clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

There still isn't enough room on the Hall of Fame ballot

Tuesday's Say Hey, Baseball includes the latest Cooperstown ballot, a mess of injuries and tragic news out of Atlanta. Subscribe for your daily Say Hey!

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

* * *

The Baseball Writers Association of America -- also known as the BBWAA -- released the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot on Monday. Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman are the two additions their website touts among the 15 new ones overall, and they join 17 holdovers from the 2015 class. Now, not all 32 of these players should be immortalized in Cooperstown, but there are easily more than 10 Hall-worthy players on this year's ballot, once again reminding us that the 10-vote limit is restrictive.

Just going down the alphabet, you could realistically vote for Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jim Edmonds, Griffey, Hoffman, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner and Larry Walker. That's 16 candidates, and while you could do some pruning -- maybe you don't think relievers should be in, maybe Edmonds and Walker and Sheffield and Martinez just didn't do enough for you, maybe you, like the BBWAA, don't believe in Trammell or Raines or Schilling -- the option should still be there to vote for them. Then writers wouldn't need to strategically vote, such as like last year when some did not vote for Pedro Martinez knowing he would be safe so they could give one of their precious 10 to someone else. Then, writers who do think all of those players belong have the same voting rights and power as those who vote for one player each winter.

The BBWAA did try to change things, forming a committee to discuss vote expansion, but there are suspicions that it went nowhere because keeping things at 10 is a "subtle" way of making sure writers have an easy excuse for leaving off the likes of Bonds and Clemens. That's a shame, especially since you could easily argue that a simple "yes or no" style vote for every new ballot entry might be the most effective one rather than anything with a limit. Small Hall and big Hall voters would both be allowed to go all-out as they see fit. Any concept of a Cooperstown backlog would vanish, simply because not making it in a yes/no format would be a more telling result as it came from full freedom to vote or, just as importantly, not vote.