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Extreme Makeover: Hall Edition

March 14, 2006

What do ya say we get with the times, huh? The Hall of Fame is a stuffy old building anyway.

Cooperstown, New York, meet ABC Television's "Extreme Makeover." Ty Pennington, knock yourself out, and a wall or two while you’re at it. Maybe we can flip the old fixer. Or at the very least, a new wing for some future residents.

Barry Bonds needs a place to hang his giant baseball cap. Because, if you listen to half the country’s columnists, Bonds was Hall of Fame-worthy before he started juicing, so he’s a lock for enshrinement no matter what happened after.

Of course, if the remaining 50% of writers have their way, they’d just as soon nuke the place as let the likes of Mr. 700 step foot within miles of Otsego County.

Never mind that there’s been this little known process practiced in these parts for centuries, called, oh I don’t know, voting!!!

If I’ve got a ballot in my hand, I’m probably skipping past Barry Bonds’ hole. And sure, yes, the writers union has kept Internet columnists out of the Hall almost as long as it has Jim Rice, but other than that, they’re a pretty baseball savvy bunch of guys. I trust them. If Bonds gets 75% of the vote, it’s not the end of civilization as we know it. We’ll get over it.

But 75% is no given, OK, he very well might not make it. Anyway, he’s got to quit the game first, and then sit on his pin cushion of an ass for five years. Then we’ll have an election. If at that time you wanna take issue with democracy in action, whichever way it works out, fine. It’s a free country. Be my guest.

In the meantime, let’s clear some space and just throw Extreme Makeover the damn ball. If ABC and Pennington are short on labor, we’ll rustle up some five-tool guys (Raul Mondesi, perhaps) and maybe a coupla Quakers, and raise a room for the sport’s best cheats.

The Chicago Eight is a no-brainer. Gaylord Perry, Joe Niekro, Jay Howell, Kevin Gross. OK, not Kevin Gross. Pete Rose still wants in, doesn’t he, so why not oblige the man. A plaque detailing Pete’s on-field accomplishments and his gambling shenanigans.

Sammy’s Sosa’s corked bat belongs in Cooperstown too, as does Albert Belle’s, and a display case of scary bottles and syringes.

I’m completely serious about this. It’s a museum right? Museums are supposed to reflect and unravel the mysteries of history by explaining what actually happened, right? Well, steroids actually happened. To omit the era of performance enhancing is just plain sticking your head in the batter’s box. And that’s unacceptable.

With the makeover plan, however, assuming Bonds manages the votes, Cooperstown will have a special space, all shiny and new, waiting for him when he gets there. And with fine cell, uh, bunk mates too.

Bonds Sidebar: It’s going to be interesting to see how the home folks react, don’t you think? San Francisco is a smart town, after all; a city of educated, cultured, fair-minded people. It’s a city with soul, unlike, say, Cincinnati, where a Swastika is just a cute little doodad, and Marge Schott a kindly eccentric and patron of dogs…

Basketball Savvy: Well, it’s March Madness time again, and not a minute too soon. Cause you just don’t hear “he’s got numbers” and “the big dance” said nearly enough the other 50 weeks of the year.

Oh, and broadcasters of America, can we get the key pronunciations straight this time, please? ZZZavier and GonzAAAga open up against each other, so you only have to learn one of them past the first round. And the UCLA point guard. His name is Far-MAR.

More importantly, that hideous, long-haired Connecticut mascot is no Siberian Husky dog. Now, the Washington canine is the real thing; a true, blue-eyed beauty of a Husky. Proud, majestic, with his ears pointed skyward, toward the hoop. Likes to run.

That UConn mutt shouldn’t even be allowed out in public, much less the gym…

Investors Wanted: Invest a thimble full of venture capital today, make major league minimum tomorrow…

Jackass of the Week: Mike Schmidt, for implying that if steroids were legal and plentiful during his career, he’d have used them, and better still, for defending Bonds. Because after Sally Struthers, 15 years of steering the Pete Rose Hall of Fame bandwagon just wasn’t fulfilling enough work for old Iron Mike…

Now, That’s Embarrassing: USA's losing to Matt Stairs and Canada is one thing, but being taken deep and on the verge of, uh, going to Spring Training, by Hee Seop Choi is quite another indeed.

I still say the only way Choi plays another game in Los Angeles is if the injury bugs bites four Dodgers first baseman in the next two weeks. And since Olmedo Saenz passed on the chance to defect during the World Baseball Classic, it looks like Choi’s good fortune includes facing Dan Wheeler, but that’s as far as it goes.

We’ll remember Choi here fondly, as the second coming of Steve Balboni, minus the home runs…

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Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues, so please scroll back to the upper right panel of this page and vote yes on 32.

Remember, glove conquers all….




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