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Deadspin managed to buy a Hall of Fame vote

Nov 26, 2013, 4:06 PM EDT

Man-Handing-out-Money

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Deadspin announced its modest plan to buy a Hall of Fame vote? Well, they got a taker. An actual BBWAA member has agreed to sell his or her vote to Deadspin. He or she will fill out the ballot in accordance with a Deadspin reader poll and submit it. After the vote is in, he or she will go public and state his or her reason for doing so. It should be hoot.

As we said then: it’s a fabulous idea. What better way to mock a process and electorate that seeks to pass moral and ethical judgment on a bunch of baseball players than to show that at least part of said electorate is corruptible. What better way to show that a process which is taken way, way way too seriously by those who control it is, in reality, basically a joke. Viva chaos, you know.

But I do have one somewhat serious thought about this. Obviously the BBWAA will and should punish whichever of their voters allowed the system to be corrupted like this. I mean, you can’t have an organization that allows this kind of nonsense, even if outsiders like me think it’s funny  But what happens if the person who sold their vote to Deadspin is revealed to be someone for whom BBWAA discipline is meaningless? A long-retired or non-baseball writer for whom a BBWAA credential has no point. Someone who, as so many Hall of Fame voters do, covers another sport. Or does political cartooning. Or hasn’t worked in the sports business for decades.  If that’s the case, maybe it’s time to alter the electorate?

Put differently, wouldn’t it be pretty damning of the Hall of Fame voting process as a whole if the person who sold their vote has no reason to care, no investment in baseball or the Hall of Fame and is beyond any semblance of control or sanction from the BBWAA?

  1. bfunk1978 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Can’t imagine whoever it is being allowed to vote again in the future so it’s probably someone who’s leaving anyway.

    • wjarvis - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      It depends on if they actually accept the money or not. I think selling the vote could get their vote taken away, but just deciding they will follow a poll might not. Especially since I think the voter will be able to make the argument that they think every player on their ballot should be in the HOF. I mean it’s not as if Joe Borowski is going to be one of the top 10 in the poll.

    • nyyankeefanforever - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Are you serious?? Some voting members of the BBWAA haven’t attended, watched or wrote about a ballgame in years. Others have submitted blank ballots or forgotten to even submit one. And last year one of them even voted for Aaron friggin’ Sele!! If those bozos still get a say, I highly doubt a writer who decides to give the fans some input will get bounced.

      • bfunk1978 - Nov 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        While what you point out doesn’t really embarrass BBWAA like it should, selling the vote most likely has their attention in a very real way.

    • kopy - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      My assumption is it’s someone who doesn’t cover baseball, and their reasoning will be wanting those who follow the sport (and will actually patronize Cooperstown) to make the call.

  2. jshoelessj - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Please be Murray Chass.

    • largebill - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:49 AM

      jshoelessj,

      Sorry but, Chass already sold his vote to both the “Jack Morris Fan Club” and the “I Have No Proof But Think Mike Piazza Used PEDs Club.”

    • largebill - Nov 28, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      jshoelessj,

      Sorry, but Chass already sold his vote to both the “Jack Morris Fan Club” and the “I Have No Proof But Think Mike Piazza Used PEDs Club.”

  3. xdj511 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    If it was one of the yabbos that was just going to submit a blank ballot in protest, then it’s a win/win for everyone.

  4. gdobs227 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Hey, that’s the same photo used for the story about playoff money allocation. C’mon Craig, just do a google image search for “money shot.” I’m sure it will turn up lots of great images that you could use in the future.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      Especially if you turn Safe Mode off.

  5. hildezero - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    I can imagine that if this happens, this will be a first of many to come in the future.

  6. ezthinking - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Simply awesome.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Now if we can just get enough voters to take the cash we can finally get a class that includes Your Mom, Gilligan and Butthead.

  8. drs76109 - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Pete Rose says, “whaaaaa?”

  9. cur68 - Nov 26, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    if the person who sold their vote has no reason to care, no investment in baseball or the Hall of Fame and is beyond any semblance of control or sanction from the BBWAA

    -well that’ll narrow it down!
    /sarcasm font

  10. mogogo1 - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    It’s not much different than how the Academy Awards work. A couple years back somebody admitted that they’d been letting their kids fill out their Oscar ballots for years and I’m sure that has also happened with Hall of Fame voting.

  11. pftbillsfan - Nov 26, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Wait so a fan vote is corrupt? Why because fans are so stupid? Your whole premise is ridiculous. Why should we read your site if the mere thought of a HOF voter representing are opinions is disgusting to you.

    • sfbookreviews - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      Please see any result of fan voting for the All-Star game to see why some people would be against fans deciding who goes into the Hall of Fame.

  12. braddavery - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    I love how Craig says the HOF vote is “…a process and electorate that seeks to pass moral and ethical judgment on a bunch of baseball players…, and in the same article states the HOF is “…a process which is taken way, way way too seriously by those who control it…”. Seems like it’s you who is taking it “way, way way too seriously” if you care so much that people with votes decide they don’t want to vote for players you feel deserve votes. If it doesn’t matter to you and you think it’s all a big joke, why do you care who they vote for. As has been said a million times before, these voters are not obligated to vote for players simply because someone wants them to.

  13. braddavery - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    ‘OMG, you aren’t voting for Bonds and/or Clemens??? You are making an utter MOCKERY of an institution I endlessly say and imply is a big joke!!! How DARE you take your votes so seriously that you at least ATTEMPT to keep out known and/or suspected cheaters when the voting rules allow you to do so!!! VOTE FOR WHO I WANT YOU TO VOTE FOR OR THE ENTIRE PROCESS IS A MOCKERY OF JUSTICE AND THE AMERICAN WAY!!!!!!!!!’

    • tuberippin - Nov 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Nobody kept out Gaylord Perry and he admitted to cheating before he was elected to the Hall of Fame.

      • paperlions - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        Ignore Brad, he has an unnatural and unjustified hatred about all things steroids based on willful ignorance of what steroids and other types of PED can and cannot do for people or for baseball players. His is the most distinct case of ‘roid rage to ever manifest.

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