TELANDER: ESPN’s Dan Le Batard off-base in defending steroid guys for Hall of Fame
BY RICK TELANDER email@example.com | @ricktelander January 10, 2014 11:51PM
Dan Le Batard gave his Baseball Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin to protest ‘‘keeping all the steroid guys out,’’ then lost his vote permanently.
Updated: February 13, 2014 6:34AM
Let’s address the Baseball Hall of Fame voting flap for a moment.
Basically, it’s this: Every baseball critic everywhere — voter and non-voter alike — has a different idea about who should get in.
ESPN radio and TV host Dan Le Batard, a guy I consider a good friend, went a little bat-crap crazy recently when he gave his Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin.
His rationale: ‘‘I don’t like how they do business over there at the Hall of Fame, where they’re sitting there being sanctimonious and keeping all the steroid guys out.’’
Yo, Danny, the Hall workers don’t vote; we 10-year members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America do.
Those guys in Cooperstown, N.Y., polish the plaques and move vagrants such as Pete Rose along. If you don’t like the fact that most of us 550 voters think Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, etc., are doping scum, sorry.
But there isn’t a secret block of rogue executives keeping dopers out. It’s us.
Actually, your Deadspin voters did a good job, marking your ballot for the same former players I did — except for a couple of dopers. Being angry about the voting results isn’t the same as being angry about the process.
Personally, I think there should be a ‘‘The Steroid Era Began Approximately Here’’ plaque placed in the Hall — with no end in sight — and anyone who ever failed a drug test, was indicted on suspicion of using performance-enhancing drugs, was mentioned in the Mitchell Report, Tim McNamee’s documents, Game of Shadows, the Biogenesis files or Alex Rodriguez’s buddy list or in any other way jumped from looking like a normal human being to a Schwarzenegger-style, biceps-kissing, long-ball-hitting, flame-throwing freak should have an asterisk by his name forever. Even on his tombstone.
And then we just elect those with the best stats.
But it’s not that way. ‘‘Character’’ is part of Hall voting, and a juicer has none of that.
So, old pal, sorry the Hall just took away your vote — permanently.
You’ll get over it a lot sooner than all your doper buddies will.
◆ COLTS PUNTER PAT McAFEE was fined by his team for tweeting an ‘‘inadvertent’’ nude photo of quarterback Andrew Luck in the locker room after a playoff victory against the Chiefs.
Luck was in the background of McAfee’s tweeted picture of kicker Adam Vinatieri, wearing, as USA Today succinctly described it, ‘‘only his beard.’’
Mobile photo devices are everywhere these days. Privacy — remember that concept? — is virtually nil. But when your own punter sends out photos of your backside to the world, I believe you’re justified in making him eat his iPhone.
◆ MARIJUANA HAS BEEN LEGALIZED in Colorado for adults 21 and older — which includes almost all members of the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets and Avalanche — but any pro-athlete tokers or bongers had better be careful when they get to Denver International Airport.
Come in with pot, and you are fined $150 for a first offense, $500 for a second and $999 for a third.
This leads me to ponder images of a funny airport scenario: jocks with an abundance of weed standing out in the high-plains vastness, piling their pipes with dope and desperately sucking down as much flaming pot as possible while looking at their watches, which seem to grow slower and crazier with every toke.
The Bulls already played in Colorado this season — on Nov. 21, before marijuana was legalized in the state. But I’m giving you a future heads up, so to speak.
◆ THIS HAS TURNED INTO a druggy Stew, so let me continue with this: Last season, 119 major-league baseball players got therapeutic-use exemptions to treat their alleged attention-deficit disorders with Adderall.
Adderall is a kind of speed. It’s a prescription-only form of ‘‘greenies,’’ the old pick-me-up of former days. That’s if you ask me, anyway. In a way, Adderall is like crystal meth, if you’re a meth-head.
But, obviously and legally, all those players can’t focus on any task well enough without their doctor-ordered stimulants.
Every year since 2007, when Adderall exemptions first were granted, the number of major-league players with ADHD who are prescribed the drug has gone up.
In fact, pro baseball players have more than double the need for Adderall than the general populace.
And Mr. Le Batard loves them all.