The ballot is so crowded this year, though, that I wouldn't put it past some knuckleheaded writers to leave Maddux off their ballot this time, knowing that he'll make it in at some later date, in order to vote for someone who's in danger of falling off.
Why does the HOF let people fall off? I know in the NHL, players can be voted in whenever, so if there is a particularly weak year, you can pick up a Jack Morris.
Part of it is quality control. There really are
years when it's such a shitty ballot that no one deserves to get in, which is in stark contrast to the NFL Hall of Fame, which mandates that at least
four people are inducted every year.
As for flat-out dropping off ... well, if you 1) don't get 5 percent of the vote or 2) can't pick up 75 percent of the vote after fifteen years, there's probably a reason. That being said, there's still the Veterans Committee, which can vote people in after they've been dropped from the main ballot (which is how Ron Santo finally got in -- after he was dead
-- and I fully expect Morris to be voted in by the VC next year, because they're a bunch of mouthbreathing hucksters like Joe Morgan).
Long story short, if Jack Morris makes the Hall of Fame from a BBWAA vote this year, and Ser Barrold of House Bonds continues to get a cold shoulder, then burn the entire fucking thing to the ground.