Friday, January 12, 2007

Baseball's Hall of Fame is Dead to Me

  • First Pete Rose, now Mark McGwire. If they're going to leave these guys out, they may as well not even bother having a Hall of Fame. Tony Gwynn, who was elected to the Hall this year, articulates pretty well my feelings on the topic of McGwire. Everyone involved at the time was looking the other way, and now they've turned their backs on McGwire completely. Let's be honest here--he probably did use steroids. In this case, I don't think that should be held against him. For one thing, we have no way of knowing how many other players were using them as well. I definitely don't want to say that everyone who used steroids and had a great career should get into the Hall of Fame, but McGwire definitely should be in there. He saved the game of baseball in the summer of '98 when he hit 70 home runs. Baseball's popularity was waning at that time, and his chase of the home run record brought the fans back in a big way. Without him, baseball is nowhere right now. Do you think Barry Bonds, whose steroid history is way more clear-cut than McGwire's, would have had the same effect when he broke the home run record? Absolutely not. For that, if nothing else, McGwire deserves to be in.

    Baseball really needs to figure out what to do with these steroid cases. Within a few years, we're going to be looking at a Hall of Fame which doesn't include the all-time home runs leader (Bonds), the single-season home runs leader (Bonds), or the top single-season home run totals of all time (Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Maris), not to mention the all-time hits leader (Rose). To me, a Hall of Fame without those top players has no credibility at all. Until they figure out how to reconcile it, Hall of Fame honors are meaningless as far as I'm concerned. Given the fact that a whole era has the pall of steroids cast over it, and that baseball has historically been a bastion of cheating, I think the Hall of Fame voters need to overlook the steroids issue for the time being. Put the guys in based on their numbers and careers, and start over with a clean slate for players in the current era of at least limited testing. Anyone who gets caught doing it now that the testing procedures are in place, sure, they're up for debate when their careers are over. The guys who played when there was no testing...well, it's over and done with now. Leaving them out based on speculation or even based on something illegal that baseball itself wasn't concerned with at the time seems ludicrous to me.

  • Speaking of Barry Bonds, this column is the funniest and most accurate account of the tragedies that keep befalling him. Poor guy; I feel for him, I really do.

  • I found out last night that the Waldenbooks location in the BG mall is going out of business. This is bad news for a couple of reasons. For one, I'm just a huge fan of bookstores and I hate it when they go out of business, especially at locations I visit relatively frequently, as I did this one. Beyond that, the timing is terrible. The last time I was near a bookstore that was going out of business, I dropped hundreds of dollars on brand new books at discounted prices. It was awesome. That, of course, was back when I was living with my parents and had such a thing as "disposable income." I can't afford to do that this time around, and that sucks for me. I'm planning to head over there this evening to check it out anyway--I can't go crazy, but I'm sure there will be something there that will make it worth my while.

  • One of my goals for an upcoming weekend sometime soon is to get back to my hometown to catch a Troy Trojans high school basketball game. From what I've read the team is neither very good nor particularly compelling; however, Troy High School recently unveiled their new gym. I saw some pictures of it last night, and it looks awesome (some of the perks are listed in this article from the Dayton Daily News). I can't wait to see it in person. I'd like to wander through the whole high school, which has undergone some other renovations as part of the same project, but I don't know if I'll be able to make that happen or not.

  • Anyone who pays attention to some of this blog's auxiliary pages (conveniently linked on the left side of this page under the heading "Explore the Yawp!") will have noticed some changes recently. I've made my reading and movie pages blogs unto themselves so as to make it easier on myself to keep them updated. I've also created a sports log to chronicle my attendance at myriad sporting events. I'm still playing with the format on that one. Actually, all of them, while being functional, are still under construction to a certain extent. I've grown attached to the three-column layout of my main blog, but it's incompatible with the new features of the "new" Blogger. I have a lot of information that I like to stuff into my sidebar(s), so I'm trying to figure out the best way to organize the information so that good stuff doesn't end up being forced way down the page. Actually, I'm really hoping I'll be able to find a three-column template that is compatible with the new Blogger (I haven't really looked too hard yet), or eventually I suppose I'll probably try to figure out how to make one myself.
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