COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK
With Hall of Fame voting in full swing this winter, baseball writers are clamoring to expose themselves for being closet supporters of perpetrators of domestic violence and racism.
These voters are at a crossroads, agonizing over whether or not to vote in players who took steroids to stay healthy and secure paydays in a time when performance enhancing drugs were not only conveniently ignored by MLB, but boosted the sport's popularity when it was in the gutter following labor disputes.
Racists like Curt Schilling, however, are apparently exempt from that same scrutiny as his views are considered to be an off-the-field issue, despite Schilling calling for the lynching of members of the same profession as those that now control his chances at enshrinement.
"Look, I can excuse racists and abusers, because what happens off the field is none of my business. But to cheat baseball by taking performance enhancing drugs is something I simply cannot overlook," said one voter.
Whether or not to have a backbone and morals is a hotly debated topic in baseball these days, as many writers are attempting to defend voting for players that were violent or racist in their personal lives, often citing the enshrinements of known bigots like Rogers Hornsby and Tris Speaker. "Why make any attempt to make the Hall better or correct our past wrongs, when we can simply keep voting for people of poor character and not address it?" another mused.
"Here's the thing. Life is complex. It's all shades of grey, rarely black or white. Evaluations are complex. Go ahead, disagree. Love the passion," tweeted one voter in defense of his ballot, which included Schilling and abuser Omar Vizquel. You know, traditionally morally grey issues like "choking your wife," and "collecting Nazi memorabilia." But to take PEDs to stick in the majors and hopefully hold out for a generational payday? Irredeemable. "You have to draw the line somewhere," another voter added.
When questioned about the Hall's character clause, one voter simply looked at me dumbfounded, as if they had never heard the term, before going on a rant about how many Gold Gloves Vizquel had.