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Deadspin reveals who gave them their Hall of Fame vote

Jan 8, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT


It’s Dan LeBatard. And he explains his rationale over at the website today. It’s a pretty good rationale. And, the headline here and picture to the right notwithstanding, LeBatard received no payment for it. He gave it up willingly and freely.

And the ballot that the Deadspin readers submitted — Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martínez, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Curt Schilling — is pretty darn good too.

Of course, the BBWAA is not likely to agree that this exercise in consciousness raising was all well and good. They approve of stupid protests of their own members, but not smart protests by their own members with the help of common people like baseball fans. Clearly you see the difference.

Anyway, I just saw the first volley fired at LeBatard. Of course it is passive-aggressive, in that it’s not directed at LeBatard himself even though he’s on Twitter. It also has the added fun of a total lack of self-awareness:


Jon, hate to break it to you, but you work for a website too. I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you.

Oh well, go get him, BBWAA. You know you’ve been wanting to.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Deadspin actually has some smart guys who just choose to use their brain power on making a bunch of off color jokes.

    That being said, I am glad they actually put in a more than respectable vote.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Bud Selig, welcome to your legacy, you stupid old man!

  2. chip56 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Two things:

    1. Heyman may work for a website but I don’t believe his editors told him who to vote for, so really your comparison there is weak.

    2. LeBatard did it for attention. As you know, as a writer for a website, if people are giving you attention that can often equal money.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      You should go read Lebatard’s reasoning.

      • chip56 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:10 PM

        He can write however many self-serving words he wants — bottom line is that he wants attention and you’re giving it to him.

    • paperlions - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      3. The dead spin ballot is actually a better collection of players than the Heyman ballot.

      4. LeBatard doesn’t need attention. Everyone already knows who he is.

      • bfunk1978 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        RE #4: Yes but I thought he was an idiot before. Now he has one good deed in his favor.

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        Yeah, I think it is a bit of an idiot as well….much of his approach seems to be more about getting people talking or discussion issues rather than trying to be right….but I don’t think he really goes about it in the best way possible.

      • chip56 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        being famous has never stopped anyone from wanting to be more famous.

        I don’t actually care about the validity of the players picked by Deadspin’s vote. You’re missing the point. I’m not calling out deadspin, I’m calling out another douchebag writer who wants the story to be about him. Just like these guys who say they’re not voting for anyone or only voting for Jack Morris because they think everyone else did steroids…blah blah blah

    • nsauser - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Yea, go read Dan’s reasoning it’s quite good. I also appreciate that he decided to take a stand.

      Also, I would argue that by giving his vote to Deadspin, Dan may have put himself in the line of fire at ESPN.

      • chinahand11 - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        Agreed. He probably submitted the best ballet (with some I would not vote for) of anyone but if ESPN thinks he is close to wandering off the reservation they’ll just can him.

      • umrguy42 - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:18 PM

        Interesting to me, the panelists on Around The Horn today (including HoF voter Woody Paige) all thought the process is broken. Wilbon and Kornheiser on PTI: “it’s fine! LeBatard’s so wrong!”.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Wilbon and Kornheiser on PTI: “it’s fine! LeBatard’s so wrong!”.

        Know what’s wrong? Wilbon blaming Sean Taylor’s murder on his previous life and never apologized when it came out that it was a robbery gone wrong:

        It’s only been six years, or maybe he’s taking the long approach championed by that racist Brent Musberger who referred to Tommy Smith and John Carlos as black skinned stormtroopers in ’68.

      • umrguy42 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:23 PM

        For reference, Deadspin has the video of the PTI segment. (Not one for the contrasting Around The Horn, though):

    • eatitfanboy - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      Yes, because Dan LeBatard, who has both a nationally syndicated radio show and a daily national television show, needs publicity stunts to get attention.

      • chip56 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:14 PM

        Would he be the first one with those things who pulled publicity stunts?

        Think of it this way, in a recent post Craig points out that the rationale for a player like Bonds, who was already a superstar, to do steroids was to garner the same attention he saw being paid to other players. Similar premise.

    • kevinbnyc - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      1. You’re not seriously standing up for Jon Heyman are you?

      1a. Jon? Is that you?

      • chip56 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:15 PM

        I’m not standing up for Heyman, I’m saying there’s a difference between a writer who works for a website voting vs. a website buying a vote.

    • hatfieldkid - Jan 9, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      1. The Deadspin editors had nothing to do with the vote. It was left up to the fans and readers of Deadspin. They just forwarded him the results.

      2. You’re probably right there. I think his twitter has gained 8k followers in a day.

  3. tigers182 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Baseball needs to keep the integrity of the vote strictly to the media, who voted for greats such as Jacque Jones and Armando Benitez.

  4. whatthehellisansky - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    Hey Jon Heyman – Nobody cares what you think.

    Shame on the asshole who sent in a blank ballot. Shame on the assholes who only voted for Jack Morris.

    Read the earlier article on what kept the well deserved Craig Biggio out of the hall of fame.

    Shame on the BBWAA and the hall of fame for keeping this ridiculous voting process in place for so long.

    I dont know how to fix it – but letting the fans have some type of input would be more than welcome in my book.

    • sabatimus - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      Seriously. Several key members of the BBWAA are more interested in making their own emotional/political statements than in submitting a fair ballot. Like those who believe that no candidate should ever get in unanimously. Maddux should have been unanimous. And what the heck are they going to do when 2015 comes around? That ballot is stacked to the nines.

  5. ireportyoudecide - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:09 PM

    That’s one of the best ballots I’ve seen.

  6. brewcrewfan54 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    This helps but it still doesn’t make up for that terrible TV show of his.

  7. pastabelly - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    When I found out that it was LeBatard, I wasn’t surprised.

    Heyman said it best. Thank you for teaching us all lesson Professor LeBatard. Now you and your father can get back to making that awful tv show you do for ESPN2.

    In other news, Jack Morris actually lost votes in his final year.

    • paperlions - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Jack Morris would have easily been the worst player ever elected by the writers. The fact that he even approached election is just as embarrassing as Lou Whitaker falling off the ballot after one year.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Jack Morris would have been a lousy selection, I agree, but would he have been the worst choice ever by the writers? Who are the nominees?

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Probably. The writers have historically been stingy. Dawson and Rice are two of the worst guys voted in by the writers (the veterans committee is responsible for most of the really embarrassing selections, including all of the owners commissioners that were bad at their jobs and were still shoved in there) and those two were far better hitters than Morris was a pitcher.

      • mcsnide - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Catfish Hunter like this.

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Man, forgot about him. Yeah, he was a really poor/weird choice.

      • paperlions - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        Lou Brock wasn’t a particularly inspiring choice either, but at least when he retired he had been the all-time best at something….and did get 3000 hits, which used to be a big deal.

      • sabatimus - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        The only reason Rice got in was because of a campaign. Dwight Evans was a much more valuable player than Rice.

      • mcsnide - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        Overall, your point was valid, Paper. Other than Catfish, I can’t think of any SPs in the hall that I would say are clearly worse than Jack Morris. And it took a few minutes for me to think of him. And that’s the crux of why Jack doesn’t belong.

        It’s not like it really matters, though. In a few years, the Veterans will put Jack in and we’ll get treated to a bunch of articles on how stats-minded folks have finally been put in their place and evil triumphed over spreadsheets or something.

  8. jarathen - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    I hope this helps spark change. Giving the vote to FANS who obviously took it seriously (by and large – 7% for Sexson?) would give us a far superior Hall class than one in which crotchety self-righteous jerks vote for a man who would be one of the worst pitchers in Cooperstown, or no one at all, because now we have more information about athletes, who always have and always will look for ways to be the best.

    • bfunk1978 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      The thing is, turning it loose to the fans in general is a bad idea. Look at ASG voting. OTOH giving it to people who care about more than their home team would be a good idea.

      • jarathen - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        The interesting angle RE: Deadspin is that it was only fans who went to a certain website. It wasn’t random people at ball games; it was people who are into sports enough to go to blogs about it.

        There’s no perfect solution. After all, we live in a world where Rafael Palmeiro has a Golden Glove at a position he hardly played that year. But it’s already apparent that hardcore sports fans have a better idea about who should be in the Hall than the voting body of the BBWAA. And that’s damning.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        Since each set of voters has its problems, I think the best solution is to have a mix of voting constituencies. Bill James laid out such a proposal in “The Politics of Glory.”

      • bfunk1978 - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:29 PM

        Fine by me. A Fan vote that counts X% is better than no voice at all, and it’s fans that go to the museum.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        The thing is, turning it loose to the fans in general is a bad idea. Look at ASG voting.

        Something tells me that people vote for ASG’s in wanting to see their favorite players, rather than voting on who they think is actually the best at each position.

      • bfunk1978 - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        And that would be true with just general HOF balloting, I think. I guess it’s impossible to tell, but there would be a lot of undeserving candidates who get more support than they should.

        Yes, yes, just like Jack Morris. Y ou got me. lol

  9. tigers182 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    It’s laughable the elitist members who don’t think the fans who watch and support the game should have a voice.

  10. sdelmonte - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Always been a fan of LeBatard, one of the few writers who didn’t jump on the Steroids Are Evil bandwagon ten years ago. Like him that much more today.

    And congrats to the Deadspin voters for a great ballot.

  11. mncubsfan - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:19 PM


    Sanctimonious* contains a “C”

    That is all,


    • freevinnycurry - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Seriously. That’s pretty bad.

  12. pbastille - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Plus, Heyman can’t spell. Its “sanctimonious”‎

  13. eatitfanboy - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    LOL @ a BBWA voter calling someone else sanctimonious. Got any mirrors or dictionaries in your house there, Jonny boy?

  14. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    I rather enjoy the Dan LeBatard show on my drive home every day. Today I’m proud to be a fan. Good for him and good for Deadspin. They were able to make a very valid point, and do so without actually harming the process that needs to be fixed. Something that can’t be said for most of these protest voters. I can’t wait to watch the hypocrisy that’s about to ensue. Figures Jon Heyman will lead the charge.

  15. thehawg - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    Selling your hall of fame vote is highly questionable.

    • eatitfanboy - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      I see what you did there.

  16. nsstlfan - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    I believe HOF voting should be a little like all star voting with the public getting at least some say. Deadspin had a good idea letting the public vote

  17. jrob23 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    I love Dan’s reasoning. Though, to say Maddux is one of the 5 best pitchers is laughable. Just in case you want to see 5 better, here goes

    Walter Johnson
    Pedro Martinez
    Sandy Koufax
    Tom Seaver
    Bob Gibson
    Warren Spahn
    Randy Johnson

    as good as Maddux was and he is top ten all time, he was aided by umps who often times gave him calls on pitches 2 or 3 inches off the plate..simply because he could duplicate that location. Anyone who says different is a liar or didn’t watch his game. He wasn’t overpowering, didn’t pitch many complete games, and was on great teams almost his entire career.

    So top then, sure, but top 5? Not really

    • scyankee64 - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      I would also put Steve Carlton and Christy Mathewson ahead of Maddux.

    • jarathen - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Maybe, maybe not. Among WAR for pitchers, he’s 8th all time. Adjusted pitching wins, 5th.

    • crackersnap - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      I give Maddux a hell of a lot of credit for being able to con umps into giving him such a huge zone.

      Perhaps in an era of robots Maddux’s results might have been markedly different. But Maddux didn’t pitch in an era of robots. Clearly, he realized that the human judges could be turned into resources to his advantage. Thusly, Maddux manipulated the humans far more skillfully than his contemporaries, and perhaps even his predecessors.

      Plus points for Maddux right there.

      • jarathen - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        it’s so strange that the man had two nicknames in “The Professor”, which made sense, and “MAD DOG”, which kind of sounds like Maddux I guess?

      • km9000 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        Probably meant to be ironic also. Certainly better than “G-Mad.”

      • NatsLady - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        When catchers do it, it’s called “framing.”

    • maikoch - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      Sandy Koufax–as good as he was–was not better than Maddux. First of all, he had a vastly shorter period of productivity. He provided above average value (2.0 bWar or more) in only six seasons, and elite value (5.0 bWar or more) in only four. For Maddux it’s 13 and 7. Second, Koufax probably benefited from his context more than any other pitcher in history. He played in a low-offense era at the most pitcher-friendly park in the majors (and that’s before the Dodgers’ grounds crew deliberately heightened the mound beyond what the rules allow). If you look at his home/road splits, you’ll see that he was very, very good, but not as dominant as he might otherwise seem to be.

      I would also argue Maddux was better than Pedro Martinez, since the difference between Maddux’s and Martinez’s elite seasons is not THAT enormous, and Maddux provided vastly more good seasons than Martinez did.

      Walter Johnson, I’ll give you. I’ll also give you Cy Young and (as the other commenter noted) Mathewson.

      However, I would say a case could be made to put R. Johnson-Seaver-Carlton-Spahn-Gibson-Maddux in just about any order. Which means it’s entirely reasonable, to me, to put Maddux in (or very near) the Top 5.

      • jrob23 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Koufax was as good a pitcher the game has ever seen. He dominated and yes it was a short period but he left on top with amazing numbers. He actually completed games, struck batters out (how does ballpark effect that again?) and dominated post seasons…all things Maddux never did. Now that is not to say Maddux isn’t great because he is..but Koufax was unreal and best lefty ever imo. Pedro dominated in the AL and was so far ahead of his peers it was embarrassing for them. He was overpowering, struck guys out, had huge defining moments in his career and won Cy Youngs in both leagues.

        You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would draft Maddux over any of the other top pitchers, or want him over them in a deciding game seven. Also, the argument that he pitched during the steroid era, while it has some merit, is not the same as Pedro because Pedro had to deal with Monsters at the DH position and in a killer division. Maddux lucked out in that regard both with his ballpark and his division.

      • maikoch - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        You’ve largely chosen not to engage with my arguments, but in any case I’ll say the following:

        1. Any GM who drafted Sandy Koufax’s career over Greg Maddux’s career should be fired. Even if you think that Koufax’s four elite seasons were better than Maddux’s four best seasons (arguable), the additional value Maddux provided over the course of his career more than makes up for it. Put another way, 4 Cy Young seasons plus 8 or 9 additional good to excellent seasons is worth a lot more than just 4 Cy Young seasons, no matter how good those four were.

        2. If the grounds crew adds an extra 2-3 inches to the mound, as they routinely did during his career, then you better believe it helps the pitcher’s strikeout total. If the ballpark has exceedingly large amounts of foul territory, as Dodger stadium did in Koufax’s time, you better believe it helps the strikeout total. That’s two ballpark effects right there.

    • skids003 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      I read that Walter Johnson always got 4 to 6 inches off the plate because of his reputation. And the Umpires were so scared of Gibson, they gave him all the calls. So where does that leave us? 355 wins any way you slice it says an awful lot.

      • crackersnap - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:39 AM

        I am old enough to have seen Bob Gibson pitch. It’s 45 years later and Gibson is now an old man. But he lives. And somewhere out there he still walks the streets. And I am still scared of him.

    • jrob23 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      lol at the amount of unnecessary downvotes. There really are a bunch of idiots on here lol

      • cofran2004 - Jan 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM

        complaining about downvotes gets you even more downvotes. And I’ll probably get downvoted for pointing out this fact about downvotes. Downvote?

    • clemente2 - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      Ummm, Roger Clemens.

      And add Lefty Grove and Pete Alexander.

      How they all mix to a list, I don’t know. I expect Roger is #1 career and Pedro is #1 peak.

      jrob: Maddux threw plenty hard as a youngster. He averaged 229 innings a season over 23 years, leading the league in innings 5 seasons. He had 109 complete games, leading the league in that category 3 seasons. Randy Johnson, a close comparable for years served (22), averaged 230 innings a season, and had 100 complete games. Yea, jrob, MAddux was a slacker. Your comment indicates you are the liar or didn’t watch.

  18. tfbuckfutter - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Subtract Bonds, Clemens and Schilling and that might be a flawless ballot.

    • clemente2 - Jan 8, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Need to add Mussina in that case, no?

      And why leave those three out?

  19. convincedofthehex - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    LeBatard’s radio show is the best on all of radio. Every Wednesday Stan Van Gundy is his co-host. The best 4 hours of radio you will ever hear. You can stream the first hour on 790 the Ticket out of Miami. No comparison to his tv show.

  20. chaseutley - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Between Deadspin’s audience and Heyman piling on, LeBatard is getting more publicity for this than he would from buying a Super Bowl commercial.

  21. Loren - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    I’m curious what the response would have been if Dan Batard had done an online poll himself instead of being part of the Deadspin operation. Could there be that much outrage about reaching out to the fans for their opinion directly? And didn’t this just amount to the same thing?

  22. conjecture101 - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Deadspin and its readers claim to be the most non-sanctimonious group of people in sports culture, yet they somehow vote more for Craig Biggio than Jeff Bagwell & give a higher percentage of votes to Edgar Martinez than Barry Bonds & Mark Mcgwire. Why don’t one of you non-sanctimonious rationalists explain the rational to that.

    • jarathen - Jan 8, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      You’re talking about an aggregate here. I voted for Tim Raines and he didn’t make the 50% cut when the ballot wasn’t limited to ten votes (at least for the readers).

      It’s not perfect, as no vote ever will be, but it sure beats what the BBWAA put out there.

  23. nobody78 - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Don’t agree with the chorus of agreement AT ALL. If Le Batard wanted to let the fans determine his vote, fine — he should have run his own poll and cast his ballot accordingly. I’d have nothing bad to say about that.

    But if you give your ballot to a website which is specifically asking to “buy” it, even if you don’t take their money, you’re demeaning the process. And yes, you’re demeaning it more than someone who casts his or her vote stupidly, however ignorant or lazy or indifferent or “sanctimonious”* they may be. Being OK with selling your vote — which is what you say you are by giving your vote to Deadspin — is worse than ANY of those things.

    At the moment, for all the weirdness and for all its flaws, the Hall of Fame means something. If enough people are determined to make it mean nothing, they’ll eventually succeed. I think that’ll be a sad day, myself, especially since I think its problems, while real, are not so terrible as to be unfixable.

    And yes, I know you’re all about to write, “Well, isn’t Ken Gurnick the one who’s making the Hall of Fame into a joke by voting like a moron?” I agree that his vote’s ridiculous but this is way worse.

    * As long as I’m courting thumbs downs, I might as well take this opportunity to say that, in the hierarchy of terrible things you can be, “sanctimonious” really doesn’t rank very high, and that I spend too much of my life listening to or reading sanctimonious denouncements of sanctimony.

    • stex52 - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      Agree with you in a very limited way. But as you also point out, the process is already at a juncture where it is hard to demean it further.

    • shadowcell - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      so because some fans got to decide a ballot, this means the Hall of Fame is in danger of “meaning nothing”?

      • nobody78 - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:09 AM

        That’s not what I said.

      • shadowcell - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        you’re complaining that Deadspin “demeaned the process” with what they did. well, what they did was let a subset of sports fans pick that particular ballot. so does it mean allowing fans a say in the Hall of Fame process “demeans” the process?

  24. moogro - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Pro move by Dan.

  25. steelgator53 - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    The least surprising revelation in this article is that the bbwa still has an aol email address.

    • Old Gator - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      I wouldn’t even be surprised to find out that they had a address.

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