The Day after the Shutout…by the Baseball Writers.

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I want to believe that the baseball writers Hall of Fame vote this year came with a conscience, an admission, even if unspoken, that they, like everyone else around the game for more than a decade and a half beginning in the late 1980’s, had dirty hands, theirs for passively condoning baseball’s dirty little secret. I’d like to think that to many of them this vote was some small measure of atonement. I want to believe it because if someone doesn’t own up, all hope is lost. If we didn’t already know that Bud Selig and the owners who danced to the symphony of the turnstiles, and Donald Fehr, Micheal Weiner and the players who used every blackened statistic to pad their paychecks, would never admit the error of their ways, we were offered proof positive yesterday. The writers, by refusing to grant immortality to a single player in the first balloting fully representative of the steroid era, with the first time eligibilities of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, put that era on center stage and on the front pages. It was time for Buddy to put his integrity on display and Weiner to put the blame where it belongs, with the messengers. Selig stepped to the podium and announced management and the union, coincidentally, one day after their disgraceful history became the topic of every talk show in the nation, had agreed to extend random, unannounced blood testing for human growth hormones into the regular season beginning this year. Previously it was limited to the off season and spring training, an agreement that could only have been reached with a wink and a smile, giving players regular season carte blanche. The last time Major League Baseball and the union agreed on anything so quickly was the day they agreed that fans are idiots who can be sold any lie. Like the lies about shorter fences, lower mounds, juiced baseballs and better conditioned players Bud and the boys sold for a decade and a half, everything but the obvious, which anyone could see just by looking at the bodies that suddenly populated baseball and the numbers those bodies were putting up. Good thing for the robber barons of baseball they were right about the fans. No reason to doubt the fans now that the final veil has been removed from their sleight of hand magic show. They’ll eagerly buy Buddy’s sincere act of integrity and nobility. “This is a very proud day for baseball”, Buddy chimed, choking back giggles as he made the announcement, “This is remarkable when you think where we were 10, 12, 15 years ago and where we are today. Nobody could have dreamed.” Unless, of course, those dreams were drug induced, just like the majority of the stats accumulated under the majority of his watch. “These are major steps in helping us maintain a leadership stature in anti doping efforts”, he continued with a straight face, “And is yet another indication of how far this sport has come.” Just when I realized it wasn’t the flu, it was the “Buddy Bug” that had overtaken me and I felt I couldn’t get any sicker, Weiner stepped to the podium and laid all the blame on the writers. “It is unfortunate, if not sad”, he said, “To ignore the historic accomplishments of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for instance. It is hard to justify.” Nobody ignored anything. Everyone is aware of their accomplishments and how they accomplished them. Twenty years later these guys still don’t get it. Correction. They do get it. They got it all along. As long as the fans play the fools and the cash flows there’s just no need to let on. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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