This is a genuine rhetorical question of mine. I ask this question while doing my best Joakim Noah impersonation. My tone reflects his views about Cleveland. So yes I’m saying Cooperstown, New York, where the baseball hall of fame resides, really sucks. Does the town suck? Does the museum itself suck? I don’t know. Are the plaques and displays dusty? Are the pipes rusty? Who cares. My focus is not on the town or building itself, but the symbol of the struggle that it has become to be in the baseball hall of fame.
The controversy is consistent with who should be voted in and who should be kept out. At the hands of guys who lack the necessary credibility to justly vote for these players. Time and time again we see personal feelings of journalists and reporters get in the way of players being officially penned into history at the highest stage. Players being kept out because of character standards. Standards that were originally set by old white racist baseball pioneers. Guys who wanted to keep African Americans out of the league. If we want to talk about “character”, racism is one of the biggest flaws in that aspect. So I don’t want to hear about how certain players don’t match up to the character standards that Landis set. Examine the character of your baseball gods such as Babe Ruth who was a known misogynistic racist. Examine all of those old-time players who weren’t perfect Christians off the field and take their plaques out of the museum since you’re so up in arms about it.
We have to re-examine what it means to be in the hall of fame and who gets to have the say so. Greatness is about your talent and what you did on the field. As long as a player isn’t harming anyone or anything, then their talent should be recognized and celebrated. You can’t tell history without the full story. That’s a big flaw with American history today. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and others who have had controversial feats should be recognized. Did they do wrong in their careers? Maybe, but tell that story when you look at that plaque in the museum while you also tell the greatness they brought to the game. And while we’re at it, let’s get credible retired players and managers to vote on these players. I don’t care what random average joe from South Dakota who works for a newspaper has to say about the great Manny Ramirez and why he doesn’t like him. Abolish the standards and recreate them! Eras have evolved and so have the players. Judge them accordingly on their talent, not because you didn’t like that they didn’t smile for the cameras.