The new inductees into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame were announced yesterday. The lucky baseball heroes were…
I am fine with that.
You can make all sorts of different arguments for and against guys like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds getting into the Hall. Go ahead. Argue until you are blue in the face. The one that works the best for me is saying that this is just an era in baseball history, like the dead ball era, or the color ban era, or whatever. These are the players who were the elite for their time. That seems like a fair argument. I don’t agree, but I’ll give you that one.
The arguments I don’t give you are ones like, everyone did it. Well, no everyone didn’t. The league and the hall haven’t banned them so they should get in. Sure, that’s true that they haven’t been banned, but last time I checked it was the baseball writers who decided who did or did not get in, not the league or the hall. There are cheaters in the hall already. Again, true. Gaylord Perry is the one player most people look at. My counter argument is that Gaylord Perry and other known cheaters should not be in the hall either. I believe enshrining them was a mistake. A mistake that I hope will not be made again any time soon.
There has to be some accountability here. The league ignored the situation. The players who weren’t cheating did nothing to stop things or expose those who were (although I always look back at that Mark McGwire interview where he stood in front of his locker with the bottle of andro clearly visible. Did a teammate set that up?). The fans ignored the situation too. We shelled out our money in record amounts to watch a series of lab experiments play baseball. It’s everyone’s fault. These hall of fame snubs are just a way for all of us together to acknowledge our own guilt.
Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, you guys are guilty. No hall of fame for you. Major League Baseball you are guilty, you get to spend years dealing with the negative press and PR relating to your past mistakes. Fans, we are guilty too. We get to deal with the fact that we allowed ourselves to be duped like a bunch of chumps and now we don’t get to see our favorite players honored the way our parents did. There is plenty of this shame to go around.
Now, having said all of that… Let’s be real. Most of these guys are going to get in eventually. Unless the league or the hall itself decide to ban them, these guys who were snubbed yesterday are going to be inducted someday. It will just take a while. The simple fact is that it’s too soon. The guilt everyone feels over this needs time to lessen. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, et all are going to be in the hall eventually. They just need to be patient. They just need to give us time to heal a little first.
Of course, if these people were capable of being patient and accepting reality none of this would have happened. So… yeah.
Oh, and one more thing. I don’t want to hear any bitching out of Craig Biggio. You were not lumped in with the cheaters. You were lumped in with the hundreds of players who came before you who were ignored by the majority of baseball writers on their first ballot. I think you are a borderline hall of famer, but I am guessing you’ll get in. You are just going to have to wait a while. Probably not next year but eventually. You aren’t going to lose support and fall off the ballot. You’re there and you’ll probably get in. The same goes for Jeff Bagwell, although the shadow of steroids is going to fall on any player who looks like a musclebound gym rat. Mike Piazza… offensively you deserve to be there, but defensively… that could keep you out. You always did sort of suck as a catcher, even when you were knocking the cover off the ball. I think you get in too, but you might have a harder road.
And Jack Morris? Next year, buddy. Next year.