SBD/January 10, 2014/Media

BBWAA Bans Le Batard For Life From HOF Voting, Suspends Membership For One Year

ESPN's Dan Le Batard yesterday was "stripped for life" of his Baseball HOF voting privileges, "one day after it was revealed he filled out his ballot based on the results of a poll of Deadspin readers on who they felt belonged in Cooperstown," according to Clark Spencer of the MIAMI HERALD. The Baseball Writers' Association of America, whose "most tenured members vote" on the HOF, also "suspended him from the organization for one year." Le Batard on Thursday said, "It was worth it. I knew this would be the consequence. Hopefully, change is a consequence, too" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/10). BBWAA President LaVelle Neal said that the group's constitution "gave them the option to hand Le Batard a five-year ban." Neal said, "But to do that, we'd have to ... file for him to have an opportunity for a hearing. We decided we wanted to act quickly, so we came to the conclusion we'd pull his card for one year and ban him from voting for the Hall of Fame for life." Neal added that the BBWAA BOD was "in discussions over how to deal with the issue for eight hours Wednesday and a few more" on Thursday. In Chicago, Paul Sullivan notes there will be "no ramifications against Le Batard's media outlets" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/10). Baseball HOF President Jeff Idelson said, "I’ve known Dan a long time and I respect him as a journalist. But I thought the way that he went about it was disappointing and disrespectful to his own membership" ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 1/10).

TIMING IS EVERYTHING: Le Batard addressed the controversy at the beginning of his ESPN2 show "Highly Questionable" on Thursday, saying, "I regret one portion of this. This is what happens in the modern culture -- you have the negative and it gets accentuated more than the positive. So the part about this that I regret is that I became part of the story yesterday instead of the three guys who, you know, had actually accomplished something. I wish I had waited a couple of days before doing it. That was my biggest mistake" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 1/9). 
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