Using their logic, the BBWAA has to keep Tom Glavine out of the Hall of Fame, right?

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Many Hall of Fame voters have said that everyone who played in the steroid era is under suspicion or, at the very least, share culpability because they did not say or do anything to combat the scourge of PEDs during the 1990s. Specific fingers have been pointed at the player’s union and its leadership for standing silent.

Even the publicly anti-PED Curt Schilling has said that, yes, he is partially culpable on these grounds, and that it justifies his exclusion from the Hall of Fame, at least for now:

“If there was ever a ballot and a year to make a statement about what we didn’t do as players, which is we didn’t actively push to get the game clean, this is it … Perception in our world is absolutely reality. Everybody is linked to it. You either are a suspected user or you’re somebody who didn’t actively do anything to stop it. You’re one or the other if you were a player in this generation. Unfortunately, I fall into the category of one of the players that didn’t do anything to stop it. As a player rep and a member of the association, we had the ability to do it and we looked the other way, just like the media did, just like the ownership did, just like the fans did. And now this is part of the price that we’re paying.”

Against that backdrop, J.C. Bradbury makes an interesting point:

 

I don’t think that Glavine, who was probably the most visible and active player representative during the steroid era, will have a particularly hard time getting in nor should he. But really, if you’re going to play the “everyone was responsible and the whole era is under suspicion” card, you have to give Glavine a hard time, right?  I mean, no less an authority than Curt Schilling has told you that it’s OK to do it.

Watch next December: I bet there will be Hall of Fame voters who quote Schilling here and submit more blank ballots or, at the very least, unreasonable ones, feeling they now have intellectual cover, such as it is, to punish even more players than they’re currently punishing.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.