For a long time we’ve been talking about the inevitable logjam on the Hall of Fame ballot due to PED-implicated players getting some but insufficient support for the next 20 years or so. We’ve also been talking about how the Hall of Fame is on the fast track to irrelevancy if something isn’t done about this and about the manner in which the voters approach their task. Buster Olney weighed in on it all this morning. It’s not an issue that’s going to go away.
But what to do about it? That’s a subject The Common Man takes up over at The Platoon Advantage today. He runs down the potential ways in which the voting system could be changed if the Hall of Fame were inclined to change it (note: it’s not at all inclined). Player votes. Super Committees. Fan votes. Blogger votes (!). And then some reformation of the BBWAA vote. He lists the pros and cons. It’s a good handling of it.
Personally I am really starting to not like the idea of baseball writers voting on the Hall of Fame at all, but I also must confess that I don’t see a clearly better way of dealing with it for most of the reasons TCM writes. Maybe some super committee system could work, but it’s risky. Every other possibility has serious, serious downsides.
What I would like to see is the BBWAA make its Hall of Fame electorate look a lot more like its postseason award electorate. Dispense with the ten-year waiting period currently in place and let most or all active writers — who are the most tuned-in to the game — vote. Cull from the voting ranks the many, many people who are no longer involved in baseball writing and/or have not been for years or, in some cases, decades. As TCM noted, strongly, strongly encourage voters to write about their ballots after the fact so that we can see the sausage being made.
I have been pretty pleased with how all of that has worked with awards voting for the past several years. I would really like to see the Hall of Fame vote get the level of care and scrutiny by the voters that the postseason awards get.