In talking with Dale Murphy, the ex-Major League outfielder, about the Hall of Fame last week, he said that baseball has to change.
Not just the HOF voting process, but other things. For instance, the designated hitter rule.
“We’re still doing one league with the DH, one that doesn’t,” Murphy said. “Isn’t it time to resolve this? (He’s against having the DH.) There are things we need to look at for the good of the game. Things can be done differently.”
As for the Hall voting, he pointed out that the majority of the writers are from the Northeast, which seems to give special consideration to New York and Boston players.
But a big concern – at least for me – was Murphy’s point that some of the Hall of Fame voters are writers who have retired or stopped covering MLB. If that’s true, that’s a worry. I know from where he speaks. I kept getting Heisman ballots for several years after I had moved from college beat writer to Utah Jazz writer. I didn’t usually send them in because I felt I saw too little college football to responsibly vote. After a few years, I asked to be removed from the list of voters.
Then there was Murphy’s point that some beat writers aren’t able to vote for the Hall of Fame because their newspapers won’t allow it. It is considered a conflict of interest. I can see that logic. At the same time, who is better qualified to pick Hall of Fame players than those who write about baseball every day?
In any case, nobody loves baseball more than Murphy. But even he believes the Grand Old Game needs an update.