Dean Clough

December 9, 2022

Portico Darwin: Arrive Hoboken + Hall of Joke


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Yeah, baby.  A not-too-awful flight in steerage across our big country and we're now wonderfully ensconced in an undisclosed location in happening Hoboken. 

Pro Tip:  I like the Oneworld alliance, of which American and Alaska Airlines are a part.  We're flying Alaska both ways, but our American Admiral's Club membership got us in to the new (and very nice) Alaska lounge in Terminal 2, and we can use the Admiral's Club at EWR (which has no Alaska lounge) on Christmas Day on the way home.  Nice.

Despite the excitement of changing time zones, I'm a bit perturbed, at least when it comes to baseball.  And I'm not talking about the overpriced Aaron Judge staying with the Yankees (which is a good thing for my Giants, I say).

No, and let me be blunt and succinct about today's topic:  what the F kind of Hall of Fame is Major League Baseball's when David Ortiz is welcomed, yet the eminently superior Barry Bonds is not? 

The recent decision by the "era committee" is keeping him, as well as fellow jerk but no-doubt Hall of Famer Roger Clemens, out of Cooperstown.  Indeed, my man Barry got the fewest votes he's ever gotten.  So what should be a museum is instead a perverted arbiter of an ethical standard, yet one ignored when it's convenient.  Like when the guy in question is, you know, Big Papi!  Or worse, Bud Selig.

Anyone that knows baseball knows Bonds and Clemens belong in any hall or museum or shrine or whatever you're talking about if you're talking about baseball.  Bonds, especially:  he's easily the best player of the late 20th/early 21st century, with or without steroids, which he (and Clemens) most certainly used.

The idea that players already in the Hall or the Hall itself are somehow pure is comical and also scandalous.  There are flaming racists and misogynists in there - big time.  Many pill-poppers, via the days when speed was de rigueur.  Plenty of major boozers - Mickey Mantle could outlast them all at Toot Shor's.  And the Hall of Fame itself?  There was no acknowledgement of The Negro Leagues for decades, and that's just one example of their many transgressions over the years.

Oh, and a whole shit-ton of people with ties - direct and otherwise - with the entire steroid era, have already been welcomed.  Jeff Bagwell, anyone?  Even Bud Selig, a complete goof of an MLB commissioner who didn't just look the other way from the steroid issue, but nearly broke his neck doing so, is somehow enshrined.

The final straw for me was the recent induction of the aforementioned David Ortiz, A.K.A. Big Papi.  A guy that absolutely juiced.  But damn, he's so lovable!  He's just a big ol' teddy bear - let's put him in the Hall anyhow!

Let me clear.  A lot of players took steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) during this sad era.  That absolutely includes Bonds - there is zero doubt he did bad things to better his abilities.  But remember this:  the pitchers he was facing were doing it, too.  So were the fielders chasing down the balls he hit.  Doing 'roids and the like helped everyone, not just Bonds and Grady Anderson and other cheaters like him.  Doesn't that level the playing field, so to speak?  Or at least close enough to welcome Bonds in to the Hall - again, the best player of his time, before and after the steroid era?

It should, but it doesn't.  And do you know why?  I believe it is because, at least for a very long time, Barry Bonds was the single biggest asshole in sports.  Rude, condescending and worse to reporters.  A superstar that demanded to be treated like one by his teammates and coaches.  Someone that would refuse a child's request for an autograph.  A guy that would be a major jerk for no other reason than because he could.   You can read "Love Me, Hate Me" by Jeff Pearlman, as I have, if you need evidence of just how awful he was.  I already knew Barry was bad - but he was worse than I imagined.  And I don't think Clemens is a lot better.

But Ty Cobb was a monster, Babe Ruth a glutton and a lush; indeed, most inductees are decidedly not choir boys, nor fonts of charisma.  So if baseball's Hall of Fame is to be anything more than a hypocritical joke, Barry Bonds must go in.  Roger Clemens, too.  And yes, even the slimy white trash gambler Pete Rose.  All 3.  Put them in now - after all:  someone hit all of those homers, won all of those Cy Young awards, and got all of those hits.  

And it most definitely was not Big Papi.


Thank you to everyone that sent birthday wishes.  Gratitude?  Yeah.  Big time.

And a shocker, but the noted contrarian Arthur had a different Isle of Wight pick.

I like The Who at Isle of Wight, but I have to say may favorite single performance from that festival is this nugget:

Jethro Tull - To Cry You A Song. Isle of Wight 1970 ,Remastered montage video & audio by RudenkoArt

But I can't say he's wrong:  great song, and great footage.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.


What with being rejected by Aaron Judge, the Hall's disrespect of Bonds, the inexplicable closure of The Tenderloin Center AND The World's Most Handsome Man getting injured in the midst of my Niners' Super Bowl run, we need something to remind us of the perfection of SF.  No matter the volume of human detritus I must step over on my way to Perry's!

Here is the Stockton product Chris Isaak and his nice San Francisco Days.  And a fine photo of my beloved city at sunrise a couple of days ago.  SF, I'll see you in a few weeks.


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