Hall of Fame 2011 Election and Holier Than Thou Baseball WritersBy: Sean Pidgeon
I’m sick of those obnoxious holier-than-thou baseball writers who voted to keep guys like Jeff Bagwell and Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro out of the Hall of Fame with the bullshit pretense that they’re taking a stand against cheating. News flash! Cheating’s been in baseball for a long effing time. In the ‘50s and ‘60’s, players used greenies (caffeine pills) to give them energy to play. Baseball players have used amphetamines for a long time. Even Hank Aaron and Willie Mays used them. Gaylord Perry got batters out with the spitball, a pitch that was banned in 1920 (random aside: Gaylord is one of those names like Dick that you don’t see parents giving kids anymore). Baseball writers “punished” Perry by electing him to the Hall of Fame. But, you see, the spitball is different. It’s a fun and quirky kind of cheating. It’s not evil and a disgrace and OMG! think of the kids, like steroids. Some cheating is (arbitrarily) worse than other cheating in the minds of Dan Shaughnessy, Jon Heyman, and other haughty dipsticks who think their Hall of Fame voting privilege makes them the baseball morality police.
The supposed difference between amphetamines and steroids is that one is a performance enabler and the other’s a performance enhancer. Performance enhancer. Performance enabler. Whichever phrase you choose, it’s the same thing (ask any old man who uses Viagra). Stupidly, the Baseball Hall of Fame voting instructions include a character clause: “integrity, sportsmanship, (and) character” are to be considered, in addition to the only thing that really matters, a person’s playing career. Thankfully, most baseball writers have rightfully ignored this clause over the years, otherwise the Hall of Fame would be missing the plaques of guys like Babe Ruth, noted womanizer, drunk, and glutton; Ty Cobb, inveterate racist and all around jerk who probably murdered a man; Ted Williams, surly dick; Mickey Mantle, alcoholic, God among men, and the boyhood hero of every current middle aged baseball fan; and many other Hall of Famers who used amphetamines, the good kind of cheating.
Yet, now, of all times, baseball writers have taken it upon themselves to ignore the stats and decide, with their superior moral introspection, which sinners to keep out of Cooperstown. Mark McGwire, one of the greatest home run hitters of all time, only got 20% of the vote and will probably never reach Cooperstown. Jeff Bagwell, who has never tested positive and repeatedly denies using steroids, and is probably the best first baseman baseball saw between the careers of Lou Gehrig and Albert Pujols, only got 42% of the vote, because look how big his muscles are; He must be cheating. Hall of Fame voting has turned into a freaking witch hunt. I will quote Joe Posnanski, one of the few sane baseball writers, because I can’t improve on his words. “I would say this to the people who would not vote for Jeff Bagwell because they simply believe he used steroids, based on how he looked or some whispers they heard. I have a better idea: Let’s just burn him at the stake. If he survives, you will know you were right.”
Chances are Roger Clemens, maybe the greatest pitcher ever, and Barry Bonds, the home run king and possibly the greatest player ever, won’t get elected. And, yeah, Clemens is a royal asshole, and Bonds is a socially awkward emotional midget, and both probably used PEDs, but a Hall of Fame without baseball’s greatest players is a whitewashing of history, character clause or not. These insufferable sportswriters are trying to make the Hall of Fame meaningless, just for their own smug self-satisfaction.