The awful, terrible, shameful BBWAA member that provided Deadspin with a Hall of Fame vote isn't an old voter without his pulse on the sports world anymore – it was Dan Le Batard of ESPN.

Le Batard's rationale behind giving up his ballot was sound and logical. You can read the whole thing over at Deadspin, but this is the money paragraph.

"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."

It's also important to note that unlike what the outraged members of the BBWAA claim, Le Batard received nothing for providing his vote to Deadspin.

Predictably, the response to Le Batard from the BBWAA members has been hilarious and misguided. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News sent this really unfortunate tweet that he later deleted and apologized for.

Others wagged their fingers disapprovingly at Le Batard as well..

And ESPN (longtime rivals of Deadspin) quickly released a statement of their own.

I'm curious as to what Le Batard did that was so shameful here. He turned his ballot over to the Deadspin readers, and they selected ten very worthy Hall of Fame candidates. Would it be more shameful if he sent in an empty ballot to "make a statement" like so many have done in the past? Or if he voted for only Jack Morris, like Ken Gurnick did? How is what Le Batard did more despicable than what many other attention whore writers have done in the past with their ballots?

It isn't, and that's the point. What's more shameful – giving sympathy votes to Jacque Jones, J.T. Snow, and Armando Benitez (which actually happened this year on a loaded ballot) in a year where Craig Biggio missed induction by two votes, or letting Deadspin's readers choose who you vote for? If you compare the Deadspin ballot to the 208 that were revealed heading into today's election, can you really find much fault with which ten players the readers of Deadspin selected? Could you even pick it out if you didn't know which ballot was which?

Le Batard did nothing that writers haven't been doing for years when it comes to the Hall of Fame voting – except he's getting raked over the coals by an old boys club that fears change. Just remember, if you're going to defend one writer's right to make a show of himself by voting for one player, you have to defend another writer's right to allow someone else to fill out his ballot.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.

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