ESPN TV and radio host Dan Le Batard said Wednesday that, as a form of protest, he had given his Baseball Hall of Fame vote this year to the website Deadspin because he had become disenchanted with the direction the voting process had taken in the steroid era.
Le Batard, who also is a longtime columnist for the Miami Herald, did not accept anything in return for his vote.
Deadspin, which had attempted to buy a Hall of Fame vote but failed to do so, in turn allowed its readers to choose the names to appear on Le Batard's ballot by voting "yes" or "no." The 10 players with the highest voting percentages among Deadspin readers would be picked on the ballot. Le Batard said on his radio show Wednesday that he approved of the selections and submitted the ballot to the Hall of Fame.
The names submitted to the Hall were Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Curt Schilling. Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were elected Wednesday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
"We respect and appreciate Dan's opinions and passion about Hall of Fame voting," ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement. "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."
In a piece posted on Deadspin, Le Batard wrote, in part, "I hate all the moralizing we do in sports in general, but I especially hate the hypocrisy in this. I always like a little anarchy inside the cathedral we've made of sports."
Le Batard addressed the matter again Wednesday during his ESPN TV show, "Highly Questionable."
"I probably won't have [a vote] next year because I gave mine to Deadspin," he said, "because I don't like how they do business over there at the Hall of Fame, where they're sitting there and they're being sanctimonious and they're keeping all the steroid guys out."
BBWAA secretary/treasurer Jack O'Connell declined comment Wednesday.