The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced today that Dan Le Batard, who turned his Hall of Fame ballot over to you, the people, has been banned for life from voting for the HOF and suspended from the BBWAA for one year.
Here's the statement from the BBWAA, signed by president La Velle E. Neal III:
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.
Le Batard did not accept money for his vote, only opened it up to fans. We've read their constitution, and there's no law against crowd-sourcing a ballot. (And Le Batard is not the only one to do that.) There's also no law against filling out a ballot just to antagonize bloggers, or against leaving names off to avoid a long Cooperstown ceremony, or against voting for a guy just to write a column about it, or against voting even though you're now a golf writer and haven't covered baseball in decades, or against being irredeemably stupid.
Here's hoping this is the beginning of some housecleaning.