Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Baseball, Baseball Hall of Fame, Baseball Writers Association of America, BBWAA, Exclusion, HOF, HOF Voting, Major League Baseball, PEDs, Race, Racial Exclusion, Sanctimony
Major League Baseball has made a couple of headlines in the past few days to remind us of the Whiteness that goes beyond its four-seamed ball. Between Alex Rodriguez’s deserved second-suspension and the constant weirdness of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Hall of Fame voting, the sport’s continuing sense of self-importance and piled-high-and-deep hypocrisy knows no bounds.
I stopped watching baseball nearly twenty years ago, and lost interest in the sport right around the time Barry Bonds won the second of his seven (7) MVP awards, that one with the Pittsburgh Pirates in ’92. But lack of interest never compelled me to completely ignore baseball news. And with the ongoing attempt of MLB and the BBWAA to forget about a sixteen-year period in which both ignored the prominence of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) has come a shunning of potential HOF players (Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire excepted) year after year.
My rule would be simple for the simpleton set of baseball writers who worship at the altar of the holier-than-thou, folks whose mindset is best represented by mouthpieces like Mike Lupica and Bob Costas. If you turned a nearly blind eye to the falling of baseball records to the likes of Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, et al. between ’88 and ’03, then you should vote most — if not all — of the folks with HOF numbers into Cooperstown. Otherwise, you’re hypocrites, and your stances now are ones that reek of bullshit.
Your group, your sport and your HOF continues to be the most hypocritical of all the major American sports. You excluded Black and duskier-Latino players from baseball throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Yet you worship the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, uber-racist Ty Cobb and Cy Young as the all-time platinum-gold standards of the sport, knowing that this can’t be really true. You excluded generations of players from your sport, only voting them into your HOF once they were gray, hobbled and/or in the grave. If this isn’t hypocrisy at its highest, then Richard Nixon should’ve never resigned from office in ’74!
I’ve got another rule for the sanctimonious HOF voters to think about. Until you reconsider the HOF and asterisk the sacrosanct records of the game prior to April 15, 1947, don’t talk to me and the public about PED users as the scourge of the sport. You didn’t seriously complain about it in your reports and columns before ’01, so stop sitting on your guilt-ridden hands now.