COOPERSTOWN, NY -- The name "Cooperstown" is so often invoked in discussions about baseball, especially these days --
It seems impossibly far from the reality that is Major League Baseball today -- from, say, Yankee Stadium, 185 miles southeast of here, where on Sunday a man who will make $33 million this season and who has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs tried again to hit his 600th home run in front of his well-heeled fans, some of whom paid more than $1,000 for a ticket to watch him try, while gobbling all-you-can-eat shellfish and steak. The people who put on Sunday's ceremony in which Expos and Cubs slugger
This is a place where people happily nod along to the old-timey baseball anthems that are played over the loudspeaker -- a cloying ukulele version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"; a ditty by someone named
It's a place where the use of the word "great" far exceeds that of any other adjective. It's a place where every person is special, even if emcee
It is a place devoted mostly to an idealized vision of baseball, though reality did break through at times on Sunday.
But still: Sunday's ceremony amounted to a rather pleasant three-hour exercise in mythmaking. The class inducted here was not among the Hall's most singularly impressive, consisting, as it did, of one player, Dawson, who finally made it in after falling short in his first eight years on the ballot and who everyone kept saying would have been r
Over the next few years, this particular heaven's gatekeepers are going to have to decide how to deal with figures like