Posted by Got_Worms on 1/4/2014 2:06:00 PM (view original):
"And I'd like to assume no one tossing those guys a token vote was leaving someone off their ballot that they really thought was deserving to do it, so it's probably a net gain of nothing."
This is not a safe assumption about the BBWAA HOF voters. I wish they would make all HOF ballots public so we can see what moron's are voting for the Aaron Sele's & Jim Deshaies of the world. At least ESPN's Pedro Gomez admitted voting for Jay Bell...
A lot of times they do come out and say - it's almost invariably a writer throwing a bone to a guy he covered for most of his career. It's silly to me, but as long as they aren't filling up the ballot, it's completely inconsequential. And while I don't have high regards for a lot of writers, like I said, last year the average was only around 6 votes per ballot - so the odds are pretty good that none of those kind of votes were done at the expense of a legit candidate. And even if some of them were, the number of votes are so small as to be inconsequential to the process.
Like I said, I understand why keeping these guys off the ballot would make you feel better based on the principle, but it wouldn't have any actual impact on the process.