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BBWAA members don’t seem terribly pleased by the BBWAA’s statement on Bill Conlin

Dec 21, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

Bill Conlin AP

As Matthew noted last night, the BBWAA issued a statement in the wake of the Bill Conlin ugliness.  It was strange to see it and, in my mind, pretty ill-advised.

Why say anything now? Given the gravity of the allegations, who gives a damn about what it all means for the Spink Award?  While I appreciate the need not to pile on someone the second allegations surface, if the Penn State and Syracuse scandals showed us anything, it showed us that you don’t just jump out front and defend someone accused of this stuff as a matter of reflex either. And what the BBWAA statement did was to defend Conlin, at least in a small way.

Obviously the BBWAA did not convene a conclave of its members in the space of a couple hours last night to get their input on the statement. And, not surprisingly, some members are making a point today to say that the statement does not speak for them.  Andy Martino of the New York Daily News even wrote an article about it:

Philadelphia Daily News editor Larry Platt, who accepted Conlin’s retirement Tuesday, told the Inquirer: “I can’t even begin to express the shock, sadness, and outrage I feel by what Bill Conlin is alleged to have done.”

That statement was clear about both the troubling nature of the allegations, and the fact they remain just that — allegations. I wish that my organization. the BBWAA, had achieved a similar balance.

I know this is a horrible and difficult situation for anyone to manage, but I agree with Martino: the BBWAA didn’t manage it well.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 21, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Does the BBWAA do ANYTHING well?

    • Kyle - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      I’m going to go with No.

    • 78mu - Dec 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      I hear they do a good job of collecting dues.

      But considering how many good writers are not members it does make one wonder how useful they are.

  2. stex52 - Dec 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    It’s hard to see why any comment at all was required. I am at a loss as to how his possible criminal actions had any bearing at all on the fact that he is a member of the BBWAA (possible joke there, but I will forebear).

    If he turns out to also be – say – a Mason, do the Masons feel the need to comment on his actions and how they affect them? I don’t think so.

    Maybe it’s just that they are journalists and they feel that something has to be said because someone called and asked. I am taking the leap of faith that this announcement was prompted by a question and not just volunteered freely. If it was, then they really are idiots.

  3. psousa1 - Dec 21, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Exactly. Who cares what the BBWA thinks? The BBWA does believe they are the guardians of everything that is righteous in the Baseball world so they probably believe people give a horse’s crap about what they have to say.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    The BBWAA is a poor fraternity. I was waiting for something like this to happen.

  5. Jonny 5 - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    After reading details of the allegations, as well as the corroborative testimony given by multiple sources, some being family members, and some still coming out of the woodwork. I feel any defense of this man is jumping the gun until the stories are proven to be false. It doesn’t look good for Conlin. It doesn’t look good at all. If you read the allegations your dislike for the man will soon fade and turn to hate. IT’S *&&^%ING SICK!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      J5…when I read the line about him telling the 10 year old girl “This is our secret” I almost got sick. The problem is that there will never be a trial…never be anyone on the stand…never be any repercussions for Conlin because it is long past the statute of limitations.

      And for people saying he will have to live with this…uh…he already has for at least 40 years and he did just fine with the knowledge all that time. Sadly, Conlin is going to be someone who got away with it because of the time he lived in. This whole situation is similarly distasteful as the racism that occurred in the early 1900’s with racist criminals like Ty Cobb, who is in the HOF.

      The best that we can all hope for is for Conlin’s legacy to be permanently tainted forever by what he did all those years ago. Mikey Miss made a good point on his show last night…it’s almost worse for Conlin that there will be no trial because there is nothing that he can do to change his image. He can deny all he wants, but without people taking an oath, and without a jury to conclude one way or the other that he did or didn’t do anything, he will forever be known as a child molester by everyone with any common sense.

  6. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    See, if Conlin had been accused of using PED’s, the BBWAA would come after him with torches and pitchforks.

    Child molestation accusations, on the other hand? Not a breach of their “character” clause, it seems.

  7. jamesa46 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Well….I’m not pleased either but for different reasons. Maybe the BBWAA suffer from mass hysteria or mass contagious brain atrophy.
    Will a card carrying member of the BBWAA please explain to me why one of the pioneers and true legends of your profession has not been chosen for the J.G.Taylor Spink Award but not even nominated.??
    Some of you ink stained wretches who at least somewhat sharpminded likely know whom I’m talking about….the rest of you, I’ll spell it out for you…MICKEY HERSKOWITZ…..anyone care to try to defend your weak kneed excuse for this gigantic blunder???
    – James Anderson

  8. jamesa46 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    ~”Well….I’m not pleased either but for different reasons. Maybe the BBWAA suffer from mass hysteria or mass contagious brain atrophy.
    Will a card carrying member of the BBWAA please explain to me why one of the pioneers and true legends of your profession has not been chosen for the J.G.Taylor Spink Award or not even nominated??
    Some of you ink stained wretches who at least display somewhat of a sharp mind likely know whom I’m talking about….the rest of you, I’ll spell it out for you…MICKEY HERSKOWITZ…..anyone care to try to defend the weak kneed excuse for this gigantic blunder???
    – James Anderson “~

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