Nothing gets a certain segment of baseball enthusiasts more heated than the voting process for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Not being baseball enthusiasts ourselves (we grew up with the Marlins, after all), we don't fully understand it, but it seems like a pretty touchy subject.
Anyway, to protest the selection process, this year Deadspin announced a plan to buy the ballot of any Hall of Fame voter and turn it over to its readers. Someone took the bait, and today Deadspin announced that person was none other than the Miami Herald's Dan Le Batard.
According to Deadspin, Le Batard approached the site and told them he'd be down with supplying his ballot if they couldn't find anyone else. At that point, Deadspin had found someone, but that fell through for reasons they don't fully explain, and Le Batard once again offered his ballot.
Update 2:46: Originally we said Le Batard "sold" his ballot to benefit a charity. The originally voter wanted to sell the ballot for charity, but Le Batard clarifies on Twitter that he asked for nothing in return other than to explain his reasoning for supplying the ballot.
"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," Le Batard wrote in his explanation. "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 the way we did in 1936.
"I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we've made of sports," he added.
The Baseball Hall of Fame is voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America, which is made up of journalists from daily newspapers, magazines, and a small subset of websites that are credentialed to cover postseason baseball. Every year, their selections piss off a lot of people.
Blue-chip newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post actually forbid their writers from voting for the Hall of Fame. No word on whether the Herald or, more interesting, Le Batard's other employer, ESPN, will be angry. (We really doubt, however, that the Herald would punish one of its biggest bylines given the state the paper is in.) Update: ESPN says while they don't agree with what Le Batard did they're not going to take any action since he received his voting membership through The Herald.
Le Batard, meanwhile, has spent the past couple of minutes retweeting any angry rants that come his way:
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Why the hell does @LeBatardShow even have a hall of fame vote??
— DetroitSportsNation (@detsportsnation) January 8, 2014
@Deadspin shocking. Le Batard isn't a journalist. He's a racism crying hack with a trash tv show. Disappointing
— Patrick Moen-Lisk (@ThebestPML) January 8, 2014
The selling of his HOF vote should get @LeBatardShow fired from all things ESPN and expunged from any legitimate journalistic operation
— Steve Repsher (@SteveRep44) January 8, 2014