BOSTON (CBS) – Wednesday at two o’clock, the newest inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame will be announced, or rather, they may be.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
According to two baseball experts I spoke with Tuesday, Tony Massarotti and Pete Abraham of the Globe, there’s a very good chance that none of the 37 men listed on the 2013 ballot will be admitted to the Hall, including several of the biggest names in baseball history.
Among them: Roger Clemens, arguably the greatest pitcher ever; Barry Bonds, the all-time home run king; and prodigious sluggers like Sammy Sosa, Jeff Bagwell, and Mike Piazza.
A pretty accomplished group, all of whom have something else in common – they were all either accused or seriously suspected of using illegal drugs to enhance their performances.
Massarotti and Abraham told me they don’t really care, that the Hall of Fame is, in Abraham’s words, “not a church, but a museum,” and like a good museum, should reflect the era its artifacts are drawn from. Both men said they had voted to admit Clemens and Bonds because they had proven their excellence well before the steroid era, and both said they had rejected Sosa because he had failed to do so.
But for those of us who are just fans, not baseball experts, the question may be more wrapped up in forgiveness.
Do we forgive Roger Clemens his trespasses, real or alleged, to the point where we’re willing to honor his work in this way?
As a nation, we addressed this sort of issue in the case of President Clinton, whose presidency was and still is widely-admired despite the scandal that engulfed it. As a culture, we’re tended to be forgiving of wayward celebrities who seek redemption and forgiveness for their sins.
It’s a message most of us hear from our religious leaders, one echoed in popular culture by calls for “letting go” of anger and resentment.
One Red Sox fan I spoke with Tuesday said oh, let Clemens in the Hall. “There are more important things to worry about” than what he might have put in his body illegally.
It’ll be interesting to see how many of the Hall of Fame voters feel the same way, and if their number grows or dwindles over time.
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