Dan Le Batard Gave His Baseball Hall Of Fame Vote To Deadspin And Its Readers (Plus An A+++ Rant By Me)
Via Deadspin: Now that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America has announced the results of this year’s Hall of Fame election—Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas made it—it’s time for us to reveal, as promised, theDeadspin ballot, as well as the voter who joined us in making a farce and mockery of the increasingly solemn election process by turning his vote over to you, the readers…This voter also agreed with our aims, but didn’t want to jeopardize his franchise for the sake of a protest if we’d already secured a ballot; he was concerned, too, about being seen as a self-promoter or profiteer. He agreed, however, to turn over his vote to us if our initial purchase fell through…And, happily, our failsafe voter did come through, and we can now reveal his identity: It’s Dan Le Batard, the respected ESPNer and longtime Miami Herald columnist.
So this happened shortly after 2pm this afternoon and parts of the world erupted when they heard that Dan Le Batard had given his vote away to Deadspin and their readers. I for one think it’s fantastic that he gave his vote away (more on this later,) especially in light of Ken Gurnick’s reasoning for leaving Greg Maddux off his ballot while keeping Jack Morris on.
The boys over at PTI had no problem undressing their “friend” and colleague. They basically talked about how terrible he was for doing so, while completely ignoring the fact that Ken Gurnick has done just as much to disgrace the Hall of Fame voting process as Le Batard had. It was a perfectly placed rant that was probably pushed on them from the upper management at the world wide leader. Remember Le Batard is an ESPN employee just as much as the boys at PTI are and there’s no way they would have been able to agree with him (and I’m not saying they did.) I’m just saying I doubt they had a choice. And remember. It’s Le Batard’s vote just as much as it was Gurnick’s vote. Here’s PTI’s “breakdown” of Le Batard’s decision.
I’ve been thinking about this for much of the evening. Trying to properly place my thoughts in all of this. Le Batard was in no way right by giving his vote away but it helped shine a light on the problem with the voting system currently in place. Ken Gurnick is a clown and while I disagree with him, he reminded us all of how skewed Hall of Fame voting can be when you put it in the hands of people who vote for players without actually knowing all the facts. Le Batard admitted that he didn’t know all the facts and said as much in his brief statement (found in the Deadspin article above.) He also said he was sick of the ridiculousness that is Hall of Fame voting. That people can brazenly decide who they are going to vote for without all the facts is ludicrous. It’s also absolutely insane that a voter (see the clown above) would lump any player in the 20 year steroid era together while ignoring the fact that his pride and joy (Jack Morris) overlapped with that time period. Ignorance is bliss people and all Dan Le Batard did was do what he wanted to do which is EXACTLY what Gurnick and every other writer with a vote gets to do. They get to vote however they choose regardless of truths, stats, or whether or not the player shot themselves in the ass with steroids or rubbed the clear and cream on their bodies. It’s a flawed system that has made whole Hall of Fame thing in Baseball a joke. No longer will we ever have an accurate list of names in the Hall of Fame because for 20 years (and probably before and still to this day) players cheated. They found an advantage (WHICH BUD SELIG PROMPTLY IGNORED) and exploited it until they were caught. Were they wrong, absolutely. Did executives in MLB turn a blind eye to it all as baseball regained its popularity after a near fatal strike in 1995? 100 percent. Should those guys who cheated be held out of the Hall of Fame? I’m still not sure I have an answer. I hated Barry Bonds for years and years because he made a mockery of the game I grew up playing and loving. But somewhere along the lines I realized that blaming Barry Bonds was ignorant because, A. He wasn’t the only one, B. MLB let it get that far and 3. The level to which Bonds took things eventually helped Major League Baseball, along with Congress, begin to solve the problem of PEDs in baseball. Will sports ever be 100% clean? No way, no how. There are too many people out there working on designing the next enhancement that is untraceable and unethical. Professional sports will always be a step behind those people working in a dark lab in some basement mixing up the next deer antler elixir.
What does it all mean? Nothing really. In a few weeks we’ll all forget about this until next January when the debate heats up again. Deadspin has already committed to “buying” another vote next year. I’m sure MLB will try to find some way to keep this from happening, but really, what can they do? It’s the writer’s choice to vote for who they want to vote for and while it may not be as public moving forward, will we ever know whether or not a vote is actually the voice of the writer who owns it?