Thursday, January 9, 2014

They Get Mad if You Don’t Vote!

This is a story about the sacrament of voting; it is a story about one man challenging this sacrament.

It will help if you are already familiar with the story of the intersection of baseball, steroids, and voting for the Hall of Fame.  For me to properly explain these issues would take the writing of far more words than I care to write.  However, if you are not familiar with the issues, trust me: the intersection of these three topics is considered as hallowed and is covered in as much religiosity in the United States as is the subject of the political vote.

In other words, a lot of noise about something that is absolutely meaningless.

Dan Le Batard is a TV and radio host:

Dan Le Batard (born December 16, 1968) is a Cuban-American newspaper sportswriter, radio host, and television reporter based out of Miami, Florida…. Since 2004, he has also hosted his own radio show, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, on ESPN Radio. He is a frequent contributor to several ESPN programs, serving as a regular replacement host for Pardon the Interruption when one of the regular hosts is out. In 2011, he began hosting the ESPN2 show Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable with his father, Gonzalo Le Batard.

What is ESPN?:

ESPN (originally an abbreviation for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a U.S.-based global cable and satellite television channel, that is owned as a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which operates the network, through its 80% ownership interest) and Hearst Corporation (which holds a 20% interest). The channel focuses on sports-related programming including live and recorded event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming.

ESPN is as mainstream as mainstream gets when it comes to sports programming.

Sportswriters have the vote for entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Dan Le Batard has one of those votes.  Technically speaking, Le Batard did not not vote – he merely found a creative way to expose voting for the fraud that it is:

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.

Steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in baseball have been an emotional topic in recent years for many who are close to the sport of baseball.  One area of impact has been the consideration for entry into Baseball’s Hall of Fame of players who have been suspected of using steroids.

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.

Le Batard has spoken often about the hypocrisy of keeping players out of the Hall of Fame who have been connected to the use of performance enhancing drugs.  And there is total hypocrisy – managers of those same players have been elected, the Commissioner of Baseball throughout the steroid era is still commissioner. 

Most laughably, writers who either covered up the use of steroids or completely missed the story (either complicit or ignorant) are the ones doing the voting!

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."

In an interview on this topic, Le Batard noted how supportive the general public was of his stance, and how absolutely critical his peers were of his action.  Something interesting to think about.

Watch this for an idea of the hysteria created in the mainstream due to Le Batard’s action.  One of the two talking heads is about as anarchic as it gets in the sports-journalism world – yet you wouldn’t know it from this reaction (and I bet you can’t even guess which one is the anarchic one).

They get mad if you don’t vote – or even just expose the vote for the sham that it is.  It turns out to be true, even in something as inconsequential as a baseball vote.

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