Incentives Gone Wild: Schilling Discloses Conflict of Interest

Here’s a sports and ethics nightmare. Curt Schilling has disclosed an alarming conflict of interest/incentive in his contract. He gets $1 million for each 2008 Cy Young Award vote, including second or third place votes.

There are 28 baseball writers in the Baseball Writers Association of America who vote. That’s not many, but still, it’s enough that fixing a vote result should be impossible.

But what about a relatively insignificant third-place vote? Not saying Schilling would do this, but this possiblility exists for unscrupulous players who might score similar contract provisions: Influencing one third-place vote that wouldn’t be much noticed and dividing a million dollars could be easy for a complicitous pitcher/writer duo.

This is a bad idea. Many publications already ban their writers from voting for the Cy Young, fearing subjectivity/potential conflicts of intersts. MLB needs to step in and put an end to this ethical nightmare.

Ken Rosenthal of reported this:

Schilling jokingly acknowledged the possibility of such high jinks in an e-mail Tuesday — and seemed to revel in the idea.

“I need to win enough games to get a ‘Well, I gave him a third-place (vote) out of respect for what he’s done,'” Schilling said. “And then (get) an e-mail stating that writer’s dream car, and I am all set.

“You get a Cy vote? What do you drive?”

In certain years, I do have a Cy vote, yes. But I replied to Schilling I will not accept a bribe of even a Hyundai, thank you very much.


I’m sure CS was joking, but still, it gives one pause.


1 Response to “Incentives Gone Wild: Schilling Discloses Conflict of Interest”

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