Just in case you have been living under a large boulder of some sort or perhaps aren’t social media savvy, the big story today surrounding the Hall of Fame voting results is not the actual outcome but the fact that Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald “sold” his vote to Deadspin.
Le Batard was revealed as the writer who gave his vote to Deadspin. Deadspin then turned the voting duties over to its readers and the funny thing is, that ballot was probably better than at least 75% of the BBWAA’s writing pool’s ballots.
Now, no one expected Le Batard to get away with his “infraction” but the BBWAA has taken his HOF vote away and he has been barred from baseball press boxes for a year.
Here’s the statement released earlier today:
The BBWAA Board of Directors has decided to remove Dan Le Batard’s membership for one year, for transferring his Hall of Fame ballot to an entity that has not earned voting status. The punishment is allowed under the organization’s constitution.
In addition, Le Batard will not be allowed to vote on Hall of Fame candidates from this point on.
The BBWAA regards Hall of Fame voting as the ultimate privilege, and any abuse of that privilege is unacceptable.
-BBWAA President La Velle E. Neal III
January 9, 2014
I have some questions for the BBWAA: If you’re levying this kind of punishment against Le Batard for giving away his vote, what are you going to do about the writers who turn in blank ballots as a form of protest? How come that kind of behavior is okay? And what about the writers who haven’t covered baseball in decades but still have HOF votes?
I guess the positive thing about this whole situation is that it’s shining the spotlight on the HOF voting process and is causing people to question the BBWAA’s methods and practices. And I get that the Hall of Fame is ultimately a museum for the fans but if the BBWAA is going to talk about ‘abusing the privilege’, they should include the people I asked about above in the discussion and not just single out Le Batard.