The reaction to Dan Le Batard turning over his Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin readers has been unsurprisingly polarizing. Many in the younger, online crowd have cheered on Le Batard for the decision while much of the older establishment types have criticized him for bringing sportswriting into disrepute.
The reactions that are most noteworthy come from his employers - ESPN and The Miami Herald. They released statements that have been less than supportive of his decision with the Herald's the stronger of the two saying "we do not condone misrepresentation of any kind." The BBWAA suspended Le Batard for a year and stripped him of his Hall of Fame vote in the process, but nobody really cares what they think... that was the whole point of this exercise.
Perhaps the most intriguing reaction is that of DLB himself. Le Batard went on the Dan Patrick Show earlier today and expressed a couple regrets over Deadspin-Hall-of-Fame-VoteGate. (I think we need a better gate-related title for this.)
Here's the video...
Le Batard's motives remain in tact, but it's interesting to hear what he would do differently. The first point is one most in both crowds should agree upon - Le Batard unmasking himself immediately after the vote was announced took attention away from the players elected and made the story about him. No matter where you stand on this debate, that's something out of the Skip Bayless playbook.
Le Batard also says he would have done it on an ESPN platform and not Deadspin were he to have a mulligan. It's not like Le Batard didn't have multiple national platforms at ESPN to A) turn over his vote to fans or B) lead calls for change in Hall of Fame voting. I'm sure the higher ups at ESPN would have preferred Le Batard went to them first instead of going to Deadspin in fulfilling this mission. (Talk about a feather in the cap for Deadspin in their long-running feud with Bristol.)
In the end, Deadspin-Hall-of-Fame-VoteGate wasn't as much about change in the voting process as it was ensuring maximum anarchy and chaos amongst the sportswriting establishment. Perhaps Le Batard found out that it was just a little bit too much anarchy and chaos for his liking.
@sporer if anything, we need more “-gate"
@awfulannouncing Surprised this wasn't called brokengate
@awfulannouncing quit using "gate" after everything. It's so fucking played out. No laws were broken so what's the big effing deal
Le Batard could have used his soapboxes better for the overall message, but ESPN never would have dared to give this vote up to the fans. I'm calling shenanigans on that particular "regret."
@awfulannouncing Thats because the suits at Bristol read him the riot act i would expect. Maybe if he gave his vote to Tebow
On the one hand, it illustrated a good point. On the other hand... it WAS kind of a dick move. He could have just come out and said outright that HE was the one, and even though he would have faced scrutiny for it anyway, he would have at least had the balls to say "this is why the way it's done now is stupid, and THIS is how it SHOULD be done." The way it was kept a secret was just subversion for the sake of subversion, and it nullified the actual cause that was supposed to be highlighted.
@myoder84 Said no one. It's the cheapest device out there. It's nauseating,
@awfulannouncing I expect better from you AA.
@patorioto now we are involved in a TweetGate.