Let Him In … But Right After Rose and Jackson

Now that Barry Bonds has, in his own fashion, passed George Herman "Babe" Ruth in the home run record book, it is time to get a little more serious as to how to handle it. Well past 40 and clearly on his last legs, Bonds may never catch, or desire to catch Henry Aaron, a fellow African American.

He might not be able to even if he wanted to. Even a year ago it looked like a lock, now it looks for all the world like his body is crumbling before our very eyes.

Bonds can't run or field anymore and if anything would be better suited to the American League where he could DH his way further into the record books.

As to the Hall of Fame, well, Bonds did do it, in spite of, because of, some circumstances that frankly stink of anything this side of the Iranian ruler in Teheran.

Barry Bonds is the antithesis of Dale Carnegie, who made a pretty good living teaching people how to get along. Father Flanagan, who founded Boys Town out there in Nebraska was said "never to have met a boy he didn't like." Well, he never met Barry Bonds.

But apart from his chicanery and his personality, Barry Bonds DOES have Hall of Fame numbers. Of course, the grand jury isn't even in much less out yet, and there is still a million to one shot that fella who is baseball commissioner might wake up tomorrow morning with Fay Vincent's guts.

Bonds wouldn't be alone as unpopular in the Hall. Everybody hated Tyrus Raymond Cobb, probably ole Ty himself. Rogers Hornsby was a first class SOB. The pitchers wing includes bunches of fellas who racked up wins shading the rules and doctoring the baseball. The Hall has different rules -- with or without Barry Bonds - than the entrance door to the Pearly Gates.

All that being said, I would be willing to include Brother Bonds with this proviso -- Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson go in with him. As long as we already bending non-existent rules, we should take the other two guys along -- even if we have to put them in a new wing that is constantly fumigated.

If we took all the carousers already in the Hall out more than half of its membership would evaporate instantly. If we took every manager out who shaded the rules, ditto. When have you ever seen a player or manager tell an ump, hey you were wrong calling me safe, I was really out.

This is baseball not church.

The guys who hate steroids the most are the ones who took them. Of course, they didn't hate them when they were getting an edge, it was only latter when the dangerous stuff presented its due bill.

If Bonds goes into the hall, you also have to consider the cases of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. And Rafael Palmiero. All of them, Bonds included, may have lied about what they put into their bodies, but the home runs themselves were 100 percent real.