I first joined this esteem club of scribes when I covered the Atlanta Braves for the Atlanta Constitution and was a member for four years before relocating and changing jobs. I rejoined when I covered baseball again for USA Today and was about to enter my 10th consecutive year in the BBWA, qualifying me to vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the rest of my life, when USAT fired me. Long story I am still trying to forget.
Losing that Hall of Fame vote hurts to this day and, next to my dear mother Ruby, is the biggest loss of my lifetime.
I never was a friend of Dan Le Batard, Miami Herald sports columnist and ESPN sportscaster, but knew him as an egotistical, self-absorbed showboat. His antics finally caught up to him this week, but the spotlight shined bright on him again, so I'm certain he is pleased as pudding with his bad self.
Le Batard disgraced the BBWA Hall of Fame by giving his vote - why a loser like him had one in the first place, and not me, is another debate - to Deadspin.com in protest of the BBWA voting process. The fact that Le Batard was friendly enough with that sensational website tells you all you need to know about Le Baturd.
Indeed, the voting system is flawed, and the BBWA recognizes it and already has begun reassessing the system. But Le Batard wasted, gave away, the vote I have yearned for for years. Shame on him.
Damn, sure wish he would have given it to me. I would have cherished it and voted with the respect and integrity I know most of my former pressbox buds do.
I hope one day Le Batard feels the void, the sense of loss I do. I never had a vote. He pissed his away like the fool he is. The BBWA is better off without him, now that they officially kicked him out for his act.
By the way, Pete Rose, Jack Morris, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmerio and Tim Raines - I covered them all - deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. I would have voted them in. If I had that precious vote.