Thoughts, lists and other compulsive bits about baseball from comedian filmmaker television producer/Red Sox fan Paul Francis Sullivan....
feel free to call him “Sully.”
Monday, December 26, 2011
Hold Bill Conlin's honors for now
I hate writing about stuff like this. And I am going to tread carefully. Bill Conlin, the acclaimed sports writer, retired what seemed like seconds before he was accused of sexual abuse of children.
Fun stuff for a blog.
Lots of accusers including his niece have come forward and the whole situation is unraveling. Conlin deserves his day in court and this hasn't fallen to "Penn State Level." There's no sworn testimony and eye witnesses damning Conlin.
But the Baseball Writers Association of America going out of their way to stand by him as a member in good standing felt a little odd. So did their distinction that his J.G. Taylor Spink Award he won this year, their highest honor, would not be affected by any allegations or decisions.
Am I the only who found it odd? If they said NOTHING, I'd understand. But to go out of their way to say that the award is only a reflection of his writing and not his character felt odd to me. Many of the same writers who refused to vote for Robbie Alomar for spitting on an umpire despite his decades of apologies and charity work of penance and condemn Pete Rose, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds for off field reasons are giving a "Stand By Your Man" stance for one of their own.
This isn't about proving innocence. This isn't about a court of law. This is about an association that creates their own laws and rules. Rescinding a J. G. Taylor Spink Award isn't taking a man's freedom away.
Saying "We're going to hold off any honors for Mr. Conlin until this situation reaches a conclusion" would not have raised anyone's eyebrows.
Their response raised mine. I'm not talking about maintaining a mob mentality nor convicting a man before a trial.
But keeping an organization from a potentially embarrassing situation would seem smart to me.