I'm not quite sure I've got this straight, but Filip Bondy voted for Mark McGwire to make the Hall of Fame just to prove a point that cheating is wrong?
"With this vote, I am challenging the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to educate visitors about the steroid era," Bondy wrote, "to show films of the hearings and to make relevant documents available to both the icon worshippers and scholars. The Hall of Fame gallery operates independently from the museum, but together they must demystify the overachievers and portray them as they really are - flawed men with superhero statistics."
Really? The Hall of Fame as Afterschool Special?
Does he really think the Hall is going to include some admission of steroids on McGwire's plague? While it's honorable to think so, an admission of guilt on the Hall's part to include the steroid era among its exhibits is unlikely. Cooperstown will simply do what the rest of baseball has done in the steroid era. Ignore it. Sweep it under the rug and move on. And then people like Filip Bondy will wonder why baseball doesn't do more to combat its steroid issue.
A steroids wing? It's something that Orioles Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson pondered not long ago, suggesting, "We could have an interactive display where the kids can poke a needle into the best tushes to ever grace the diamond.
"Do ya think we could get Barry Bonds to donate a game-used syringe?"
There you go. Bondy's vote is after all about education, but he is clearly going over the edge in his crusade explaining that he has also voted for Jose Canseco. "I want them both in the Hall, the subjects of open debate," he writes. "I want them in the museum, along with their testimony."
"Will we even be able to fit Mark McGwire's head on a plaque if he's voted in?" asks Robinson. See, this is the sort of rant Cal Ripken should have gone on last week instead of deflecting the questions.
We can give Bondy this: At least he's trying to prove a point. One that will get lost, sure, but at least he's still convinced of McGwire's guilt. If that's his cause, then why not a gambling room highlighting the careers of Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose so that kids can learn the ills of that vice?
Still, can his view be any worse than the blind among the baseball writers who claim they simply can't say with fact that McGwire used steroids? So, if you're keeping score: Gambling, bad. Illegal drugs, eh.
The big problem here is that thanks to the self-importance and ignorance of many of the voters, there's a good chance that McGwire could make it, which would only serve as the latest embarrassment to the sport when it comes to steroids. The New York Daily News offers up a list of some of these half-baked arguments, debunking every single one, including the thought that some writers will vote for McGwire, but only on the second ballot as "punishment."
Punishment. Who's really that out of touch? I'm sure that would really burn McGwire if he only got in on the second ballot. That'll show him, and will really send a stern message to the rest of the game. "Take steroids, and here are the consequences: You have to wait until the second ballot." Oh, no. I'm sure that will curb all usage.
Let's also hope the writers aren't swayed by statements like those of former player George Bell either. "After the numbers are there, you've got to accept them," Bell said. "Players in the past went out and played drunk and did their job. And for me, alcohol is a drug."
Yeah. Because that's a comparable situation. Last I checked, anyone over the age of 21 could legally obtain alcohol. If you can buy steroids at your local package store, well, that's news to me.
Jim Rice won't make it yet another year, while the likes of Bondy have tossed votes at Canseco and McGwire. Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose remain the pariahs of the game, while their fellow cheaters are bound to receive support in their cases. As much as everyone hates the thought of Barry Bonds getting in, you can already hear the posturing. "Well, he was a Hall of Famer before he started using steroids, so..."
Yeah. This will go a long way toward cleaning up the game.
Although, Robinson's interactive idea might be fun, too.