Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Roll Purge

The major league Baseball Hall of Fame took what is hopefully a first step towards making its voting and admission policies a little more sane -- from now on, a voting member who hasn't been active for 10 years is subject to losing their ballot.

"Inactive" means that the writer hasn't really written about baseball in those 10 years. Previously, once you got your ballot as a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, you kept it until they pried it from your cold dead hands. It took 10 years to earn your spot.

Discussion suggests that the purge means that more of the voters follow baseball more closely and cast more knowledgeable ballots. It also means that the voting pool's memory gets shorter, as retired, semi-retired or moved-on-to-other-beat writers who know about the play of those previously overlooked are dropped from voting eligibility.

Either way, it seems like the Hall of Fame is taking some steps to try to make more sense out of its admissions process. The flaws in that process and the flaws it has created have been discussed in this space before and need not be repeated.

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