How to fix the broken Hall of Fame vote

Jeff Bagwell and Roger Clemens should long since be in the Hall of Fame. Can voters adapt to a busted process to get them in and move on? Getty Images

The Hall of Fame's induction process is broken. And I don't mean in the sense that you have a car with chipped paint or a flat tire or the brakes are squeaking loudly when you stop at the bottom of a hill. I mean broken broken in which the wheels are gone and there's a family of raccoons living where the missing engine used to be.

When talking about good arguments for inducting players into the Hall of Fame, one of the arguments that Bill James warned about using in "The Politics of Glory" was The Insult Approach. Using that, you argue that a player should be in the Hall of Fame because to do otherwise would insult him. The player in question at the time was Phil Rizzuto and, in the book, James addressed other borderline candidates, players such as Stan Hack or Ken Keltner or Ken Boyer, players you could argue one way or the other.

But today, rather than arguing about borderline candidates, we're arguing about the easy candidates. Jeff Bagwell ranks fourth among all first basemen for career WAR, per Baseball-Reference.com, in modern baseball history (starting at 1901 due to the variability of play quality in 19th century baseball). Yet it's taking until his seventh ballot to get around to honoring him, and that's assuming he does in fact get in this year. Mike Mussina is 19th in pitcher WAR, between Ferguson Jenkins and Bob Gibson; Curt Schilling is 21st, between Gibson and Tom Glavine. Neither of them are expected to get in this year, after appearing on multiple ballots previously.