Cleveland Guardians: The secret shame of voting for Omar Vizquel

CLEVELAND - 1996: Omar Vizquel of the Cleveland Indians Throws during a 1996 season game at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by John Reid III/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - 1996: Omar Vizquel of the Cleveland Indians Throws during a 1996 season game at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by John Reid III/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

There was a time when Omar Vizquel appeared to be on his way to the Hall of Fame. The former Cleveland Guardians (Indians) shortstop had received 52.6% of the vote in 2020, his third year on the ballot. Considering those gains, it seemed to be a matter of time until he was inducted.

But then Vizquel’s off the field issues began to appear. He lost support due to his domestic violence allegations but saw his support plummet this year due to allegations that he sexually harassed a batboy during his time as a Double-A manager. Vizquel ended up with just 23.9% of the vote as he seemingly has no chance of being inducted.

Cleveland Guardians shortstop Omar Vizquel gets hidden support

The fact that Vizquel had that much support is surprising. There was a time when he appeared to be in danger of falling off the ballot entirely as he received votes on 10.2% of all public ballots per the Hall of Fame tracker. However, he received votes on 37.6% of all private ballots.

light. More Guardians. Cleveland ownership richer than Yankees

Although Vizquel saw a historic drop in support, losing 53 votes, he also had, by far, the biggest positive differential between private and public votes. Meanwhile, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens had the biggest drops, costing them the Hall of Fame.

It would be fascinating to see which voters gave Vizquel a checkmark but not Bonds and Clemens. The argument against the latter duo has been about the sanctity of the game and the character clause, their alledged transgressions being completely unforgivable.

But what about Vizquel? His transgressions since his playing days are far worse. Are they somehow considered irrelevant since they occurred after his playing days? Clearly, these are questions that those voters did not want to answer as they chose to hide their votes to keep themselves insulated from the shame of having to defend Vizquel.

Next. Guardians post lockout to-do list. dark

Omar Vizquel did much better on private Hall of Fame ballots. It is not a surprise since the voters did not need to defend the Cleveland Guardians’ former shortstop.