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Wednesday, January 8, 2014
It is National Judgment Day among America's scions of morality, the sentries who keep impurities out of the Hall of Fame
Posted by el duque at 8:26 AM
Nothing against Greg Maddox and Tom Glavine, et al. Bravo to them. But more than likely, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire - and in the future Alex Rodriguez - will never see a Cooperstown plaque during their lives. After they are dead, a generation will look back on the morality cops who singled them out (as opposed to all those who were not caught) - and they will be elected. Their grandsons and granddaughters will accept the awards. We might not be alive. But it will happen. Because everybody knows they weren't created in a lab like Captain America. What separates them from many others was getting caught. I think history will judge them more kindly.
Which brings us back to Jan. 8, 2014: America's Day of Moral Indignation... The day the sportswriters' votes are announced.
Doesn't matter if you're a beat writer in New York or the featured columnist in Kalamazoo: Become a Gammonite, and in the Hall of Fame vote, morality flows from your exalted lips like recycled sewerage from a theme park waterfall.
I've written in the past about why some sportswriters turned into overbearing morality thugs on the matter of A-Rod. And let me stress that not every writer goes this route. Some close friends write sports. Some great people write sports. But again, I wrote news for more than 30 years, and here are my best reasons why some Gammonites become pig-headed slop-slingers.
1. Arrested Development. In fifth grade, every baseball nut who can finish a sentence wants to be a big time sportswriter someday. Most grow out of it. They end up covering politics or culture - or - if they're working in today's markets, celebrities. Something keeps sportswriters from abandoning that original childhood dream. And some, at basic levels, maintain an element of childishness in everything they write. They call people names. They never think in shades: just winners and losers, villains and heroes. Worst of all, they fall down to authority figures. They automatically follow any old white guy who sits behind the big desk. It's like a flashback trip to the Principal's office.