Agreement reached with Irish Water to replace damaged Donegal roads

first_imgAn agreement has been reached with Irish Water to reinstate the Quay Road, Dungloe and Glenties, Fintown Road.Fintown Road was left in an awful state following a pipe replacement scheme by Irish Water, while the Quay Road will also get a full reinstatement.With road grants available to the Donegal County Council for the two stretches of road, work is expected to begin next week. Speaking following the announcement, Cllr Gallagher said: “This has been an ongoing battle for almost two years to get an agreement with Irish Water.“Lessons need to be learnt, it is not good enough for road users and residents to be left with roads in terrible condition because a state agency Irish Water refuses to uphold agreement made at the construction stage.“I have called for a high-level meeting between Donegal County Council and Irish Water to ensure no other communities in the county are left the way both these communities in Dungloe and Glenties have been over the past two years with huge uncertainty.”Agreement reached with Irish Water to replace damaged Donegal roads was last modified: November 12th, 2018 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:dungloeGlentieslast_img read more

Cricketer Sandeep Patil set to make his debut in films opposite Poonam Dhillon

first_imgSeth in a scene from A Map of The World: Rave reviewsThe blockbuster Atten-borough film Gandhi seems to have proved a windfall for quite a few members of the cast apart from Sir Richard himself. The latest to hit the big time after Ben Kingsley is the man who played,Seth in a scene from A Map of The World: Rave reviewsThe blockbuster Atten-borough film Gandhi seems to have proved a windfall for quite a few members of the cast apart from Sir Richard himself. The latest to hit the big time after Ben Kingsley is the man who played Jawaharlal Nehru in the film, Roshan Seth. Seth is earning rave reviews for his performance as Victor Mehta, a westernised Indian novelist, in A Map of the World currently drawing full houses at London’s National Theatre. Seth, who plays the lead role in the play, was picked for the part over other established performers like Shashi Kapoor and Naseeruddin Shah and British drama critics have hailed his performance almost un-animously. This is the first time in the history of British theatre that an Indian has got the central role in a London play.For Seth, the recognition is a belated one. After graduating from the London Academy of Drama, he struggled along on the fringes of the theatre world without really making an impression. He finally left in 1977, because, as he says: “I was disappointed and disillusioned with my work. Things just didn’t add up and the breaks never led anywhere.” But five years later, the actor in him resurfaced and Gandhi was the result. As he says now: “There was no good reason for not going back to acting and so, here I am.”Patil: Glamorous debut”It’s not quite cricket,” cried the chorus when Test star Sandeep Patil announced that he was unavailable for the coming tour of the West Indies. The tongues, last fortnight, began wagging even faster when close on the heels of Patil’s announcement came the news that the handsome, well-built cricketer was making his debut in films opposite Poonam Dhillon in a movie called Kabhi Ajnabi The (I was once a stranger). Patil, of course, is hardly a stranger to the world of glamour. Shortly after his sporting career took off he cut a long-playing disco record which seems to have sunk without leaving much of a trace. But his foray into the film world has triggered off the rumour mills with accusations being made that he had refused the West Indies tour because of better financial pickings in moviedom.Last week, Patil was forced to issue a denial that he had opted out of the tour because of the film contract. “I am prepared to go to the West Indies as a replacement for any batsman if I am invited,” he said, adding that he would definitely be available for the World Cup to be held later this year in England. But after his nonavailability in the West Indies, it is doubtful if he really has much of a choice. He had a pretty lean trot in the just-concluded Pakistan series and a thigh injury did not help matters either. At the moment he might find facing a camera easier than facing Malcolm Marshal or any of the other West Indian pacers.advertisementRajneesh followers in New Delhi: Protest by proxyGood Gurus never die. Neither do they fade away. Two years after he packed his bags and his Rolls Royces and sought greener pastures in the wilds of Oregon, USA, the self-styled Bhagwan Rajneesh was back in India, in spirit if not in flesh. Last fortnight, New Delhi once again witnessed the once-familiar saffron on its streets as 5,000 of the controversial guru’s disciples marched through the streets to the US Embassy where they handed over a memorandum demanding that their “Bhagwan” be permitted to stay in the US and given a permanent visa.The demonstration followed reports that the Bhagwan and his followers would not be given permanent domicile in the US following a series of controversial events in the sprawling new Rajneesh Ashram in Oregon. Scoffed one of the Delhi demonstrators: “The decision is inspired by political fear and religious prejudices.”last_img read more

German Grand Prix cut from 2015 Formula One calendar

first_imgThe German Grand Prix was cut from the 2015 Formula One calendar on Friday after neither of the country’s two circuits was able to make a deal with series promoter Bernie Ecclestone. The World Motor Sport Council said in a statement on Friday that the race was withdrawn because the commercial rights holder “and promoter did not reach agreement.”The German Grand Prix, one of the most historic in the calendar that was first held in 1926, had been set for July 19. The last time the German Grand Prix was scratched from the calendar was in 1955.With the two circuits alternating annually, Nuerburgring was scheduled to stage the race, but because it has financial problems, Hockenheim had been considered a replacement. The failure to reach a deal means there will now be 19 races this season instead of 20, with a three-week interval between the British Grand Prix on July 5 and the Hungarian race on July 26.The German race has been losing spectators steadily since the days of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, even though Germany is home to Mercedes, the car maker behind the top team last season, and driver Nico Rosberg. Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who now drives for Ferrari, is also German.Nuerburgring circuit spokesman Pietro Nuvolini said earlier that there was still no agreement with Ecclestone while Hockenheim officials announced that the facility would be unable to organize the race within the time remaining.Nuerburgring officials had been asking Ecclestone to take a cut in his fee for staging the race. The fee is reportedly $15 million. Mercedes had offered a “significant” amount to Hockenheim to help in saving the race but the offer was not taken, according to the German constructor.advertisementlast_img read more

Buffy SainteMarie wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

first_imgThe Canadian Press TORONTO — Buffy Sainte-Marie has won this year’s 50-thousand dollar Polaris Music Prize.A jury of 11 music critics, bloggers and broadcasters named the album “Power in the Blood” the best Canadian record of the last year.The folk icon beat out nine other finalists for the award including rap superstar Drake, former Polaris winner Caribou and Toronto rockers Alvvays.Sainte-Marie, who already had a crowded trophy case heading into Monday night’saward ceremony, told the audience she didn’t expect to win the Polaris and appreciated its cash prize.The award show, which was held in Toronto, was hosted by Juno-winning children’s entertainer Fred Penner.last_img

India was granted permission to wear caps in memory of fallen soldiers

first_imgNew Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Monday said India was granted permission to wear camouflage military caps in the third ODI against Australia as a tribute to the country’s armed forces, a gesture which Pakistan has objected to. In the third ODI in Ranchi on March 8, the Indian team sported military caps as a mark of respect to the CRPF personnel who were killed in the Pulwama terror attack and donated its match fee to the National Defence Fund. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together”The BCCI sought permission from the ICC to wear the caps as part of a fundraising drive and in memory of fallen soldiers who have died, which was granted,” ICC’s General Manager Strategic Communications Claire Furlong said. The Pakistan Cricket Board had sent a strongly-worded letter to the ICC, calling for action against India for wearing the caps. “They took permission from ICC for some other purpose and used it to do something else, which is not acceptable,” PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said on Sunday. Last month, the BCCI had asked the ICC to “sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates” following the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. The responsibility of the attack was taken by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.last_img read more

Do celebs make good politicians

first_imgStar power adds the glamour element to the heat, dust, and grime of political campaigns. This election too, we won’t just see star campaigners but even celebs who have picked up the political cudgels. Soothing to the eyes, yes, but one often wonders if celebrityhood can and should be the only criterion for some of the candidates in the election fray? Celebrity entrants to political parties just ahead of elections is not new. Earlier, we witnessed well-known actors and sportspersons simply lending their star power to a candidate. Today, that candidate can very well be a young actor or a cricketer. But it is a varied mix. Outspoken social media supporters such as cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined BJP and is likely to fight from a Delhi seat. At the same time, you have actors such as Shatrughan Sinha and Hema Malini seeking re-election while Jaya Prada has switched party colours to don BJP’s saffron to fight polls from Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur. West Bengal will see Babul Supriyo, Moon Moon Sen, and newbies Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty battling for votes. There are also Prakash Raj, Urmila Matondkar, Nikhil Gowda, Pawan Kalyan, Shilpa Shinde, and Arshi Khan, trying their luck in the political arena. Also Read – A special kind of bondOut of this mixed list of celebrities, only a chosen few have exhibited an active interest in politics. They have been vociferous about their views and where they stand on the political spectrum. The rest, like dutiful children, are all being paradropped to exude charm and attract votes. I was watching a rather painful news story with dream girl Hema Malini. Painful because the BJP MP while looking stunning didn’t seem to have any meat in her rhetoric at all. Whenever she was asked about what work she had done in her constituency of Mathura, the actor kept saying that she has done a lot of work but just can’t remember it at the moment. Err! Really? Also Read – Insider threat managementAs a reporter who has actively covered state and general elections, I have witnessed how candidates have nurtured their constituency over years. While covering the campaign trail it is fairly easy for people like us to discern the once-in-a-blue-moon visitor from the serious politician who has an undeniable connect with people. This bond with the voter doesn’t happen overnight. Sure, people will throng the streets to catch a glimpse of cine stars, but a true leader would have built his connect over a longer period of time with experience and love for the masses. Of the celebrity MPs who have already been in Parliament, save a few, most have been playing ‘outstanding’ roles i.e. they have seldom stepped inside the Parliament! Their attendance is poor, they barely raise questions, and more often than not, leave their MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) funds under-utilised. Former Rajya Sabha MPs such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha have historically abysmal attendance records – Tendulkar with 7.3 per cent attendance while Rekha had just 4.5 per cent! It is important to remember that these celebrity MPs get paid a generous sum by the Government of India to carry out their duties. They are meant to represent their people in Parliament and actively strive towards the development and progress of their constituency. But with most celeb MPs playing truant from Parliament and their constituencies, busy with film shoots, shows, brand endorsements, and cricket matches, one wonders if fame is enough to even allow these fair-weather entrants to contest. Should there be a clause set by the Election Commission of India to allow only serious political workers to fight polls? And what of the hardworking party worker who has lost his chance to fight elections outdone by glitz and glamour? Politics is no child’s play; it requires sincerity, hard work, and dedication. My only wish is that this year’s winning celebrity candidates showcase their seriousness about serving the people. Otherwise, there will be more ‘missing MP’ posters doing the rounds like in the case of Navjot Singh Sindhu in 2013. (The writer is a journalist and media entrepreneur. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Lanka President Sirisena promises hoteliers maximum financial help to revive tourism

first_imgColombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has assured hoteliers that the government will give them maximum financial relief to revive the lucrative tourism industry hit by the country’s worst terror attack on Easter Sunday that killed 253 people, including 42 foreigners. Tourism accounts for about five per cent of Sri Lanka’s economy, with India, Britain and China being the main markets. India is the largest source market for Sri Lanka, which received 2.3 million tourists from around the world in 2018. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportAround 450,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka last year and the island nation was expecting the total Indian tourist arrivals to cross one million in 2019. President Sirisena acknowledged during his meeting on Monday with the country’s hoteliers that the tourism and hotel industries were worst hit after the string of powerful blasts ripped through three churches and as many luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, killing 253 people and injuring more than 500 others. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsThe bombs tore through three five-star hotels in Colombo: the Cinnamon Grand, the Shangri La and the Kingsbury. Forty two foreigners, including 11 Indian nationals, died in the attacks. Sirisena requested Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy to provide “maximum financial relief” immediately to the hoteliers, Sunday Times reported. Hotels Association President Sanath Ukwatte said hoteliers had invested large sums of money in the development of the hotels and requested the government to provide a moratorium or waiver on the capital and interest for a period of at least two years. During the meeting, the hoteliers also asked the government to hire the services of a professional public relations and communications unit to send out one message to the world. President Sirisena agreed to appoint a Cabinet sub-committee to look into the requirements of the hoteliers, the report said.last_img read more

EC to retain 200 companies of Central Forces till May 27

first_imgKolkata: The Election Commission will retain 200 companies of Central Forces in the state till May 27, to assist counting and also to handle post-poll violence, if any. Out of the 200 companies, 82 will be deployed for the counting centres while the rest will be deployed in areas where the commission anticipates post-poll violence.”The remaining 510 companies of Central Forces that were present in the state during the last phase of elections on Sunday, will move out now,” a senior EC official said. According to the EC official, there will be 58 counting centres across the state, with at least one centre in each of the 42 parliamentary constituencies. There will be 144 observers deputed for the counting process. “There will be a three-tier security system and section 144 will be imposed around all counting centres. The first layer will be maintained by the state police to keep interested people out of the purview of the counting centres. The second layer will be managed by the state armed police, while the third layer – in and around the counting halls – will be maintained by the Central Forces,” the official said. Apart from the returning officers and the observers, none will be allowed with mobile phones and cameras within the counting halls. All the halls will be under CCTV surveillance and will be covered by webcasting so that it can be directly controlled by the Commission. The candidates will have to give detailed lists of the counting agents beforehand. All the people allowed to enter the counting halls will be closely frisked. The vehicles carrying the EVMs will be GPS-enabled, so that their movement can be tracked. According to sources in the CEO’s office in Bengal, the entire process of counting might take 14 hours or more. Only one table will be counted at a time. Once it is finished, counting will start for the next table. 5 percent of VVPATs will be counted from each Assembly constituency. VVPATs will be counted after the completion of counting the ballot units.last_img read more

Laughter is not Medicine Study

first_imgEl Jaddida – A new scholarly review conducted by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) affirms the various risks of laughter on people.“Laughter is Medicine” has been around for a long time until researches carried by the BMJ unveiled the hidden drawbacks of laughter.According to the same study, laughter may cause jaws to dislocate, hernia to pop out, asthma attacks, headaches, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat or abnormal heart rhythm), ribs to break if laughter is fierce and urinary tract problems when laughter is suppressed. However, despite the erstwhile drawbacks, doctors do not deny the advantages of laughter.For instance, it can reduce anger, anxiety and stress.It can also reduce cardiovascular tension, blood glucose concentration and risk of myocardial infarction.In short, before you decide to put a frown on your face, a nice smile is the best gift to give people around you. Smile and the world will smile back to you.last_img read more

In Cooperstown a Crowded Waiting Room

Jessie Schwartz for The New York Times Baseball writers elected no one to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, despite what might have been the deepest ballot in years.The failure of the writers to pick Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens was not a surprise given the low vote totals received in the past by Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, other players associated with the use performance-enhancing drugs. But the vote totals for Bonds and Clemens, just 36 and 38 percent, were lower than expected.Craig Biggio, who received 68.2 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, will almost certainly make it into the Hall of Fame someday. Still, his profile is quite similar to Robin Yount and Roberto Alomar, two players who did better in their first year on the ballot. (Yount got 77.5 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot in 1999, while Alomar got 73.7 percent of the vote in 2010 and made it in the next year.)Perhaps the clearest effect of the crowded ballot, however, was realized among candidates who were returning to the ballot from last year. Of the 13 players who carried over from the 2012 ballot, nine received a lower share of the vote, including Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.This is atypical; instead, players usually add votes with each additional year they spend on the ballot. Since 1967, when the Hall of Fame adopted balloting rules similar to the ones it uses now, about two-thirds of holdover players gained ground from their prior year’s vote percentage.It is possible to be a bit more precise about this pattern. Based on an analysis of Hall of Fame voting between 1967 and 2011, I found that the increase in a player’s vote total is typically proportional to his percentage from the previous year. In his second year on the ballot, for example, the typical player’s vote share increases by a multiple of about 1.1.Thus, a player who received 10 percent of the vote in his first year would be expected to receive about 11 percent on his second try, while a player who got 50 percent of the vote would go up to 55 percent.The pace of improvement is typically highest in the first several years that a player spends on the ballot, slowing down once he has been eligible five or six times. (The exception is in a player’s 15 and final year of eligibility, when he may receive a fairly large boost.) But these small percentage gains can add up, something like the way in which interest compounds over time. For example, as shown in the chart below, a player who gets just 30 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot would be projected to make it in on his 14th year of eligibility if he follows the formula each year.In practice, the growth in a player’s vote share is rarely this smooth — and you should not necessarily expect the pattern to hold for Bonds and Clemens. (Instructively, the vote shares for McGwire and Palmeiro have actually been declining.) Nonetheless, Hall of Fame candidates typically have a tailwind as time passes.This year, however, veterans on the Hall of Fame ballot faced a headwind instead. The next chart compares the actual vote that each player received against that projected by the historical formula. Actual results in 2013 compared to projections based on historical patterns.Twelve of the 13 players underperformed their projection; the exception was Dale Murphy, who got a larger-than-average boost in his final year of eligibility, but still came nowhere close to winning election.Even some players who gained ground did not necessarily help their chances. Jack Morris went from 66.7 percent of the vote to 67.7 percent, below his projection of 69.4 percent. The small difference could be important because next year will be Morris’s final year of eligibility, and he projects to be very close to the 75 percent threshold for election. (Perhaps the player who had the best year, instead, was Tim Raines, whose vote share grew to 52.2 percent from 48.7 percent, and who is now a clear favorite to be elected someday by the writers.)Most other players lost ground outright. Trammell, in his 12th year of eligibility, declined to 33.6 percent from 36.8 percent of the vote. He was an underdog to make it in before, but now he seems to have very little chance. The same also holds for Smith, who lost most of what he gained last year after years of stagnant vote totals.McGriff, as Joe Posnanski writes, seemed to be a plausible candidate to gain ground this year as writers sought out players who were perceived as clean, as opposed to known or suspected of steroid use. Instead, his vote share declined to 20.7 percent from 23.9 percent. Williams had received just under 10 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, but his case was not entirely hopeless; players like Bob Lemon and Carl Hubbell were eventually selected by the writers with a similar vote total in their first year.Instead, Williams fell below the 5 percent threshold required for a player to stay on the ballot.The crowded and confusing ballot may be affecting these players in several ways. The most obvious is that the writers are limited to voting for a maximum of 10 players. This year, according to the sample of ballots collected by the Twitter user @leokitty, 24 percent of writers used all 10 of their picks. That compares with 12 percent in 2011, and just 4 percent in 2012.Did the 10-vote limit keep Biggio and Morris out of the Hall of Fame, perhaps along with other players?Actually, it was almost certainly not responsible all by itself. Of the 24 percent of writers who used all 10 ballot slots, 90 percent did name Biggio, meaning 10 percent did not. At best, therefore, if all writers who exhausted their ballots would also have named Biggio if they had unlimited votes, he would have gotten only 10 percent of the 24 percent, adding only 2.4 percentage points to his overall vote total.The logic here is that it’s hard to make a case that Biggio was only the 11th or 12th best player on the ballot. Instead, most of the writers who left him out were probably more like Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman wrote that he saw Biggio as the eighth best player on the ballot — but he also thought that only six were worthy of inclusion. Most of the writers who left Biggio out, in other words, were those who take a conservative overall approach to how many players they want in the Hall of Fame, and not those who ran out of ballot positions.Morris is a more debatable case. If all writers who maxed out their ballot slots had included him, he would have come very close to 75 percent of the vote. However, Morris is also a highly polarizing candidate. Those writers who included him often thought he was among the very best players on the ballot; on several ballots, in fact, Morris was the only player named. But other writers think he falls fall short of Hall of Fame standards and would not have picked him no matter how many votes they had to spare.Nor, obviously, were Bonds’s and Clemens’s totals affected to any material degree by the 10-player limit. Nobody left Bonds off their ballots because they thought he had only the 11th-best statistical record; they did so because they don’t think steroids users should be in the Hall of Fame. (In fact, most of the writers who maxed out their ballot slots included Bonds and Clemens; the writers who are willing to consider performance-enhancing drug users have much more crowded ballots than those who are not.)Instead, players like McGriff, Trammell, Williams and Edgar Martinez were probably most affected by the 10-player limit. The logic for McGriff, for example, is very close of the opposite of that which might be applied to Biggio. It’s fairly hard to sustain a case that McGriff was one of the best six or seven players on the ballot this year. But you might credibly argue that there is a glut of a dozen or so qualified players, McGriff among them, and you had to leave McGriff out because of the ballot limit.However, the players are not only being affected by those writers who ran out of ballot slots. There were a higher-than-average number of writers this year who listed very few players, or even none at all. Some 10 percent of voters named two or fewer players this year, according to Leokitty’s spreadsheet. That is lower than in 2012, an underwhelming year on the ballot, when 16 percent of voters did so.But it is less than 2009, 2010 or 2011, when between 3 and 8 percent of writers listed so few players. Some writers are deliberately listing very few players as a protest vote, whether against the steroids era or the Hall of Fame balloting process.Between the protest voters on the one hand, and the maxed-out voters on the other, the players are being squeezed at both ends.Finally, some players may be harmed by the psychology of the ballot. If Clemens were not on the ballot, for example, then you could credibly make a case that Curt Schilling was the best pitcher on the ballot (if you don’t think that Morris is). But Schilling’s accomplishments look poor by comparison to Clemens’s, as do those of almost any pitcher — even if you aren’t willing to vote for Clemens because of his steroids use. The same holds for outfielders whose statistics might be compared with Barry Bonds’s.There is even something to be said for the so-called “paradox of choice”: that when presented with too many options, we may be overwhelmed with information and have trouble making any decisions at all.Hall of Fame voting is ultimately designed to be a consensus process. One reason that players tend to gain votes over time is because the writers are looking at what their peers are doing and value the endorsements of their colleagues. Moreover, because they have as many as 15 chances to elect a player, many writers tend toward conservatism initially. There is no way to remove a player from the Hall of Fame once he has been elected, but you can change your mind to include him later. When a writer initially votes “no” on a player, it really means “wait and see” in many cases.But consensus is harder to achieve when members of a group have divergent values and ideologies. Instead of the typical friendly arguments about how a player’s lifetime accomplishments might be weighed against how dominant he was in his best seasons, or how to compare players at different positions, the writers are now spending most of their time arguing about who used steroids and when, and how this should affect Hall of Fame consideration. Many have passionate beliefs about this, whichever side of the argument they take. An increasing number of writers would like to elect a dozen or more players; an increasing number would like to lose the whole “steroids era” to history. Good-natured debates may be replaced by tactical considerations, as voters make guesses about who everyone else might vote for, or where their ballots might be wasted.Next year will place even more pressure on the voters, when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina are added to the list of candidates. Those who apply little discount for steroids use may credibly claim to identify 15 or more qualified candidates, and even those who do not may have to drop one or two names that they otherwise see as worthy. The New York Times will probably not have to publish a blank page again, but no one but Maddux seems sure to make it in.,Jessie Schwartz for The New York Times Baseball writers elected no one to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, despite what might have been the deepest ballot in years.The failure of the writers to pick Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens was not a surprise given the low vote totals received in the past by Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, other players associated with the use performance-enhancing drugs. But the vote totals for Bonds and Clemens, just 36 and 38 percent, were lower than expected.Craig Biggio, who received 68.2 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, will almost certainly make it into the Hall of Fame someday. Still, his profile is quite similar to Robin Yount and Roberto Alomar, two players who did better in their first year on the ballot. (Yount got 77.5 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot in 1999, while Alomar got 73.7 percent of the vote in 2010 and made it in the next year.)Perhaps the clearest effect of the crowded ballot, however, was realized among candidates who were returning to the ballot from last year. Of the 13 players who carried over from the 2012 ballot, nine received a lower share of the vote, including Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.This is atypical; instead, players usually add votes with each additional year they spend on the ballot. Since 1967, when the Hall of Fame adopted balloting rules similar to the ones it uses now, about two-thirds of holdover players gained ground from their prior year’s vote percentage.It is possible to be a bit more precise about this pattern. Based on an analysis of Hall of Fame voting between 1967 and 2011, I found that the increase in a player’s vote total is typically proportional to his percentage from the previous year. In his second year on the ballot, for example, the typical player’s vote share increases by a multiple of about 1.1.Thus, a player who received 10 percent of the vote in his first year would be expected to receive about 11 percent on his second try, while a player who got 50 percent of the vote would go up to 55 percent.The pace of improvement is typically highest in the first several years that a player spends on the ballot, slowing down once he has been eligible five or six times. (The exception is in a player’s 15 and final year of eligibility, when he may receive a fairly large boost.) But these small percentage gains can add up, something like the way in which interest compounds over time. For example, as shown in the chart below, a player who gets just 30 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot would be projected to make it in on his 14th year of eligibility if he follows the formula each year.In practice, the growth in a player’s vote share is rarely this smooth — and you should not necessarily expect the pattern to hold for Bonds and Clemens. (Instructively, the vote shares for McGwire and Palmeiro have actually been declining.) Nonetheless, Hall of Fame candidates typically have a tailwind as time passes.This year, however, veterans on the Hall of Fame ballot faced a headwind instead. The next chart compares the actual vote that each player received against that projected by the historical formula. Actual results in 2013 compared to projections based on historical patterns.Twelve of the 13 players underperformed their projection; the exception was Dale Murphy, who got a larger-than-average boost in his final year of eligibility, but still came nowhere close to winning election.Even some players who gained ground did not necessarily help their chances. Jack Morris went from 66.7 percent of the vote to 67.7 percent, below his projection of 69.4 percent. The small difference could be important because next year will be Morris’s final year of eligibility, and he projects to be very close to the 75 percent threshold for election. (Perhaps the player who had the best year, instead, was Tim Raines, whose vote share grew to 52.2 percent from 48.7 percent, and who is now a clear favorite to be elected someday by the writers.)Most other players lost ground outright. Trammell, in his 12th year of eligibility, declined to 33.6 percent from 36.8 percent of the vote. He was an underdog to make it in before, but now he seems to have very little chance. The same also holds for Smith, who lost most of what he gained last year after years of stagnant vote totals.McGriff, as Joe Posnanski writes, seemed to be a plausible candidate to gain ground this year as writers sought out players who were perceived as clean, as opposed to known or suspected of steroid use. Instead, his vote share declined to 20.7 percent from 23.9 percent. Williams had received just under 10 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, but his case was not entirely hopeless; players like Bob Lemon and Carl Hubbell were eventually selected by the writers with a similar vote total in their first year.Instead, Williams fell below the 5 percent threshold required for a player to stay on the ballot.The crowded and confusing ballot may be affecting these players in several ways. The most obvious is that the writers are limited to voting for a maximum of 10 players. This year, according to the sample of ballots collected by the Twitter user @leokitty, 24 percent of writers used all 10 of their picks. That compares with 12 percent in 2011, and just 4 percent in 2012.Did the 10-vote limit keep Biggio and Morris out of the Hall of Fame, perhaps along with other players?Actually, it was almost certainly not responsible all by itself. Of the 24 percent of writers who used all 10 ballot slots, 90 percent did name Biggio, meaning 10 percent did not. At best, therefore, if all writers who exhausted their ballots would also have named Biggio if they had unlimited votes, he would have gotten only 10 percent of the 24 percent, adding only 2.4 percentage points to his overall vote total.The logic here is that it’s hard to make a case that Biggio was only the 11th or 12th best player on the ballot. Instead, most of the writers who left him out were probably more like Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman wrote that he saw Biggio as the eighth best player on the ballot — but he also thought that only six were worthy of inclusion. Most of the writers who left Biggio out, in other words, were those who take a conservative overall approach to how many players they want in the Hall of Fame, and not those who ran out of ballot positions.Morris is a more debatable case. If all writers who maxed out their ballot slots had included him, he would have come very close to 75 percent of the vote. However, Morris is also a highly polarizing candidate. Those writers who included him often thought he was among the very best players on the ballot; on several ballots, in fact, Morris was the only player named. But other writers think he falls fall short of Hall of Fame standards and would not have picked him no matter how many votes they had to spare.Nor, obviously, were Bonds’s and Clemens’s totals affected to any material degree by the 10-player limit. Nobody left Bonds off their ballots because they thought he had only the 11th-best statistical record; they did so because they don’t think steroids users should be in the Hall of Fame. (In fact, most of the writers who maxed out their ballot slots included Bonds and Clemens; the writers who are willing to consider performance-enhancing drug users have much more crowded ballots than those who are not.)Instead, players like McGriff, Trammell, Williams and Edgar Martinez were probably most affected by the 10-player limit. The logic for McGriff, for example, is very close of the opposite of that which might be applied to Biggio. It’s fairly hard to sustain a case that McGriff was one of the best six or seven players on the ballot this year. But you might credibly argue that there is a glut of a dozen or so qualified players, McGriff among them, and you had to leave McGriff out because of the ballot limit.However, the players are not only being affected by those writers who ran out of ballot slots. There were a higher-than-average number of writers this year who listed very few players, or even none at all. Some 10 percent of voters named two or fewer players this year, according to Leokitty’s spreadsheet. That is lower than in 2012, an underwhelming year on the ballot, when 16 percent of voters did so.But it is less than 2009, 2010 or 2011, when between 3 and 8 percent of writers listed so few players. Some writers are deliberately listing very few players as a protest vote, whether against the steroids era or the Hall of Fame balloting process.Between the protest voters on the one hand, and the maxed-out voters on the other, the players are being squeezed at both ends.Finally, some players may be harmed by the psychology of the ballot. If Clemens were not on the ballot, for example, then you could credibly make a case that Curt Schilling was the best pitcher on the ballot (if you don’t think that Morris is). But Schilling’s accomplishments look poor by comparison to Clemens’s, as do those of almost any pitcher — even if you aren’t willing to vote for Clemens because of his steroids use. The same holds for outfielders whose statistics might be compared with Barry Bonds’s.There is even something to be said for the so-called “paradox of choice”: that when presented with too many options, we may be overwhelmed with information and have trouble making any decisions at all.Hall of Fame voting is ultimately designed to be a consensus process. One reason that players tend to gain votes over time is because the writers are looking at what their peers are doing and value the endorsements of their colleagues. Moreover, because they have as many as 15 chances to elect a player, many writers tend toward conservatism initially. There is no way to remove a player from the Hall of Fame once he has been elected, but you can change your mind to include him later. When a writer initially votes “no” on a player, it really means “wait and see” in many cases.But consensus is harder to achieve when members of a group have divergent values and ideologies. Instead of the typical friendly arguments about how a player’s lifetime accomplishments might be weighed against how dominant he was in his best seasons, or how to compare players at different positions, the writers are now spending most of their time arguing about who used steroids and when, and how this should affect Hall of Fame consideration. Many have passionate beliefs about this, whichever side of the argument they take. An increasing number of writers would like to elect a dozen or more players; an increasing number would like to lose the whole “steroids era” to history. Good-natured debates may be replaced by tactical considerations, as voters make guesses about who everyone else might vote for, or where their ballots might be wasted.Next year will place even more pressure on the voters, when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina are added to the list of candidates. Those who apply little discount for steroids use may credibly claim to identify 15 or more qualified candidates, and even those who do not may have to drop one or two names that they otherwise see as worthy. The New York Times will probably not have to publish a blank page again, but no one but Maddux seems sure to make it in. read more