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Spike Eskin: The Steroid Era Was So Much More Fun Than The Hall Of Fame Debate

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By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The difference between how the steroid era in baseball is talked about and how it felt is drastic.

Today, shame, misery, disgrace. But I remember having a hell of a lot of fun while it was happening. Don’t you?

Whether it was the McGwire vs. Sosa home run race that saved baseball, or trying to decide whether it was worth investing in Brady Anderson rookie cards after he hit 50 home runs, when I put myself back in that place, almost every memory I have of baseball is a good one.

Some look back and feel violated. I look back and feel lucky to have seen it all.

The conversation about this year’s Hall Of Fame ballot is anything but fun. And itt’s not just the discussion about PEDs and whether or not it is a writer’s job to be the moral gatekeeper of the museum. The Jack Morris back and forth has gone from a sports debate to sort of an us vs. them condescending name calling session between two groups of people who choose to look at baseball in different ways.

It’s all so much different than I remember how heated debate about the Hall Of Fame used to be. The heated argument within the vacuum of baseball and sports about a player is something I always enjoyed. This is all so much different.

The Hall Of Fame is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever visited. The voting has always been an interesting discussion, and the induction has always been something to celebrate. This morning, as I stare at headlines discussing why no one was voted in this year, I dread almost all of it.

This is sports. This is baseball. This is supposed to be fun. The reason any of us pay attention to sports, at least initially, is because it’s fun.

Say it slowly. It. Is. Just. Baseball.

Moral grandstanding and the analysis of it is mostly boring and almost always tedious, especially when its done about something that has as few consequences as baseball and who makes it into the Hall Of Fame.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza were three of the greatest baseball players I ever saw. Combining walks and hits, Craig Biggio got on base 4,200 times. I loved watching all of them play baseball. I liked the Hall Of Fame better when that was the point.

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