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The BBWAA revokes Dan LeBatard’s Hall of Fame vote, suspends him for a year

Jan 9, 2014, 3:16 PM EDT

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That was quick: The BBWAA has banned Dan Le Betard from future HOF voting and suspended him for a year for turning his vote over to Deadspin. The BBWAA’s statement:

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 imagine to the extent there was any delay at all it was to parse the difference between LeBatard’s “transferring his Hall of Fame ballot to an entity that has not earned voting status” and the tomfoolery with which many other voters, who remain in good standing, have approached their own Hall of Fame votes. Good way to thread that needle, BBWAA.

That aside, I figured this was coming. And, as I’ve said many times, you can’t really quibble with it. It’s their organization and LeBatard knew what would happen to him. Such is life.

Still: is the BBWAA going to do anything about the many “entities that have earned voting status” who have no business retaining it? Or will that go on inevitably?

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jkcalhoun - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Once you obtain “voting status”, you can employ the dead matter between your ears all you want but you can’t make use of a Deadspin poll. Let thy will be done, BBWAA.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Loved this comment/response in Klaw’s chat today:

      Todd (MN)
      I know you’re not really in favor of what Le Batard did, but can we acknowledge the irony that the venn diagram of the “Eff Dan Le Batard” crowd and the “When YOU serve ten years and get a vote, YOU can do with it what YOU want” crowd is pretty fat in the middle?

      Klaw (1:24 PM)

      Are those two sets not identical?

    • moogro - Jan 11, 2014 at 8:35 PM

      He should fight it. Dan’s efforts are wasted if he doesn’t make them debate this more.

  2. dollasnsense - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Seriously, BBWAA, get off your highhorse and get a reality check. What do you believe, that your members are omniscient when it comes to baseball and everyone else who doesn’t write for a professional newspaper doesn’t know jack? In case you haven’t heard or read (even though you act like it), we are, in fact, in the 21st century, not just past the turn of the 20th (I fact checked this in as much time as Chass and Gurnick took to fill their ballots). We have had wonderful developments like the internet and television to allow fans to watch and read about baseball. This isn’t 1908 anymore where fans who didn’t attend the game have to read up on the outcome of a game in the next day’s newspaper. Information is instantaneous these days, and with the TV deals in place, we all can critique and analyze objectively since practically every game out of 162 for each team is televised, yet your organization still believes that your members are more informed?

    Get over yourselves. Your organization and its members are not as important as you like to believe and, quite honestly, I don’t see any reason in this day of age why your organization is the gatekeepers for the prestigious landmark of America’s pasttime. Judging by the ballot submitted by Deadspin, it is more objective and thoughtful than at least 1/4 of the ballots submitted by your so-called “experts.” The Hall of Fame is prestigious, not the right to vote for who makes it in. Somewhere in the last 100 years, your organization and its members forgot this.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      La Velle Neal was one of the two 1999 AL MVP voters (along with George King of the NY Post) who refused to name Pedro on his ballot because he didn’t believe pitchers should ever win the award. I guess ignoring the rules for that award, which specify that pitchers are eligible, is not an abuse of that privilege.

      • ceraser45 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        He didnt ignore any rule. He voted based on his preference. I guess Boston fans to know the difference between a rule and a voter’s right

      • 18thstreet - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Dear Voter:

        There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide who was the Most Valuable Player in each league to his team. The MVP need not come from a division winner or other playoff qualifier.

        The rules of the voting remain the same as they were written on the first ballot in 1931:

        1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.

        2. Number of games played.

        3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.

        4. Former winners are eligible.

        5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

        You are also urged to give serious consideration to all your selections, from 1 to 10. A 10th-place vote can influence the outcome of an election. You must fill in all 10 places on your ballot. Only regular-season performances are to be taken into consideration.

        Keep in mind that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        http://www.nytimes.com/1999/11/19/sports/baseball-rodriguez-catches-support-as-surprise-mvp-pick.html

        Jack Lang, former secretary-treasurer of the writers’ association, said that in the past, he told voters that if they felt they could not consider a pitcher for the m.v.p. award, then he would reassign the ballot to another writer.

    • ceraser45 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      you are a baby…Stop crying

      • dollasnsense - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Are you Ken Gurnick or Murray Chass?

        Either way, back to under the bridge for you, troll!

  3. cur68 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    In the immortal words of Jon Stewart: F!ck those guys.

  4. dowhatifeellike - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    It’s the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Great Players. Is there a better way to determine fame than a fan poll? I’m not advocating that we leave it entirely to the fans, but certainly the fans should have some input. LeBatard gave a little bit of power back to the people and they put together a really good ballot. If that’s wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

  5. ceraser45 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    HAHHA…LeBetard is a damn idiot. Now only if we can boot him from TV and radio we never have to hear him crying anymore

    • Caught Looking - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      There are way worse on the mothership that need to go first. Skip Bayless and Woody Paige being among the top.

  6. ceraser45 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    No, the fans should not have a say. That is the dumbest thing ever, fans would just vote for anybody and it would be a joke. The Hall of Fame is for the best players to ever play the game. You guys must forget how the all-star game is voted on a yearly basis

    • 18thstreet - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      And yet Jim Rice was elected.

      The BBWAA does not have a monopoly on figuring out who can figure out who the best players ever are.

    • shadowcell - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      thank goodness BBWAA voters don’t do stuff like that

    • nbjays - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      “No, the fans should not have a say. That is the dumbest thing ever, fans would just vote for anybody and it would be a joke. The Hall of Fame is for the best players to ever play the game.”

      And yet there were BBWAA assclowns (not named Dan LeBatard) who submitted votes for J.T. Snow, Jacque Jones, and Armando Benitez. I wasn’t aware that they were the best players to ever play the game.

      Or, just maybe, many fans are a lot more knowledgeable about baseball than the idiots who cast those votes.

  7. floriojr - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    2 votes for JT Snow.. but revoke LeBatard’s vote ultimately was a vote that wasn’t crazy or out of the norm. what a joke the BBWAA is.. then again I think we know that. Is the pedophile Bill Conlin still allowed to vote?

  8. chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Craig has it right – whether you agree with what LeBetard did or not (I do not) you can’t blame the BBWAA for what they did. If they didn’t, they would have 100 attention grabbing fools doing the same thing next year.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      As opposed to the 100 attention-grabbing fools already doing other shenanigans that produced far worse ballots than LeBatard’s?

  9. Mark - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    I’m so glad that the BBWAA has no problem with writers sending in blank ballots. Those guys are clearly not “abusing the privilege” of a HoF vote.

  10. Steve A - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    I’ve been hearing for the last month that no voting reform can happen without action by the Hall of Fame. Voters have said that the BBWAA has no power in reforming the process, as the process belongs to the Hall of Fame. Yet, one voter goes so far outside the norm in casting his ballot as to upset the other voters and the BBWAA comes out and removes his vote for perpetuity? Now the BBWAA takes action.

    I could see the rationale being that LeBatard is no longer in good standing with the BBWAA, so he loses his voting privilege. However, it still seems like a case of selective reasoning.

  11. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    The BBWAA should be ashamed of themselves. Absolutely pathetic. A guy with a valid, honest point and makes it, doing so in a controlled manner which goes out of it’s way not to make a mockery of the process and he’s suspended. Dan won’t miss the vote, and he won’t mind being suspended.

    By the way, what is he actually suspended from anyways? He can’t go to the annual ball and pay his monthly membership dues? It’s not like he’s suddenly not allowed to do his job. F#$k the BBWAA.

  12. clydeserra - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    ruh roh

    • sabatimus - Jan 9, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      That was one quick hearing.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:15 AM

        They just faked it – most of them can’t hear anymore.

  13. linhsiu - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    For those who complain that this, HOF voting or the BBWAA, is ruining baseball for them need some sort of sanity check… Because come April, if you are still thinking about the results of HOF voting, something is just not right…

    As for this whole LeBatard situation… acquiring a vote is a privilege, granted by the BBWAA… plenty people can argue about so & so’s vote… agree or disagree… more often than not that so & so can stand and defend THEIR vote… LeBatard cannot… because it was not his vote… all LeBatard did was put his name on it … and that is reason enough for me to revoke the privilege to vote…

    This incident is different than all those other “votes” people are complaining about… LeBatard admitted it himself… Because of LeBatard we are no longer celebrating those who got in or lamenting who got left out…

    Yesterday and today should be about celebrating who got in… I haven’t checked or noticed but I really hope that none of the inductees have to answer the question “Hey what do you think of what LeBatard did with his HOF vote???”

    Years from now this will all be forgotten and Thomas, Maddux and Glavine will still be HOF’ers… but that is not justification for ruining their day like LeBatard did for them yesterday…

  14. shaggytoodle - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    That escalated quickly.

  15. ramrene - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Dan LeBatard losing his voting privileges from this point on….

    EXCELLENT!

  16. joecool16280 - Jan 9, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    The sad part of all this is the amount of attention it takes away from the guys who made it.

  17. kappy32 - Jan 9, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    They revoke LeBatard’s right to vote, yet they will allow Murray Chass, Ken Gurnick, and the rest of the egotistical clowns who play the morality card? It was people like Chass & Gurnick who have made a mockery of the Hall of Fame voting process. If it weren’t for Chass, Gurnick, and the others just like them, LeBatard would have never been in the position to give his ballot to Deadspin. They have made the voting process a complete sham & they have caused irreparable damage & harm to the Hall of Fame. Instead of electing ballplayers based upon their on-field accolades – as they should do – they have taken it upon themselves to broadly define immoral acts. They didn’t ask the fans what they thought, they just decided to act, once again overestimating their importance, thinking they know what the public wants. In the past, the Hall of Fame was about the players & was an opportunity for fans of baseball as a whole to celebrate the history of the game & the achievements of the greatest players to ever play America’s Pastime. The BBWAA voters have changed that & have made the Hall of Fame about them & their interpretation of right & wrong. When I was a kid my grandfather brought me up to Cooperstown to the Hall of Fame. While we were there, he pointed out to me the players he loved as a young fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He told me about Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, and Sandy Koufax. He told me about being able to eyewitness the greatness of Willie Mayes & Mickey Mantle. When the Dodgers left he refused to become a Yankee fan, and immediately became a Mets fan when they came to town in 1962. Although 5 years older, now a father & husband, and no longer living in Brooklyn (like many at that time, he moved his family out to the “country,” a/k/a Long Island), he still followed baseball religiously. He spoke to me of how he sensed the greatness in Nolan Ryan when he was an erratic, walk-machine while in the Mets’ rotation behind the great Tom Seaver. I remember that time like it was yesterday & it was one of the many great memories I have with my grandfather before he suddenly passed away in 2007. I even remember he bought me a Cincinnati Reds fitted hat with the gold MLB logo on the back (I was a huge Mets fan, but Griffey, Jr. was my favorite player & this was his first year as a Red). Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to share that with my children & grandchildren because the BBWAA have completely tarnished the Hall of Fame & ruined its lore & mystique. I won’t be able to show them the bust of the greatest home run hitter I ever saw in Mark McGwire & how he & Sammy Sosa saved the game of baseball with their race to 61 after the MLBPA Strike in 1994. I won’t be able to show them the bust of the best all around baseball player to ever step foot on a baseball diamond in Barry Bonds. I won’t be able to show them the face of one if the most dominant pitchers in baseball history, Roger Clemens. Instead I will have to explain to them how the voters hijacked the voting process on “moral” grounds & refused to let players in because they “cheated” by doing something that wasn’t tested for or outlawed at the time they did it. I will also have to tell them how very deserving candidates were denied enshrinement based upon middle school gossip & National Enquirer caliber stories of players taking steroids & other PEDs. I’ll have to tell them a player wasn’t voted in mc he had too much acne on his back. It’s an absolute shame & the BBWAA voters took away from me & other fans the chance to pass down our memories of America’s Pastime to our kin the way it was so graciously done for us. The BBWAA voters have done more harm & brought about more shame to the game of baseball & the Hall of Fame than the Steroid Era ever did to baseball. Whether they want to believe it or not, the Steroid Era saved baseball & gives these clowns a sport to write about & a ballot to vote on. It’s just an absolute shame, all around.

    • Jack Marshall - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:43 AM

      Again..it’s not the “morality card,” and all the repeating it and thumbs up in Creation won’t make that other than a cheap and ignorant characterization. If the standards for voting require evaluation of character, sportsmanship and integrity, then that mandates evaluation of right and wrong conduct. Sorry that offends you, but it’s part of life—the good part. And cheating will never be consistent with character, integrity and sportsmanship. You want to cheer scumbags, fine. The Hall is aiming higher, and should. If a writer won’t vote by the standards, take away his vote.

      A blog full of commenters defending a cheating voter who denigrates those who don’t want to honor cheaters. What a sorry spectacle.

      • nbjays - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:24 AM

        So, Mr. “It’s all about the character clause” Marshall, when are you going to call for the following to be kicked out of the Hall of Fame:

        Gaylord Perry – unapologetic cheater
        Hank Aaron (and many more) – Performance Enhancing Drug user (amphetamines)
        Mickey Mantle – Admitted having had a steroid injection
        Ty Cobb – in no way passes any test of “sportsmanship, character and integrity”
        John J. McGraw – likely one of the dirtiest players and managers ever; unapologetically cheated at the drop of a hat; bet on baseball (but before it was deemed immoral, I guess).

        Just asking, because you wouldn’t want to be seen as a sanctimonious hypocrite, now, would you.

  18. benrob99 - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Good. Well deserved. The punishment fits the crime. LeBatard is an idiot.

    • jdillydawg - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:33 PM

      You’re on the BBWAA Board, aren’t you?

  19. moogro - Jan 9, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Dan should just say he was just kidding about giving his ballot away, and that the choices were concurrent with his own.

  20. hodag54501 - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Odd that a group of people who make their living where open comment is critical to their success are rather bassackward about their own doing the same.
    Maybe this is why Americans think so little of journalists.

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