The sanctimonious and historic arrogance by the “protectors” of baseball continue to do a disservice to the game.
Once again, the voters for the Hall of Fame – whose name should be officially changed to the Museum of Baseball – took a third strike which left Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens on the outside looking in for their 10th and final year of eligibility. Victims of a narrative orchestrated by the writers who supposedly protect the game.
I thought for sure the voters would make Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens sweat it out until their last year of eligibility and then finally put them in. One is the greatest player of all-time and the other is one of the greatest pitchers of all-time. They belong in Cooperstown.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) January 25, 2022
Baseball’s temple to it’s great players now has to change its name. It should no longer be viewed as a Hall of Fame when David Ortiz is the only player to be voted in his first year of eligibility.
When you consider Derek Jeter wasn’t a unanimous selection in his first year of eligibility and Ortiz is the only “official” member of this year’s class (becoming the first such person to get in at under 80 percent) this temple has been jaundiced forever.
With all due respect to “Big Papi”, he was just a one tool player who could really hit. His defense in Minnesota with the Twins was so bad they shipped him to Boston and the legend was born by allowing him to swing the bat.
However, one could make a compelling argument that’s all he could do. His postseason exploits were epic and his impact was legendary.
Ortiz’s gregarious personality, however, and his TV career have to be seen now as things that helped his cause. He has no problem kissing the babies. His “This is our fuck#%g city” speech following the terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon are the stuff of legends.
Meanwhile, Bonds was a transcendent talent whose skills – even before he started using performance enhancers – made him a player and a star for the ages. In the early days of his career Bonds was a 30-homer 30-steal offensive weapon who played gold glove defense.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) January 26, 2022
Ortiz was so bad defensively that his career spiked when he was forced to put the glove away to earn his place in baseball’s immortality.
Unfortunately this is where the residue of former racist commissioners such as Kennesaw Mountain Landis – a Hall of Famer – and the infrastructure of America’s national pastime still rule. Many of the reporters who chose to omit Bonds and Clemens from their ballots because of their moral standards are people who’ve lost touch with objectivity.
During the 1990’s as a young Black reporter in Atlanta covering the Braves during the glory years, the jaundiced side eyes and condescension of many reporters who are still casting ballots were the norm rather than an exception.
That explains the rationale for keeping the best player of his generation out of Cooperstown — at least until now. Bonds was a Black player with a swag and dominance. He was an antagonizing presence to many reporters who weren’t objective when telling the full narrative of his career.
Any so-called “caretaker” of the game, who was white and interacted with Bonds would often refer to him as a “jerk”.
I personally heard that word thrown around consistently in 1991 and 1992 by mostly white reports during the National League Championship Series when Braves manager Bobby Cox employed the walk a slugger philosophy for the Pirates outfielder at that time. It took the bat out of Bonds’ hands and left him frustrated and surly and a challenge to deal with.
Performance enhancers didn’t make Bonds Hall of Fame worthy. He would’ve been first ballot without them. Instead of being admonished, Bonds should be revered.
— Rob Parker (@RobParkerFS1) January 25, 2022
What the “museum” caretakers need to recognize is that most players who were taking steroids, human growth hormones, etc. didn’t cheat the game; they saved it after the lockout which canceled the 1994 World Series and put more fans in the stands once it ended.
If you were a fan of that era and spent $150-200 for a night out at the ballpark and a player hit three home runs to create a lifetime moment for you and your family, were you really cheated?