On Tuesday, the 26th of January, the Hall Of Fame class of 2021 was announced. Just kidding, no, it wasn’t! For the first time since 2013 and only the ninth time ever, no one was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
I have zero problems with no one getting in if there is no one on the ballot deserving of the “honor.” (If that’s what you want to call the Baseball Hall Of Fame.) However, I have a colossal problem with it when the greatest offensive player the game has ever seen continues to rot on the ballot for the ninth straight year.
What Is The Baseball Hall Of Fame?
A bullshit political popularity contest hosted and voted upon primarily by “you hurt my feelings” mother fuckers and tightwads with sticks shoved so far up their asses that care more about if you were a nice guy than how you played the game of baseball.
Goddamn that felt good..
Watching the Hall Of Fame ceremony yesterday made me sick. It was three hours of talking about how Barry Bonds cheated baseball by using steroids and how Curt Schilling is a dick head. This was followed by coverage that’s continuing about the same damn thing. A 24 hour “let’s be offended” party for the tight asses of baseball.
You know what wasn’t talked about?
Curt Schilling is a three-time World Series champion. Did you know that? Well, you sure didn’t learn that yesterday during the Hall Of Fame ceremony because no one mentioned that. You might know that Barry Bonds hit more home runs than any other man on earth, but you only know that because you have been constantly force-fed the idea that none of his homers count.
It shakes me to my core that the Hall Of Fame isn’t about baseball. It’s solely a popularity contest. Obviously, you have to be a great player to be considered in the first place, but if you so much as hurt someone’s feelings at any point in your life, your baseball credentials no longer matter. You will be left out to dry and be battered with attacks on your character until you’re off the ballot.
There’s no consistency
I agree that Bonds was a total jerk to the media. There’s also no denying his steroid use. Curt Schilling was always a great man and player. Who knows what the hell happened to him, but twenty years later, and he’s a total asshole now. So these guys don’t get into the Hall Of Fame for these reasons.
Ignore the steroids and their personalities for just a second. Leave that stuff off the table, and they are first-ballot Hall Of Famers. So how do we justify the following??
Babe Ruth was a fuckin drunk, showing up to and playing games wasted. (Hell of a role model.) Tim Raines was addicted to cocaine, for christ’s sake, admitting to playing games under the influence of coke and passing out in the dugouts. Gaylord Perry Threw spitballs and greaseballs for two decades. What do these three have in common? They’re all in the Hall Of Fame.
There’s only one difference between the five legends I’ve commented on. The timeframes in which they played, that’s it. Since everyone is so keen on the integrity of the game, it’s all cheating. Guys like Bonds, Shilling, and Clemens are just here at the wrong time. The cheaters before them are relics of the sport, Bonds and Schilling are apparently low character cheating assholes, and soon to come will be Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, also cheaters. But by the time their names are called, they will go down as relics of the sport themselves.
There is no consistency to what it takes to get into the Hall Of Fame. It’s a popularity contest. On the field ability plays a minimal role in what it takes to be enshrined in Cooperstown in most voters’ minds.
What The Baseball Hall Of Fame Should be
The Hall Of Fame should be full of different personalities and lifestyles, whether you were a good guy or a bad guy, a straight-arrow player, or a cheater. If you are among the greatest to do it or a transcendent ballplayer, you should be in the Hall Of Fame. It should be the history of baseball and its greatest players.
Their stories should be told. Put Bonds in and recognize him for his achievements and two decades of on-the-field dominance, but also tell his story. Say it! Say he was a jerk. Say he used steroids. Say he was the greatest hitter the game has ever seen. That’s who and what he was. What sense does a Hall Of Fame make that excludes the seven-time MVP home run king? Zero sense it was it makes.
Leave guys like Ruth, Raines, and Perry in there and continue to celebrate their on-the-field achievements, but tell their stories too. It’s all apart of the history of the game. Why pick and choose? Stop leaving out the bad and only allowing the good. Think the Bible would be the story it is if all the bad stuff was left out? It’s history, and history needs to be told accurately and celebrated for both the good and the bad.
Do Alex Rodriguez And David Ortiz Get Into The Hall?
Of course they make the Hall Of Fame! Golden boys of baseball, Golden boys that both used steroids. This will be forgiven, and both will find their seats in the Hall. I believe they both should be Hall Of Famers, but I base my opinion on their on-the-field abilities, as I’ve made clear. The voters will turn a blind eye and make them Hall Of Famers because they spoke with a smile and shook their hands when they were conducting clubhouse interviews ten years ago.
Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids like 39 times or something. He also sued Major League Baseball. Now he’s an MLB analyst on FOX and one of the most popular polarizing figures in the sport. Why he isn’t left for dead like guys such as Bonds is because of his nice smile and inviting personality. “Cough, cough, personality contest.”
David Ortiz is also a great personality and voice in baseball. Alongside his steroid buddy Alex Rodriguez at FOX, he’s an all-time face of the sport. In 2003 MLB ran a “supposed to be” anonymous drug test league-wide. Ortiz tested positive, and the information was leaked. Still, because the testing was supposed to remain secret and only serve as information to the league, we decide his positive test doesn’t count. What in the blue buffalo kind of hippo shit is that?
I don’t believe that these two will be first-ballot Hall Of Famers. (Ortiz might, because him doing steroids doesn’t count….) But they will get in. Time seems to heal all for the “nice guys,” and as the younger voters continue to take over votes from the older generation, the leniency towards cheating will grow, If you’re nice.
There’s already no going back for guys like Pete Rose. One more year to go until there’s no going back for guys like Bonds, Schilling, and Clemens. If these guys were going into their first years on the ballot now, they would make it eventually, but that’s not how it works.
My Final Thoughts On The Hall Of Fame
The Hall Of Fame isn’t the mecca of baseball immortality. It’s a hand-picked pretentious free for all that makes stiff-ass journalists feel important. I think based on the current standard of Hall Of Fame voting, which is character over everything, we should be able to kick people out. Kick Ruth out, get out Raines and Perry while you’re at it. And then let no one that has any sort of character question in every again, no Ortiz and no Rodriguez. A damn shame if you ask me, but at least it would be fair.
A better idea in my opinion, is to change the basis and let players in due to their ability and how they transcended the game. Call a vote, make it happen and although his time on the ballot has come to an end, put Pete Rose in. Put Bonds, Clemens, and Shilling in next year for their final year of eligibility. And make Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz first-ballot Hall Of Famers. A hall of the greats, not a hall of the nice.
You can call me bitter and I’ll take it on the chin, but if Rodriguez and Ortiz make the Hall Of Fame, whether it be year one or year ten. I will no longer follow, watch, or give a shit about the Baseball Hall Of Fame. That will be the ultimate undisguised signed confession that the Hall is nothing more than a pretentious biased political popularity contest.