Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

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    Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    Now that the Baseball Writers' Association of America has announced the results of this year's Hall of Fame election—Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas made it—it's time for us to reveal, as promised, the Deadspin ballot, as well as the voter who joined us in making a farce and mockery of the increasingly solemn election process by turning his vote over to you, the readers.

    To begin with, you voted for Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martínez, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, and Curt Schilling. Well done, readers! Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, and Don Mattingly all came close, but couldn't quite crack the ballot; you can check the full results below.

    As to the identity of our voter, a bit of context is probably necessary. When we first came up with the idea of buying a ballot from a veteran baseball writer and turning it over to the public, we had two principal aims.

    The first was to draw attention to how ridiculous the Hall of Fame elections have become. With an electorate comprising a subset of a subset of a subset of the baseball press and a 75 percent threshold for entry into the Hall, the process has been hijacked by cranks, attention-seeking trolls, and the merely perplexed—people who exercise power out of proportion to their numbers due to the perverse structure of the voting. Further, the bad process has led to the process itself becoming the focal point of the process, at the expense of baseball. (Over the last month, you probably read a lot more columns in which anguished writers laid out their feelings about other anguished writers' feelings about drugs and/or the outdated voting process than you did appreciations of Hideo Nomo's fine and important career.)

    The second was to turn a small bit of power over to the public for the sake of doing so. Much of the reason why the Hall of Fame process has become so contentious is that it's plainly absurd that veteran baseball writers get a say denied to everyone else from Bill James to small children. This isn't about whether the writers make good or bad choices, but about whether it's legitimate for them to lord over an institution that's supposed to be a repository of cultural memory.

    At any rate, having announced our intentions, we heard from several voters, and worked out a deal to purchase a ballot from one of them. This voter agreed with our criticism of the process, and he/she was further motivated by a desire to raise funds for a worthy cause. Meanwhile, we put some work into arranging a bloc of voters who would all cast their ballots on behalf of Deadspin readers. That didn't happen, but we were able to secure a failsafe vote. This voter also agreed with our aims, but didn't want to jeopardize his franchise for the sake of a protest if we'd already secured a ballot; he was concerned, too, about being seen as a self-promoter or profiteer. He agreed, however, to turn over his vote to us if our initial purchase fell through.

    Unfortunately, it did, through no fault of ours or the voter. (We'd like to be more specific about the reason for this, but don't want to expose the identity of the voter, as we intend to buy his or her vote in exchange for a substantial contribution to charity next year.) And, happily, our failsafe voter did come through, and we can now reveal his identity: It's Dan Le Batard, the respected ESPNer and longtime Miami Herald columnist. Why did he agree to take part in this farce? Here's Dan to explain:

     

           

    I feel like my vote has gotten pretty worthless in the avalanche of sanctimony that has swallowed it.

    I have no earthly idea if Jeff Bagwell or Frank Thomas did or didn't use steroids.

    I think I understand why the steroid guys were the steroid guys in this competition-aholic culture.

    I hate all the moralizing we do in sports in general, but I especially hate the hypocrisy in this: Many of the gatekeeper voters denying Barry Bonds Hall Of Fame entry would have they themselves taken a magical, healing, not-tested-for-in-their-workplace elixir if it made them better at their jobs, especially if lesser talents were getting the glory and money. Lord knows I'd take the elixir for our ESPN2 TV show if I could.

    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.

    Baseball is always reticent to change, but our flawed voting process needs remodeling in a new media world. Besides, every year the power is abused the way I'm going to be alleged to abuse it here. There's never been a unanimous first-ballot guy? Seriously? If Ruth and Mays and Schmidt aren't that, then what is? This year, someone is going to leave one of the five best pitchers ever off the ballot. Suck it, Greg Maddux.

    I've become a more and more lenient voter over the years, often allowing the max 10 guys in a year, and I wanted to put in more this year. I happen to agree with most of the reader selections. I was afraid you guys were going to have me voting for Jacque Jones and no one else. I was kind of surprised this particular snark-land respected the process. I found it impossible to limit it this year to 10, but 10 was all that was allowed, so thanks for the help. But why limit it to 10 in a year that has more than 10 worthy candidates, by the way? How dumb is that?

    And my final reason: I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we've made of sports.

    I'm not sure what kind of trouble this is going to bring me. I imagine I'll probably have my vote stripped. But I don't want to be a part of the present climate without reform anyway. Given that climate, doing THIS has more impact than my next 20 years of votes as sanctimony bars the HOF door on the steroid guys. Because, in a climate without reform, my next 20 years of votes will be counted but not actually heard. At least this gets it heard, for better or for worse.

     

    Thanks to Dan for this perfect explanation of the problems with the Hall of Fame, and for turning his vote over to Deadspin readers. [Update: Dan wants to make clear that he insisted on not getting anything for his vote.]

    With that said, a few items of business remain. First, the full results of our balloting. We'll be analyzing them in more granular detail in a future post, but here's how you guys voted, with the percentages, which make a good comparison to the BBWAA results. (Remember that we asked you to vote yes or no on the Hall-worthiness of these players, with the understanding that we would then use the ballot to vote for players who secured a majority, and the 10 with the highest percentages if—as turned out to be the case—more than 10 cracked 50 percent.)

    http://deadspin.com/revealed-the-hall-of-fame-voter-who-turned-his-ballot-1496558341

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin


    jackazz.....

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from miscricket. Show miscricket's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    If true then Dan LeBetard should be out of the HOF voting. Sorry..but this guy sounds like an idiot. I don't agree with him on the issue of PED's either. I think if you used..you should not be eligible for the HOF.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinstripezac35. Show pinstripezac35's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    In response to miscricket's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    If true then Dan LeBetard should be out of the HOF voting. Sorry..but this guy sounds like an idiot. I don't agree with him on the issue of PED's either. I think if you used..you should not be eligible for the HOF.

    [/QUOTE]


    looks like others agreed with U

     

     

     

    Dan Le Batard barred from vote
    Updated: January 9, 2014, 3:28 PM ET
    ESPN.com news services



    ESPN TV and radio host Dan Le Batard has been kicked out of the Baseball Writers' Association of America for one year and barred from future Hall of Fame votes after he turned over his 2014 ballot to a website that allowed readers to choose the selections.

    The decision was made Thursday by the BBWAA board of directors, a day after Le Batard said he let Deadspin.com cast his ballot.


    The BBWAA said in a statement that it "regards Hall of Fame voting as the ultimate privilege, and any abuse of that privilege is unacceptable.''

    Le Batard said on Wednesday that, as a form of protest, he had given his Baseball Hall of Fame vote this year to Deadspin because he had become disenchanted with the direction the voting process had taken in the steroid era.

    Le Batard, who also is a longtime columnist for the Miami Herald, did not accept anything in return for his vote.

    Deadspin, which had attempted to buy a Hall of Fame vote but failed to do so, in turn allowed its readers to choose the names to appear on Le Batard's ballot by voting "yes" or "no." The 10 players with the highest voting percentages among Deadspin readers would be picked on the ballot. Le Batard said on his radio show Wednesday that he approved of the selections and submitted the ballot to the Hall of Fame.

    The names submitted to the Hall were Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Curt Schilling. Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were elected Wednesday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

    "We respect and appreciate Dan's opinions and passion about Hall of Fame voting," ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement Wednesday. "He received his vote while at the Miami Herald. We wouldn't have advocated his voting approach, which we were just made aware of today."

    In a piece posted on Deadspin, Le Batard wrote, in part, "I hate all the moralizing we do in sports in general, but I especially hate the hypocrisy in this. I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we've made of sports."

    Le Batard addressed the matter again Wednesday during his ESPN TV show, "Highly Questionable," and had predicted that he would have his vote taken away.

    "I probably won't have [a vote] next year because I gave mine to Deadspin," he said, "because I don't like how they do business over there at the Hall of Fame, where they're sitting there and they're being sanctimonious and they're keeping all the steroid guys out."

     Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan 17m

    .

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    "I probably won't have [a vote] next year because I gave mine to Deadspin," he said, "because I don't like how they do business over there at the Hall of Fame, where they're sitting there and they're being sanctimonious and they're keeping all the steroid guys out."

    FWIW, the HOF doesn't even vote.  It is his fellow writers that are keeping the steroid guys out.  This is where you know guys are babbling.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from EnchiladaT. Show EnchiladaT's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

     

     

    The worst players to get Hall of Fame votes

     

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bill-806. Show Bill-806's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    Does it matter ????

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kingface12. Show Kingface12's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    In response to Bill-806's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Does it matter ????

    [/QUOTE]


    Do you matter?

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from mef429. Show mef429's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    i think he should be applauded. the HoF voting is horrible. the article pete abe wrote last week was spot on. why does Joe Bob who was a BBWAA member for 10 years and then spent the last 25 covering Curling get a vote and yet Vin Scully does not? Not to mention many of these voters are big headed and play the role of judge, jury and executioner. I just don't see how a guy who is in a totally different industry entirely and possibly might not have even followed baseball during these guys careers  can still vote and decide their fate on immortality.


    whether you like LeBatard or not, he really did the right thing and his explaination was sufficient for me. "my vote doesn't matter anyway so why not give it to the public". who by the way, did a much better job voting than the so-called "experts" did.

    if anything, this further shifts the focus back on the problem with HOF voting and if they do revamp the system then LeBatard played a role in helping change a flawed syste,.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    In response to mef429's comment:

    i think he should be applauded. the HoF voting is horrible. the article pete abe wrote last week was spot on. why does Joe Bob who was a BBWAA member for 10 years and then spent the last 25 covering Curling get a vote and yet Vin Scully does not? Not to mention many of these voters are big headed and play the role of judge, jury and executioner. I just don't see how a guy who is in a totally different industry entirely and possibly might not have even followed baseball during these guys careers  can still vote and decide their fate on immortality.


    whether you like LeBatard or not, he really did the right thing and his explaination was sufficient for me. "my vote doesn't matter anyway so why not give it to the public". who by the way, did a much better job voting than the so-called "experts" did.

    if anything, this further shifts the focus back on the problem with HOF voting and if they do revamp the system then LeBatard played a role in helping change a flawed syste,.



    Anyone who votes will be judge, jury and executioner. By nature, that's the result of any vote of anything. You look at all the facts and make a decision. When a politician messes up, some use it a reason not to vote for him/her, and others will vote for him/her. Both are being judge and jury and coming out with different decision.

    So I never got that criticisim of Hall voters. When it comes to the steroid era, everyone has their own opinion on how to deal with those players. Are voters who vote for them more honest than those who don't vote for them.

    The most ridiculous attitude is when the voters who won't vote for steroid guys are called sanctimonious. Really? We all know there are all sorts of players in the Hall so nothing is going to be perfect, but really, is trying to keep out blatant cheaters, who cared nothing about how their actions would affect the game, that bad of a notion.

    The real people who are santimonious are those who refuse to respect other's opinions. I don't know the right way to handle the steroid era. Felger thinks we should assume everyone is guilty then decide whether we want to let no one of the era in or everyone in.

    I can't go that way. Right now, I lean toward assuming everyone was innocent, then if I have enough reason to conclude they're guilty, I would vote for them (if I had a vote, that is). Obviously, some cheaters will get in. Well, so be it.

    In the criminal world, we would rather let a criminal go free than to convict an innocent man. That's how I'm looking at it. By saying no one from the era gets in, we're convicting the innocent. But that's doesn't mean I'm not going to do my best to not reward the guilty.

    As for LeBetard, he made some strong points, but to me he went too far. And he lost me at the start. Just because he would have been dishonest and cheated by taking some magic elixer, it doesn't mean the majority of us are that dishonest.

    He's the one who is being sanctimonious by ripping the voters who have problems with the steroid guys. If he thinks its OK to let them in, fine, but it doesn't mean others are wrong. It's sometihng worthy of an honest, open discussion, not closeminded namecalling.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from royf19. Show royf19's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    And to add, while there might be flaws in the voting system -- yeah, a guy like Vin Scully probably deserves a vote -- there's always going to be flaws in any system.

    Really, if the voting body changed, does that really solve the question on whether or not a  steroid guy should get in.

    Does it really answer who should get in regard to a borderline candidate like Jack Morris. If you reduce the years of eligibilty, there still going to be debate on whether guys like Morris get in. If you make it easier for guys like him to get in, there's going to be controversy. If you make it harder for guys to get in, there's going to be controversy.

    I think it's incredibly naive to think that if the whole process was overhauled, there would be less controvesy. There would be just as much, if not more.

    I'm not saying there shouldn't be changes made, but it's not going to make the results less contentious.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Revealed: The Hall Of Fame Voter Who Turned His Ballot Over To Deadspin

    In response to royf19's comment:

    And to add, while there might be flaws in the voting system -- yeah, a guy like Vin Scully probably deserves a vote -- there's always going to be flaws in any system.

    Really, if the voting body changed, does that really solve the question on whether or not a  steroid guy should get in.

    Does it really answer who should get in regard to a borderline candidate like Jack Morris. If you reduce the years of eligibilty, there still going to be debate on whether guys like Morris get in. If you make it easier for guys like him to get in, there's going to be controversy. If you make it harder for guys to get in, there's going to be controversy.

    I think it's incredibly naive to think that if the whole process was overhauled, there would be less controvesy. There would be just as much, if not more.

    I'm not saying there shouldn't be changes made, but it's not going to make the results less contentious.



    Roy,

    Well said, I agree with all of the above.

    While the current process has flaws, name one can't miss 1st ballot hall of famer not named Rose or Shoeless Joe or the group representing the steriod era that have not been enshrinded? I can think of far more that were not worthy that have gained entrance due to being on the ballot for 15 years and squeaking by due to a weak class and recently due to some of the voters "rethinking" stats for the players the played "pre-steriods".

    I do think that it is time for the Hall to broaded the scope of those that vote to better represent the changing in the media landscape and give more weight to the new aged stats heasds and it wouldn't hurt to make the process more transparent.

    What I do feel strongly about is that Bond's, McQuire, Clemens, Sosa & Palmiero should all have to finally, once and for all pay the price for cheating the game. Enshrinment IMHO would justify thier use and it's time that baseball stopped being enablers of users. Each of them will live a very comfortable life with the millions they reaped while "extending thier primes using "illegal substances" to emass historic career and single season accolades and statistic. Thier numbers are worthy, thier actions are not.

    Lastly those that want to champion the cause for all those that are suspected of use but have not ever tested positive feel free to do so...In the end it was thier union leadership under Donald Fehr, along with the Bud Selig and the owners that allowed this scruge to take root and all of them are a party to the state of the game today and those that now fall under the cloud of suspicion whether guilty or not have no one to blame but themselves...

    As for Le Batard the guys a self promoting agitator. Who's trying to paint himslef as somehow above those that take umbridge to players using illegal substances for the sole purpose of increasing thier value as just cause not to select them on thier ballots..For him to get on a soap box and champion thier cause is laughable and moreover questioning the ethics of those that no longer want to be seen as enablers or imho paint him as the one that needs to rethink his stance....end of hte day, It's writers and journalist like him that turned a blind eye in the last 3 decades, that are today as much a part of the problem as the players, the union, the owners and Bud. 

     

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