Today, something happened, or didn’t (action or inaction: take your pick), in Major League Baseball for the first time since 1996 and the second time since 1971, the eighth overall: No player has been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Read about it here.
Respected sportswriter Buster Olney bucks the trend by absolving Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa of any reality of performance-enhancement use over and above their greatness as players. Whether the future upholds the Olney view or the current majority, no one could know.
I (Evander) imagine slugging Mike Piazza comes up short via some form of guilt-by-association; and Craig Biggio just missed. Or perhaps the vote was too split for any player short of Tom Seaver or Ty Cobb (to take two at the personality extremes, each receiving record numbers of ballots) to be elected today. The Veterans Committee, a separate cabal, has selected three, including Jacob Ruppert, a former owner of the New York Yankees, who signed Babe Ruth.
All this begs those endless questions, already covered in prior lucubrations, relating to the non-membership of Gil Hodges, Thurman Munson, Jack Morris, the late Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner, among other stars and worthy figures and officials. Perhaps, as Martin suggests, we need an Overhaul of Fame, with a Steroids Wing.
I heard this news today, O Boy, having returned from the Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue and a viewing of some askew artwork by Bob Dylan. The songwriter who wrote-sang about wearing twenty pounds of headlines on the chest covers all-time headliners, from Callimachus to Sharon Stone, while addressing the 1960s’ universe from Blue Earth, Minnesota, to Tuxedo Park, California. Along with my observing, on the way back to work, a Times Square-subway musician playing the saw, it all “inspired” me to make these haiku-like observations:
coughing up slugs
Back to baseball and the main point: I close by saying that aside from the players not voted in their first year of eligibility, and the question whether Bill Mazeroski really ought to be enshrined while Rose and Barry Bonds remain mere admissions-paying mortals, the biggest losers are gift-shop owners in Cooperstown, who rely on Induction Weekend to make a fast buck, as well as the Major League Baseball Network, which broadcasts the induction ceremonies in July. Borrrring!