearances in the five years since they last played substantially. For example, they might be allowed put players like Sandy Alomar, Jr. on the 2012 ballot, ignoring his 8 games, 22 PA at age 41 in 2007. However, I don’t advocate for this; we know how an arbitrary process such as this can lead to controversy and charges of favoritism. I think we would agree that there ought to be objective criteria used to decide eligibility for the HOF ballot.

    You asked, where do you draw the line? Employ Occam's Razor; or KISS. In other words, try to keep it simple and sensible. Follow the wording of the BBWAA Election Rules: “Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election.” Taken literally, rather than technically, Snow was not an “active player” in 2008. Snow didn’t try to work himself into game shape in 2008; his intent was never to actually be an “active player”, but simply to be honored in a Giants uniform.

    The Snow Affair is an opportunity to clarify the rules and set them aright. Rule 3.C of the Election rules should be amended to define the term “active players” to conform to Rule 10.23(c) of the Official Baseball Rules regarding consecutive-game playing streaks. So add something like this to HOF Rule 3.C: Unless a player plays at least one-half inning on defense or completes a time at bat, in the regular season or the post-season, he will not be considered to be an active player in that season for purposes of HOF eligibility.

    That’s where you should logically draw the line. The rule that defines a “Game” that serves to continue a player’s career should be the same as the Official Baseball Rules that define a “Game” that serves to continue a player’s consecutive game streak. J.T. Snow’s appearance in 2008 would not continue a consecutive game streak, according to Rule 10.23(c); likewise, it should not be counted as an active continuation of his playing career.

    The Hall of Fame should encourage the BBWAA to address this modification to the eligibility rules.

    I hope this helps,
    Last edited by Freakshow; 02-15-2011, 10:41 AM.
    Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

    Comment


    • #17
      >>
      That’s where you should logically draw the line. The rule that defines a “Game” that serves to continue a player’s career should be the same as the Official Baseball Rules that define a “Game” that serves to continue a player’s consecutive game streak. J.T. Snow’s appearance in 2008 would not continue a consecutive game streak, according to Rule 10.23(c); likewise, it should not be counted as an active continuation of his playing career.
      <<

      Certainly this criterion is reasonable.

      Regarding the Cause:
      In my opinion there is an essential a tactical question. Maybe that means it isn't a worthy Cause, tactics be damned.
      Does this particular engagement help you or hurt you as a critic who writes to baseball people and institutions on several matters, consistently over his own name?

      Unfortunately I can't give advice with any confidence. If someone is moved to dismiss you here, is that bad? Or will it make you a more compelling critic in general?

      Comment


      • #18
        I started this thread simply to chronicle my attempts to influence the powers that be regarding the rules that govern the Game. This started with direct contact with the institutions involved. As this by itself will probably not bring about the change I seek, other avenues for increasing general awareness are being explored.

        While the original impetus for this thread was the injustice being done to Snow, this has become subordinate to the Cause. That is, to improve the rules. And this is on two fronts:

        1) To change rule 10.20 of the Official Baseball Rules so that merely being announced into a game or listed in the starting lineup does not count as a Game in the official statistics. I would argue that a Game played should be credited when a player is in the game when either 1) one pitch is thrown, 2) one fielding chance occurs, or 3) a base is gained. In other words, to be in the game and on the field when something happens. I think that precipitating a pitching change or some other managerial move by your announced presence does not constitute "being in the game when something happens."

        2) To change rule 3.C of the BBWAA Election Rules to conform with the criteria for continuing a consecutive game streak as laid out in Rule 10.23(c) of the Official Baseball Rules. In other words, the activity necessary to continue a playing career for purposes of HOF eligibility should be the same as the activity necessary to continue a consecutive game streak.

        Disregarding the question of whether or not all this attains the threshhold to be termed a "Worthy Cause," I would find critiques of my arguments and tactics to be much more valuable. Thanks, Paul.
        Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

        Comment


        • #19
          While I don't think isolated instance is a big deal given the player involved, it's nonetheless pretty interesting, and as Freakshow says, could become a bigger deal if a more prominent player goes through similar circumstances. Many of us may not take this issue as seriously as he does, but any criticism is really unwarranted. So I thank Freakshow for bring this interesting oddity to our attention and see nothing wrong with his attempts to bring it to the Hall's attention as well.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by DoubleX View Post
            While I don't think isolated instance is a big deal given the player involved, it's nonetheless pretty interesting, and as Freakshow says, could become a bigger deal if a more prominent player goes through similar circumstances. Many of us may not take this issue as seriously as he does, but any criticism is really unwarranted. So I thank Freakshow for bring this interesting oddity to our attention and see nothing wrong with his attempts to bring it to the Hall's attention as well.
            Yes, Freakshow does have a small point that might relate to a consecutive games streak or record for the most games appearing at a position. The HOF should probably make a rule of some sort to clarify 1 game instances where the player doesn't bat or take the field.

            Comment


            • #21
              There is now an article regarding this topic at Baseball Think factory: J.T. Snow, Rule 10.20 and the Hall of Fame
              Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

              Comment


              • #22
                A couple people were kind enough to provide links to the BBTF article on their website:

                Rob Neyer at SBNation

                Graham Womack at Baseball Past and Present
                Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

                Comment


                • #23
                  A week ago I inquired to see if the Giants organization had any interest in going to bat for Snow. Nope.

                  I started with this brief note:
                  JT Snow last played in 2006 so he should be eligible for the next HOF election. The HOF says no, that his farewell appearance in Sept 2008 counts as a game. My article at Baseballthinkfactory has the details: "J.T. Snow, Rule 10.20 and the Hall of Fame."
                  The response:
                  Thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts with us. JT Snow's last game was 2008.

                  Best Regards,
                  Giants Guest Services
                  I sent a fuller explanation:
                  Technically true. But was he an “active player”? That is the question that the BBWAA Rules for Election leaves open for interpretation.

                  Was Snow in the game and on the field when a play happened? No.
                  Did the Giants sign him in 2008 intending to let him actually play? No.
                  Did Snow work to get himself into playing shape? No.
                  Was Snow’s intent for being activated entirely symbolic? Yes.

                  Doesn’t look like an active player to me. The HOF is about to do a disservice to one of your own.

                  The Rockies Eric Young, who likewise retired in 2006, did the same as Snow in September 2008. But Young will be eligible now because he didn’t get cute and have his name written into the starting lineup. Snow has earned a place on the HOF ballot with his play. He has fulfilled the necessary waiting period. His honor is now due.

                  For a fuller discussion, check out the article:

                  http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/..._hall_of_fame/

                  Thank you for your response.
                  The response:
                  Thank you for the comments. This is probably more of a questions for those who vote on this and HOF.
                  I tried again:
                  I agree, and I have been in contact with the HOF, as well as the BBWAA. However, these institutions normally do nothing until prodded to take action. The team and the media that a hall of fame candidate played for become their primary advocates. If the Giants and the Bay Area media do nothing to increase awareness of the impending snub of Snow by the Hall, then an injustice will occur; a small injustice, but an injustice nonetheless.

                  The rules can and should be interpreted to make Snow eligible now; it’s unfair for him to wait two more years. Appearing on the HOF ballot is an honor that only 7% of major league players receive (72 of 1029 players who last played 2001 to 2005). For players like Snow, it is the highest honor the Game has for them. Justice delayed is justice denied.

                  There is also the issue of the precedent being set. If Ichiro or Pujols or someone truly great does the same thing, this could be a major controversy. Get the rules clarified now. 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.
                  A week later I finally got something I could use:
                  Very good points, but I am just the one that answers the many questions of Giants fans, many of which I am not the expert at. I would suggest asking one of the beat writers this question. I was lucky to listen to our beat writer answer questions on topics like this but not this exact question. He was very open in his answers, he was Harry Schulman. This is also an interesting question for Marty Lurie, on KNBR.
                  I then suggest this:
                  Thank you for the suggestions.

                  Since you, as the club’s representative, already have a relationship with these people, it would be much more effective if you could notify these parties rather than me. You represent Snow’s franchise, his employer. The SF media depends on you; if you requested them to give a little notice to Snow’s plight they probably would do it. Or you could just forward them our conversation here.

                  I live in a Detroit suburb and have little interest and knowledge of Giants baseball. My main interest is the Hall of Fame and their flawed system. I hope they will do right by JT Snow. I have no standing with the Bay area sports media; you do.
                  I'll also send notice to the two guys they mentioned.
                  Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Pretty neat Mr. Greenia. Your argument makes sense to me; that J.T. Snow is the subject of the ruling is irrelevant, but it would be wrong to allow someone to pay his/her way into an official game without having a plate appearance.
                    http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploa...-showalter.gif

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by J W View Post
                      Pretty neat Mr. Greenia. Your argument makes sense to me; that J.T. Snow is the subject of the ruling is irrelevant, but it would be wrong to allow someone to pay his/her way into an official game without having a plate appearance.
                      Well, yeah. The article is a Modest Proposal; satirical, tongue-in-cheek.

                      I contacted the two guys suggested to me. Marty Lurie sent an immediate response:
                      Dan got it..I'll use this on the pregame...thanks,
                      Marty

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: "Greenia, Daniel"
                      Sent 03/22/2011 12:07:20 PM
                      To: [email protected]
                      Subject: JT Snow hall of fame


                      Hi, Marty,

                      Since you seem to be the #1 Giants’ voice I thought you might be interested in the unique circumstances concerning hall of fame eligibility for J.T. Snow.

                      Being a fan favorite, the Giants signed Snow to a one-day contract in September 2008, so he could take a final bow and retire with the team. The Rockies did much the same that month with their guy Eric Young. Both had retired back in 2006. After waiting five years they would be eligible for the HOF ballot in 2012, the upcoming election. As it turns out, Young will be eligible but Snow will not. You see, the Giants got cute and wrote Snow’s name onto the starting lineup card on that day in 2008. According to Rule 10.20 of the Official Baseball Rules, this officially counts in the stats as a Game played(!?!). The Hall of Fame has written to me that this will delay Snow’s eligibility for the BBWAA ballot for two years.

                      I’ve also corresponded with the BBWAA, citing their Rule 3.C: “Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.” The phrase “active player” is undefined and ambiguous. I’m saying that being technically credited with a Game in 2008 did not make Snow an active player. Snow didn’t try to work himself into game shape in 2008; his intent was never to actually be an “active player”, but simply to be honored in a Giants uniform.

                      Well, both the BBWAA and the HOF want to sweep this away as a non-issue. The general attitude is Who cares about Snow; he’ll be lucky to get a vote. There are several reasons to address this issue:

                      1. Rule 10.20 is illogical. They should credit a player with a Game played only if they are in the game when something happens. A Game played should be credited when a player is in the game and on the field when either 1) one pitch is thrown, 2) one fielding chance occurs, or 3) a base is gained.
                      2. It’s inconsistent. Snow’s Game in 2008 is not sufficient to continue a consecutive-game playing streak. (Rule 10.23 says that a player has to play a half-inning on defense or complete a time at bat to continue a consecutive games streak.) I suggest that the HOF should use this same criteria for continuing a career; amend rule 3.C of the BBWAA Election Rules and add this: Unless a player plays at least one-half inning on defense or completes a time at bat, in the regular season or the post-season, he will not be considered to be an active player in that season for purposes of HOF eligibility.
                      3. 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 is just another time where a weakness in the rules should be addressed.
                      4. The precedent. If Ichiro or Pujols or someone truly great does the same thing, this could be a major controversy. Get the rules fixed now.
                      5. It’s unfair to Snow. Appearing on the HOF ballot is an honor that only 7% of major league players receive (72 of 1029 players who last played 2001 to 2005). For players like Snow, it is the highest honor the Game has for them. Snow has earned a place on the HOF ballot with his play. He has fulfilled the necessary waiting period. His honor is now due.

                      I wrote an article about this at Baseball Think Factory:
                      http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/..._hall_of_fame/

                      Thanks for reading. Please consider bringing this issue to light. A player’s club and its media are his primary advocates in any issues with the Hall of Fame or the BBWAA electorate. If you don’t speak up against this mistreatment of Snow, who will?
                      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Zero-time All-Star Snow earned two votes for the Hall of Fame, the same as Cy Young winner Eric Gagne and more than two-time All-Star Armando Benitez, four-time All-Star and Perfect Game pitcher Kenny Rogers, four-time All-Star Paul Lo Duca, two-time All-Star Richie Sexson, three-time All-Star Sean Casey, one-time All-Star Todd Jones and two-time All-Star Ray Durham. Sure, he was a Gold Glover, but did he really deserve more support - even if it was just a vote or two - than the aforementioned players?
                        Last edited by Cowtipper; 01-26-2014, 01:20 PM.

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                        • #27
                          I'd say Durham and Rogers are the only two that I would even consider for the (can't believe I am using this cliche for the first time in my life) "Hall of Very Good."
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                          • #28
                            Snow's in a group with Vic Power, Wes Parker, etc. as a superlative fielder at 1b with a decent but not outstanding bat.

                            I wouldn't rule this type entirely out of HOF contention, but one would either have to have a very extended peak (I'd say at least 10 years or more), or have something extra on the resume (pioneer credit, perhaps, managerial or executive service, some remarkable post-season play, et cetera).

                            Snow's peak was about six years, and it wasn't an especially high one, particularly considering the era. I don't know of any further extraordinary contributions, other than rescuing Dusty Baker's son that one time, which, while quite to his credit, doesn't really count in this context.

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