I don't care that Barry Bonds was on steroids. Like, at all. He still hit baseballs like nobody's business, and even before the juice (or, before he overdid it?), he was well on his way to becoming one of the greatest baseball players in history. We don't really have any way of quantifying what the 'roids do to a player's performance, if it does anything at all. Half of the guys that were listed in that Mitchell Report or whatever the fuck it was called were terrible anyway. That's not to say that they wouldn't have been worse than they were or anything, because what the fuck do I know?
But that's not really what I'm writing about anyway. I don't care about the Hall of Fame now. It's become such a horrific joke, growing in to more and more of a spectacle over the last three years. BBWAA members are all on their high-horses about protecting the sanctity of the HOF as if they're the moral compass that is shouldering the burden of denying people that they've never met entry in to the hall, and people on the internet are sitting there pissing on those very BBWAA members and their high-horsedness. I agree with the internet here, but that's not really the point.
The HOF probably won't ever be the same, at least not until the Tom Verducci's of the world are dead and gone. We're going to be at a standstill for many years regarding Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Sosa, and so on, until the HOF ballots are made up of so many guys from the current era, and the BBWAA is made up solely of Fangraphs staffers. The issue is that guys like Tim Raines are going to be left in the periphery, since only about 60% of the voters are smart enough to realize that he belongs. Best case scenario, this is going to push back a guy like, say, Craig Biggio until three or four years from now, which makes sense, since he really shouldn't be a first-ball HOF'er. Worst case, we have Bonds, Clemens and Sosa on the outside looking in, for 13 years, which really doesn't make this a hall of fame now, does it?
The worst part of this whole thing, though, is that there are pretty well four specific formulas for baseball writers to choose from between mid-December and mid-January so that we can whore up pageviews:
- Why [insert steroider who deserves HOF entry] deserves HOF entry.
- Why my ["my" being short for "baseball writers stuck in the past"] ballot is being left blank.
- Why [BBWAA member] who don't vote in [insert steroider who deserves HOF entry] is an idiot
- Why the HOF sucks now.
That's it. Find something about baseball on the internet from the past month that isn't about one of those four topics. Everything at least skirts it, and it all makes me want to rip my eyeballs out.
This is a happy time, folks. Justified is back on the air. Just in time too, because there's nothing readable on the goddamn internet for the first time in about 8 fucking years.
I'm almost glad hockey's back.