The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) announced on Wednesday this year’s class to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Three players were elected, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. The three will be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 27.
What got a lot of the attention this week was not the three players that will be going to Cooperstown, but how one of the 571 ballots was submitted. Dan Le Batard, columnist for the Miami Herald and an ESPN radio host, gave his ballot to the editors of Deadspin, a sports blog, so that the readers could pick the ten players deserving enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. A lot of sports writers and pundits lost their minds over this fact. The BBWAA responded by suspending Le Batard from the organization for one year and banning him from voting for the Hall of Fame ever again.
He must be crushed. I’m guessing that if Le Batard cared about the privilege of voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame, he never would have given away his ballot to Deadspin in the first place. And who even knew that he was a baseball writer? From what I can tell, when Le Batard writes, he writes not just about baseball, but about all sports.
Personally, I don’t really understand the controversy. When I look at the ballot that Le Batard signed and turned into the BBWAA, I don’t see any problems with it. As it turns out, the readers of Deadspin did a fairly decent job at picking which players should go to Cooperstown. Then again, they probably follow baseball more than most of the voters. Here’s an image of the ballot Le Batard turned into the BBWAA:
There’s nothing silly or ridiculous about the picks. Unlike some of the other ballots submitted to the BBWAA, nobody failed to get a vote who clearly should received a vote. For instance, take Greg Maddux. Even though Maddux is one of the greatest pitchers to have ever played baseball, his name was selected on only 555 of the submitted 571 ballots. That means 16 members of the BBWAA chose to exclude Maddux from their possible 10 selections. How can anyone do that? Greg Maddux is a common denominator type of baseball player. Everyone should be able to agree that he was a phenomenal player, worthy of the Hall of Fame.
If the BBWAA wants to ban anyone from ever voting again, they should take a look at the 16 writers who failed to vote for Greg Maddux. Better yet, take away their votes and give them to the readers of Deadspin.