BOSTON (CBS) – Tim Marchman, an editor at Deadspin.com, joined The Adam Jones Show to discuss the process by which BBWAA member Dan Le Batard gave his Hall of Fame vote to the readers at Deadspin.
They discussed how they came about the idea of getting a writer’s vote and how they eventually got Le Batard’s vote. Marchman also talks about his grievances with the BBWAA and the Hall of Fame voting process.
“It all gets very removed from baseball, and it’s a very baseball thing to do. … Baseball has this whole notion of itself as being very serious and having a very serious custodianship over its history in the way the Hall of Fame represents,” Marchman told Jones. “And it’s fun to prick that balloon a little bit. So that was one of our points, was to do that and draw attention to kind of how convoluted this whole process is getting.
“And the other one was we wanted to to pen it up to the public. Even if they were just getting one out of 571 votes, it’s fun that anybody can vote on the Hall of Fame.”
Marchman even says they have a writer lined up for next season as well. Jones asked why Deadspin needs to repeat the process next year.
“To continue to draw attention to how far divorced this is becoming from baseball and the need for some kind of reform,” Marchman said. “There are probably more players worth being elected than there are even slots on the ballot, and the BBWAA is really dragging its feet on even a simple reform, like letting voters vote for as many players as they think are actually worthy of being voted for, let alone something more radical like introducing more voters into the process. So the more this thing kind of drags on, with guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens not even being able to get half the vote, I think it’ll be an ongoing fiasco and so it’ll be a balloon that will be worthy of being pricked.”
Marchman also confirmed that Le Batard denied any compensation in exchange for his vote.
“Much to my disappointment, he refused any compensation,” Marchamn said. “I thought the thing would’ve been funnier if we could have given him a dollar for it, but he didn’t want anything. … I think it worked out great this way. Dan had a point to make, and I think he made it, and I hope people pay attention to it. Certainly while some writers have seemed to take this as a farce and a fiasco with no redeeming value, there’s a little bit of a point buried in here about how — maybe not all people, but among people who pay serious attention to the Hall of Fame, there’s definitely some grumbling about the inclusiveness about the process and the way this entire era of baseball is being fenced out with an asterisk over the whole thing. That’s a little bit weird and is not sitting that well with some people. To the extent that he drew attention to that and started some conversations about that, I think it’s great.”
As for negative attention it drew?
“The funniest stuff I saw was actually directed at Le Batard, and I thought in particular it was funny that there were some ESPN personalities who are on-air calling him sanctimonious and whatnot,” Marchman said. “You don’t usually see that sort of thing too often, so apparently he stirred some passions up in Bristol.”
The 10 players who received votes from Deadspin readers were Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, Mike Piazza, Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling.