The jury delivered its verdict on Barry Bonds* last week, then I rendered judgment on the both Bonds* and the jury. And now, the stage is yours. ...
FROM: Gary K.
Since you [know] nothing about baseball, you should not have a vote for the Hall of Fame anyway. If Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth belong in the Hall of Fame, then so does Barry Bonds. I suppose the Babe didn't take a drink during Prohibition or Ty Cobb was a person that we would want our children to learn their morals from. You, my friend, are an idiot!
You're the one grouping a convicted felon who dragged the game through the mud with two guys who respected the game and were never convicted. And I'm the idiot?
FROM: HSC Shooter
I totally agree with Scott. Bonds will have to wait a very long time before anyone feels he's worthy of the HOF. You let Bonds in and that opens a lot of doors. You have to let Pete Rose in, as well as Shoeless Joe Jackson. These two individuals have the numbers and, last time I checked, betting doesn't increase power numbers or cap size, or shrink testicles. Bonds knew he couldn't get the numbers without a little help. Manny knew it and a whole bunch of others yet to be caught. Baseball has a very serious problem. As does the NFL.
Thank you for mentioning the NFL. Because if people think football players grow to those dimensions naturally, then I've got mansion belonging to Barry Bonds that I'd like to sell you.
If Bonds does not get your vote for the HOF, then you should lose your status as a voter. You holier than thou writers are a joke. If Bonds doesn't get in, then take out Ty Cobb and anyone who used amphetamines in the '60s and '70s.
That wasn't on my watch. This is. The record book has never changed so quickly as when players changed so grotesquely. If having standards makes me holier than thou, then come find me in church, big man.
Then YOU SIR should not have a vote. In a game that it is CLEAR that many players were using ... for you to say you will not vote for a guy who HAD the numbers is absurd. I guess A-Rod does not get in either? You must be MAD!
Last I checked, A-Rod is an admitted HGH user. So he's out, too. So many marquee players from this generation -- not all -- should be ashamed.
FROM: John B.
Excellent essay, Mr. Miller. It seems we have a bit in common. My twin sister has been a Crown Prosecuting Attorney for about 30 years now. Has turned downed an offer of Judgeship feeling it would be too disruptive to her family, yet has given seminars and courses to many a judge on many an occasion. Your essay rang true and clear to me, although my sister would never say it, and I think you know where this verdict ultimately came from. Thanks for scratching the surface. A loyal reader.
Not only is my sister a lawyer, but she's hell on wheels in the kitchen -- steaks, pasta, cookies, you name it. I need to go visit her more often.
How can you not vote Barry in? He did not break any MLB rules. Your vote should be about a player who played the game, and not about your personal feelings toward the man. You need to keep your feelings out of it and just look at what he has done as a player within the rules he was given to play with.
I give you credit for a level-headed response. Thanks for that. A couple of things: My personal feelings toward Bonds are not negative. I've interviewed him several times, and he's almost always been cool to me. This is purely professional. And in that regard, the directive from the Hall of Fame pertaining to voting is that "voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution(s) to the team(s) on which the player played." For me, Bonds fails badly in "integrity, sportsmanship and character."
If Bonds doesn't get your vote, then no one should. It is apparent that the media, including you especially, myopically view the period from approximately 1997 on as the steroid era. However, we know Olympic athletes were using them in the '60s and some ex-MLB players have been reported to have admitted to having tried them pre-1980. Therefore, everyone after 1960 should be deemed suspect. Your choice to exclude Bonds would appear to be based more on your dislike of him as a person, than any form of logical, reasoned judgment regarding HOF credentials. What are your qualifications to determine which of the thousands of players knowingly took steroids and which didn't, when our federal justice system was unable to divine that in the Bonds case? If you are going to vote based on who you like and dislike, disregarding baseball credentials, please turn in your voting credentials.
Make sure to read my answer to the note just above yours.
About the cosmic unimportance of Barry Bonds, you are quite correct. Afghanistan, Iraq, the whole Middle East, budget, economy, national deficit, health care, immigration, jobs...... the list of infinitely more significant issues that the feds must deal with is endless.
And now we've got sleeping air traffic controllers on top of everything else.
FROM: Christopher B.
You over-value public sentiment. The public is spoon fed how to think, and you hold the spoon. That you vilify Bonds is not surprising. You are grand-fathered in. Perfect. Spotless. You may wear your underpants up to your neckline however, and should try loosening up some. This is what I think of you. There but for the grace of God go I.
"There but for the grace of God go I"? That works when it comes to natural disasters. Not here. We all have choices to make, and Bonds made his. And leave my underwear out of it.
FROM: Stan A.
What a bunch of worthless BS this was. So, how much was spent on this trial ... to get to the conclusion that obstruction occurred with NO lying. If a person is a celebrity, politican or of the elite super-rich class, you can get away with almost anything -- for a price. That's what our Justice system is based on, who can pay and who has to serve. Geez what a joke this trial was. Hopefully, any HOF voters with gonads will say NYET to any of the steroid superstars.
Amen, brother, amen.
FROM: Larry Y.
The real problem with steroids and baseball was not Barry Bonds. The real problem was Donald Fehr and the players union. Add Bud Selig and the owners to that list. Imagine if the NFL players union had blocked testing for steroids and Roger Goodell and the owners were OK with it. ... The poster boy for the steroid era should not be Barry Bonds. It should be Donald Fehr and it should be Bud Selig.
There's lots of guilt to go around, my friend.
Likes: If you can't get enough of the Giants' World Series title last year, make sure to check out Andrew Baggarly's book, A Band of Misfits. Andy knows the Giants as well as anyone and he worked his tail off on this book over the winter. You can check it out here. ... Fair Game, the film version of former CIA operative Valerie Plame having her identity leaked by the government when her husband wrote an op-ed piece criticizing the Iraq war for the New York Times. Not a great film, but pretty good. And Sean Penn is always excellent. ... Nicolas Cage arrested in New Orleans for publicly arguing with his wife in the street in front of a house he said they were renting ... and she said they weren't. Now that's entertainment. Great actor, messed up dude. ... Jason Isbell's new disc, Here We Rest, is really good. Many terrific tracks, none better than Codeine.
Dislikes: The Switch isn't even worth a look on DVD. Poor Jennifer Aniston. She seems like such an attractive and nice gal, but she's made awful choices in some of her film roles and men.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"If there's one thing I can't stand
"It's this bar and this cover band
"Trying to fake their way through 'Castles Made of Sand'
"Well that's one thing I can't stand
"If there's one thing I can't take
"It's the sound that a woman makes
"About five seconds after her heart begins to break
"That's one thing I can't take"
-- Jason Isbell, Codeine