Le Batard loses Hall of Fame vote, suspended from BBWAA

Al Diaz/AP

NEW YORK — Dan Le Batard was kicked out of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for one year and barred from future Hall of Fame votes after he turned over his 2014 ballot to a website that allowed readers to choose the selections.

The decision was made Thursday by the BBWAA board of directors, a day after Le Batard said he let Deadspin.com cast his ballot.

"The BBWAA regards Hall of Fame voting as the ultimate privilege, and any abuse of that privilege is unacceptable," the organization said in a statement.

On Friday, Le Batard said he found a measure of double standard in the BBWAA’s decision.

Le Batard, an ESPN host and Miami Herald columnist, said Wednesday he gave his ballot to the website because he detests the "hypocrisy" in the voting process.

His ESPN colleagues shredded him for the decision, too.

The Sporting News wrote an editorial about the matter supporting Le Batard’s choice:

“Le Batard is right. Reform is needed. At minimum, a redefinition of what the Hall of Fame should represent to baseball fans.

"The fact his vote was turned over to Deadspin misses the point.

The best thing the BBWAA and the Hall can do is announce a plan to turn the vote over to the public or something similar on its own next year.”

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."

Includes reporting by The Associated Press.

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