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.