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Bad sports, good sports: Writer gives his Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin

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Baseball takes itself very seriously. Far mores than any of the other major sports, the culture, traditions, statistics, and history of baseball are treated as hallowed ground by not only the people directly involved with Major League Baseball, but also by the fans. If anyone messes with any of these things, whether via cheating or something else untoward, we react with virulence, while we barely bat an eye at far worse things in the other sports. This week, Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard announced that he had given his Hall of Fame vote to the website Deadspin, which allowed visitors to the site to vote on the people that would make up the submitted ballot. The reaction was very negative, as you might expect.

A big issue for the Hall of Fame over the last few years has been the status of a number of superstar players from what is now regularly referred to as the “Steroid Era.” Many of the people with voting privileges have refused to vote for guys like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa, all guys whose statistics make them no-brainers for the Hall, but whose reputations as juicers have left them on the outside looking in. Le Batard, like some others, feels that since there was no testing for steroids during most of that era (although there were rules against their use), there is no way to know who cheated and who didn’t, and therefore it makes no sense to keep these guys out because of it. Although I understand this perspective, I am certain that if I had a vote (and, really, why don’t I?), I would not vote for these guys. I know there may be many other players who took steroids and yet managed to avoid suspicion. Those guys would get a free pass from me, I suppose, but give them credit for hiding it well.

Giving your vote away, as Le Batard did, seems like an unfortunate way to to protest. To his credit, he made big news with this move, and that is really the whole point of a protest, right? I am writing this column about what he did, and many others have written about it this week as well. Sure, much of the discussion has been about him and the mockery he made of the HoF voting process, but there has been plenty of discussion of whether or not the suspected steroid-users should be inducted. He accomplished that, and also managed to make himself a major topic of conversation, which is surely a big positive for any columnist (he also has a radio show). The ballot submitted by Deadspin was really not any kind of joke, if you look at it. There were far more outrageous ballots submitted by people who were actually supposed to be voting, including someone who actually voted for Armando Benitez. Look him up…he doesn’t belong on any sort of Hall of Fame list.

If this were the NFL or the NBA, would there have been any outrage at all? Certainly not. There have been plenty of players suspended for performance enhancing drugs in those leagues (especially football), and then those guys come back and play and no one really cares. There is definitely no outrage the way there is with baseball players. Barry Bonds broke two of the most sacred records in baseball…the single-season home run record and the career home run record…and yet many of us don’t even consider him to be the record-holder. It makes sense to me. Football and basketball are about the big plays and the end result. Baseball is about the details. We hold those records close to our hearts, and we don’t want cheaters in the Hall of Fame.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s house was robbed this week. The thieves got away with more than $250,000 worth of cash and jewelry. When I first read this story, I somehow thought it was $250,000 in cash and also some jewelry. I then was wondering why on earth he had that much cash in his house. Then I thought about it again, and realized that the fact that some (if not much) of the value of what was stolen was actually the jewelry really didn’t make it much better. Seems like a bank would be a better idea for DeSean.

3) During the San Francisco 49ers – Carolina Panthers playoff game on Sunday, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick mocked Panthers quarterback Cam Newtown’s touchdown dance, pantomiming the opening of his shirt to reveal what would be a Superman logo after scoring a rushing touchdown. It’s stupid enough when Newton does it, dude. It’s even stupider when you try to show him up by doing it yourself, especially when it’s followed by your ridiculous move of kissing your biceps. The guy is a talented quarterback, but he needs to get a grip.

4) In the aftermath of Florida State’s win over Auburn in the BCS Championship game on Monday, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s mother, Dee Dee McCarron, tweeted “Am I listening to English?” while Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston was being interviewed. She was slammed for being racist, and later apologized for her comment. I agree that it was something that she should not have said, as the mother of a very high profile player, but I am not sure why her comment was considered to be racist. Winston’s answers were fairly incomprehensible.

5) After his team won the title on Monday, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher complained that the move to a playoff system after this year would leave tradition and history behind. Hey Jimbo, let me clue you in: the bowls suck. No one cares. Get rid of them. The only thing to complain about with the upcoming playoff is that it only includes four teams.

6) Will someone please explain to me what the hell Dennis Rodman is doing? His recent visit to North Korea, where he sang Happy Birthday to dictator Kim Jong-Un before a basketball game, was bizarre even for him.

7) Derek Holland, a pitcher for the Texas Rangers, apparently tripped over his dog at home on Friday and tore cartilage in his knee. He will miss half of the upcoming season due to the injury.

8) Louisville hired Bobby Petrino to return as its head football coach after coach Charlie Strong left for Texas. If you wonder why this is Bad Sports, google Bobby Petrino.

9) Chris Johnson, the often disgruntled and usually under-performing running back for the Tennessee Titans, lamented that the team is wasting the prime years of his career by not using him correctly. Here’s a tip, Chris: stop sucking and you’ll get more carries.

Good Sports:

1) Florida State’s comeback to win the BCS Championship over Auburn on Monday was pretty fantastic. The Seminoles were down 21-10 at halftime, having been thoroughly outplayed by the Tigers. Even after coming back to take the lead, Florida State fell behind by 4 with only 1:19 left in the game after Auburn scored a touchdown. Quarterback Jameis Winston led his team down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with thirteen seconds to play for the win.

2) The fans in Seattle apparently set off a real earthquake during a touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch as the Seahawks were beating the New Orleans Saints in their playoff matchup on Saturday.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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One Response to “Bad sports, good sports: Writer gives his Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin”

  1. LeBatard was wrong, he realized he was wrong and will regret his stunt for the rest of his career as a revoked HoF voter. The HoF vote may have its detractors, but it isn’t some out-of-control anarchy that cried out for the childish and juvenile tactic that Dan pulled. Sorry “Mike and Mike”, but LeBatard blew it and he admits as much now.

    Ahhh Kaepernick. A guy who fell serendipitously into a Super Bowl contending team and has brought them all the way up to…well, a Super Bowl contending team. But a few games into his run as the 49er QB after Smith’s demotion, he began to believe his hype and the bicep kiss came into national “lore.”

    Hopefully, the trip to Seattle will prevent Mr. K from adding a Super Bowl tattoo to his decorated epidermis. I have enough trouble finding a national sports show that doesn’t giddily gush and display man-crushes over Colin’s wonderfulness.

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