Davies-Stofka: Winning at the cost of silence

From Beth Davies-Stofka at Baseball Prospectus on June 5, 2018:

A year ago, we learned that Luke Heimlich, a star pitcher for the Oregon State Beavers, was convicted of sexually molesting his 6-year-old niece when he was a teenager. He confessed, was placed on probation, sent to counseling, and was required to register for five years as a sex offender. He did everything that the state of Washington required of him, and none of what it did not, including notifying his team of the crime, until the news was leaked through a bureaucratic error. Then early last month, he sat down for a series of interviews with the New York Times. Now 22, he wants to clear the air because he wants to play in the majors.

He told the Times that he is innocent; he only pleaded guilty to protect his family. He couldn’t comment on the specifics of the incident, because there was no incident. “Nothing ever happened,” he said. Heimlich is widely considered a top-100 draft prospect. Rumors have it that he’ll be selected somewhere today, the second day of the draft. Attorney Sheryl Ring recently explained the legal status of his case, showing us how, from a legal standpoint, Heimlich cannot now re-litigate his case.

He decided to do just that, however. When he sat down with the New York Times, he tossed his case into the court of public opinion. There it lives, with people only too glad to accept the challenge and conjecture. Just read the comments on Ring’s post. Or don’t. I tried but I couldn’t get far. I longed to see evidence of an overwhelming public commitment to protect the victim, but I didn’t. It’s all about Heimlich; is he guilty, is he innocent, should he pitch, how well could he pitch …

Do we only care about little girls until we want to win baseball games?

Read the full article here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/40410/prospectus-feature-winning-at-the-cost-of-silence/

Originally published: June 5, 2018. Last Updated: June 5, 2018.