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Former San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds missed being selected to baseball's Hall of Fame by a wide margin. (Associated Press file)

Some of my fondest memories of grad school are from the days I lived directly across the street from the Tunnycliff Inn in Cooperstown, N.Y. The bar at the T.I. was one of those downstairs, "Cheers" kind of places, accessed from front stairs at street level. To one side, I lived a short block away from Lake Oswego. In the other direction, I was about half a block away from the Baseball Hall of Fame. 468 feet to be exact.

I've always been more of a football than baseball kind of guy. But today, I'm baseball all the way.

Despite all the controversy surrounding this year's potential inductees into the hall of fame, not one single nominee surfaced in this week's voting. The Baseball Writers of America considered more than just stats in awarding the kind of accolades that inspire the youth of this nation. Athletes and nonathletes alike.

Although it's a "sad day" for the likes of Barry Bonds, it's a great day for America.

In an age of far too much entitlement, it's refreshing to find that some people still feel that no one is entitled to cheat and be rewarded for it.

In a recent front-page story, "Shut Out," both Richard Justice and Buster Olney appear to condone the fact that, "the use of steroids was so pervasive in the era of Clemens and Bonds that there was no use in punishing them."

Truth is, if there was any punishment inflicted, it was inflicted on the sport itself and the American people. The baseball writers didn't punish these guys. Fittingly, they just didn't reward them.


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It's the likes of Justice and Olney who attempt to pervasively lower the bar in an effort to "accommodate" the entitled "cheaters."

It's the likes of these guys who would like to see the establishment of a new "status quo" where everyone is entitled to cheat and take advantage. There's more to this story than just America's favorite pastime. If one reads between the lines, it's just as much about something that often times divides this nation as a whole.

Today my admiration is extended to the likes of Goose Gossage, Tom Verducci, Thom Loverro, Barry Larkin, Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson. You've made a fan of me, gentlemen.

Cooperstown will never be the same.

Thomas Portue is a resident of Pleasant Hill.