The Baseball Hall Of Fame is only going to notice this problem in about 15-30 years, when people have enough money and vacation time to consider going to visit them, but decide not to, because the majority of the worthy players they grew up watching will not be included in the Hall.

And they’ll feel like it’s a slap to their generation of baseball.

Baseball has a history fetish.  Always has, always will.  Football barely talks about the days before the Super Bowl.  Basketball’s idea of a throwback is the ultra-colorful 1970’s polyester days, which baseball would like to forget (don’t blame them there).  Hockey’s biggest throwback to its past is the Friday the 13th film series.

And it’s great that baseball has this tradition that can date itself back to long ago days.  It is.  But it shouldn’t come at the expense of talking about what the modern day has done to the sport.  We can still acknowledge the 1920’s and 1930’s of baseball and the great things that happened then, but in the same breath acknowledge the great wrong that was done by excluding black players.  It’s okay to do both.

The 1990’s and early 2000’s saw baseball’s explosion.  After the strike changed baseball’s relations with itself, the game’s history exploded.  We saw the landscape literally change as the monstrous stadiums built from 1960 until the mid-1980’s have mostly disappeared (thanks, Oakland) and been replaced with veritable cathedrals in a way no other sport can match.  We saw increasing numbers of Latino and Asian-American players join our game, and the sport has grown internationally. And we’ve witnessed a few players who were truly among the greatest ever.

But some of those people in that last sentence, the so-called guardians of baseball won’t acknowledge.

Baseball’s history won’t ever be a complete and true if we don’t acknowledge that steroids happen.  They are bad for the game, and bad for the people that took them, and bad for the people who didn’t take them.  But they happened.  And unless baseball can honestly look at the reasons why they did happen, and the things that make baseball great without them, but also celebrate the players who were amazing while that was part of the game, then the Hall of Fame is a worthless show of mutual-onanism that isn’t worth the visit.

When I can get the vacation days, at least.