The Silent Induction


The history of baseball cannot be told without Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, it’s the sad, ugly and unfortunate truth. The Baseball Hall of Fame is supposed to tell us the story with the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s an honor to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the pinnacle of the sport, the ultimate goal for anyone who has ever played between the lines and Bonds and Clemens don’t deserve that honor.

Call it the silent induction.

These guys shouldn’t be allowed to soak up the cheers or jeers one last time on a beautiful summer day in July, in Cooperstown. That’s what they want. It’s the sole reason why they chose to take the route they took during their careers. Bonds and Clemens wanted to be at the forefront of any conversation to do with baseball. To this day, its common knowledge that Bonds decided to take steroids because his ego couldn’t handle all the attention Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire received in 1998 during their infamous home run race. On the other hand, Clemens, who was mentioned repeatedly in the Mitchell report in 2007 found himself pitching into his 40’s and winning a suspicious 18 games in 2004 with the Houston Astros as a 41-year-old right hander. An athlete’s worst nightmare is to be forgotten. So we ignorantly cheered and revered them through it all, as they were rewriting history by shattering scared records that we once worshiped, all while the only numbers that really mattered to them were the millions in their bank accounts.

They won the battle but not the war.

It’s possible that Bonds and Clemens don’t mind being off in the corner room of the museum and that’s exactly where they belong. They could even name the room something clever like “Mitchell’s Room” or have a balcony setup and call it “BALCO” and before entering there’s a five-to-ten minute video about the steroid era in baseball. They don’t belong in any room that dawns the names Aaron, Ruth, Mantle, Koufax, Feller, Johnson or anyone else that came before them for that matter. The silent induction also keeps them off the same stage as the living hall of famers who return back to Cooperstown each year for induction weekend.

Bonds and Clemens should be in the Hall of Fame already, and that’s only because these egotistical a-holes are still garnering all of the attention every time they don’t get elected. On Wednesday, Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman received phone calls that they’re getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018. However, all anyone could talk about was the percentage of votes Bonds and Clemens got this year and when and if they’ll ever make it. The conversation needs to be put to bed once and for all. It’s possible one of the main reasons the voters are reluctant to vote these guys in is because of the guilt they’ll face as their being honored, the silent induction is the easy fix.

Bonds and Clemens belong in the Hall of Fame but they are not Hall of Famers, on some cold winter day in December in Cooperstown their plaques can be hung up in that room in the corner of the museum, yeah, the same room that should have Commissioner Bud Selig’s plague on the door.



The Teammate Test: Westbrook Or Pedroia?

Laser show

A lot has been said about Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook’s press conference with teammate Steven Adams over this past weekend, of course, and you were defending one of three sides on Monday morning, Westbrook, Adams or the columnist. A lot was also made out of the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles scuffle from over the weekend, leaving us to decide whether or not veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia handled the situation correctly after his teammate Matt Barnes decided to throw at Manny Machado in retaliation. Two different sports, one common denominator, teammates.

Here’s how the two incidents played out.

Everyone should have an opinion on the topic, we’ve all had to work with others at one point or another, whether you’ve been the one defending a teammate/coworker/friend/sibling/etc., the one being defended, the one being thrown under the bus or the one doing the throwing. Let’s dissect each situation and then decide what type of teammate you are at the end.

Let’s start with Westbrook. The question asked by the columnist was directed at Steven Adams and was most definitely fair (Columnist: +1). Westbrook interrupted the question to defend Adams and the rest of his teammates (Westbrook: +10) ten points for following rule No.1 Sec. 6.09 of the teammate rulebook. Some say Westbrook never let his teammate talk and made sure they mentioned Adams by age (23) before saying he can speak for himself, that’s true, except that same 23-year-old Adams never chose to step up and do so at any point (Adams: -1). The columnist did stand up to Westbrook by responding that he asked Steven the question (Columnist: +1). Westbrook proceeded to hit the reporter with “next question” a few times which is the most elementary way out of a question for any athlete (Westbrook: -1). The columnist genuinely sounded mad towards the end of the clip and didn’t want to give up the microphone until Adams answered his question but Adams never did give in (Columnist: -5; Adams +1). The columnist should’ve been ecstatic about the answer Westbrook gave him, which would’ve been any other reporter’s dream, instead of becoming a part of the story for getting worked up about a quote from Adams that would’ve never seen the light of day. Ultimately, Adams stayed quiet at the right time, respecting Westbrook for having his back in the first place.

FINAL: Westbrook (+9), Adams (+1), columnist (-3)

The Pedroia saga started on Friday night after Machado’s late slide put him on the shelf for the time being. Pedroia never seemed to take exception to Machado’s slide after the game, mentioning that he’s not the “baseball police” and that he didn’t have an issue with anything (Pedroia: +8). The old school approach by Pedroia was well represented after he showed no regard for the fairly new rule on slides at second base. On Sunday, the pitch was thrown by Barnes (+10) in retaliation for the slide except it was near the head of Machado (-9). Barnes had the right idea in protecting his teammate but throwing above the shoulders should be off-limits. This is where the situation gets dicey. Pedroia never publicly acknowledged Barnes for trying to back him in the moment or afterward, even though it wasn’t done correctly by his standards, he’s seen in the clip telling Machado that it wasn’t him and goes out of his way to take the others team side immediately (-5). This is rule No.6 Sec. 0.9 in the DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE section of the teammate rulebook. We don’t know what went on behind closed doors but Pedroia was probably too vocal about his teammates not handling the situation the way he would’ve done it. By the way, who made Pedroia the chief of the baseball police? Barnes never touched on Pedroia’s comments (+2) and denied any notion that he purposely threw the pitch at Machado after the game(+1). The young pitcher kept the situation in-house and bought into the must lie situation about the intent of the pitch.

FINAL: Barnes (+4), Pedroia (+3)

Now, it’s time to pick your poison. What type of teammate are you?

Clearly from the point system used above I see myself as a ton Westbrook, of course, speaking in terms of a teammate and not at all in terms of athleticism, and I’d say I’m more Barnes than Pedroia because I’d never support an opponent over my own.