Are there issues with the Hall of Fame voting process?

There are some things I just don't understand about the Hall of Fame voting process that elected Robbie Alomar and Bert Blyleven yesterday.

How can a player like Blyleven not be good enough for election for 13 straight years, yet make it on the 14th try? Don't get me wrong, Blyleven deserves to be in, and this was long overdue.

Clearly, some voters who didn't vote for Blyleven before did this year. Did he win 18 games last year and I missed it? At least, in his case, the voters eventually got it right, but they sure made the man wait much longer than necessary.

I would love to hear a writer explain why they voted for Blyleven now but not before this year and how his resume was now finally good enough.

I don't understand how Alomar missed last year with 73.7 percent of the vote, but easily made it this time with 90 percent. Was he being slapped on the wrist for that spitting incident?

Some Hall voters have said they have a hard time electing someone in their first year of eligibility and no one has ever been elected with 100 percent of the vote. I guess I could possibly see how some voters reserve first-ballot election for only the best of the best, but then again shouldn't someone be good enough for the Hall or not?

I can still remember how well Alomar played in the first half of the 1996 season. He was hitting .404 as late as June 10 and was just magical in the field nightly. I remember longtime O's observers saying then that they might be watching the most talented player to ever don an O's uniform. Considering the club's history, that was a big statement.

Alomar is certainly at least one of the most talented to ever wear the orange and black, and he got what he deserved Wednesday afternoon.

As for Rafael Palmeiro, the voters spoke loudly in omitting him on all but 11 percent of the ballots. I didn't expect it to be that bad for him.

His credentials of 569 homers and 3,020 hits should make him an easy lock for the Hall. But that positive drug test now looms over everything else for him right.

It's too bad, because it happened late in his career and I don't recall suspicions about Palmeiro being a steroid user. I don't know what happened with that positive test, but I don't look at Palmeiro and see a cheater.

To his detriment, I don't think he spoke out enough about what happened with that test and he was thought guilty by some due to his long silence on the subject - the thought being, if not guilty, Palmeiro should been shouting about his innocence every day in every way.

One thing I will never understand about the voting process is who gets a vote and who does not. The Baseball Writers' Association of America allows 10-year members to vote and once you get your vote, you don't lose it.

There are retired writers that don't keep up with the game still voting, while people like Vin Scully, Jon Miller and Bob Costas don't get a vote.

I think the writers have been too provincial about this. I would love to see them add a member or two a year from the broadcast community and let some of the great broadcasters join the voting ranks.

They seem to feel it's their club and they will decide who gets in. It is their club and they do make the rules, but some Hall votes should be a sign to them that their voting process remains flawed.

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