Sunday Confessional: A series where Editor Collin Kottke confesses something on Sundays. Seems simplistic enough. We’ll see.
As an aspiring member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, maybe I shouldn’t write this, but then again, you have to live in the here and now. I know we are all sick and tired of talking about the Hall of Fame, but the Dan Le Batard situation has been a spur in my side since the revelations of him ‘selling’ his vote to Deadspin came to fruition.
Le Batard, did not sell his vote, but opened it up to the visitors of Deadspin’s website for no monetary gain.
Is the Hall of Fame voting system broken? Maybe, like everything it has its plus and minuses and we’re especially talked out about that debate. That debate rages on no matter what occurs in the yearly ballot.
Here’s what I know: Dan Le Batard has met and still meets the requirements that are needed to be a member of the BBWAA, being a member of the BBWAA allows you to vote for the Hall of Fame, once you have that privilege, you can vote in any way you choose.
I don’t think it’s wrong for someone to hand over their vote or search for assistance in casting their ballot. I believe you should get the right to do whatever the hell you want with your ballot once you are on the list of getting the ballot. It’s as simple as that.
This Le Batard/Deadspin vote wasn’t even a bad ballot. In fact, it was a really good ballot voting for: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Edgar Martinez, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and Frank Thomas.
It can be argued that the fans took ‘their’ ballot more seriously than the voters who marked in Jacque Jones, Luis Gonzalez and Eric Gagne. At least fans voted for ten people that have a legitimate case to be in what should be a sacred place.
Because of this legitimate ballot, the BBWAA has suspended Le Batard from his Hall of Fame vote for life and suspended his BBWAA membership for a year. I suppose that the BBWAA has every right to do whatever they want, but this doesn’t make sense to me.
The combination of a nationally known ESPN face giving his vote to an anti-establishment website like Deadspin was just too much of an overload for a group that allows people that haven’t covered a baseball game in decades to still cast a vote.
The question that keeps popping in my head is would this be a big deal if it wasn’t this writer. Would we care if I somehow had a vote, was still minimally known and throw up a poll on this website and voted for who won the poll, probably not. My opinion doesn’t quite create the media orgy that Le Batard/ESPN/Deadspin does.
I hope this happens next year, but Deadspin doesn’t reveal who the voter is. It would cause paranoia throughout the BBWAA and what’s more fun to watch than an organization full of paranoia?
Maybe, Highly Questionable starring Dan Le Batard, weekdays on ESPN 2.