Only Baseball Matters
…. Travesty?

…. Did the writers get it right? It’s hard to say at this point, given what little is known about the Steroids Era and McGwire’s particular role in it. But you have to give this to the voters; at least they didn’t get it wrong. Voting a player in only to discover later that he used performance-enhancing drugs to pad his statistics and pump up his paycheck would be a travesty.

That’s SI’s John Donovan. It would be a travesty. A travesty? So, Donovan, what should we do about the players from the ’60′s, ’70′s and 80′s who are now enshrined in Cooperstown? You’re not too keen on answering that question, are you? Then your campaigning for Jim Rice and whoever else you grew up watching would seem, well, a bit disingenuous, wouldn’t it?

I’ll tell you what’s a travesty; this sham of a voting process, this “shame on you” dog and pony show, this, “why doesn’t he tell us what he did?” horseshit. There’s your fucking travesty. DISGRACEFUL. DISHONEST. SANCTIMONIOUS. POMPOUS. Pick your adjective Between assholes saying they wouldn’t vote for Gwynn or Ripken because they wanted to make sure no one ever gets elected unanimously, (yeah, there’s a well-though out criteria for making your decision), and those who won’t let Big Mac in because they “know” he cheated…. If ever there was a reason for the Hall of Fame voting to be taken from the BBWAA, this year’s caricature of a process sure seems to be it. Oh, and one more word for your thinking pleasure…

EMBARASSMENT. That’s a word the editor of Sports Illustrated should get used to, because that’s what he should be filled with, after his decision to run with this.

UPDATE: Nothing like having some bonehead tell you how to live your life.

…. A confession would help. A confession would liberate Mark McGwire, increasing his chances of redemption by an ever-forgiving public, not to mention the 10-year members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who vote for the Hall of Fame

A confession would end the talk that McGwire is hiding something, forcing voters to view him for what he is — a product of his era, the Steroid Era, and hardly the only star player suspected of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

Yeah, thanks for the tip, Ken. I’m sure Pete Rose feels the same way. Just tell us what we want to hear, and everything’ll be fine, it’ll all be back to normal.

Isn’t that what the villains always say to Ethan in Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible movies? Just tell us what we want to know, we’ll let you live, we’ll let your wife go, we’ll forgive you for killing our friends and allies….

Only those in power can say something so obviously untrue, and get away with it. The BBWAA is misusing it’s power, it is abusing the privilidge of being the sole arbiter of Hall of Fame worthiness, as it has done many times before. The BBWAA members have voted for known cheaters, they have voted for personal favorites, they have made Pete Rose a scapegoat for betraying them, (Rose, the one player who played the game right, I believe is their little tagline)…. The BBWAA members are on dangerous ground right now. By following in the footsteps of our countries politicians, they are playing a dangerous game, one in which anyone is subject having every aspect of their lives investigated, every facet of their personality reviewed and catalogued; and any aspersion cast is treated as ABSOLUTE FACT. By doing so, these men are pushing us into a no-win situation.

Nobody is perfect. Kirby Puckett’s marginal Hall of Fame candidacy was helped along by his famous smile, his eager to please way with the media. When it came out afterwards that he wasn’t the best human being to his wife; well, it was too late. He was already in. This statement vote means that there is no turning back. If it turns out that Ripken, for instance, used steroids, even one single time, (something that you have to know is at least possible), then where are you, Mr. Rosenthal, Mr. Harper?

…. Given the opportunity to make their voice heard, voting members of the Baseball Writers Association, myself included, brought the Hall of Fame hammer down on Mark McGwire yesterday.

Label us as self-appointed judge and jury, if you must. But somebody had to do it.

Somebody had to send the message that, even if there was no drug-testing in baseball at the time, and even if everyone around the sport all but winked at it for years, players should pay a price for tainting the game by using steroids.

Hey, judge, did you happen to notice the similarity between Ripken’s statement and McGwire’s congressional testimony?

…. “When I sit and look at myself, I don’t think it’s my place to actually cast judgment, I honestly believe the truth will be known. It saddens me that baseball as a whole had to go through this process and had the integrity of the game be questioned because of steroid use.”

Wouldn’t it just break your heart to find out that the Iron Man was on the juice? Sure seems like it, sure seems like that’s just about the last thing you’d ever want to hear, because nobody’s ever even asked him, have they?

UPDATE: I guess I’m not alone:

…. You are Mark McGwire and you spent Tuesday wondering how you went from national hero to national pariah so quickly.

…. What has happened between when Time Magazine named you a Hero of the Year in 1998 and now? Time excused your use of andro because it protected you from muscle tears, praised you for not stopping “to rip off the head of the reporter who had gone peeking into your locker” and dismissed the whole controversy by writing:

“…whatever else it does, it can’t help a player’s timing, his hand-eye coordination, his ability to discern a slider from a splitter. But even if andro improved his power by an unlikely, oh, five percent, then instead of 70 home runs, McGwire this year would have hit … maybe 67.”

How can writers who credited you then with saving the game now refuse to vote you into the Hall of Fame? How could fans who cheered your long home runs and lavished praise on your broad shoulders and powerful biceps now pretend that they honestly didn’t suspect what was going on then? Were they really that naive then or are they just hypocritical now?

Hypocritical, Jim.

UPDATE: OK, now we have THE KING, the sportswriter who started it all, the whole fucking “scandal of the century”, offering up this unbelievable pile of sanctimonious horseshit:

…. Not only did Ripken and Gwynn serve only one organization with loyalty and respect, they also gave back to the game on its most important side, the amateur side, when the cheering stopped — Ripken as the conscience and hands-on guide for Cal Ripken Baseball, a division of Babe Ruth Baseball, and Gwynn as the baseball coach at San Diego State.

If you don’t like Ripken or Gwynn, you don’t like baseball. It’s that simple. I can say that because I have been fortunate to have enjoyed many conversations with these men over the years, and what always shined through was an abiding love of baseball and a natural ease and grace to share it with others.

“If you don’t like Gwynn and Ripken, you don’t like baseball.” How’s that for hyperbole? “I can say that because I have been fortunate to have enjoyed many conversations with these men over the years.” I can remember a time not that long ago when about a thousand sportswriters wrote the same thing about McGwire and Sosa. Yeah, I guess that McGwire just didn’t love the game, or the children, he must not love the children.

OK, enough already. I’ll stop reading this shit, which, in turn, will allow me to forget about how angry I am, how fed up I am, and how little respect I have for so many of the writers who inspired me to start writing in the first place.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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