Deadspin's Baseball Hall Of Fame Vote Came From ESPN's Dan Le Batard
January 8, 2014 at 12:15 PM (PT)
The mystery BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ballot that was given to DEADSPIN readers to fill out came from ESPN RADIO and LINCOLN FINANCIAL MEDIA Sports WAXY-A (790 THE TICKET)/MIAMI afternoon host and MIAMI HERALD columnist DAN LE BETARD, the site revealed today after the results of the voting were announced. DEADSPIN had offered to buy a ballot to demonstrate "how ridiculous the HALL OF FAME elections have become" and "to turn a small bit of power over to the public for the sake of doing so," noting the absurdity of leaving the power of honoring players to veteran baseball writers to the exclusion of everyone else. LE BATARD gave the site his vote, but did not accept payment in exchange.
LE BATARD explained, "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 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."
LE BATARD was actually the backup plan for DEADSPIN, which arranged to buy a vote from another writer, but turned to LE BATARD when that deal fell through.