On Friday November 24th, St. Louis Post Dispatch Columnist Jose de Jesus Ortiz wrote an article explaining his ballot for the Hall of Fame. The Twitter-verse blew up and other media outlets across the country took notice, either in support of this moral position or criticizing his opinion.
Initially after reading his article, many thoughts ran through my head and I wanted to respond. How does one become a Hall of Fame voter? Does a person’s moral views overshadow their play on the field? Does being “weird” disqualify one from being in the Hall of Fame? Do we have to agree with everything an individual says or does? I wanted to take some time to think about these questions (and many others) before firing a knee jerk reaction article criticizing another individual for their own opinion.
This “issue” appears to be something that has been bothering Jose de Jesus Ortiz for quite some time. I do not know if the Columnist has reached out to Jones in the past to discuss these issues or interview in general but it is my opinion that this entire situation could have been handled in a much more professional matter. Chipper Jones’ statistics appear to make him a future Hall of Fame member. Jones has often talked about his faith throughout the later stages of his career and during retirement. His memoir “Ballplayer” was introduced through an author talk at First Baptist Church in Decatur, GA. Throughout the book, Jones talks about the person he was and the person he is trying to become. He admits that he’s not yet that person, something I think many of us can relate to if we are being honest.
The non-vote for Chipper Jones by Jose de Jesus Ortiz is personal. It’s more than Joe Morgan’s letter about “character”. As a Columnist, Jose de Jesus Ortiz has a unique window into getting access to players of Jones’ stature. Why not meet with Jones and have an actual conversation about the comments you took offense to? If he refuses, then put that in your article. That would actually be news. Ballots for the Hall of Fame are due on December 31st, 2017, meaning there’s still time for Jose de Jesus Ortiz to reach out to Jones to have a real discussion rather than fire shots in the newspaper that won’t change anything.
Regardless of what happens moving forward, Jose de Jesus Ortiz has every right to express his opinions and vote the way he chooses. I’m not going to dissect his ballot and bring up character flaws in other players that he voted for because I don’t believe it does any good to do so. In today’s society, it seems like many use their platform to fire shots off at another individual whose opinion is different than their own. I urge Jose de Jesus Ortiz to use his platform to have a discussion with Jones on why his comments are offensive and educate him about those issues such as illegal immigration. I would also welcome the discussion with Jose de Jesus Ortiz to get a better understanding and insight into what lead him to his approach of addressing this issue.
Let me know the time and place Jose, I’d love to discuss this and other baseball topics with you.