Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Deadspin ballot

The BBWAA has drummed Dan Le Batard out of future Hall of Fame elections. His offense: allowing the readers of Deadspin to set his ballot.

I don't care for Le Batard's ESPN work, and I have even less regard for Deadspin, but that's neither here nor there. The ballot itself was pretty good. It wasn't the best possible ballot -- the best possible ballot being the one that I would have cast had I a vote -- but there was no real foolishness on display.

Deadspin/Le Batard voted for Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Curt Schilling. There were a lot of worse ballots cast.

Deadspin had billed its plan to "buy a vote" as a satire of the Hall of Fame election process. That would certainly have been the case had its ballot included, let us say, Jacque Jones, Armando Benitez and J.T. Snow. That, we can all agree, would have been a mockery.

Oh, wait. The legitimate voters cast votes for those guys (one for Jones, one for Benitez and two for Snow). But that's OK, because those voters are not trying to look idiotic. They just are. (They probably know it, too; none of them have gone public.)

Or maybe the issue the BBWAA had with the ballot was that the vote was crowdsourced. In which case we should expect Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle, the organization's vice president and successor next year to the Star Tribune's LaVelle E. Neal III as president, to be similarly disciplined. He's been giving readers access to his ballot for years.

Don't hold your breath on that outcome, either.

The BBWAA is fine with the nonsensical and illogical ballots cast by its members. It took a logically sound one to get the organization upset.

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