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Monday, July 9, 2012

Please Read! A Vital Koufax Auto Beckett Contest Update: A Question of Morals.

So this contest took a turn for the unpredictable and the way past gray area. I went to bed Saturday night ahead by a handful of votes, and awoke to a deficit of 15ish or so. I left to play kickball/football with some friends, and returned home to find that both of my competitors had gained hundreds of votes within a few hours. As I'm writing this, the guy who would go to Bieber concerts for life has gained about 530ish votes in just one day, and the other guy about 600 votes.


And Bieber guy is actually paying for those votes. (click above to embiggen)

To top it off, Beckett won't be doing anything about it. Below is a Twitter conversation I had with Chris Olds, editor of Beckett Baseball Magazine, about the situation.

https://twitter.com/chrisolds2009/status/222139661504622592
https://twitter.com/ArgyledPlaschke/status/222140313697927168
https://twitter.com/chrisolds2009/status/222142581113487360
https://twitter.com/chrisolds2009/status/222142825775632384
https://twitter.com/chrisolds2009/status/222146571574329344

Yeah, it's only a Koufax auto, right? Who cares if a guy cheats to get it; let fate take me on its mighty wings to victory! Which actually reminds me of a line in one of my favorite songs: "I would wait here for fate, but it's conveniently late." Anyways, follow the "he's paying for them" link and you'll find he's offering people money to vote for him, and received at least 50 votes from one person. The profile name on the above linked site matches his Twitter handle, so I know it's him. And using simple logic, how else would a guy with under 30 followers and no blog gain such a substantial amount of votes in just one day?

I have no idea how the other Greg gained his hundreds of votes, but I have no proof of vote-buying or some sort of automated program that votes, so I say kudos (I guess, he did gain like a hundred plus votes right before midnight) to him for not doing what the other dude did. That's a clown tactic, bro.

The crazy thing is that there's actually a loophole to vote more than once per day. It's in that gray area, and I feel unsure of whether it's morally wrong, but with one guy buying votes, my moral compass has spun a bit, as you might imagine. Basically, in either Firefox or Internet Explorer, use the Private Browsing tool and type in Beckett in the url area, find the Koufax Contest post, and vote time and time again using this method for each vote. I'm literally hundreds back after Sunday's shenanigans, so I can use all of the Card Blogging help that friendship - and not money - can buy.

I won't begrudge anyone who can find some time to do so, because I certainly won't lay down to a blatant cheater.

I left this comment in the original contest post on Beckett; I doubt whomever moderates such things will ultimately allow it.
I’d like to thank Chris Olds and Beckett for the opportunity and wish my two fellow contestants good luck!

And Ryan, I think you have every right to be in the contest. But I think the fact that you’re legitimately buying votes is in really poor taste.

Just my two cents.
I truly stand behind each and every word. I have no problem with the "Bieber Guy" being a finalist, but vote-buying is deplorable. If I lose, well, it would of course suck, but I could live with losing to someone who was able to drum up support through friends, family, co-workers, etc. Losing to someone that bought their vote and thus bought the prize? Shadiness.

My question for everybody is simple: do you find it morally wrong for anyone voting for me to vote as many times per day as possible while taking advantage of that loophole I described, especially considering one guy is actually buying votes?

I personally feel it is morally wrong - or at the least too gray of an area that I would prefer to avoid completely - but at the risk of falling thousands of votes behind, I don't see there being much of an alternative.

I very much would like to hear everyone's answer, whether that answer is pro or con or anywhere in between.

15 comments:

Sports Card Blog said...

That's terrible. He deserves to be disqualified for that crap. It is totally against the spirit of the competition.

But once it gets dirty, how can you spin the

Dennis said...

I left a comment voicing my opinion, but it's "awaiting moderation" and I pretty much derided Beckett for running a corrupt contest and continuing to publish irrelevant price guides, so I doubt it'll show up. For what it's worth I discovered the voting loophole with Chrome's Incognito mode as well, so I threw a few extra votes in for you a couple times, but on the order of maybe 10 extra, not 500 that you bought from me. When in doubt, just don't trust Beckett, I guess, but what else is new? Way to handle the whole thing with class, though.

Spankee said...

I think my comment on Beckett will go to the trash with Dennis':

I think Beckett is just having difficulty assessing the value of a vote. The going price is currently $0.01, but Beckett puts the book value around a dollar.

The Diamond King said...

So messed up! I am voting for you, obviously, and drumming up support from co-workers and friends and family. The way it should be.

Also, when I go to the contest page, the vote tally shows that you are in the lead by about 100 votes. Am I seeing a cached page? Or something else?

Dennis said...

Spankee obviously missed the Beckett story where a 1/1 vote was discovered and automatically graded a 10, then put up for auction for a kajillion dollars, purchased by Leaf and inserted into one of their products. Beckett will inevitably pull it, set up a contest where people can vote for one of three collectors to get it, and the whole goddamn thing will happen all over again because Beckett is the worst thing ever to happen to the hobby.

Sports Card Blog said...

Oops, looks like I forgot to finish my thought.

...game to where it's as fair as it can be again?

But for now, it looks like things have cleaned up a bit.

Greg Zakwin said...

Thanks for your thoughts gents.

TDK- Nah, that vote total is accurate. I wasn't leading when I wrote the post up.

Stealing Home said...

hey bro - ur interpreting it correct and reacting appropriate.
as for morals question:
of course the guy who MUST buy votes to win aint legitimate, but it happens all the time.
if you asked us to use the loophole from the get go, i would say, yeh, ur being morally questionable.
since the other guy is buying, he declared the gloves are off.
if you want the prize, you really dont have a choice now. you gotta go bruce lee, go with the force, and all that shite.
best of luck and im doing what i can to vote you in.

(...Joe) said...

Really? The guy is paying people to vote for him? That's pretty freaking slimy. The totally sucks the air out of a contest that was gonna be alot of fun to follow.

ctrobe28 said...

Sounds like the other guy is shady. Looks like we will have to rally the troops and find you some more votes, Greg!

jacobmrley said...

Exploiting a loophole, fine. Paying for votes? Totally totally sleazy.

I have posted on my blog and Facebook for you and I not only want you to win now for the Koufax, but so that other dude will have wasted his hard earned money for nothing. I am a firm supporter of spite.

Scott Crawford said...

Greg, I'm thinking that the only winning move here is not to play.

Also: since I'm sure you're going to read this, way to be a stand-up guy, Olds.

Greg Zakwin said...

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. He Tweeted me that he took down his ad for votes, which is cool.

I won't get into the entire thing here, but the latest update is that he said my contest is equivalent to his paying for votes, and I started the whole thing because my contest came first and he just responded to keep himself in the contest.

Which is not true. My contest was posted on Sunday, his ad for votes was posted on Saturday. His entire accusation/comment is on the Beckett post, if you're interested.

But it's neither here nor there at this point.

I greatly appreciate everyone's support, and hope that you'll continue to vote for me over this long month.

It'll be a grind, but I expected nothing less for a great card. And just in case it wasn't clear in the post, I am extremely grateful for the chance Beckett, Chris Olds, and whomever else had a hand in picking my submission have given me.

BasicWoogenomics said...

Hey Greg, I'm a little late to the party, but I just cast my vote for you and think this guy is total bull shit. I hope you rebound brother. I'll try and get as many people I know to help you... Good Luck!

Greg Zakwin said...

Thanks man, appreciate it!