How Do You Know?

It’s tough to watch.

Paul Rudd, a great comedic actor who usually makes me laugh, put on an aristocratic accent in the unwatchable feature film “How Do You Know.” I’m not going to spoil the ending of the movie for you. That’s because I didn’t stay until the end of the show. After getting my 45 minutes full of the always delightful Reese Witherspoon, I got tired of junior varsity acting. Even Jack stunk. This rarely happens.

In the middle of this snoozefest, I thought about baseball’s call to two of the greatest players in the history of the game earlier on Wednesday. Both Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven deserve the impressive honor of a bust in their new summer home of Cooperstown, New York.

But that’s not the lead.

Rafael Palmeiro, a Cuban-born masher who played for three clubs in his 20-year career, didn’t get a phone call from anyone in the 607 area code on Wednesday afternoon. The baseball writers felt that Palmeiro deserved only 11 percent of the vote. You need 75 or more to get into the Hall. He’s not even in the hole.

Raffy finished his career with 569 homers, 3,020 base hits, 585 doubles, 1,835 RBI and a lifetime average of .288. He’s won Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers and made All-Star teams. Based solely on his statistics, Palmeiro should make the Hall of Fame. There’s no debate there.

The only wrinkle comes with the use of performance enhancing drugs. Palmeiro probably used steroids, or more specifically stanozolol. He tested positive for steroid use and was suspended on August 1, 2005 for ten games. Palmeiro finished out the season with the Orioles and never played again.

27 players have a total of 3,000 or more hits in their career.

24 of them are in baseball’s Hall.

Pete Rose, Craig Biggio and Palmeiro are the only omissions. Biggio’s date with destiny comes in two years. He’ll likely make it in.

Palmeiro started his career-ending double play when he told Congress, “I have never used steroids, period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.” He pointed at the camera that afternoon and looked so innocent. We all believed him. Five months later, he got caught. He’s lucky his current address isn’t a prison cell.

In 22 seasons with two clubs, Barry Bonds put on a fireworks display that even Katy Perry would be jealous of on a nightly basis. Bonds hit 762 homers with a lifetime average that tickled .300. Bonds did more walking that a group of seniors at a mall. Barry took a base on balls 2,558 times in his career. He won seven Most Valuable Player awards.

On the field of play, he’s the best player in my generation.

He won’t receive 10% of the vote when his name comes up for election in two years for the Hall of Fame. During his record-setting home run season of 2001, fans threw syringes near Bonds in left field during his road games. Asterisks popped up everywhere. Popular sentiment suggested Bonds cheated by using steroids.

Barry’s never failed a drug test – at least one that we know about. Still, it’s very hard to sympathize with someone who so overtly enhanced himself to become the best. Bonds has an ego the size of Texas and would do anything to prove he’s the best player in the game. If that included cheating, so be it.

How do you know that Palmeiro and Bonds cheated?

I don’t.

You don’t.

It’s tough to watch, isn’t it?

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2 Responses

  1. I think it’s naive to say that you don’t know that they took steroids. That’s just a big cop out for the people wanting to defend the cheaters. It just isn’t fair.

    http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/musings-on-the-2011-hall-of-fame-class/

  2. Where there’s smoke… well you know the rest. Just as Pete Rose for years denied his affront to the sanctity of the game, so too have the likes of Palmeiro, Bonds, Clemmons, and so on. It’s not an issue of did they cheat, Chris, as you appear to be making it. It’s an issue of lying. It’s the possibilty that they’re lying that makes them appear that they think they’re bigger than the game itself. And for that, no man deserves a place in baseball most hallowed grounds.

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