Before I became enamored of rock stars, rock journalists, punk rockers, metal mavens, or DJs, the first idols in my life were Houston Astros players, namely Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and the late Ken Caminiti.
So on Wednesday, when the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to induct Biggio or Bagwell, or any other players who were up for the highest honor the sport can bestow on a ballplayer, it stung really bad. These were guys I grew up emulating.
Even Bagwell is pissed, not for himself, but for his friend Biggio.
Of all the names on this year's ballot, it should have been Biggio who went in. With more than 3,000 hits, plus 414 stolen bases and 12,504 career plate appearances, his numbers are amazing for a second baseman, not to mention a Houston Astro. Let's face it, the team has been underwhelming most of my life, save for the flashes of excitement and awe that were mostly due to Biggio and Bagwell themselves.
So this week baseball fans felt the same sting that fans of the MC5, Kiss, Kraftwerk, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, New Order, Brian Eno, New York Dolls, Lou Reed, Depeche Mode, The Replacements, The Cure, The Cars, Joy Division, Iggy Pop, and Peter Gabriel have all felt each year that those artists and many others haven't been inducted into the Rock HOF since they were first eligible.
Years ago, rock fans began to turn away from the Rock Hall as it became increasingly clear who was pulling the strings. Maybe that will now happen to the baseball HOF, as the luster of what has always been a fan-friendly enterprise begins to fade.
Baseball fans, though, hold that HOF in higher esteem that rock fans do the rock hall, or once held the rock hall I should say. There isn't much cynicism in baseball, a sport still clinging to decades of sepia-toned history. Rock and roll is still young by comparison.
This week hasn't been kind to the Houston sports fan/national sportswriter relationship anyway. Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy's roasting of the "frauds" that are the Houston Texans still hurts a lot, but when I take into account that sportswriters and rock writers are all cut from the same cloth (sorry, they are), my anger dies down. Trolls is trolls.
OK, unless you are a Pete Rose or Shoeless Joe Jackson fan. I could go into their stories of Hall of Fame woe, but this is a rock blog.
Bagwell's past has been somewhat sullied in regards to his supposed steroid use, and tsiome of the rest of this year's would-be inductees are no cleaner. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds... yeah. But what of guys like Curt Schilling, Tim Raines, Mike Piazza and Edgar Martinez?
I say, let's wait until next year. Maybe next year Biggio can go in with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Moises Alou. Maybe 2013's wrongs can be righted in a big way.
In 2014, the Rock HOF could induct Nirvana, Green Day, Pavement and Nine Inch Nails in one swoop. Who knows?
Or hell, maybe our beloved Biggio could turn into the Rock Hall's version of Rush and be shut out for years and years until he finally gets the honor -- by which time everyone will have given up on the HOF anyway.
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