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"I'm not worried about the hall."

Like Barry Bonds, I am not worried about the Hall.

In my case, that doesn't mean that I don't care about the shrine in Cooperstown. It just means that I am sure the Hall of Fame will be fine, whether or not Barry Bonds donates anything to it. The Hall of Fame will make of the achievements of Barry Bonds what it will. They have plenty of material with which to do it. There is no shortage of video of homeruns hit by Bonds, accompanied by dramatic music and stirring, basso profundo commentary. Even as I speak, somebody is probably developing a hologram of Bonds in full swing for installation in said Hall.

That inevitable holographic extravaganza, no doubt replete with happy crowd sounds and the smell of soggy nachos, will wow younger baseball fans, who have no use for bats behind glass cases or batting gloves stained with pine tar. The older fans might have appreciated seeing the bat with which Bonds will break the homerun record, except that they have no use for Bonds. They would as soon study the bats of Wee Willie Keeler and Ty Cobb, the life-size and somewhat scary wood statue of Ted Williams, and the mock-up of the entrance to Ebbetts Field, all of which have been on display in Cooperstown.

Like the Hall of Fame, baseball itself will survive not only the ascension of Barry Bonds to the throne of the homerun king, but whatever Bonds or Commissioner Selig or anybody else has to say about that development. Our oldest game has survived players who conspired with gamblers to fix games, owners who conspired with each other and the commissioner to fix wages, owners who swindled municipalities out of money that might otherwise have educated children or repaired roads, and fans who jumped out of the stands to assault coaches. It has flourished despite the presence in various dugouts of drunks, thugs, cheaters, sociopaths, and eventual suicides. Amphetamines didn't kill the game and neither will steroids, and neither will whatever laboratory marvel some portion of the next generation's players embrace in order to enhance and prolong their careers.

Baseball, like the rest of the games we follow sometimes despite various people engaged in them, will endure. So I am not worried about the game, and it follows that I'm not worried about the Hall of Fame...which, since I cannot hit major league pitching, do not have millions of dollars, and am not presently concerned that I might be indicted for perjury, may be the only thing I have in common with Barry Bonds.

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