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Great moments in the Hall of Fame’s Character and Integrity Clause: Curt Schilling edition

Dec 24, 2012, 12:15 PM EDT


I can’t decide if Bob Brookover’s Hall of Fame column is:

A. The coolest thing ever because it finally applies the character and integrity clause to something besides steroids;

B. The worst thing ever because of the thing to which he chooses to apply the character and integrity clause; or

C. Is actually a biting satire of other writers’ misguided Hall of Fame columns.

Hahaha, just kidding. I can decide. It’s weapons-grade stupid. After saying he doesn’t vote for Bagwell despite there being no evidence that he took steroids he says …

I’m just not sure I believe him, and the reason is because I’ve watched players lie in front of Congress. If they can lie there, they can lie anywhere about anything. Schilling, one of the more outspoken players in his contempt for steroid users, once was asked if he was still dipping smokeless tobacco during his playing days with the Phillies. He assured the questioners he was not. It was a lie that was revealed by his wife, Shonda, just a few days later.

That’s questionable integrity and character. Many of Schilling’s teammates would tell you he displayed a lack of character, sportsmanship, and integrity more than a few times during his career. I still think he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but the rules on the ballot would argue against his case.

This man has a Hall of Fame vote. Dozens of working baseball writers who spend countless hours thinking about baseball in non-idiotic ways don’t.

  1. hammyofdoom - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Oh sweet god I actually got dizzy reading this moron’s comments (the ones posted on this site, I refuse to give him the internet traffic by clicking the link). The integrity clause is incredibly stupid and should best be ignored: how many hall of famers were violent, did drugs, drank alcohol and drove, or other stupid things that would be seen as lacking integrity? So because Curt Schilling talked to Congress and everyone lies to congress that means he’s probably a liar? Goddammit that is some weird rationale…

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Yup, just like every above-average player in the steroid era was juicing whether there’s evidence to support that claim or not. to us it seems like weird rationale. To a lot of these writers it seems to be the only rationale that makes sense to them.

    • dcfan4life - Dec 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      If we were to use such rationale to qualify a person as a steroid user that Brookover wants us to, then half the HOF inductees in the last 10 years would be out. Everyone says Barry Bonds head got bigger, played with known users, and best friend sold steroids. Well Ricky Hendersons head got bigger, along with his legs, and played with known users. Cal Ripken played with multiple known users, came back from unjuries to play following days. I dont believe these guys are users, but with such rationale from this idiot writer, im willing to bet he voted those 2 in and ignored his own logic. Even more reason to not listen to this writer.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Right, because no HoF player has ever told a lie that innocuous. Gimme a break.

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    “This man has a Hall of Fame vote. Dozens of working baseball writers who spend countless hours thinking about baseball in non-idiotic ways don’t.”

    And none of them have ever had the the option to vote for Pete Rose. Because Fay Vincent and Bud Selig are smarter then any of you

    • paperlions - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Well, that….and because Rose spent years betting on baseball despite knowing the penalty was a life-time ban, and because Rose agreed to the life-time ban.

      He’ll be inducted eventually, hopefully.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        But the ineligibility for the Hall Rule came in 1991, a year and a half after he agreed to the Lifetime ban, and he has said he never would have accepted it had that been the case at the time. Granted, he probably would have been banned involuntarily in the end anyway.

      • paperlions - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        Is that true? Then why was Joe Jackson never eligible? Or was he eligible, but never voted in?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Joe Jackson was eligible for decades – he even got 1 or 2 votes. He could have been inducted by the Veterans Committee at anytime prior to 1991. He now is ineligible though

      • jwbiii - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        Where did this “life-time ban” idea come from anyway? It’s permanent.

      • brandondmorrow - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        @paperlions no, Shoeless Joe was banned for life. Pete rose was banned from the game in his agreement with the commissioner. After the agreement, they changed the rules and made players banned from baseball also banned from the Hall.

        Sorry for the double post. Shoulda put it here to start with.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        @brandon – Joe Jackson was eligible, he received 2 votes in 1936, which then took him off the year to year ballots baecause he did not get the mininmum to stay on. But the Veternas Commitee could have voted him in at any time until 1991 when they changed the rules

      • abaird2012 - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        “Lifetime ban” — is Shoeless Joe then not then eligible since he’s been dead for six decades?

      • jwbiii - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

        Delaware, The less than 5% and you’re out rule wasn’t established until 1979. Joe Jackson was eligible for BBWAA election until the 1946 election.

      • abaird2012 - Dec 24, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        ARGH! Now I know why so many posts here angrily decry the lack of an EDIT FUNCTION! Somebody remove that second “then” for me, willya?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 24, 2012 at 8:33 PM

        @jw – fair enough on the 5% rule, but my point was that he was eligible, just not voted in. And he was eligible for the Veterans committee until 1991

      • paperlions - Dec 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM

        Pete Rose also has received write-in votes. His name has just never appeared on the ballot.

      • blacksables - Dec 25, 2012 at 4:26 AM

        Joe Jackson is on the ineligible list. As are all of the other Black Sox and many other players.

        That’s the MLB ineligible list. The Hall has always stated that under their rules, anyone on the ineligible list is not allowed to be voted in.

        That was part of the original charter, to make sure none of those guys got in.

        Any votes for them would have been write-in votes and not valid towars election. That’s why there is a push by some people to get Jackson and Buck Weaver off of the inelibile list and get them reinstated, so they can be voted in.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        @blacksables “The Hall has always stated that under their rules, anyone on the ineligible list is not allowed to be voted in.”

        That’s not correct, before 1991 there was no rule banning inelgible players.

        Feb. 8, 1991
        Persons on baseball’s ineligible list cannot be eligible candidates.

  4. Kevin Gillman - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    This is why writers should not vote for anyone in HOF, because they always hold grudges. Let the actual Baseball HOF players get their vote. After all, they are the ones that played the game. I mean should players vote for the writer awards then?

  5. cur68 - Dec 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I read all of that. Now I wish I hadn’t. It’s upsetting. How do people get by in life, and do well enough to have a national reputation in their field, with that kind of reasoning process? If I took that kind of logic into ANY kind of study I wanted to carry out, I’d never make it out of the academic approval level. In fact, I’d probably be recommended for remedial studies.

  6. brandondmorrow - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    @paperlions no, Shoeless Joe was banned for life. Pete rose was banned from the game in his agreement with the commissioner. After the agreement, they changed the rules and made players banned from baseball also banned from the Hall.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      See post above – Jacokson was eligible prior to 1991

  7. jjpileggi - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    The slipperiest of slopes is deciding induction based on character issues. These are men who hit the ball far, throw the ball hard and run very fast. Last I looked, none of these attributes are correlated to being a “great guy”. For every Jackie Robinson, there are 10 Ty Cobbs. Assuming someone has managed to avoid doing something reprehensible or bizarre, they should be in. Wondering if someone lies about chewing gum is pretty pathetic. Do we start asking players if they were faithful to their wives when on the road? Or do we have some standards that the writers’ need consider regarding family and faith?????

    John Pileggi

  8. thebigtim2012 - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Met Schill many times when his company was based in my hometown guy always seemed like a classy guy to me always said hello back and talked for a few moments

  9. nukeladouche - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Given the headline, I thought this was going to be about Schilling – who is famously conservative and supposedly anti-big government in his political views – taking $75 million from the state of Rhode Island for his video game company. I guess hypocrisy doesn’t violate the character and integrity clause as much as, say, lying about chewing tobacco.

  10. motherscratcher23 - Dec 24, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I like Jeff Bagwell, and I’d like to be able to vote for him for the HOF.

    But, Curt Schilling lied about chewing tobacco, so what’s a man to do? I’m sorry Jeff, but unless Curt Schilling can somehow retroactively improve his character, there’s no way I can vote for you in good conscience.

    I don’t know how you can see it any other way.

  11. yahmule - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    First, let me make one thing clear: “Piss on Curt Schilling.” That said, I could see how lying about using smokeless tobacco wouldn’t necessarily be a mark against a person’s integrity. You could make that decision because you don’t want to influence young people to emulate a harmful addiction.

  12. butchhuskey - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    So Piazza may have used steroids because Murray Chass saw acne on his back and Bagwell is suspected simply because he was strong and hit home run? That’s the weakest “evidence” I’ve ever heard of in my life.

    • cogitobaseballergosum - Dec 24, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      In this case it’s even weaker – Bagwell is suspected because Curt Schilling lied about using chew. It’s as obvious as 1 + 1 = 247.63.

  13. Old Gator - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Can we have a Hall of BBWA Assholes election voted upon by the vict…heh, readers of these spawrtsriters?

    Let’s open the nominations here, see who gets mentioned most often, narrow it down to the top ten spawrtsriters mentioned here, and then have a runoff election. Come on now. This will be fun.

    Each of you gets to nominate ONE riter per post, but you can post as many times as you want. We’ll leave it open until the end of the week, then tally the top ten and present the list to Craig, who can then offer an “official” thread naming the ten, commenting on them, and throwing that open to a vote.

    Okay, I’ll start: Dan Shaughnessey.

    • yahmule - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Marriotti and anyone who looks like him.

    • elpendejo59 - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      TJ Simers

    • cur68 - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Pedro Gomez does not deny that I’d vote for him. Often.

    • Isaac - Dec 24, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      Bill Conlin. Bonus points: He’s in the actual Hall of Fame, too!

      • zzalapski - Dec 24, 2012 at 6:05 PM

        And an alleged child molester! Lucky for him the character clause doesn’t apply to sportswriters.

    • stanleyfrankmusial - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Keith Law and his Cy Young vote for for Javier Vasquez a few years ago, thereby sabremetrically boning Adam Wainwright. Law can “smoke a turd in hell for that one”*

      *quote courtesy of Jerry Reed

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Dec 25, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      Jack O’Connell, for this gem right after Bill Conline was accused:

      ““Bill Conlin has been a member in good standing of the BBWAA since 1966. The allegations have no bearing on his winning the 2011 J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which was in recognition of his notable career as a baseball writer,” O’Connell said.”

  14. Tim OShenko - Dec 24, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    It’s actually very easy to lie in front of Congress. Just tell yourself beforehand, “When in Rome…”

  15. tfoz5150 - Dec 24, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    All he’s trying to say is that he wants them to drop Rule 5. The Curt Schilling thing was just an example of how it could fly in the face of Rule 5. He’ s saying the process is a joke. I would say he’s right. I wouldn’t vote in any of those guys either if they admitted or were found to be using roids, based on what the Hall considers for induction. The rules are the rules.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 24, 2012 at 9:43 PM

      Why wouldn’t you? The hall has never concerned themselves with that clause before. Say it with me now: the hall has elected bigots, racists, a man who jumped into the stand and attacked a multiple amputee, admitted cheaters like Sutton and Perry, illicit drug users like molitor, and performance enhancing users like mantle, Mays and Aaron. So why more bring it up?

      • tfoz5150 - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM

        Because timing is everything and some of the biggest roid using stars of our era are coming up for election. It’s the biggest debate for baseball in some 50 years. Of course it deserves attention. Especially when you consider it permeated the sport for a decade. It wasn’t just the Bash Brothers in Oakland.

  16. fuddpucker - Dec 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Okay, let’s be reasonable. Most insiders say at least 90% of all professional athletes use PED’s. How can we, the average fan have any idea if this is true or not? I just take a look at their bodies and compare them to the 70’s and 80’s and there are so many striking differences it’s almost impossible to ignore unless you just want to be an Ostrich. Yeah, there were roids in the 70’s and 80’s but it wasn’t nearly used as much as today and they didn’t have all the stacks and doses figured out so scientifically.

    Is Victor Conte, one of the biggest experts on PED’s in the history of sport lying when he says “you have to be stupid to get caught?”

    And Schilling? he’s one of the biggest D-Bags to ever walk on grass infields. And after what he did to those people in Rhode Island I can’t wish him any goodwill..ever.

    • yahmule - Dec 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      So much wrong with this post. First off, “most” insiders do not claim 90% of professional athletes use PEDs. Second, yes I do believe a convicted felon with a blatantly obvious agenda like Victor Conte would lie about just about anything that suited his purposes. Third, the increased muscularity seen in many Americans, athletes or not, has a lot to do with the growth hormones being fed to cattle over the last 50 years.

      Merry Christmas.

      • Old Gator - Dec 24, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        Knock knockl!

        Who’s there?

        Interrupting cow.



    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:20 AM

      Schilling is one of the nicest and most genuine people you could ever meet. Most start-ups never even reach the levels of success his did; I’m not sure why he’s responsible for an entire company’s downfall but there was many business people above him who also failed that company.

  17. natslady - Dec 24, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Don’t care who is in or out of the Hall of Fame, who who votes for whom. Do want to wish Calcaterra and all the bloggers a happy Holiday season. Have enjoyed their work this year (except for Hall of Fame stuff).

  18. raidafan - Dec 24, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Congress lies to us everyday and it’s ok. We should be able to lie to them every now and then.

  19. BigBeachBall - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    The hall of fame is a fraternity of good players that did it the right way…if the popeyes get in then it would diminish the words “baseballs hall of fame”

  20. howitzer819 - Dec 25, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    I love this article strictly for the use of the phrase “weapons grade stupid”

  21. lumpyf - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Does Calcaterra consider himself one of those hard-working baseball writers? Not sure. Now if he would have used the description of condescending wimp who talks with a lisp then yes, we would have known it was him.

  22. dirtyharry1971 - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Not once did i ever believe him that he wasnt a steroid user. look at his career numbers and see how he was very average at best and then almost 10 years into his career he became a superstar. 31 is not the age you get better its the age where you should be in your prime but this guy got way better amazingly. Even with that said he doesnt have the career numbers to make the HOF anyway, so case closed.

  23. drewsylvania - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    I wonder if reporting these clowns’ disingenuous arguments is just giving them what they want.

  24. sysi45 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Anyone that cheered when Sosa and McGuire went for 60 or Bonds when he broke the records or Conseco when he was hitting home runs with the As or Brady Anderson when he hit over 50. I could go on and on. Fans and Sportswriters are stupid or had their heads up their you know what. Now everyone is complaining when their eyes told them something was wrong when guys that hit 5 home runs one year were hitting 40 the next. This is a stupid discussion. Sportswriters are just mad because they knew what was going on and did not say anything.

  25. anxovies - Dec 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    It’s called the fallacy of converse error:

    1. Some men lied in their testimony before congress.
    2. Schilling testified before congress.
    3. Therefore, Schilling lied before congress.

    Idiot reasoning.

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