Sunday Words: Hall of Shameless 2013
So, what happens when those that played the game, the elite of the elite, express their discontent with the future ballot selections for the Hall?
It's simple. We listen.
The hourglass has tipped and the slow, dramatic countdown to the 2013 Hall-of-Fame selection has commenced. Like it or not, two names will appear on that ballot, and never - not even Pete Rose - has there been more historical importance and future-shaping ramifications if their boxed is checked, "yes" or "no".
For the next off-season, writers with a vote will analyze and argue these questions: Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are two of the best there ever was in the MLB, but did they cheat? Were the records and sheer talent tainted by steroids? Were the numbers truly skewed, and is there enough information and study to prove the point, if yes?
Take a deep breath...and get it right, writers!
The verdict from these brain-scratcher's is more important than when the MLB called 8-men-out, all at one time. The past of the steroid era has finally come to a dramatic crescendo, currently, and the votes from all the writers will open the future, finally. And, they don't have to place this historic task all on their shoulders - which would be a huge mistake if they did.The writers could save a lot of ink and Chinese take-out if they hit the brakes and listened to what the Hall itself is shouting.
"Stay the hell out!"
Over half of the Hall Members, including those listed above, have claimed they will boycott the Cooperstown frenzy next year if players that "cheated" with performance enhancing drugs get elected. We have already seen what the juice issue has done to McGwire and Palmeiro, and will do to Sosa, without question. Their fate envelope has been sealed and will never be opened.
But what about Bonds and Clemens?
If the steroid era was a political platform, then Bonds would be President and Clemens would be the First Lady. Yes, there was turmoil during their watch and a lot of the office members like McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro and Gimabi admitted to their shortcomings, but never Bonds and Clemens, personally. Try and trial all you want, their hands look dirty, but they have been proven clean. They have never slipped up and burped guilty while the ESPN cameras were rolling, and they never will. This is where the mistakes can come, and where the movement of the game and its great future can be most affected.
Enter the past, to fix the future. We want to mimic what they do.
The Hall-of-Famers should carry their thoughts and opinions and lead the ideals of what should be done. As a fan, we will listen. Hopefully, as a writer, they will listen, too. There is no doubt that both Clemens and Bonds were two of the greatest to ever play the game. While others with a questionable legacy have been swept aside and forgotten, Bonds and Clemens are two of the poster-children of the steroid era with their picture set in stone. What is done to them in the 2013 vote will not fade quickly. It will take years.
That will either be a good thing, or bad.