Monday, January 8, 2007

The Post about the Baseball Hall of Fame 2007

Tomorrow the doors to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown will open for the class of 2007.

Cal Ripken Jr.will certainly be voted in and so will Tony Gywnn; both men richly deserve the honor.

Borderline candidates like Harold Baines, Paul O’Neil, and Alan Trammell will get a few votes but stay home.

The annual debates about Andre Dawson, Goose Gossage, Jack Morris, and Jim Rice will rage again.

Oh, and the guy who ranks 7th in career home runs, who hit 49 home runs in his rookie season and 70 a decade later, the man who brought baseball back to front and center in the glorious summer of 1998, will almost certainly be left sitting at home.

Choosing to keep Mark McGwire out of the Hall isn’t a tragedy. I’ll reserve that term for something that doesn’t involve getting paid millions to hit a baseball.

But it is hard to rationalize.

Months ago,  if I had a vote, I too might have decided to leave him off the ballot, just to tweak my nose at the whole Steroid Era.

Instead, by golly, I got the chance to read voter after voter’s explanation for skipping over McGwire.

You can imagine how most of the articles go: Mark is suspected of doing steroids, he’s a symbol of the era, he wouldn’t talk to Congress, etc. Thus, leave him off the ballot.

Well, whoopdedoo.

Forget for a moment his true guilt or innocence and consider the hypocrisy of these writers. Most must have had some clue, some inkling of what was going on in the years they were busy making Mark a national hero, right?

Sure, I sat around in ’98 oblivious, believing that expansion and smaller ballparks alone were leading to more homers. So what?

I didn’t have the opportunity to visit the locker rooms, I wasn’t clued in to the rumor mill, and just to pound the fact home, I’m not the one paid to investigate and publish the news.

Don’t the writers share part of the blame? And yet here they are, the gatekeepers for entrance to the Hall.

How wonderfully ironic.

As far as McGwire’s appearance before Congress, that was a no-win situation. If he admits fault he is ostracized from baseball, and folks that say differently are fooling themselves. If he denies it, he’d be labeled a liar, especially after Palmerio’s perjury.

And apparently, if he just keeps his mouth shut, he’s out of the Hall.

You know the most duplicitous argument? That the decision to leave him off the ballot has nothing to do with steroids and everything to do with a one-dimensional career that isn’t Hall worthy.

If you think for even a second that those same writers weren’t drooling over his numbers at the turn of the century and booking tickets to watch his enshrinement, you’re as crazy as their argument.

Do I believe McGwire did steroids? Yes. Do I have proof? No.

Does he belong in the Hall? Honestly, I don’t know.

But I do know this is the opening bell for a decade or more of debate. Eventually Sosa, Palmerio, Giami, Sheffield, and Mr. Bonds will be up for enshrinement.

Can you legitimately keep an entire era of superstars out of the Hall?

Here’s an idea that’ll never happen, and one that even I’m not that keen on: keep the borderline (and certified cheaters) Palmerio, Giambi, and Sheffield out, even if their final numbers warrant inclusion.

Then put Sosa, Big Mac, and Bonds on a single plaque, extolling them as the dominant sluggers of the era but mentioning the controversy surrounding their accomplishments.

Would it mean rewarding cheaters? Probably.

But it would acknowledge an important era in the sport, and give the (officially) innocent the benefit of the doubt.

Five years ago McGwire was a guaranteed lock for the Hall. Now he’s a pariah.

That in itself might be punishment enough.

The BCS Championship

I've had the game on as white noise off and on all evening, and I am shocked.

 If I thought it was going to be a blowout, I'd have said Ohio State would be on top.

The worst part is that a friend of mine, a Florida native, will be insufferable now.

Any chance of Boise State sneaking in to the #2 slot? I'm not familiar enough with the BCS to know . . .


Friday, January 5, 2007

Big Grandpa - 20 years

 Today while taking YaYa to school I suddenly remembered that it was 20 years to the day  - January 5th, 1987 - since my paternal "Big" Grandpa died.

It is honestly alarming how quickly life is passing by; his death seems only a moment ago in my mind, certainly nothing approaching two decades.
YaYa began to ask a lot of questions, and I was impressed by her interest. She soon explained herself, saying that she wanted as much information as she could remember so she could add a prayer for him to the P.A. announcements this morning.
She even asked me to write down his name for her.
'No man is dead if he is remembered' - that's the motto of a cemetary I pass daily, and it's something I firmly believe.
Today, Big Grandpa's memory is alive and well.
Rest in Peace, Grandpa - I love you.

Monday, January 1, 2007

What a Fiesta Bowl!

Holy Cow, what a game!

A true David v Goliath match from the start, Boise State jumped out to an early lead against the favored Sooners. After maintaining the lead into the 4th quarter (and with some spectacular plays along the way) it looked like it was all over with Oklahoma up by 7 with under 30 seconds left  . . and then booyah! a fantastic trick play that tied the game with 6 seconds left and knocked it to overtime!


Overtime is just about to start so we don't have a winner yet, but man, what a game, what a game!


Oklahoma took the lead in OT, but Boise State scraped together another TD. At that point they decided to go for it all and win or lose on a 2pt conversion. They knew OK had studied game footage of their team in similar situations - so they ran a bootleg to the left and took home a VICTORY!

The Cinderella team wins the Fiesta Bowl!

The. Best. College. Football. Game. I've. Ever. Seen.

LOL - and then to top it off, on live TV one of the players got down on one knee and proposed to the head cheerleader. What a game!

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to get a quick post in to welcome 2007. Technically, I've now had this blog up and running for four years - '04,'05,'06, and 2007. Of course, that's b.s, as it amounts to a mere 26 months over that time.

My wife's friend Chris and her kids were over for New Years this year, but at 10 I left and went to work to oversee the year-end, just returning a few minutes ago. The kids called me at 11 (when the Apple dropped in NY) to wish me a Happy New Year.

Anyway, blessings to all for 2007!