Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to take a moment to introduce to you the newest inductees into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame:
Yes, that’s correct. Not since 1996 has the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted to elevate absolutely no one to the hallowed halls of the game’s most prestigious institution. On paper, there were plenty of qualified candidates, most notably former superstars/current sad sacks Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who became eligible for the first time this year.
Nevertheless, in their cases not enough time has passed for baseball’s press—and the public in general—to forgive them for sins committed during the notorious Steroid Era (they tell us this Era is over; pardon us while we roll our eyes).
Barry Bonds hit more home runs than any other player in history and Roger Clemens won a record seven Cy Young awards. Yet both have earned the dreaded “cheater” tag due to steroid use–and neither of them handled those accusations with much grace, humility or public relations savvy. They came off as defensive jerks and indignant liars, and the public knows that this is how cheaters typically react to being caught.
In other words: You’re not alone, Lance Armstrong.
Nor were Clemens and Bonds this year’s only black sheep: Steroid Era poster boys Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were, once again, denied entry to the Hall, and they should probably abandon all hope of ever making the cut.
With time comes perspective, and baseball fans have become less forgiving of cheaters as the years pass. Why? Because we all feel duped by these pumped-up jocks, duped by the game of baseball and– worst of all–duped by our own naivety. We remember cheering for Barry Bonds after his head grew like summer squash and for Clemens when he incredibly grew stronger and more durable with age.
We knew better. And now we’re making them pay for it: accountability at long last.
Congratulations to the 2013 inductees of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. You totally deserve it.