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The vilification of Dan LeBatard is well underway

Jan 9, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

Dan LeBatard

Yesterday Deadspin revealed that Dan LeBatard of ESPN and the Miami Herald was the voter who turned his ballot over to Deadspin readers and cast it pursuant to their collective vote. He didn’t accept any money for it but, ever since Deadspin revealed it obtained a writer’s vote a couple of months ago, the person who gave it up has been the BBWAA’s public enemy number one. Maybe even in his own mind, as LeBatard himself went on the Dan Patrick show saying that he now regrets what he did.

Contrite or not, since yesterday the knives have been out for LeBatard. A small sampling:

A longer take came from Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, who took great issue with LeBatard. But, interestingly, seems like he would have been OK if LeBatard had asked ESPN readers to fill out his ballot instead of Deadspin readers:

People are missing the point about my ESPN vs. Deadspin argument. I’m just saying that LeBatard could have made his point better and had a much greater impact had he written a column or ESPN.com that said, “I think the process is broken and I believe you fans can create a better ballot than most of these hacks. So here’s a ballot. Each of you fill it out, and whoever gets 75 percent, I’ll check on my ballot and send it in.” Few could have criticized him for that, and since he could have said that weeks ago, he could have directed a lot of attention to his cause. Instead, LeBatard was effectively saying, “The BBWAA sucks, so I’m going to hand over my ballot to a website that also thinks the BBWAA sucks so I can make my point.” And oh, by the way, Biggio got only 3.3 percentage points more on the Deadspin ballot than the BBWAA ballot. And you know what? Maddux wasn’t unanimous on their ballot either.

I understand the generalized discomfort with what LeBetard did. It was played up by Deadspin as a scam in certain respects — “look at us, we bought a vote!” — and that set off a lot of alarm buzzers. And of course, Deadspin said right up front that the idea was to, more or less, mock the process.

But in practice, this was no different than a writer allowing readers to inform his voting which many voters have done in the past. No, he didn’t say anything about it beforehand, and no, his protest, such as it was, was not as effective as if he had longly and loudly argued the grounds of it before the vote, but the end product — a fan vote and a very good ballot as far as these things go, with no payment or other ethical lapse — seems pretty harmless. But it’s not being viewed as such by the voters themselves. I predict LeBatard  will have his BBWAA membership revoked as a result and I expect he will be treated as persona non grata for a long long time.

But a question: does this play out different if a website other than Deadspin is involved? If it’s ESPN, as Shulman suggests, or FanGraphs or Baseball Prospectus or Baseball America, does it draw this level of ire? I seriously doubt it. I believe that Deadspin is the reason so many voters are pissed off at LeBatard. A great deal of the establishment press hates Deadspin and its product. Views Deadspin as pranksters at best, Everything That is Wrong With Journalism at worst. And many use Deadspin as a placeholder for all online media, and many of these guys feel threatened by online media in a general sense anyway.  At least when they forget that they work in online media themselves:

I dunno. LeBatard is a BBWAA member and any club has a right to police its membership, so if and when they bring the hammer down on him it’s not like we can say much. But I wonder why his particular protest is any more odious than the silly, look-at-me votes of Ken Gurnick, Murray Chass and many others in their ranks. Voters who, the BBWAA membership has told me quite loudly in the past week, are entitled to their opinions however silly and that we should — no, we must — respect them lest we be considered bullies or jerks or people of intemperate tone. I guess that doesn’t apply to LeBetard. He can be called a clown and a fraud until the cows come home.

He wouldn’t be, I’m guessing, if it wasn’t Deadspin involved. Even if the fact of Deadspin’s involvement was effectively no different than any other website’s would have been. And even if this particular protest was way less harmful to the actual voting results than the protests of the Ken Gurnicks and Murrays Chass of the world.

130 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. uyf1950 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    I don’t see anything wrong with what Dan did as long as he didn’t accept money or any other compensation for doing what he did. After all it;s not like all the writers vote for who is truly Hall worthy as evidenced when you look over some of the ballets of the voters.

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      I like Dan LeBatard more today than I did yesterday after finding out it was him that gave me a voice in his vote.

      • 78mu - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        Especially since he didn’t ‘sell’ his vote like Deadspin portrayed it. That was the perception problem from the beginning.

        No money- no foul.

    • sabatimus - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      Him “selling” his ballot resulted in the fairest and best-represented ballot I’ve ever seen. And would you look at all those no-accounts (plus Heyman’s whining) trying to get themselves noticed by throwing LeBatard under the bus.

  2. chacochicken - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    So did he just dose himself in gasoline and self immolate?

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      He only doused his ballot & one year of membership. He should have just channelled Groucho Marx, dropped the mic and exited stage left.

      “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member anyway.”

  3. nategearhart - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    My only beef is with the writers who defend Gurnick, etc. AND vilify LeBetard. I specifically remember Heyman sticking up for guys casting weird ballots with lame reasoning, then he lambasts LeBetard. Pretty sad.

  4. nobody78 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Who would you think is worse? Someone who votes for a politician for stupid reasons, or someone who votes for a politician who bribes them? That’s the relevant difference here.

    The defense that people are making of Le Batard is the the HoF is already stupid, so voters can do whatever they wants. Fine. But then let me warmly recommend you all stop writing about the HoF and leave the discussions to those of us who care about it, and who aren’t so cynical as to believe that, because some people vote stupidly, it’s ok to buy votes.

    (The fact that Le Batard didn’t take any money is completely beside the point. There were any number of ways to handle his vote, but he chose to give it to the website that said — loudly — that it was trying to BUY one. That’s the part that bothers me.)

    • kidpresentable - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      That’s like saying that if you criticize America, then you must hate it. Just because people think the Hall of Fame is a joke because it’s ignoring an era of baseball because HOF voters feel the need to be our country’s moral compass, doesn’t mean that people don’t want the Hall of Fame to be good. Every baseball fan wants the HOF to be good. If LeBetard’s actions can get baseball to rethink how its HOF is voted on, or rethink who votes for it, that’s a good thing.

    • brazcubas - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      First of all, the candidates were not the ones who solicited the ballot, so you analogy is slightly off the mark.

      Secondly, how can the fact that he received no money for the vote be besides the point? The exchange of money or benefits is a the very heart of bribery.

      If a politician says “vote for me,” while shaking your hand it’s campaigning.

      If a politician says “vote for me” while handing you a $100 bill, it’s bribery.

      Lebetard was (clumsily) trying to make a point, not selling his vote.

    • stex52 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      Bad example. No player bribed him for a vote. His sin was to ACTUALLY LET THE FANS HAVE A SAY IN THE PROCESS. Why, that sounds criminally un-American.

      And how, pray tell, were votes bought, if by your own admission votes weren’t bought?

      A noticeable minority of the BBWAA has decided they want the process to be about themselves rather than the players. We should wait for them to self-police? Good luck with that.

      I might feel differently if it was a bad ballot he submitted. But I don’t see Jacque Jones or Moises Alou, etc. on his ballot. That was reserved for the other BBWAA writers.

      • nobody78 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        What I said was that, by giving his vote to the website that was trying to “buy” one, LeBetard in effect asserts that it’s ok to sell your vote. I wouldn’t vote for a politician who was trying to bribe other voters, even if he or she didn’t bribe me personally. I don’t think I was unclear.

        If he ran a poll on his own website and said he’d vote according to its results, I wouldn’t be complaining.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Deadspin: We want to buy a vote.
        LeBatard: No, I won’t accept money, but I will allow you to have my vote for free.

        I’m afraid I don’t see where that’s endorsing bribery.
        It probably would have been better to run a poll through his own website, but the vilification is going a bit far.

  5. pastabelly - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    You can disagree with the thought process of Chass and Gurnick all you want. At least they voted. There’s a reason fit takes 75% to get in. It’s not supposed to be easy and there will always be people who vote for different reasons and interpret the process differently. LeBatard’s actions don’t fit into that category. If you don’t want to vote, give up your right. Craig, you would vote for Clemens and Bonds. I actually prefer Chass’, Gurnick’s, and Shaughnessy’s exclusions of those two rather than your way of thinking in allowing the PED guys in.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      He did vote. He simply let the voice of the people influence his vote.

    • esracerx46 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      By allowing the people to vote through deadspin… Le Batard brought the Hall of Fame voting process to the fans. I had no idea the only knowledgeable people about baseball were members of the BBWAA. Baseball is for the fans, the writers bring the sport to the fans. Le Batard brought another part of the game to all of us, regardless of the outlet

    • tved12 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      Pasta,

      I typically agree with your posts but I have to disagree here. At least they voted? The ballots of those who were trying to make a point cost Biggio a trip to the hall this year. Sending in a blank ballot to protest? Only voting for Morris? Those two ballots actually hurt others. Not because these writers didn’t think they deserved to get in, but because they wanted to pull a publicity stunt. We can disagree on who should get in or who shouldn’t. The problem is they didn’t disagree, they just didn’t take the time to properly vote.

      As for interpreting the process differently, I also have an issue with this. Shouldn’t an organization be organized? It’s not that tough, the BBWAA should have a standard process or rules. Why do some reveal their ballots and not others? Large unions and organizations have structure, the BBWAA doesn’t.

  6. moogro - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    He and Deadspin would be better off if they were cagey about whether Dan gets final approval to escape wrath. If there’s punishment coming, claim he could have made changes, make then his ballot simply becomes a reader informed poll and he still makes the choice. If no punishment coming, then he doesn’t even have to answer that question.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      He was asked this question this morning, asked if the Deadspin returned a terrible ballot with all the bottom tier guys (Some of which got ACTUAL votes from the legitimate voters) would he still have signed in the form? And he said he wasn’t sure, but probably not. He was happy with the vote that it wasn’t turned into a mockery and that Deadspin actually took it seriously.

      • jcmeyer10 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        We took it very seriously.

  7. gothapotamus90210 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Hopefully LeBatard’s civil disobedience somehow positively reforms this utterly broken process.

  8. godsmacked1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Good for Dan or manning up and taking the heat. He had to know this was coming. I just don’t get the big anti-establishment slant on the whole thing. Was this supposed be some crusade to ridicule the BBWAA process? It’s the Baseball Hall of Fame, not the Electoral College. Who cares if the BBWAA have by-laws that we don’t agree with. They’ve done a great job over the past 70+ years selecting members and with a few exceptions, have gotten it right most of the time. So Dan LeBatard gave his vote to Deadpsin. Big whoop.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      His biggest point to be made was about the exclusionary nature of the voting process. Why print meda keeps a stranglehold over the process and lords it over other very qualified digital professionals.

      Also, he’s tired of the other voters ignorance over the steroids issue.

      • godsmacked1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        If any of the digital media are part of the BBWAA, then they deserve a vote. Is the BBWAA exclusive to only print journalists?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        Exclusive, no. Guys like Dave Cameron, Keith Law and Jonah Keri are recently members of the BBWAA. However, as others have pointed out, those who write for MLB.com are not members, yet.

  9. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Dan said he has two regrets, one that he wishes he waited a day before making the announcement it was him as he felt it ended up trouncing over what should have been a good day for those elected. Second that he made the announcement on Deadspin’s platform rather than his own, although it was their idea so he let them get all the clicks.

    Personally, I’m a big fan of what Dan did, and highly support his motives. And I call foul on the notion that he would have done better had he dedicated a show or written an article on this matter. This situation has blown up and talk has formed PRECISELY because he did what he did the way he did it. If he simply ranted about things on his show, it would have gone largely ignored.

    Also, how the hell is what he did any worse than the guys who fill out other forms of protest ballots? The guys who refused to vote at all, or the guys who refuse to vote for anyone post 1994, or the guys who voted purely out of SPITE. Dan’s ballot was legitimate, and was actually the best ballot submitted. Let’s focus our attention on the problems that actually need fixing.

    • jarathen - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Exactly. People saying, “He should have done it via ESPN!” are missing why it went off like the bomb it was. If he had done it in the way the stuffy BBWAA vets preferred, almost no one would have cared.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Indeed. If speaking up on ESPN would reform the process, then Jayson Stark (among others) would have made some headway over the past few years. He’s certainly been trying.

  10. shaggytoodle - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Hey you know what they say…. Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable.

  11. jarathen - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    LeBatard’s vote, circus and all, was made in better faith than the votes of the blankers and those who decided Maddux didn’t deserve immediate enshrinement.

    The proof is in the ballots. Even if I don’t agree with it 100%, the Deadspin ballot was actually really, really good. Which you can’t say for many of them.

  12. kidpresentable - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Schulman is full of it. LeBetard draws way more attention to the process by doing it this way than if he had written another column – in a pile of I’m sure hundreds – about the HOF process being broken. Hats off to Deadspin for doing this.

    When the sports media gets in bed with the products they are supposed to be covering objectively, this stuff gets overlooked because they don’t want to rock the boat. Think of how ESPN sent out internal memos not to cover the Vick dog-fighting, Roethlisberger rape case, and Favre’s cell phone pics until the stories could not be ignored. Deadspin has no similar conflicts of interest, and can do some things that need to be done. That they got a name as big as LeBetard who presumably went against what his employers wishes, was a surprise.

  13. cur68 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Oh they’ll get LeBatard. He mocked the Old Boy’s Club. He must pay. And the intellectual laziness will continue, too. He didn’t give his vote to Deadspin. He gave his vote to Deadspin readers. Fans. And he put in a hell of a ballot because if it. Nevertheless, his media-mates will persist in citing this as Deadspin’s vote. There’ll be no chance that they’ll note that it was an excellent ballot, either.

    Perhaps he DID owe that fan vote to ESPN readers. Thing is, ESPN didn’t come up with the idea. Deadspin did. And they got their vote and made a fine point by not only allowing fan participation but showing that the fan ballot is sensible and fair. Unlike those of a goodly number of the media.

    So LeBatard sinned in two ways: mocking the BBWAA by undermining its voting process and producing an outstanding ballot in spite of this. So they’ll get him. They’ll get him good.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:06 AM

      Prescient as usual, cur. They got the knives out with record speed. Screw over Craig Biggio – ha ha see you next year. Go sacred cow-tipping? Death by drowning in a sea of blue rinse.

  14. dacty4491 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    I really don’t understand people getting all that upset over these sorts of things. I love baseball and watch it a lot, but it is, after all, just entertainment, so who cares? So many sports writers and commentators have such an inflated sense of self-importance. The truth is that they have more in common with gossip columnists than they do with real journalists.

    • schniz61 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Totally agree!

  15. wheels579 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    JT Snow, Armando Benitez and Jacque Jones all received votes from writers not named Dan LeBatard. Dan’s Deadspin ballot was reasonable. It’s the committee’s choice whether to revoke his voting privilege, but Heyman, Kornheiser, Wilbon and all the other sanctimonious talking heads should respect his choice the same way they let clowns like Gurnick and Pedro Gomez off the hook for their voting shenanigans. I stand with Dan, plus Deadspin said they have someone lined up to do this again next year so get used to it!

    • gostlcards5 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Well said…flog the idiots that voted for Snow/Benitez/Jones.

      What LeBatard did was maybe not the best avenue to make his point, but it was probably the best available way, and he’s got everyone talking now. And to boot, his ballot was probably more reasonable than most. Last, he did it with the right motivation, which is the biggest reason to applaud what he did.

      Honestly, I think Craig nailed it. The guys that are pissed are pissed because he did it on Deadspin.

  16. leylandshospicenurse - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    I think fans should have a collective vote. The hell with all these writers bitching because they wish they had a vote themselves.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Interesting idea, make it 572 ballots with the last one being a collective fan vote?

  17. schniz61 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    This HOF crap has become the next A-Rod crap. Everyone knows PED use screwed up the process, everyone knows the process is broken anyway and everyone knows 20% or so of the writers are clueless. I don’t care anymore!!!

    There are only a few different angles to this whole mess. Everything that is written now is just retread. The horse has been beaten. Send it to the glue factory and move on already.

    Congrats to the players that got in this year. Now I’m going over to Fangraphs to read some actual baseball content.

  18. scatterbrian - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    “If he didn’t want HOF vote should have declined it…”
    “Most don’t pout and refuse to vote again…”
    “santimonious (sic) attention seeker”

    Are they talking about LeBetard, or voters who send in blank ballots? They sorta sound the same. (Yes I realize the blank ballot was anonymous.)

    • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      They are the same and they BOTH deserve equal criticism.

  19. uyf1950 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Someone explain to me what’s the difference between what Dan did with his single vote allowing fans to use his ballet to vote versus what MLB/Selig does with the All Star ballot voting and even more specifically when MLB picks 5 players from each league so fans can vote one last time for the last player in each league to be an All Star. Seems to me there is NO difference.

    • stex52 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      It is a separate process and it does belong to the HOF and to BBWAA. So it’s different with a different set of rules.

      Having said that, I’m in with you. Glad it happened.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        I realize were are talking about different entities in my example. But some of us remember a time in MLB where All Stars were selected by a select few and not the fans. The point I was trying to make was fans vote for the All Stars (many of them not knowledgeable on whos best for the various positions) whats wrong with allowing fans to vote for up to 10 players to get into the HOF keeping the 75% minimum to get in.

  20. daubs17 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Craig, how do you keep your job as a contributor on this website? Id say at least half if not 3/4 of your posts are typically editorial/personal opinion styled diatribes that are in some way or another rooted in your political and personal beliefs which no one cares to read. Its been entertaining watching this site evolve over the years from reporting actual sporting news to employing writers such as yourself that use PFT to push personal agendas. Nauseating

    • cur68 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      You know, there’s nothing stopping YOU from writing your own blog and linking it here. That way, you too can contribute to this website. And, if we the fans like your work, you’ll hear from us. Of course if we think your work is crap, you’ll hear from us about that, too.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      I was the first person to post on this site in 2009. It has been a platform for my opinion and the opinion of other HBT writers since then. I’m not sure what change you’ve noticed, but there’s absolutely nothing different now than there was when it started.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        As a frequent if not always appreciated poster here at least by some fans I cast my vote for keeping Craig and for him to continue to share his opinions with the rest of us. That’s just my opinion.

      • clydeserra - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        they should have hired that guy from Shysterball. He was good.

    • rodtorfelson - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Isn’t giving his personal opinion on baseball news Craig’s job?

      You can get the “news” you seek right off the AP wire. So why are you here if you don’t want opinion and looking deeper into baseball news?

    • scatterbrian - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:34 PM

      Well as of 1:33 pm PT, I’d say about 85% of the people on this site care to read Craig’s diatribes.

  21. unclemosesgreen - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Deadspin should stop buying one vote and try to buy as many votes as they can.

    Who’s to say the Koch brothers and Roger Ailes don’t already own 100 or so votes on the sneak tip?

  22. benrob99 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Who wouldn’t take the “online media” seriously??? I mean, with such riveting pieces as “who’s the sexiest manager” and “football is dying”… you’d be crazy to consider “online media” hacks! Right?

  23. chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    I think there’s a difference between vilification and legitimate criticism. What I see in the tweets you posted above are legitimate criticisms of what he did. Vilification would be “Dan LeBetard ruined the Hall of Fame.”

    I have no issue with any of his colleagues calling him out for what was, in my opinion, a publicity stunt. I will be curious to see the reaction of his fellow BBWAA members at ESPN as well.

  24. steelerfanforlife - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    Shouldn’t a better question be why in the world does Dan Lebatard even have a HOF vote??!! When is the last time he covered baseball? The process is fine, it’s the voters that need to be reexamined. There needs to be a term limit on voters!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      There are three voters who currently write for Golfers West. And come on people, read the piece where deadspin and Le Betard explained why they did what they did. He specifically mentions the problem you bring up:

      I don’t think I’m any more qualified to determine who is Hall of Fame-worthy than a fan who cares about and really knows baseball. In fact, many people analyzing baseball with advanced metrics outside of mainstream media are doing a better job than mainstream media, and have taught us some things in recent years when we were behind. In other words, just because we went to journalism school and covered a few games, just because accepted outlets gave us their platform and power, I don’t think we should have the pulpit to ourselves in 2014 that way we did in 1936.

    • natstowngreg - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      So you would deny Peter Gammons a vote because he’s been covering baseball too long? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

      And, while you’re “fixing” the voting pool, find a way to give Vin Scully a vote. This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” there was a discussion of the HOF vote. It was agreed that not giving Vin a vote is a bad thing. I wouldn’t go so far as one political writer did, and make Vin the ONLY HOF voter. But he’s seen more MLB games than almost any living person, and it’s a shame that kind of perspective is absent. It could only help improve the HOF voting process. Of course, chances aren’t good, as long as BBWAA retains its MLB-sanctioned monopoly over HOF voting.

      [No, I don't get my baseball knowledge from listening to a bunch of politicians and political pundits. Much of their baseball ignorance tends to be similar to that of the average fan. Though Mike Barnicle told a nice story about Tom Glavine's control. ]

      [BTW, how come Mike Florio gets on "Morning Joe," and Craig doesn't? At least, I've never seen him. Is it because Florio has more hair?]

      • cohnjusack - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        So you would deny Peter Gammons a vote because he’s been covering baseball too long?

        Umm…he was saying that Lebatard HASN”T been covering baseball in a long time. Peter Gammons still obviously does.

  25. stinkfingers - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Instead of LeBatard, the BBWAA ought to be pissed at the asshats that voted for Armondo Benitez, Richie Sexon and JT Snow.

    At least the LeBatard/Deadspin vote had some legit HOF’rs on it.

    • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      This isn’t about the validity of the players that were voted for. It’s about the process by which someone decided to make himself the story by selling his vote.

      • stinkfingers - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        Sure…. I get that.

        But my point was, the guys that voted for these other guys made a bigger mockery of the system than LeBatard did. (All pretty good players, but this isn’t called the “Hall of Pretty Good Players”)

        So which is worse? Having the right people vote the wrong way, or having the wrong people vote the right way? I would say the former, but that is only my humble opinion

      • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        There’s two things at play here. If they voted poorly because they wanted to make a statement (like Noble who admitted to leaving Biggio off his ballot because he was afraid the induction ceremony would be too long) then that’s a disgrace.

        If someone voted poorly because they didn’t vote the way you or I might want, but they clearly put thought into their ballot, I have no problem with that person.

        LeBetard is, to me, no different than Noble. He didn’t want the vote but he wanted the attention that comes from being a Hall of Fame voter.

      • gostlcards5 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        He didn’t sell his vote. He specifically asked for nothing in return. In fact, he told them they couldn’t have his vote unless they took it for free and explained his reasoning for allowing them to have it.

        Personally, I think that LeBatard grandstands a lot, and I am not sure whether I count myself as a fan of his, but his motivation on this was right.

        Additionally, I think the point that all of the nominees on his ballet having valid cases, while some idiot BBWAA writers vote for the aforementioned non-HoF players is EXACTLY the point of this.

      • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        But the fact is that LeBetard would have been just as happy if the Deadspin ballot came back with: Jacques Jones, Kenny Rogers, Armando Benitez, JT Snow rather than the group that was on it.

        Either way, he gets the attention he was craving.

      • raysfan1 - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Dan LeBatard on the Dan Patrick Show this AM: “With the clarity of retrospect, I’ve got a couple of regrets about what happened [on Wednesday],” said Le Batard. “One, I wouldn’t have [revealed myself on Wednesday] because then I become the story and not the Hall of Famers. That part was disappointing and I have nobody to blame but myself on that one. And two, I probably would have done it through one of ESPN’s platforms instead of Deadspin.”

        He also stated he probably would not have honored his promise to Deadspin if the results he had been provided were a joke.

        Lastly, to reiterate, he did not sell his vote. By retaining veto power he did not even truly give his vote away.

      • chip56 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        To his various points:

        I think he’s probably full of poop when he says that he regrets that his name is now out there. I think that any regrets he has in that regard have to deal with the negative feedback he’s getting from his fellow writers and may be feeling from ESPN for using a different website (which goes to his point about wishing he had used ESPN rather than Deadspin).

        If he legitimately would have broken his agreement with Deadspin, ok, good for him – something tells me that we’ll see plenty of asshats doing this next year so we’ll see how that plays out.

      • cshearing - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        @chip56 – Jan 9, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        “But the fact is that LeBetard would have been just as happy if the Deadspin ballot came back with: Jacques Jones, Kenny Rogers, Armando Benitez, JT Snow rather than the group that was on it. ”

        Dude, you ramble and rant and do not even read the article? They asked him about that, if he would submit a bad ballot with bad players, and he said no, he most likely would not have. Please stop spreading outright lies.

      • clydeserra - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:40 PM
    • gostlcards5 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      It didn’t have some legit HoF’ers on it. All of them are legit. I would say there are at least 4-5 more on the ballot as well.

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