The Barry Bonds Hall of Fame Joke
Barry Bonds is back, this time as the hitting coach of the Florida Marlins. In his introductory press confrence he basically said Hall of Fame voters aren’t my brothers, so I can’t say how long it’ll take for me to get voted in, but I know that I am a Hall of Famer.
Some writers seem to think this is hilarious. That the greatest hitter of his generation, maybe greatest of any generation, values his own opinion over writers,’ and by extension fans, who think they know what he did, who think they know who he is.
Yeah, that’s hilarious. Kind of like when Obama says he’s knows he’s not a Muslim, says he knows where he was born. Or Muhammad Ali calling himself “The Greatest” when he was a draft dodger so none of his titles really existed. [Pause to allow giggles to subside.]
After nearly a decade of being blacklisted, Barry Bonds will be back in a Major League dugout this season. Writers and fans didn’t just hate him when Bonds the player because they thought he was a cheater; they hated him because he never gave them the satisfaction of acknowledging that their opinions mattered. Those haters must have really hoped that eight seasons of exile would get them that satisfaction, but they should have known better.
One of my brothers at The Spitter wrote about Barry’s moral compass, about the moral compass of anyone who would vote him into Cooperstown.
Well my moral compass says it’s not moral to make judgements on a bunch of shit you can’t know. You can’t know who cheated, who knew they cheated, how much the cheating helped them and who were the good guys and the bad guys. The BBWAA voted in nine guys the last four years when they could’ve voted in Barry Bonds: Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey. You can’t know that not one of those guys cheated. You can’t know that all nine didn’t cheat.
You can know that Barry Bonds never failed a drug test that counted, and he still dominated when they were testing for real and he was in his forties.
That’s why if I was in the BBWAA, I would think it a moral imperative to submit only one name on my Hall of Fame ballot, Barry Bonds. Because a Hall of Fame without Bonds is a hilarious, oxymoronic joke.