When it was revealed on Wednesday that Dan Le Batard was the BBWAA member that provided Deadspin with his Hall of Fame vote, all hell broke loose. And the next day, Le Batard is still getting slammed from all angles – including by people like Gregg Doyel of CBS, who is enraged over…well, something, I guess..
On ESPN, almost everyone had an opinion on what their colleague had done, with the reaction surprisingly split. On PTI, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon bashed Le Batard saying it was "egotism run amok" and "irresponsible"…
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, two men who will never be confused with baseball journalists, firmly supported Le Batard's efforts and his ballot.
Over on Olbermann, KO also stood with Le Batard's efforts.
At Sports on Earth, Gwen Knapp said that while she has no problem with Le Batard's decision, she doesn't agree with his attack on the other BBWAA members. Predictably, many of those members are furious with Le Batard.
Seemingly everyone has an opinion on the Le Batard fallout. Long-time baseball columnist Richard Justice of the MLB.com did a great job pointing out the BBWAA's hypocrisy this morning on Twitter, and the points that he made align with what everyone has been saying about the BBWAA's well-known issues. The problems within the Hall of Fame voting process are much larger than Dan Le Batard giving his vote to Deadspin. They are systemic, especially when people who are no longer interested in giving a fair, rational vote are still involved in the process.
I'm wondering how much outrage would be directed towards Le Batard if he wasn't a nationally known personality, but instead John Doe from Bismarck who retired five years ago. So what have we learned from all of this? Not much to this point, except that everyone loves a good controversy. Given the entrenchment of the old guard of baseball writers, it's hard to imagine all of this leading to any real change within the BBWAA.
UPDATE: Case in point, the BBWAA just stripped Le Batard of his vote and suspended his membership for a year.
"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."
Max penalty: BBWAA just lifetime banned me from Hall of Fame vote and won't allow me to attend a game as credentialed media for a year.
— Dan Le Batard Show (@LeBatardShow) January 9, 2014