Yahoo Sports says a poll of Gammonites suggests that Ken Griffey Jr. today will receive the highest percentage of Hall of Fame votes in history, beating Tom Seaver's record. If so, the plaid-suits must be drinking so heavily that they are merging both Griffey with his dad. For the record, Junior Griffey, over his last 10 years, never once drove in more than 100 RBIs. Granted, 630 career HRs is Cooperstown grist - but the highest percentage in history? What a joke.
Cooperstown is becoming known for those who are being denied.
Today, odds are the voters will again reject history's greatest HR hitters (Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire), its greatest lead-off batter (Pete Rose) and one of its greatest competitors (Roger Clemens.) They will be judged not as players but as people - arbitrarily - by a bunch of self-righteous super-moralists who seek to punish a few culprits for an entire era of corruption. They call it justice. It is hypocrisy.
I recognize that many of you feel that A-Rod, Clemens, Bonds, Sosa - the whole bunch - should pay a price for using performance enhancing drugs. I think they have. I just don't think their guilt is that simple. Long ago, chemists found a way to skirt drug tests. As a result, some got caught while many others skated. And the Hall of Fame - which was always somewhat of a popularity contest - has evolved into a ridiculous test of moral turpitude.
Will David Ortiz pay the price? Of course, not. Big Papi is a beacon of hope. Should Andy Pettite be condemned? Nope, he's very religious. Today, a report links Derek Jeter's trainer to Peyton Manning's somethingorother, who was caught on a hidden camera by an ex-employee, who denies it, at a company that no longer exists in Al Jazeera report, and who knows who is telling the truth? Should Jeter be tainted and, thus, kept out of Cooperstown? Of course, not. But where do you draw the line? If today's report came out five years ago - instead of the Biogenesis scandal - provoking a huge MLB investigation, would it have been Jeter who was banned from the game?
For about 10 years, the lords of baseball turned their heads and coughed on the use of PEDs, because home run hysteria coaxed the public into forgetting the sport's truly darkest period - when they provoked a strike, and the World Series was canceled.
I have to laugh when hearing about baseball's "steroid scandal," compared to the wink-wink normalcy of pro football. Take one look at the behemoths of the NFL, and everybody knows the truth: All sorts of crimes against nature are being committed. It's like the subprime housing bubble around 2006 - everybody denies it, even the ratings agencies, because they're making money - writers and media included. It's like the difference between Donnie Baseball and Johnny Football. Don Mattingly has never once embarrassed himself or the game. Johnny Manzell belongs in a halfway house. And yet we pretend pro football had no steroids problem, and that baseball's great stars are forever tarnished? What a joke. What a frickin' joke!
Seriously, why isn't everybody saying this? Am I insane? Am I the one who's nuts?
Hunter Thompson once said - paraphrasing - In the world where everyone is guilty, the crime is getting caught. So here we are. Today, Ken Griffey Jr. gets his ticket punched for Cooperstown. Fine. But maybe next week, will some ex-friend of an ex-employee link Junior to somebody who knew somebody? And then what? The crime is getting caught... and then judged.