Le Batard suspended by BBWAA

I wrote the other day about the baseball Hall of Fame and a Dodgers beat writer only voting for Jack Morris. Well, I forgot that Deadspin has a vote that they attained from a member of the BBWAA. It turns out this writer was Dan Le Batard, a writer for the Miami Herald.

I am writing this as an opinion, without reading the statement from the BBWAA or anyone else’s pieces first.

Deadspin originally said they would buy a vote from a member of the association to make a mockery of the system. After the first one fell through, Le Batard decided he wanted to be a part of what Deadspin was doing. The website held a fan vote and then filled out the ballot. Le Batard signed his name to the ballot and sent it in.

When I first heard this I was not happy about it. Why would you give up your vote to a sleazy website, just so they can make the voting process look stupid? Especially since I believe it is a great honor to have a hall of fame vote.

I tweeted at Le Batard and he retweeted me, starting a fury of tweets at me explaining why I was wrong and they loved him for doing it. I didn’t respond to any of these tweets, because I knew it would make me mad, but after sleeping on it and reading what other writers were tweeting, I may have changed my mind.

Today the BBWAA suspended Le Batard for one year and stripped him of his hall of fame vote for life. At first I was very happy, but quickly thought differently. What Le Batard did was outsource his vote to the people and sign his name to it. He gave the people, the fans the right to vote and they spoke; they produced a solid ballot.

There is something wrong with the way the baseball hall of fame is voted for. Other writers voted for players like J.T. Snow and Armando Benitez. Craig Biggio missed getting elected by TWO votes. Other people, like the Dodgers writer, voted for one player. Something needs to change…

Maybe give the vote to managers and players? People who work for the teams? I don’t know what needs to be done, but something needs to change before it just becomes a game.

Rant on Baseball Hall of Fame voting

Twitter went crazy this morning when a Dodgers beat writer released that he voted for Jack Morris and only Jack Morris on his Hall of Fame ballot. But why is this so ridiculous?

Morris was a really good pitcher, but so was Greg Maddux, a player who should be a unanimous HOF’er. Maddux will not be a unanimous selection, because [certain beat writer I will not mention by name, because of his idiocy] he played during the PED era. He said that he will never vote for a player who played during this time in baseball history.

I can understand that thinking, but not every player used PEDs and a lot of them performed greatly, even through this time. You are allowed 10 votes on the ballot, but don’t have to use them all. Voting for just one player however is a slap in the face to the rest. It says that they got unlucky playing during this time. They were born at the wrong time and are the wrong generation if they ever want to be considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ever since I decided to be a journalist and learned that the Baseball Writers Association of America voted for the Hall of Fame, I’ve wanted to become a member and have a say in baseball immortality. To me, this would be the highest honor I can imagine.

A couple of months ago, Deadspin bought a Hall of Fame vote from a writer for an undisclosed amount of money. I have no problem with the purchasing of a vote, I have an issue with someone selling their vote. You worked your entire career to earn the right to vote for the highest honor a baseball player can achieve and you just go and sell it to a dumb website? That is a disgrace to the game. If you wanted to get rid of it so badly, just go to the association, tell them you don’t want your vote anymore and let them give it to someone who cares.

I wish for one day, hopefully soon, where the BBWAA takes voting seriously, votes for the best players in the game and cares about the integrity of the game. Respects the hard work they have put in to get that vote and does what they are supposed to do, honor the greatest players the game has ever seen, the ones they get to write about everyday.