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Schilling, the Hall, and the Character Clause

Discussion in 'MLB Discussion' started by ConigliarosPotential, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. IHateDaveKerpen

    IHateDaveKerpen Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I believe I posted this in The Board Game Thread in P&G, but I feel like it's relevant here. Curt is a big fan of Advanced Squad Leader. For those who don't know, it's an incredibly detailed squad-level WWII board game. About twenty years ago, its original publisher - Avalon Hill - was planning on shuttering the series. Curt assisted its current publisher - Multi-Man Publishing - in obtaining the rights to continue publishing it. For his help, he was honored by having a "leader" named after him...


    ...unfortunately, that leader is a Nazi. American forces are represented by green counters, while Germans are represented by blue-grey ones.

    So as far as I can tell, Curt helped keep the game afloat. As a "thank you," MMP offered to represent him in the game. He apparently responded by saying "Cool! But can I be a Nazi? Thanks!"

    The guy is a fucking creep.

    EDIT: Yes, I know. My nails are gross.
  2. Philip Jeff Frye

    Philip Jeff Frye Member SoSH Member

    That's just bizarre. Are we sure he hasn't had some undiagnosed strokes?
  3. Pandarama

    Pandarama lurker

    No, but he's been diagnosed with cancer. Have you read about chemo brain?
  4. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

    So that's why he would be fuzzy on who won WWII and the Civil War.
  5. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

    I thought this was a good and thoughtful post that didn't get the consideration it deserved.

    Put another way: One totally reasonable interpretation of the character clause is the integrity, sportsmanship and character of the player during their playing days. In other words, were their ethics on par with the ideals of the famous athlete as role model? Did their own reputation serve to enhance the game's reputation? Were they "a credit to baseball"? For good or ill, once retired, even a famous player instantly loses most of the spotlight that sits on them, unless they manage to remain on screen with local media.

    Some teammates of his didn't like his attitude or arrogance. Sure. But was he doing anything that would bring the game into disrepute, even slightly? He was known for his focus, competitiveness and commitment, with his 1993, 2001 and 2004 playoff runs being emblematic of some of the best that baseball can bring to life.

    Meanwhile you've got:
    - Oil Can Boyd threatening the life of his mistress
    - Ron LeFlore doing 5 to 15 in the middle of his career for armed robbery
    - John D'Acquisto committing a bunch of types of fraud
    - George Brett completely losing it on many occasions that didn't involve pine tar, including destroying a toilet with a bat
    - Wife-swapping Yankees of the early 70s
    - Countless players being convicted on drug charges in the 80s

    ...even leaving aside extreme cases like Eddie Cicotte and Pete Rose. The Hall of Shame is long and as varied as the sum total of human error, malice and madness. Yet it didn't stop George Brett's election, or that of several others who'd been publicly disreputable during their playing days.

    If that's the line you draw, Curt Schilling is nowhere near that line.
  6. Lose Remerswaal

    Lose Remerswaal Leaves after the 8th inning Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    And Boyd and LeFlore and the others aren't in the Hall.

    Other than Brett, whose transgressions here are much less than the others.

    Hell, Ortiz killed a phone. And broke the spirit of millions of Yankee fans
  7. Average Reds

    Average Reds Dope Staff Member Dope V&N Mod SoSH Member

    Uggie Urbina tried to kill a man with a machete. If that's the line you draw, Curt Schilling is nowhere near that line.

    Cutting to the chase, it seems clear that he is actually going to get in soon. Why not let that speak for itself rather than making preposterous arguments for why his election will be justified?
  8. edoug

    edoug Member SoSH Member

    Orlando Cepeda proves your point. I'm not sure his being elected would make him happy. It's one less thing he can complain about.
  9. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

    Firstly: I don't think it's clear at all that he's going to get in soon. He definitely was nowhere near the top of the list in terms of number of people who would have voted for him if they had room on their ballot, so he's not getting any help from the clearing of the backlog. His 61% this year is still a ways from induction.

    Secondly: This thread was created to explore the question of Schilling and what the character clause means. We're discussing it. Why chill that discussion? I thought Kliq had a great post, and it got only one reply (JTB), and even that was more of a technicality than addressing his core point.

    Surely the character clause, if it means anything, applies to the ethics and reputability with which you conducted yourself while a player. Whether it also applies to the days between retirement and election to the HOF, when you're mostly out of the public eye and your actions are no longer reflecting directly on "baseball", seems like a fuzzier question.
  10. Average Reds

    Average Reds Dope Staff Member Dope V&N Mod SoSH Member

    I'm fine with a discussion of the character clause. It just doesn't apply to the post you made.

    You named a number of former players who acted in ways that were unquestionably worse than Schilling but who were never going to make the Hall of Fame, thus rendering the comparison inapt. The one Hall-of-Famer you named (Brett) doesn't support your contention, because as far as I know his list of bad behavior is that he lost his temper and admitted to shitting himself. (I should note that the Orlando Cepeda example cited by edoug is precisely on point and makes the case for me.)

    Schilling gained 10% in a year when the ballot was hopelessly clogged with very strong candidates. If he can avoid making any (joking) references to killing journalists he doesn't like - which is not a given - I think that his election is a safe bet.
  11. John Marzano Olympic Hero

    John Marzano Olympic Hero has fancy plans, and pants to match Dope

    This is where I sit with Schilling (and I know I'm repeating myself) but if I'm a journalist, why am I going out of my way to help Schilling? If we think that Schilling believes even a part of the meme that he retweeted and wants to see me, or members of my profession, literally lynched; fuck him. He can go to Cooperstown the way everyone else does, he can pay for a ticket.

    Do I think that Schilling has a case for the HoF? Yes. Do I think that he should get in? Probably, but he's a bit of a borderline case -- in other words, I would accept both pros and cons for whether he deserves enshrinement. So pissing off the people who could get you elected pretty easily*, seems like a rather self-destructive and ultimately stupid move. Which is par for the course with this guy.

    * And I'm not sure if Schilling has a lot of friends on the Veteran's Committee (or whatever they're calling it today) either, so I'm not sure if he sails in via them.
  12. maufman

    maufman Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers Staff Member Dope Gold Supporter

    I’m curious why you say this.

    We cleared five candidates from the ballot (the four inductees, plus McGriff), and there’s only one first-timer next time (Jeter) who will get even half the vote on a first ballot. There are no compelling new pitchers — I’ll be mildly surprised if Cliff Lee or Josh Beckett even makes it to a second ballot. And while some voters still put too much stock in wins, by most statistical measures Schilling was a better pitcher than Mussina; his induction certainly helps Schilling’s cause.

    Obviously, Schilling is not your typical candidate with 61% support — a level that normally translates to eventual induction. Some portion of the 39% of voters who didn’t support Schilling are implacably opposed to his candidacy. But there would seem to be every reason to expect Schilling to pick up votes.
  13. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

    Jeff Kent had 10 mentions from HOF Tracker voters when asked "if you weren't limited to 10 votes, who else would you have voted for". It suggests latent support that will be unlocked now that the floodgates have abated. Scott Rolen led the category with 11 such mentions. Schilling had exactly 1 (Keith Law). Even Bonds had 2.

    His is not a candidacy like Edgar or Trammell or Jim Rice or Blyleven, where it's purely a baseball argument and people will reconsider baseball arguments from time to time. With Schilling it's politics, and I hardly need tell you that people's views on politics (or views about other people based on their politics) are quite tightly held, with a lot of emotion behind them.

    Even Ted Williams never suggested sportswriters (in the general or the specific) should be shot. Thought it, maybe, but to my knowledge never said it.
  14. InstaFace

    InstaFace MDLzera

    While we're talking about Schilling, it's worth linking to this deeply personal FB post he made today, in memory of his father. I don't think there's a cynical motive to posting it at all, but the less he rants in public, the more human he'll appear over time, and the more sympathy he'll garner.
  15. Rovin Romine

    Rovin Romine Johnny Rico Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    This is probably the longest SoSH thread on whether the Diamondbacks get some authoritarian boot-licker to wear their hat in the hall.

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