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The BBWAA's Internal Explanation Of Its Initial Statement About Bill Conlin Says A Lot About The BBWAA

Illustration for article titled The BBWAA's Internal Explanation Of Its Initial Statement About Bill Conlin Says A Lot About The BBWAA

We told you yesterday how the Baseball Writers' Association of America had to revise its initial statement about the accusations made against Bill Conlin, after the original one affirmed Conlin's "good standing" as a Baseball Writer and forgot to express any sympathy toward the alleged victims or any sense that the stakes might be higher than the reputation of the BBWAA. It turns out that the statement was the work of the man who signed it, secretary/treasurer Jack O'Connell, without input from the organization's directors.

This is from an email O'Connell sent to the BBWAA's membership last night, which was passed along to us:

My apologies to the membership for not consulting with the BBWAA Board of Directors before issuing the initial statement regarding the Bill Conlin matter. It was not designed as a defense of him for the deplorable acts he allegedly committed but with intent to separate the Spink Award from the issue. I guess it came too close to the Ryan Braun/MVP controversy. My initial reaction to Nancy Phillips, the Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, was a no-comment. I should have kept it at that, but I sensed that wagons were circling us. I erred in not seeking the Board's counsel. It shall not occur again.

Jack O'Connell

So the messenger for the group that has appointed itself to serve as baseball's moral conscience "sensed the wagons were circling"—technically, circling the wagons is a defensive maneuver that people do themselves; it's "vultures" that come circling at the sign of trouble—and decided the biggest issue at hand was the Spink Award. He justifed this because child molestation allegations against a made man within his secret society were likely to make for more trouble, what with all those nefarious outsiders still smarting over an MVP award given to a ballplayer who may or may not have done steroids. No, Jack O'Connell's initial statement was not an ideal representation of the BBWAA. But his subsequent email just might be.

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