By now, most Kansas City Royals fans have heard the news that their team has considered signing Oregon State pitcher Luke Heimlich. This is not a good idea for the organization.
The 2018 MLB Draft came and went, and Oregon State right-handed pitcher Luke Heimlich did not get selected by a team. The reasoning for that wasn’t that Heimlich isn’t a talented pitcher, but for the fact that he is a convicted child molester.
Per The Oregonian,
"As a teenager, Heimlich pleaded guilty to a single charge of sexually molesting a 6-year-old female family member. Heimlich registered as a sex offender in Benton County after arriving at Oregon State. When he was cited in April for missing an annual update, it put the case in Oregon court records for the first time."
This took place in 2012 when Heimlich was 15 years old, but resurfaced in 2017. Heimlich was not selected in that year’s draft as a result and it appears that teams didn’t feel comfortable selecting him this year either. That’s totally understandable.
Now, however, the Kansas City Royals appear to be one of the only teams considering bringing the Oregon State pitcher on board. This would be a bad idea and a terrible look for the organization for many reasons. The obvious one being that, even though Heimlich has said he’s not guilty, he pleaded so, and therefore is a child molester in the eyes of the law.
All this signing would do is stir up bad headlines and the Royals don’t need that. Their season has been painful enough without bringing on a controversial player, who will be the only point of interest for outside markets to talk about when it comes to the Kansas City Royals.
It’s disturbing to me that the Royals still don’t have an official Pride Night at Kauffman Stadium, but would consider signing a convicted child molester. They also had their players attend an anti-porn seminar this offseason, which drew all kinds of headlines. A team holding an anti-porn seminar would seem to indicate they’d be against signing someone with Heimlich’s history, but apparently not.
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The sad truth is that the Kansas City Royals are interested in Luke Heimlich because of his good season at Oregon State in which he won 16 games and had an ERA under three. If Heimlich didn’t have those numbers, we wouldn’t even know who the guy is or what had happened in his past.
People might point to second chances being a part of their beliefs and I get that, I really do. Luke Heimlich can have a second chance with life, but he doesn’t deserve to play baseball for a living and make millions of dollars while doing so. He might have done this when he was too young to know any better, but actions have consequences and even at 15, someone should know that what Heimlich was accused of wasn’t right.
When the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Tyreek Hill two years ago, it was tough for me to get past that and to still respect the organization. When fans chanted his name during his rookie season, I felt sick to my stomach.
If the Royals sign Luke Heimlich, it’ll be difficult for me to continue to cheer for them. People tend to forget about people’s pasts if they’re good at sports though, and we’ve already seen that once in Kansas City in recent years. Hopefully Heimlich does not get signed by the organization because otherwise, it might cause me to question my fandom.