With the Hall of Fame candidates released today by the Baseball Writers Association of America, Canada, Japan, Various Hispanic Nations and All The Ships At Sea, the moralists are back in full flight and plumage.
The debate that always seems to happen on this subject is thus resumed, with no resolution or even advancement in thought on either side expected. In other words, let the apoplectic shouting resume.
In fact, let me add to it by pointing out something to those voters who prefer to make their annual petulant stand on performance enhancing drug use and Hall of Fame something they may have forgotten in their annual blood pressure spike.
YOU DON'T WORK FOR BASEBALL! YOU ARE NOT GUARDIANS OF THE GAME! IT IS NEITHER YOUR JOB, YOUR RESPONSIBILITY OR EVEN YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP THE GAME PURE OF MISCREANTS WHEN IT SHOWS EVERY DAY THAT IT DOESNT WANT TO BE!
And might I add:
YOU SILLY SELF-DELUDED BASTARDS!
I just needed to get that last one off my chest. Sorry.
All the other arguments about whether Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, et. al., deserve inclusion have been exhausted, to no effect. People long ago stopped listening anyway, which is why shouting is the only way to even get any aerobic exercise on this topic any more.
So let us deal with the new round of explanations and rationalizations in the only way that seems to make even a ripple by shouting. And in no particular order:
THE HALL OF FAME IS NOT CHURCH. IT IS THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL, FOR GOOD AND ILL. IF IT ISN'T, THEN WHY ARE THE MEN WHO DEFENDED THE COLOR LINE IN THE HALL? WHY IS TY COBB IN THE HALL? WHY IS KENESAW MOUNTAIN LANDIS IN THE HALL? THERY ARE PART OF THE HISTORY, TOO. REMEMBER?
GIVEN THAT THE OWNERS HAD BEEN WARNED ABOUT THE DANGERS OF STEROIDS IN PARTICULAR BACK IN 1988 AND DID NOTHING ABOUT IT FOR MORE THAN A DECADE, WASN'T PED USE THE INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR MORE THAN A DECADE? YES, IT WAS. THEIR RULES, NOT YOURS.
WHEN DID JOURNALISTS START DEFENDING THE ERADICATION OF PEOPLE AND FACTS TO ACHIEVE A DESIRED END FOR THE BENEFIT OF PEOPLE THEY ALLEGEDLY OBJECTIVELY COVER? IF YOU CAN ANSWER THAT WITH A WORD OTHER THAN NEVER, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY QUIT YOUR JOB.
Not to mention:
HOW IS IT DEFENSIBLE NOT TO VOTE FOR JEFF BAGWELL BASED ON A SUSPICION, AS YET NEITHER PROVEN NOR EVEN EVIDENCED, THAT HE MIGHT HAVE DONE SOMETHING AT SOME POINT TO EXPLAIN HIS ACHIEVEMENTS? YOURE COMFORTABLE WITH THAT LEVEL OF INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY?
And might I add:
SINCE WHEN IS CRAIG BIGGIO'S CASE FOR INCLUSION ENHANCED BY THE NOTION THAT HE HAS NEVER BEEN SUSPECTED OF PED USE? IF I SAID OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD THAT I THINK HE USED BRAZILIAN WOMBAT EXTRACT FOR SIX WEEKS TO HELP HIM TRANSITION TO THE RIGORS OF SECOND BASE IN 1992, CAN I KEEP HIM OFF MY BALLOT? DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU AT ALL?
By the way, I'm voting for Craig Biggio, so don't try to misconstrue that last one.
WHEN WERE YOU HIRED TO DEFEND THE MYTHICAL PURITY OF THE GAME? WHO PAID YOU TO DO THIS? YOUR WHY DO YOU HAVE A STAKE IN DISTORTING HISTORY, OR DEFENDING NUMBERS? WHY IS REALITY NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU?
And might I add a corollary:
ISN'T IT BETTER FOR YOUR CASE TO VOTE IN PLAYERS YOU KNOW OR THINK USED PERFORMANCE ENHANCERS SO THAT BASEBALL CAN LIVE WITH THE SHAME THAT COMES FROM LOOKING THE OTHER WAY ON WHAT WERE ACTUALLY FELONIES? I MEAN, IF YOU HAVE A STAKE IN CLEANING UP THE GAME, WHICH YOU SHOULDN'T, ISN'T REMINDING THE INDUSTRY OF ITS OCCASIONAL SYSTEMATIC FAILURES PART OF THAT JOB?
And finally, because my voice is giving out:
VOTE FOR WHOMEVER THE HELL YOU WANT. LET A THOUSAND FLOWERS BLOOM, AS THAT GRAND OLD BALL FAN MAO ZEDONG ONCE SAID. JUST DON'T TELL US YOU DID IT BECAUSE THE GAME DESERVES TO BE REPRESENTED BY THE FINEST CALIBER PEOPLE. BASEBALL IS ALL CLASSES OF PEOPLE, MISCREANTS, NOBLEMEN AND ALL POINTS IN BETWEEN, AND THAT'S WHAT IT DESERVES. YOU CAN'T CHANGE THAT, AND CASTING A VOTE WITH THAT IN MIND DISTORTS WHAT YOU SEE AND WRITE ABOUT.
And if you think baseball should reward only clean players and punish PED users, please remember this:
MELKY CABRERA JUST GOT A RAISE FROM HIS 2012 CONTRACT. IF BASEBALL IS FINE WITH THAT, WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR STANDARD FOR THEIR HALL SUPERCEDES THEIR OBVIOUS POSITION ON THE MATTER?
Okay. I'm going to melt down some cough drops and shoot them directly into my larynx now. I did the best I could. Plus, I called a lot of people I know and like silly, self-deluded bastards in print. That, to me, is a very good days work.