The question of badness amongst professional athletes has always fascinated me. The same goes for any celebrity — writer, actor, musician. How to react when a person whose work you admire leads a life that is not up to your own personal standards. Is a murderer who writes beautiful violoncello concertos any different from a regular old murderer?
Obviously not. But that doesn’t make his concertos any less valuable. Just as Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism doesn’t make ‘Braveheart’ any less awesome, and Michael Richards’ racism doesn’t make ‘Seinfeld’ any less funny. Which brings us to Mariners’ prospect Josh Lueke’s rape and sodomy charge. It doesn’t make his 96 mph fastball any less impressive.
I guess this is a question. To what extent can a person mess up before you quit admiring them? Or as a baseball executive, to what extent can a ballplayer run afoul with the law before you decide to stop paying them? Obviously off-field issues will have a greater effect on signability for maginal ballplayers, so let’s stick to the stars, the geniuses. Let’s discuss.