Monday, November 27, 2006

McGwire a Hall of Famer?

As it does every January the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce the results of its balloting for admission to Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. This year’s ballot includes names that will test the veteran writers covering America’s Pastime in a new way.

The Age of Steroids will be front and center, as this AP story explains.

“Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. headline the first-time candidates on the 2007 baseball writers’ Hall of Fame ballot released Monday, sure to spark debate on Big Mac’s place in history as the steroid era comes under renewed scrutiny. Jose Canseco, whose book last year led to a congressional hearing on steroid use in baseball, also is on the ballot for the first time. Canseco said he used steroids along with McGwire when they were teammates.

“...Reporters who have been in the BBWAA for 10 or more consecutive years are eligible to vote, and the totals will be announced Jan. 9. The complete ballot:

“Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Dante Bichette, Bert Blyleven, Bobby Bonilla, Scott Brosius, Jay Buhner, Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco, Dave Concepcion, Eric Davis, Andre Dawson, Tony Fernandez, Steve Garvey, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Tony Gwynn, Orel Hershiser, Tommy John, Wally Joyner, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Paul O’Neill, Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Jr., Bret Saberhagen, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Devon White, Bobby Witt.”

Please note that once again scumbag Pete Rose is not on the above list. Good. Beyond that my guess is that both Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken will be voted in easily; their credentials are impeccable.

However, Mark McGwire has been so tarnished by suspicion he brought on himself that he will not get enough backing to make it this time. For the rest of the list, it’s hard to say. What will be more than a little interesting will be the debate over how much suspected steroids-use should matter in considering an otherwise qualified player for induction into the Hall.
Art borrowed from Sports Illustrated


Sean Holihan said...

It's truly a shame that McGwire won't make it this time. I imagine that he'll eventually make it to the HOF in his second or third time.

When I think back on baseball in the 90's, I think of Ripken's streak. I think of the Expos almost winning and in that same year, Gwinn almost hitting .400. Of course, had it not been for the strike, Gwinn may have hit .400 and the Expos may have won the World Series.

After that strike, baseball was in serious trouble. Who saved baseball? Who brought the fans back? Was it Ripken's record? The new ballparks? Yankees winning again? No, no and absolutely not. It was McGwire and Sosa's chase for 62 (which, for a time, also involved Jr. Griffey) that brought fans back.

Do you remember the shirt that ESPN talking heads and even baseball players wore? It said, "Chicks Dig the Long Ball." Them and everybody else. If it weren't for Sosa and McGwire, who knows where baseball would be. Did management turn a blind eye? Yes, thats been proven. However, if you ban one player for steriods then what stops you from barring the entire era from the Hall of Fame?

Either way, I'd hate to see the BBWAA make an example out of McGwire. But, knowing how they work, they'll make sure he doesn't get in till 09'.

andreac said...

The only reason chicks dig the long ball is because the League and the Press don't cover, explain, or exault the skill of defense. They don't do it in baseball, football, or basketball. Pro sports has become one boring Slam-Dunk contest of one player and no one with the gumption to get in the "money shot" as the potentially hapless defender. I blame Michael Jordan and the refs who never called him for walking, palming, or bumping.

My family had the pleasure of meeting Ken Griffey, Jr except he didn't spend much time with us. He was busy talking to a wheel-chair bound kid and when Jr ran back to get him a hat and shirt instead of talking to the press, he drove his publicist nuts. To think McGuire passed Griffey in the home run race because of drugs that Griffey would not take is a shame.
Actually, studies show Chicks Like Teamwork. I think audience disgust with one-man teams explains the increased popularity in women's and college sports. Women aren't slam-dunking or hitting the home runs out of the park. They are playing good fundamental ball in every sport.

By the way, when Tom Davis was forcing the Government Reform Committee to hold baseball hearings, meanwhile baseball-team-owner family member, and Northern Virginian-Davis campaign donor Marvin Bush escaped any hearing on his wasting $400 million in contracts in Iraq. Davis, a baseball-obsessed fan who keeps stats for years according to Eleanor Holms Norton, said cheating-and torture-by contractors in Iraq was a "minor issue" that needed no hearing.
"We aren't going after the mini scandal du jour, to try to embarrass the administration on a hearing that's going nowhere," said Davis. Check out my diaries for more info on Davis.

Catzmaw said...

Well, count as in on the first vote my man Ripken and Tony Gwynn. I always liked Harold Baines, too. Man used to sit in the dugout looking like someone killed his dog, go out and pinch hit a couple of runs in, then go back to the dugout looking like his other dog just died. I loved it.

Back when McGwire was hitting those home runs I was a huge fan of his. They were spectacular to watch, but then the whole doping thing came out and tainted the experience for me. McGwire was a terrific hitter before he suddenly beefed up, but I think he needs to wait a while on the hall of fame.