Maybe I missed the memo from On High stating otherwise, but I was under the impression that playing the game by the rules — not pumping your stats and your salary with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) — was one of the basic requirements for being worthy of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fortunately, at least for this year, a lot of baseball writers agree with that assessment because no one was voted in — the first time this has happened since the 1990s. Yet since Wednesday’s results were announced, ESPN has been overrun with national baseball experts complaining that something must be done about the HOF and the voting process so the doors can be opened to obvious PED cheats such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
Well, guess what? The HOF is a museum, too, and as such players’ on-field feats — tainted or not — already are recognized. Same goes for Pete Rose’s hit record. So it’s not like if you take a trip to Cooperstown that you would return wondering why Bonds, Clemens, Rose and others were completely ignored. They are not ignored.
They also are not honored as HOF players. Nor should they be. After Wednesday’s results were announced, several HOF players came out and said they were very happy the cheats were not voted in. From Goose Gossage to Al Kaline their position was clear:
We earned our way here. These guys didn’t.
The Baseball Hall of Fame needn’t go post-modern. Unless you want to bend all the rules. Four outs per inning? Five? There’s no end to it once you go there.
Let Bonds and Clemens commission their own bronze busts. Extra large ones … yeah, that’s about right.