The CHB returns today from a long hiatus, sticks his finger in the air and sees the wind blowing against Barry Bonds. Not surprisingly, the new No. 2 all-time homerun hitter becomes Dan's immediate target.
But first, The CHB has the gall to complain about having to follow the Hall of Fame voting rules (ironic, isn't it?), whining about how difficult it is to navigate the Hall's character clause: "Baseball writers making judgments about a ballplayer's character? Pretty absurd, no? It's never been a comfortable place for this 30-year member of the association."
Ha! Thirty-plus years of snide remarks say otherwise. Do we really need to remind Dan of this?
He critizes baseball for not outlawing steroids ("And what about the fact that baseball did not legislate against most of the stuff during the times Bonds appeared to be juicing?"), apparently and conveniently forgetting that steroid use without a prescription is a violation of federal law.
Then there's some nifty tightrope dancing. Dan is certain of Barry's guilt, saying, "I'm still hoping Barry retires, or confesses and asks our forgiveness." And he's sure of Mark McGwire's too: "McGwire clammed up because he knew he was dirty and he didn't want to face a perjury charge down the road." But while Bonds is a "plague" for which we "hold our noses" (to mix a metaphor), McGwire is simply guilty, and still possibly Hall worthy.
Possibly, because Dan won't say which way he is leaning: "Will I vote for McGwire? Not telling."
To clarify: He'll blare to the world that he's voting for Jim Rice, a lesser candidate if ever there were one. And through the years he has doubtlessly voted for dozens of players who used cocaine, greenies and other such substances. But when it comes to a truly controversial choice, The Bravest Columnist Joe Sullivan Has Ever Known(TM) clams up. Just like McGwire. And just like Barry.