In an alternate universe, today's Hall of Fame inductions would be a celebration of the greatest players of a generation, among the best in baseball history, led by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
In the real universe, though, Bonds and Clemens, among others, won't be at today's Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. There is no reason to go into why, and the pros and cons thereof, because you've heard it and read it all before. If you're a baseball fan, you've long ago formed your opinion on whether Bonds and Clemens and others from the so-called (ongoing?) Steroid Era should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
So, let's try to lighten the mood a bit with a touch of theater of the absurd. Let's try to imagine what Bonds and Clemens might have said had they been in Cooperstown today for their Hall of Fame enshrinement.
Hey, you've heard of mock drafts. Well, this is a mock Hall of Fame induction speech. Actually, two mock speeches.
"Thank you for this great honor, something that, in all humility, I've been looking forward to since I was 9 years old and hung out with my dad and my godfather in the Giants' locker room and I thought to myself 'They're OK ballplayers, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to be so much better, or, at the very least, so much bigger and stronger.'
"And before I get sidetracked and ramble on with irrelevancies, non sequiturs and general jibber jabber, which I have a habit of doing when I'm nervous, as those of you familiar with my grand jury testimony might remember, I want to make sure I pay tribute to commissioner Bud Selig and his great staff on the recent suspension of Ryan Braun.
"There's no place in our great national pastime for performance enhancing drugs and it's gratifying to see that baseball is serious about cracking down on the cheaters. Braun got off on a technicality once, and got all self-righteous on us, but now he's exposed as a hypocrite, and nobody likes a hypocrite. Hey, Braun, man up, dude. Admit your numbers are inflated. Admit your MVP is undeserved. Admit you're a liar. As a brother in the fraternity of big-league ballplayers, I'm here for you, I'll help you get back on the straight and narrow. I'm reaching out. Let's work out together. Your gym or mine?
"I'd also like to thank my personal trainer, Greg Anderson. Without Greg's knowledge of the wonders of flaxseed oil, I might not have been able to extend my career and achieve — some might say overachieve — as I did. Greg, here's a shout-out to you, old buddy.
"And of course I'd like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all of my teammates throughout my career, all of whom were like brothers to me, and brothers, you know, maybe sometimes hate each other or ignore each other or forget the other's name, but they're still brothers, still a family. And a special thanks to my all-time favorite teammate, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, with whom I felt a special kinship, even though we didn't understand a word we said to each other because he spoke Japanese and I spoke Bondsanese.
"And finally, in closing, I want to thank the sports writers, hard-working men and women whose contempt for me nearly matched mine for them but who nonetheless voted me MVP seven times and now this, the ultimate, the Hall of Fame.