Wednesday, January 7, 2015

HOF Voting Needs to Change

With the results of the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot coming out yesterday, I think three things are clear:

  1. The Johnson/Martinez/Smoltz triumvirate is one of the best group of pitchers ever elected in a single year. Maybe the best.
  2. The four players who were elected to the HOF deserved the honor
  3. The process of electing players to the HOF has got to change


The bigger story leading up to this vote wasn't about the players on the ballot as much as it was about the process by which they could be elected.

We should be talking about Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. But instead we are discussing why some people didn't vote for them. Or didn't even cast a ballot.

If the process of electing people to the Hall of Fame is such that voters feel the need to not vote for players considered locks so other deserving players get in...that's a sign that a problem exists.

The 10-player limit on the ballot is an artificial construct that has no real logical defense. It also implies a distrust of voters to do the right thing, that if there was no limit then Aaron Boone would have been elected to the HOF yesterday.

Some voters, to be fair, don't help themselves either with their own illogical "rules" about whether someone deserves to be a "first ballot" electee. Either you are a worthy HOF member or you aren't; that doesn't change by spending a couple of years on the ballot.

This year, at a minimum, should have seen Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines join the club. Instead we had to watch voters twist, bend and do mathematics to try and get them in the HOF. That shouldn't be the case.

The voters should be trusted to make the right decision. Just make it an up-or-down ballot. "Yes" or "No". And let's get back to focusing on the players and their records, rather than the process by which they are elected.

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