Like every single profession on earth, baseball beat writers have diversity. All sexes, races, sexual preferences, religions and everything else you can imagine. It also has some amazing people, some horrible people and some in between. Nothing about that job makes it any different than the job you or anyone you know, goes to. The differences mainly begin, and end, with their positioning as it relates to career accomplishments in sports. For some reason many years ago people felt writers would be the perfect choice to decide who ‘gets in’ and who ‘doesn’t’ when it comes to pro sports hall of fame not to mention who wins and who loses on most every postseason award.
Before we go any further I want to make sure anyone reading this knows one thing. I’ve known Jerry Crasnick a long time. His article about me, the HoF and Twitter is the reason I write this. If you don’t like me, please stop reading or make sure you don’t respond in the comments. Chances are I don’t know you, you don’t know me and neither of us cares what the other thinks.
Anyway, as I was saying. Writers have been given this “power” to be judge and jury when it comes to many accolades in sports. Accolades many feel define a player and/or their careers, or should accompany them to the grave as their tombstone scrawlings.
None of this is meant to be condescending as I am unsure they are any more or less qualified than die hard sports fans in major sports hubs. However, I don’t think you could find many, if any, other options that would be better, worse, the same, as what we have. Players and coaches are often times either too close or don’t care. As a player, I always took the players choice awards deadly serious because I always felt that the opinions of my teammates and peers ruled over all else when it came to playing the game.
The only award I ever openly spoke about during my 22-year career was the Roberto Clemente Award. My wife and I spoke about that in 1992. Clemente was my dad’s idol, and by admiration mine too. I went to one MLB game in my lifetime as a fan, the final game of the 1972 season between the Mets and the Pirates and I watch Mr. Clemente get career hit #3000. He would die later that year in a tragic plane crash bringing aid to survivors of the Managua earthquake. He would be killed on my dad’s birthday 1/1/1973. It was one of two times in my life I saw my dad cry.
But that award, that man, represented everything right about the game and life and the award, to me anyway, was one you could not pitch for, you couldn’t play for, but you earned by espousing and representing the things Mr. Clemente did. I knew in 2001 that no matter how the World Series ended, my dad would be smiling down on my family.
So when the rants began this year, as they did last year, and people started directing comments my way and writing articles about me ‘losing support’ for the Hall of Fame, I sat back. Like I always do. I muted the idiots talking stank on Twitter, I just blocked FB trolls who had nothing to add to any conversation.
In my career, here is a list of things I did NOT do.
- Hit my wife, ever
- Hit a woman, ever
- Drive drunk, ever
- Do cocaine, smoke weed, or any of the other crap, ever
- molest a child, ever
- rape a woman, ever
- sexually assault someone, ever
- Say anything remotely racist to anyone, ever
- Bully a teammate
- Go after a fan
- Steal money
- Steal anything
- spit on an umpire
- Do steroids, ever
- Do HGH, ever
- bet on the game, ever
- Throw at a players head, ever
- disrespect the game in any way on the field, ever
- Never lied to ruin another person’s life to retain my ‘legacy’, ever
Now here’s the more important point. None of those things should be a reason to get into the Hall of Fame. That’s a list of things I hope most every player in the game can say they achieved as well. You can ask anyone that ever covered me, anyone, that ever played with me, anyone in any clubhouse I ever played in, or visited, any coach or manager I ever played for, any owner that paid me. You can ask any of them about anything on this list and not one can truthfully respond with anything other than “No, he didn’t”.
Now please don’t mistake that list as me saying I am clean or pure. That’s insanely far from the truth. I’ve always talked too much (why answer with 5 words when you can use 50?) and I’ve many many times said things I probably shouldn’t have. I’ve fought arguments I was woefully wrong about, but who hasn’t? I’m a Christian, and I recognize the very first and most important part of that in my life is the admission of just how deeply flawed I am. I don’t like it, I don’t TRY to be wrong. I despise bullies and I don’t say things to intentionally hurt people or to be malicious.
See the reason I don’t lose a minutes sleep at night, the reason I don’t and won’t give the HOF a second thought after this gets posted until I get asked about it again is this. I know exactly who and what I am. The people that know me know the very same.
You folks making fake news, lying, and pissing and moaning about me? Words matter.
I never compared Muslims to Nazis, I compared Muslim Extremist to Nazis. Which is 100% legitimate today, yesterday and will be tomorrow.
I never whined or complained about anyone or anything transgender. I reposted a picture of some horrific looking guy at Mardi Gras dressed as a woman and made the comment that in my opinion, we don’t need our Government to tell us who can pee in what bathroom. God did that when we were born.
I never said I was amenable to lynching anyone, ever. I remarked that a shirt mocking the death of modern journalism as we know it was all kinds of ‘awesome’. Like it or not the past 12 months the establishment media committed suicide right before our eyes.
I don’t have a past of attending lynchings, I don’t recall ever calling for the lynching of a reporter. Even one in the Hall of Fame who is a pedophile.
I’m 50 years old. I lost my father at 21, in front of me, suddenly. I had cancer. I had a heart attack. I lost an enormous amount of money trying to create a company that would be different than anything before it.
If I had ANY of the crap in my past you haters dream of? It’d be out there.
I’ve lived too long, been through too much to have to think through every comment I want to make. If you aren’t racist, you aren’t violent, you aren’t ‘phobic’ then you generally don’t need to worry about ‘slipping up’ and using the “N” word or some other incredibly inappropriate thing. Those traits, those characteristics aren’t mistakes, they aren’t one-offs and they aren’t accidents. Those things are who people are.
Oh and I forgot one. For you idiots using the term “Nazi collection” please stop. You sound as stupid as you think you do. I have a WWII collection that is expansive. Much of it? Is here.
No, it’s not a ‘Nazi collection”. It’s a collection of items spanning the major adversaries involved in WWII and much of it is on display in a place that demands we never ever forget the tragedies of the past, so as never to repeat them in the future. Unlike the Confederate flag, you can’t pass a law to erase artifacts from public viewing, no matter how ignorant folks may be to their relevance. You folks who think you deserve to live in an ‘out of sight out of mind’ world should stop and think about that a minute.
Where is the rambling post going?
The writers Jerry cites in his article.
Dan Shaughnessey – A man who has hated life since the day I met him. A man who has never shied away from taking whatever shots he wants. A man who built his career on a fraud, the “Curse” and watched us kick its ass in 2004 all the while rooting his ass off for us to lose. CHB (ask Carl Everrett what this means) is what he is, he knows no more about the Red Sox, baseball, or life here than the most ardent of fans in Red Sox nation and that is NOT speculation. He interviewed me, often. When writers do that you know how much they know and understand about the game simply by the questions they ask. He has a vote, he doesn’t like me, I am not getting his vote. I can live with that.
Jon Heyman-Only thing you need to know is this guy created news out of lies and reported them. Once you do that how do you sleep at night and talk about anyone’s character? He took a fake conversation from Jason and me in 2004 and reported in the paper the next day Tek and I had a fight. I’m ok if he doesn’t like my ‘character’.
Evan Grant- How serious does this man take his job? Dustin Pedroia won the MVP, and just one writer in the game left him, not just out of 1st place, OFF HIS BALLOT.
Bill Conlin- Left Nolan Ryan OFF his HoF ballot to make a statement about Don Sutton. Oh and he was a pedophile who won the Ford C Frick award.
George King- NY Writer who refused to vote for Pedro for the MVP when he should have won, stating he didn’t vote for pitchers for the MVP, except he did, and does.
The point of the above stuff? To make people understand that when men like this call my character into question, you wonder why I don’t go crazy? Especially when the things they call into question are based on NOTHING but opinion. They’re human, as deeply flawed (some even more so) as anyone else. Oh, and many are as biased if not more, than anyone you know. You know how I know? I haven’t won a game or struck anyone out in 8 years, yet my vote total has changed every single year.
See this group of folks who question my character? They are the same ones that voted a pedophile into the writer’s wing of the Hall of Fame. They are the same ones who have no issues now, casting votes for men that cheated their asses off AND tried to ruin (or did) other people’s lives to protect their ‘legacy’. Men who cheated because they were jealous of the attention others got. Men who skewed the playing field but I still beat. Men who will never be able to look at their sons and say, with a straight face, I earned that.
If I don’t get into the Hall of Fame because of people like this questioning MY character? I’ll sleep ok. I will keep the rings, the trophies, and the memories.
Plus? The one thing I wanted and stated so when my career began. If the men I suited up with had to win a game, and their lives depended on it, what teammate would they want to have the ball on the mound? I think some of them would say me, and that my friends are all a player ever needs when they walk away.
I’m a conservative, I believe what I believe. I’m pro life, pro 2nd Amendment, I abhor some of this nation’s past mistakes but smile at the fact my country still makes heroes. I’m deeply flawed and I talk too much. If any one of those things is a reason a writer didn’t vote for me then that is never going to change.
I am not ashamed, nor embarrassed, by the things that I believe. It’s who I am, it’s what I know and all of that is out there. You don’t ever have to question where you stand with me, just ask. I’m incredibly honest. That doesn’t make me RIGHT, it makes me, me.
Jerry Crasnick, Jayson Stark, Rob Bradford, Tim Kurkijan, Karl Ravech, Sweeney Murti, Peter Gammons, Steve Buckley, John Gambadoro, Mark Asher and many more in the media are and always will be good people. Regardless of who they vote for (the ones with a vote), not one of them will tell you I am anything more than a smart ass, jokester and someone who loves to have fun.
And as far as Boston goes? I think true Sox fans will always know who and what I am.
I also understand I live in a town that banished Tim Thomas after he stood on his head and carried the B’s to a cup, and spent two weeks on air spewing about the fact Tom Brady had a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker. Disregard he’s the greatest regular season QB to ever lace them up. Or trashed the greatest head coach of all-time for supporting the President Elect.
If any or all of us had called President Bush a scumbag, or called Obama the greatest president ever, or lamented that Trump was things he actually is not? Not one of us would have lost an ounce of respect in this town from liberals.
Fans want you to shut your mouth when they don’t align with you off the field but those same fans will scream “It’s his constitutional right!” when a man kneels for the anthem by defending an outright and complete lie.
That’s not to claim good or bad, but to say I get it, I know how it works. My dad told me when you leave the house at 18 the word ‘fair’ no longer applies. The world isn’t looking to provide you with safe spaces or fair treatment. That’s not dark or brooding, that’s not angry, that’s just the world we live in.
Oh and one final thing. I am not angry, not by any stretch. Twitter has never conveyed emotion well.
So in closing. Thanks for trying to, I think, write a ‘nice’ article Jerry. Not many in my family thought it was but that’s ok, that’s why I love them and that’s what family is supposed to do.
You all have a MERRY CHRISTMAS and SAFE and HAPPY NEW YEAR!