And that’s a good enough reason to scrap Cooperstown, The Week’s John Terbush writes today. Without the stars of the ’80s and ’90s — performance-enhancing drugs or not — the Hall lacks credibility, he says.
The voting body is a bloated mess of nearly 600 members, some of whom haven’t covered baseball in years. (To wit, here’s a golf website explaining the ballot of one of its three eligible voters last year.) Then there are the crackpots who think “gut feeling” trumps research, the usual suspects who phone the whole thing in, and, of course, the shrill nutjobs who treat the ballot as an excuse to troll basement-dwelling nerds.
The voting process cannot be fixed without gutting that body, and that’s just not going to happen. Consider that one of the most popular proposals for reforming the vote is to simply increase the number of selections each candidate can make on his or her ballot. It’s a good idea in theory, especially considering the backlog of sterling candidates newly eligible for induction with even more no-doubters on the horizon. Yet last year, with one of the most stacked ballots ever, only half of voters burned all their votes. Dropping ballot limits would buoy some candidates, but it’s no panacea.
True, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in December approved a resolution recommending the ballot limit increase from 10 to 12. But that’s nothing more than a Band-Aid — and a non-binding one at that — that won’t fly with Hall of Fame officials who have no desire to act on anything that could erode the institution’s exclusivity.
“What’s the point of a Hall of Fame that schemes against its own mission by trying to eradicate a decade of its past?” he writes. “And what’s the point of a baseball institution that refuses to acknowledge arguably the greatest hitter and pitcher who ever played the game?”
Meanwhile, Mike Beradino of the Pioneer Press — you may remember him from the infamous news conference in which he asked Torii Hunter questions about same-sex marriage — submitted his ballot, leaving Randy Johnson off the entire list. He acknowledges, however, that Johnson is deserving of entering the Hall of Fame. This tells you everything that’s wrong with the Baseball Hall of Fame. Baseball writers.