I come to bury Barry Bonds, not to praise him.
No Hall of Fame election has shivered with as much anticipation as this, the Year of Our Baseball Lords 2013. For the first time, the likes of alleged Performance Enhancing Drug users Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa will be on the ballot, and many view the moment as journalism's opportunity to properly define The Steroid Era.
If it was simply a matter of numbers, all three would be in. Of course, it's not that simple. Some think Bonds should never be allowed in. Others think he should, but not on the first ballot.
But the bottom line is, it doesn't matter. The Hall of Fame is nothing but a minor footnote in the Despicable Tale of the Alleged Steroid User. So if the Baseball Writers want to do what is right for the game and for the public that pays to obsess over it, they'll let Bonds and his ilk into the Hall and be done with the whole mess forever.
For those who object, ask yourself; what will keeping them out prove? What does it achieve?
Does anyone honestly expect a first-ballot rejection to be the magical epiphany for Bonds' selfish soul? Do the naysayers imagine a major press-conference by The Asterisk King where he confirms all the shady details of Game of Shadows, bursts into tears in front of the national media and throws himself on the mercy of the public, begging for forgiveness?
How far a future will it be when Father takes Son to the baseball Hall of Fame and tells his offspring "here's the plaque for Barry Bonds, baseballs Home Run King... and that is all there is to that story"?
Bonds, Clemens, Sosa... their legacies are forever tainted, linked permanently to an era of baseball defined by needles and capsules. Acting as if a spot in the Hall, or lack of a spot, would somehow change that is genetically-altered baloney.
Baseball made this bed a long time ago. The sooner they get in between the itchy sheets, the sooner the morning sun will rise again. The debate will halt, the arguments will silence, the ride will come to a complete stop and those of us ready to vomit can finally get off.
Keep them out, however, and you force the baseball public to endure another year of speculation, another season of debate, and another round of these wretched drug-filled cheaters (allegedly, of course) smiling back at us on our TV sets (For Example, See: Rose, Pete).
Put Bonds in the Hall of Fame, and bury him deep into its tomb of hallways, so we're finally rid of him forever.
Put them in the Hall, not to praise them. Put them in and free us of them permanently.