This is not the first press release from MLB about Bryce Harper I expected today, but we’ll go with this until they decide to suspend him later.
The first National League All-Star balloting update was announced this morning and the Nationals’ outfielder leads all vote-getters with 900,079 total votes. Assuming this pace keeps up, and it likely will, he’ll get a starting nod for the third straight year and his fourth overall fan-elected start.
Behind Harper in the vote totals are Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies and Jason Heyward of the Cubs. Then comes the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber, followed by Matt Kemp.
Here are the early results:
Last year, at the Winter Meetings, the BBWAA voted overwhelmingly to make Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with this year’s election. Their as a long-demanded one, and it served to make a process that has often frustrated fans — and many voters — more transparent.
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweeted a few minutes ago, however, that at some point since last December, the Hall of Fame rejected the BBWAA’s vote. Writer may continue to release their own ballots, but their votes will not automatically be made public.
I don’t know what the rationale could possibly be for the Hall of Fame. If I had to guess, I’d say that the less-active BBWAA voters who either voted against that change or who weren’t present for it because they don’t go to the Winter Meetings complained about it. It’s likewise possible that the Hall simply doesn’t want anyone talking about the votes and voters so as not to take attention away from the honorees and the institution, but that train left the station years ago. If the Hall doesn’t want people talking about votes and voters, they’d have to change the whole thing to some star chamber kind of process in which the voters themselves aren’t even known and no one discusses it publicly until after the results are released.
Oh well. There’s a lot the Hall of Fame does that doesn’t make a ton of sense. Add this to the list.