Cooperstown: The Aftermath
By Justin Klugh
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
It was a long, hard fought battle yesterday.
What that battle was and who was fighting in it, we can’t say. It may have looked like several players who have been linked to steroids and a bunch who weren’t and Aaron Sele were kept out of the Hall of Fame by a crew of baseball journalists who annually take on the self-appointed role as the moral police. Aaron Sele was also kept out of the Hall of Fame by suspicions that he was Aaron Sele.
But that couldn’t have actually been what happened because with the attention the Hall of Fame ballot got yesterday, it had to be something a little less ridiculous than that.
It had to be.
Otherwise, we just spent most 0f the week making each other inconsolably upset in comment sections over a museum’s itinerary.
But remember, in the context of baseball, there’s no limit to curmudgeonly fear of change or–to be fair–PED use, but most of that was in the ’90s and you probably didn’t hear about it because, according to BBWAA writers, “It was the ’90s.”
As we all know, zero of the players on this year’s ballot–the Bonds, Bagwell, Sosa, Clemens, Sele ballot–got into the Hall of Fame, thanks to the voters of the BBWAA who wasted no time in hopping on Twitter after the announcement to pat themselves on the back or use those hilarious comebacks to the anticipated insults they came up with last night.
But just by judging the level of graphic violence that was being threatened by that standard internet collective who routinely go from “zero to murderous” during a debate, we can see an indication of how seriously this topic was taken. And on the one hand, it is nice to reaffirm that so many people care about baseball so much.
From a Phillies perspective, the only long term team rep was Curt Schilling, who received a whopping 38.8%, a number which many have had far less than and still made it into the Hall in subsequent years. Calling the experience “surreal,” Schilling’s MLB.com breakdown points out that he won the World Series every time he got to it, except once, with the Phillies. Which was nice to remember.
On the other hand, it’s also important to zoom out, gain a little perspective, and remember that this is just a baseball museum that exists in a small, quiet New York town. The Hall of Fame is not the last shuttle leaving earth, so by not getting in, no one is being pulverized by a meteor. Everybody gets to live on and try again next year, when we’ll all race back to our keyboards to see who can be the most obnoxious about what we believe.