Another reason to visit Cooperstown!

A few days ago when the Hall of Fame announced some changes to the BBWAA’s role in the electoral process, I actually wrote some positive things. At that moment, I was clearly in the minority. But since then I’ve seen a few other positive reactions. Including Joe Posnanski’s, which is even more positive than mine (which, considering our respective personalities, isn’t really surprising).

Basically, Joe’s thinking is along the same lines as mine, but he adds the notion that the people who run the Hall are actually trying to improve the process, trying to respond to legitimate concerns voiced by people like you and me …

The Hall of Fame sees what’s happening. They see the world changing. They understand the BBWAA is evolving, baseball coverage is evolving, the idea of baseball credibility (which the BBWAA always provided) is evolving too. The BBWAA will become a very different organization over the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years. I’m not saying the Hall of Fame wants to break their relationship with the BBWAA; I don’t believe that. I think the Hall of Fame very much likes its relationship with the BBWAA. But I do think they see changes coming and want to give themselves options. They have to position themselves for the future.

So, this is my theory: The Baseball Hall of Fame is making some smallish changes now to set itself up for bigger changes soon. I’m sure they would deny this, and I would bet even they don’t know what those changes are. But they’re coming. I think in 10 years, the Hall of Fame will have a more open Hall of Fame voting policy that the BBWAA will have a part in but will not control entirely.

I think Joe’s actually right about this. While the Hall, like just about every old-fashioned institution, changes direction about as often as an oil tanker, there really are some truly smart and thoughtful people working there. So it won’t surprise me if some progressive things happen in the coming years.