In their quest to erase their own involvement, if not illicit participation, in the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs from the history books, while simultaneously imagining an obviously non-existent moral code for members of the club that they act as gate keepers for, baseball writers will render themselves irrelevant in a little over a year’s time when they refuse to allow Barry Bonds, the greatest baseball player many of my generation, and quite possibly any generation, have ever seen play the game, into its no longer hallowed Hall.
Parkes, one of the aforementioned Drunk Jays Fans, takes the same stance I’ve had on the Hall of Fame for a while now: If Barry Bonds — the best player of his generation — doesn’t make the Hall of Fame, then the Hall of Fame is dumb.
I’m not sure I even blame the baseball writers anymore: I’m certain they would endure as much animosity for electing Bonds from fans certain Bonds does not deserve to be enshrined as they will from people like me when they exclude Bonds, and it’s on the Hall of Fame itself to eliminate the morals clause and let everyone know it’s a place to honor great baseball players for great baseball playing, righteousness be damned.
Even the only vaguely conscious voters must recognize by now that the Hall of Fame is riddled with racists, drunks, cheaters and wife-beaters of the vilest ilk, but as long as today’s voters are charged with considering “integrity, sportsmanship and character” they are forced to subject the players on their ballots to their own nebulous and innately biased standards of decency. And that’s frustrating to fans because it’s so utterly murky, and because we have our own standards and our own guys we want voted in to the Hall of Fame and nothing we can damn do about it.
That’s all I really want to say on the matter until next year when Bonds does or doesn’t get elected, and then… well, we’ll see how I feel then, if I still feel feelings. It’ll be sad to me if I have to stop caring about the Hall of Fame entirely then, because I think Cooperstown is an awesome baseball Mecca, and because it’d be sweet to someday take my kids there (assuming they like baseball [and they better]) and tell them about the ridiculous things I saw Bonds do on baseball fields before they were born.
And, you know, that Piazza guy.