That was quick: The BBWAA has banned Dan Le Betard from future HOF voting and suspended him for a year for turning his vote over to Deadspin. The BBWAA’s statement:
The BBWAA Board of Directors has decided to remove Dan Le Batard’s membership for one year, for transferring his Hall of Fame ballot to an entity that has not earned voting status. The punishment is allowed under the organization’s constitution.
In addition, Le Batard will not be allowed to vote on Hall of Fame candidates from this point on.
The BBWAA regards Hall of Fame voting as the ultimate privilege, and any abuse of that privilege is unacceptable.
-BBWAA President La Velle E. Neal III
January 9, 2014
I imagine to the extent there was any delay at all it was to parse the difference between LeBatard’s “transferring his Hall of Fame ballot to an entity that has not earned voting status” and the tomfoolery with which many other voters, who remain in good standing, have approached their own Hall of Fame votes. Good way to thread that needle, BBWAA.
That aside, I figured this was coming. And, as I’ve said many times, you can’t really quibble with it. It’s their organization and LeBatard knew what would happen to him. Such is life.
Still: is the BBWAA going to do anything about the many “entities that have earned voting status” who have no business retaining it? Or will that go on inevitably?
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: