Curt Schilling: Free Speech Casualty
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is loaded with scalawags & reprobates. Somehow, someway, in the year 2021, the Baseball Writers Association of America couldn't find anyone to put in the Hall.
Would I have put anyone in the Hall this year? Yes, yes I would. If I had a ballot, I would have voted for 3 individuals: Curt Schilling, Omar Vizquel, and Torii Hunter.
Noted Baseball Numpty, Jeff Passan, gave up his vote a few years back because....
Listen, it's real simple. There's a difference between Baseball Rules and Federal Drug Statutes. If you gave it your all on the baseball diamond, and you have the baseball qualifications, you're in. I don't care about your politics or your post career run-ins with the law. I don't even care if you used steroids a little bit and didn't get caught. Good for you, you tricked me.
If you used illegal, performance enhancing drugs, and gained 75 pounds of muscle, and your head grew 3 hat sizes, you are out. If you broke federal law in such an over-the-top way that you basically dared the government to investigate your business, you are out. If you turned your body into a WWE caricature for competitive advantage, then tried to play innocent, you are out. If you perverted the competitive nature of the game, you are out.
I keep hearing you can't tell the story of baseball without Barry Bonds. Guess what? You can't tell the story of baseball without Pete Rose, either.
Bud Selig knew what was going on in the Steroid Era and his inaction didn't prevent Ol' Bud from going to the Hall of Fame. If you want to argue with me and say all players from the Steroid Era deserve to get in because steroids don't help with specific skills like hitting a baseball, I will even listen to that argument. I don't agree, but we can have a spirited debate.
What you can't do is give baseball qualifications as to why a player should get in, then give personal reasons as to why they can't. It is the Baseball Hall of Fame, not the Good Human Hall of Fame.
All of this hand wringing over non-baseball issues in Hall of Fame voting is really absurd. Good for Curt Schilling for asking to be removed from the Hall of Fame ballot next year and then saying he'll take his chances with the Veterans Committee.