It’s that time of year again. No, it’s not the excitement of another man’s digits in my ass gained from my annual prostate “exam” or the much anticipated expiration of my parole terms. It’s the yearly, and often ONLY, exercise by a group of designated, buffet-dwelling, out of shape men, who’ve likely never even played the game at a somewhat competitive level, to decide who goes into baseball’s most sacred resting place, The Hall of Fame.

The problems with this whole charade begin in that opening paragraph itself. Somehow men who write about, as opposed to play, a sport are designated the gatekeepers of an institution that is the ultimate pinnacle of an athlete’s career. Take the very real possibility of revenge for a writer’s perceived personal slights away and you’re still left with the ridiculous notion that a man likely lacking the dexterity needed to throw a Frisbee can determine your athletic fate…idiocy.

I’ve never understood the predominant setup in sports and entertainment whereas the majority of accolades and awards are determined by those who watch you perform, rather than the peers and opponents that perform with or against you. But this brings me to my next point.

Why the fuck do we hold these shrines of sport and filmdom in such high regard in the first place? These are actors and athletes, people. Very talented at what they do, yes, but it’s not as if they’re out starting foundations that feed the world’s hungry or curing terminal illness.

Where’s the Hall of Fame for these folk and why the hell aren’t we paying attention to it? And, if we were, would you give 2-shits if a doctor took some “performance enhancing” substance that increased his ability to do what he does best? Hell no.

If the soft, warm hands of an almost 42-year old father of two from the suburbs of St. Louis, placed firmly on the scrotum of a medical researcher as he injects himself with a serum, gives him an added boost in brainpower that may ultimately lead to a cure for cancer, well get me some goddamned lotion and a manicure…AND he may just experience my patented “start and stop” or “twist” for good measure, my friends.

I know what you’re going to say – “there’s a BIG difference between curing cancer and hitting a baseball”, to which I say…EXACTLY.

It’s entertainment, folks, pure and simple. Why do we have to be so fucking pure and self-righteous about it? As I’ve said before, if an athlete willingly pumps his body full of shit that would drop a herd of camel in one dose, FULLY AWARE of the possible side effects, so that he can put on a better show for me, so fucking be it already.

Actors utilize makeup, stuntmen and all sorts of other “performance enhancers” to further sell their product, FOR MY ENTERTAINMENT, so I don’t rightly care if an athlete does the same. I sure as hell won’t boycott a movie or support an Oscar boycott because you weren’t really blue-skinned or flying through the air, even if that makeup was made from the blended remains of the precious spotted owl.

And stop it already with the goddamned “moral” clause. By their very nature, most athletes are somewhat challenged in that department. Many of my readers likely didn’t attend college, but those of you who did tell me your overall impression as to the moral convictions of 75% of the campus athletes?

Most are only half-expected to attend classes to begin with and football and basketball players are simply enjoying a 2-4 year vacation of pussy and booze as a required layover to their pro careers, both not so subtly made available by the institutions themselves.

Requiring sterling character, on top of superior performance, for Hall induction is fucking ludicrous. Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle are in, for the love of Mr. T, and they had notorious shortcomings in personality and demons, respectively.

Ty Cobb and Gaylord Perry are Hall of Famers while Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson are not. Enough said.

Get over your expense report and press box access selves and vote for production, regardless of what it took to get it, thus entertaining me, or how many times they called you an asshole, made it rain on some big-assed pole gymnast or refused a legless 9-year old an autograph.

Before steroids there was cocaine, before that there were “greenies” and before that there was sandpaper, Vaseline, pine tar and corked bats. Meanwhile, assholes and deadbeat dads have been a constant.

Just who IS “Hall worthy”? Pete Rose got more hits than anybody in the history of his sport but can’t be in for gambling while some asshole in the NBA who’s fathered 11-children with 9-different sluts can have his bust shining in the halls for years to come.

Hell, at the same time every writer in the country is arguing this “moral fiber” bullshit about baseball, the same blowhards are singing the “surefire Hall of Famer” praises of Ray Lewis in the NFL, upon his recent retirement announcement, despite the fact that he currently has 6-little Ray-Ray’s running around calling 4-different women “mama” – oh, and there’s that other little double-murder issue. No hypocrisy there.

Writers (and I know this) opining on “moral fiber” is a goddamned joke in the first place. In their world of travel, deadlines and hotel bars, I all but guarantee you that a good amount couldn’t pass the laxest of character litmus tests. And that’s not taking into account fabricated story scenarios and the infamous “unnamed source” that MANY have surely used for their own “performance enhancement” on occasion.

Give me Bonds, give me Clemons, give me McGwire and even give me that condescending, sock-painting Curt Schilling asshole. Because they all fucking entertained me, which is what I PAID FOR, and did it better than the rest.

Organize that building by eras, clearly explaining the behaviors that were rampant in those eras on some sort of giant placard outside each wing, with detailed accounts of their own PROVEN wrongdoings under each bust and then let the fans decide how THEY choose to judge that. But the numbers happened, regardless of how they happened and the fact that more and more of them are simply left as a giant void in the current building. Nothing separates baseball from movies or the motherfucking WWE (sorry, Larry) – they’re all just entertainment.

I’ve used this many times but that won’t stop my repetition: If I want to watch layups, ankle tackles and seeing-eye singles, I’ll run down to the local high school. But, for $8-beers and a $200-afternoon to entertain my family, your cartoon ass BETTER have back acne, AS WELL AS the ability to launch a baseball 520-feet into the crowd or propel your 320-pound, 2%-body fat ass like a goddamned missile into some white quarterback from Iowa’s sternum.

Now go cure cancer…KMFP-out!

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# jpkimlin
Friday, January 11, 2013 12:26 PM
Well said. How do you get BBWA members to read your column? Is it possible? Let's start a campaign.

I didn't think they should all be in until this column (well, part of it is I hate McGwire - and yes Sosa too). But I agree with everything you said. EVERYTHING!!

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