Last year, at the Winter Meetings, the BBWAA voted overwhelmingly to make Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with this year’s election. Their decision was 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. Writers 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. That train left the station years ago, however. 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 no one discusses it publicly until after the results are released. Once you decide to give the vote to people who are certain to fill column inches with their decision making process and their voting decisions, you lose the right for a private process, though, right?
Oh well. There’s a lot the Hall of Fame does that doesn’t make a ton of sense. Add this to the list.