NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — ESPN host Dan Le Batard acknowledged Wednesday he gave his baseball Hall of Fame ballot to the website Deadspin because he detests the “hypocrisy” in the voting process.
Le Batard confirmed he let Deadspin readers decide which players he would vote for. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected — they were on Le Batard’s ballot, as was Craig Biggio, who missed by two votes.
Deadspin had offered to pay a voter for a ballot. Le Batard said he insisted there wouldn’t be compensation.
“I didn’t ‘sell’ anything. Only conditions were that I NOT get anything,” he posted on Twitter.
Le Batard told Deadspin that “our flawed voting process needs remodeling in a new media world. Besides, every year the power is abused the way I’m going to be alleged to abuse it here.”
“And my final reason: I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we’ve made of sports.”
There were 571 ballots cast by senior members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Le Batard is a longtime columnist for the Miami Herald.
Le Batard received plenty of criticism — some of it high-profile — on Twitter:
Le Batard told Deadspin he expected to be stripped of his vote.
“When you accept a baseball writers’ card, there’s a certain way you need to go about your business, a certain conduct you need to have at all times,” BBWAA president LaVelle E. Neal III told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It’s disappointing that someone would decide to manipulate his vote in that way.”
ESPN said in a statement: “We respect and appreciate Dan’s opinions and passion about Hall of Fame voting. He received his vote while at the Miami Herald. We wouldn’t have advocated his voting approach, which we were just made aware of today.”
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