A fallen hero

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

SI.com - MLB - Poll: Big Mac in HOF? Don’t hold your breath - Monday November 27, 2006 9:01PM

The Associated Press surveyed about 20 percent of eligible voters, and only one in four who gave an opinion plan to vote for McGwire this year. That’s far short of the 75 percent necessary to gain induction.

In the late 80’s, before I became an Orioles' fan, I loved the A’s.  I think I’ve mentioned it here before, but Mark McGwire was my favorite baseball player.  This skinny little first baseman who hit 49 home runs as a rookie, hit the home run that provided the A’s only win in the ‘88 World Series, how could you not like him?

I was pulling for him to break Maris’ record.  That was a fun season of baseball.

But then the steroid allegations came out.  I know he’s never actually been caught doing it (Neither has Barry Bonds, but everyone knows he’s been on something), but it’s pretty hard to believe that he was totally clean.  I don’t trust Jose Canseco any further than I can throw him, and I believe that he would make up stories to sell books.  But there’s too much pointing to steroids, and McGwire never really did anything to clear his name.

I know the player’s union would kill him if he undermined the work they did by volunteering for steroid tests, but they’re going to shoot themselves in the foot.  What good is protecting the players' rights if people lose faith in the integrity of the game and stop watching?

However, I think the whole thing may be moot.  Even assuming that McGwire was clean, I don’t think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.  His career average was .263.  He had a total of four seasons where he played 100 games and hit over .280.  Yes, he hit a lot of home runs, but that’s all.  Generally, admission to the Hall of Fame requires a more well-rounded player.

So, we’ll see.  But I don’t think he makes it in, and I don’t think he deserves to.

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