We’re about six weeks from Hall of Fame balloting season, so my nose for BBWAA bullshit is getting really anxious. If you’re not into that kind of thing, you’re advised to click ‘back’ now.
Howard Bryant of ESPN somehow managed to file a long-ish column about baseball that did not have the words “steroid” or “enhancing” or “drug” in it. Bryant, of course, is most noted for his book on the subject of steroids, which he wrote after Jose Canseco’s book and after the whole steroids thing in baseball had been uncovered by other people, rather than before those things and while he was a journalist covering baseball during the steroids era when it was all too obvious to everyone watching what was happening in the game. Now Bryant fills out an empty Hall of Fame ballot, which he described as a “basket of rotten apples.” Bryant, don’t forget, has a book to sell. It’s now a seven year old book, but it remains his best-selling because it’s a sensational, after-the-fact act of wrestling with a pig on a topic that people like to yell and scream and get up in arms about.
When Howard Bryant can sculpt the narrative to serve his image as Steroids Author And Expert, he’ll take the shot. So it’s weird to look on ESPN’s website and find a Bryant column in which the act of narrative is being poo-poo-ed by Bryant.