Yeah, I know, it's not Friday. But before the HOF results are announced, I did have one other process point to make, and I didn't get to it when I was supposed to over the weekend...
Rob Neyer has a good column out, by the way, on the current ballot. But while he says that the current voting process is probably fine, I think there's one reform I'd like to see.
It's about the notion of "first ballot" HOFers. We know about it: some writers believe that they can come close to the sensible notion that there are regular and "inner circle" HOFers by only voting for the best-of-the-best the very first time they're on a ballot, and making everyone else wait a year.
Is that a sensible thing to do? Well, as I said, it really does mimic the way we all talk about HOFers. On the other hand, it doesn't quite get at it, and at any rate not all voters use it, so I'm not sure it really works.
However: what really doesn't work is having a large chunk of voters penalize guys who are new to the ballot...and a procedure in which players roll off the ballot if they don't get votes the first time.
The Hall really should correct this one. Either it should give a strong directive to voters to knock it off and forget about this first-ballot nonsense...or it should shift to a two year window before anyone is knocked off the ballot. Either solution works just fine, but the present situation is just asking for trouble.
Granted, it's not as bad as the writers making idiots of themselves over Bonds and Clemens and the rest, but this one really could be solved with a small rules patch.