The BIG (Mac) Debate…

BigmacWell, the 2007 Hall of Fame Ballot has officially been anounced. WIth the announcement comes the storm we’ve all seen coming for quite some time. At the center is one short, yet not so simple question… Whether or not Mark McGwire should enter the hallowed baseball Hall of Fame. The question has sparked quite the debate and nearly everyone is weighing in. It would appear that my post, laying out the case for McGwire’s induction, was a bit ahead of its time so I’m going to repost my original argument here.

Mark McGwire belongs in the Hall of Fame. Yeah, yeah, I realize I’m a St.
Louis fan and therefore have a skewed perspective on this whole issues
(which I’m sure we’ll all be fed up with come early January) but at
least hear me out. Right now the only reason McGwire isn’t an automatic
first ballot inductee is the suspicion of steroid use, and his well
publicized refusal to "talk about the past". Now, don’t get me wrong,
these are very valid reasons. No one was more angry with McGwire’s
performance in front of Congress than I was. No one hates the idea that
the game we all know and love, has been tainted by performance
enhancing drug use. We can no longer just enjoy the game. There is a
hint of doubt every time we see a home run hit. That’s just the way it
is.

But, can we keep Big Mac out of the hall for that? Are we going to
make him the sacrificial star and act like as long as we keep him out
of the Hall of Fame, that all our records are clean and clear and the
game doesn’t still have a problem? In 1998 baseball returned to the
national forefront. MLB officials (including commissioner Bud Selig) at
the very LEAST looked the other way, as steroid bloated sluggers
hammered a record number of balls out of the park. Managers pretended
not to notice, and other players kept quiet or started taking ‘roids
themselves. Everyone in baseball shares the blame for allowing steroids
to corrupt the game.

So, this brings us back to McGwire. Did he use steroids? More than
likely yes. We still don’t have much hard evidence but I think its
reasonably safe to assume so. But, keeping McGwire out of the hall
without rock solid evidence (like a failed drug test) would set a
precedence that I don’t think most voters are willing to stick to. By
that standard you would have to keep not only McGwire out, but Sosa and
Bonds out as well. We have just as much, if not more evidence of Barry
Bonds’ steroid use than we do of Mac’s. Keep in mind, Big Mac never
failed a drug test like Raffy did after angrily point a finger into the
camera and proclaiming his innocence.  Even fan favorites, such as
Roger Clemens, have been implicated in different steroid
investigations.  Just because the fans chose not to accept those
accusations doesn’t make them any less credible than those leveled at
McGwire. So, are you prepared to have a Hall of Fame without the likes
of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, just so you can punish Mark McGwire
for not talking about the past? Me neither. Vote him in.

So, what do you think? Does he belong or not?


 

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1 Comment

I wouldn’t be heartbroken if Bonds, Sosa, McGuire, and Palmeiro were all denied Hall of Fame credentials. I can see your point though… if you let them out, do you also let other known cheaters such as Gaylor Perry who threw a spitball throughout his career? It is hard to say, but I think an example of at least some of these guys is a good idea. The integrity of the game is its very sacredness. If a game is fixed or not a genuine competition between two opponents who have the same advantages or disadvantages available to them, then the whole point of the competition is invalidated. That is what makes steroids in baseball so upsetting and disgusting.

Guys like McGuire who won’t DO anything about it – who will not “talk about the past” need to be made an example of. If he had nothing to hide, he would have told the truth. McGuire took the easy way out and squirmed his way around the hard questions because he obviously has much to hide. Not exactly “Hall of Fame” calibur behaviour. More like “Hall of the Infamous.”

http://baseballspikes.mlblogs.com

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