This week the Baseball Writers of America Association (BBWAA) elected three people to the Major League Hall of Fame, and not without controversy, as has been the case over the last several years. The general theme over the last few years centered around those that took Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and those that didn’t and how to distinguish between the two. Things like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens don’t get in because they are proven PED users, but guys like Craig Biggio don’t get in because they played during that era and may have taken them or knew those that did and didn’t turn them in. Now it seems that have a distraction, that if I were MLB I would actually welcome.
Dan Le Bartard, a writer, TV show host, ESPN employee, and BBWAA voting member let the readers of Deadspin, a great sports site with some great writing, decide on who he should vote for. This has served to amplify the HoF voting process in terms of who should be voting for membership into the HoF and not on whether guys like Bonds and Clemens should be allowed in since it can’t be determined when during their career they started taking PEDs, or if PEDs should even make a difference.
Personally I think the rules should be changed, I’d make the following changes myself:
- Increase the number of players can vote on from 10 to 15 to allow voters to allow guys that, before then, may not get votes because they are the 11th best choice that year.
- Remove the 75% criteria and replace it with a system that weighs, based on certain criteria, the ranking of the voter. Can be as simple as ranking the players being voted on 1-15, where 1 is weighed higher than 2.
- Require voters to vote for at least 1 player, if they return a blank ballot it isn’t counted
- Don’t allow the BBWAA to create the ballot, that should be a separate body made up of players, managers, current HoF members AND fans.
I’m still unclear on the history of the BBWWA and how they got the vote on things like HoF, MVP, Cy Young and other awards. From what I’ve read, it seems they sort of anointed themselves the arbiter of these important things. While this is meaningless in the grand scheme of things, it does make for great discussion while waiting for Spring Training to start next month.