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View Full Version : 2007 Hall of Fame Ballot Released (let the McGwire controversy begin)



savafan
11-27-2006, 03:04 PM
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/baseball/4362090.html

NEW YORK 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.

McGwire denied using illegal performance-enhancing substances, but when he appeared before a congressional committee, he evaded questions. "I'm not here to talk about the past," was his repeated response.

McGwire finished his career with 583 home runs, seventh in baseball history while Canseco, a former MVP, is 30th at 462. Dave Kingman, 34th with 442, has the most home runs for a player who has been on the Hall of Fame ballot and was not elected.

Gwynn, an eight-time batting champion with San Diego, and Ripken, a two-time MVP with Baltimore, are considered likely to gain election on the first ballot. Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive games, breaking Lou Gehrig's record.

Bret Saberhagen, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and former MVP Ken Caminiti also are among 17 players on the ballot for the first time along with Harold Baines, Dante Bichette, Bobby Bonilla, Scott Brosius, Jay Buhner, Eric Davis, Tony Fernandez, Wally Joyner, Paul O'Neill, Devon White and Bobby Witt.

Jim Rice, who was 53 votes short of election last year, heads the 15 holdovers. Rich Gossage finished one vote behind Rice.

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.

Slyder
11-27-2006, 04:48 PM
Bert "Be home" Blyleven
Goose
Eric
Dave Concepcion
Paul O'Neil
Cal
Lee Smith

would be my picks.

terminator
11-27-2006, 04:58 PM
I'd vote for him. We don't know what he did or didn't take. At the time, it wasn't a violation of league rules and there was no testing. He obviously had a lot of natural talent anyway since steroids don't magically make you able to hit a baseball. Some of his historical predecessors were taking greenies and we don't hold that against them.

(Anyway, Maybe Dunn should talk to him. Up until age 27, his career numbers look very similar to Dunn's.)

Redny
11-27-2006, 04:58 PM
Ripken, Gwynn, Gossage, John, Smith, Concepcion

Aceking
11-27-2006, 05:00 PM
Andre Dawson
Cal Ripken
Gwynn

Aceking
11-27-2006, 05:06 PM
Wow, can I ask Slyder why he passed on Gwynn?

redsfanmia
11-27-2006, 05:06 PM
Ripken=overrated IMO

RedsBaron
11-27-2006, 05:07 PM
Gossage, Gwynn and Ripken are the three guys I would definitely vote for.
There are a host of guys on that ballot that I would seriously consider, including Belle, Blyleven, Concepcion, Dawson, John, Mattingly, Morris, Murphy, Parker, Rice, Smith and Trammell. In each case, there is already one or more players or pitchers in the Hall of Fame who was less deserving of enshrinement than each of those guys are--not that that is enough to necessarily justify inducting them into the HOF, but it is enough to at least give each of them a look.
McGwire? Were I allowed to vote, I would refuse to elect on the first ballot anybody whom I suspected of having used steroids or other chemical enhancements. I'd still have another 14 chances to reconsider, but not on the first ballot. Wait your turn, McGwire.

Number_Fourteen
11-27-2006, 05:15 PM
Ripken=overrated IMO

The Streak=overrated

Team Clark
11-27-2006, 05:21 PM
Gwynn, Gossage, Ripken, Blyleven definites IMO....

Rice, Dawson, Smith and possibly McGwire in '08.....

Handofdeath
11-27-2006, 05:51 PM
Ripken, Gwynn, Rice and the Goose.

Red in Chicago
11-27-2006, 06:02 PM
McGwire? Were I allowed to vote, I would refuse to elect on the first ballot anybody whom I suspected of having used steroids or other chemical enhancements. I'd still have another 14 chances to reconsider, but not on the first ballot. Wait your turn, McGwire.

i absolutely agree with keeping mcgwire off the first year ballot...while some say your either a hall of famer or you're not, there is something special about making it your first year and i don't think he deserves this...

my ballot would be:
gwynn
ripken
concepcion
trammell
dawson

Jpup
11-27-2006, 06:19 PM
McGwire
Ripken
Gwynn
Dawson
Gossage
John
Smith

dougflynn23
11-27-2006, 06:23 PM
:) Bert Blyleven...would those who are not voting for him explain why you are leaving a 280 game winner with 3,700 career strikeouts off your ballots?

Rich Gossage, Tony Gwynn, and Cal Ripken.

Col_ IN Reds fan
11-27-2006, 06:32 PM
Gwynn , Ripken, Concepcion is who I would vote for. Gwynn and Ripken will get in. No to McGwire.

Jpup
11-27-2006, 06:37 PM
:) Bert Blyleven...would those who are not voting for him explain why you are leaving a 280 game winner with 3,700 career strikeouts off your ballots?

Rich Gossage, Tony Gwynn, and Cal Ripken.

300 is the magic number for wins, not 280.

Slyder
11-27-2006, 06:43 PM
Wow, can I ask Slyder why he passed on Gwynn?

He played in a lot of games, but by doing so he played with a lot of nagging injuries that kept his numbers very pedestrian. Plus a lot of that I just wanted a 'Homer' post and vote all the Reds in.

Honestly though my prediction:
Gwynn
Rice
Blyleven
Cal (on the back of his games played streak)

After this I think there will be enough splitting of votes that there wont be a fifth member inducted. But if there is I think it comes down to Goose and Dawson.
I think enough people will leave McGwire off their ballots because of the "questions" to leave him out in the cold this year.

Col_ IN Reds fan
11-27-2006, 06:49 PM
[QUOTE=dougflynn23;1200164]:) Bert Blyleven...would those who are not voting for him explain why you are leaving a 280 game winner with 3,700 career strikeouts off your ballots?

He won 20 games once he lost 250 games. Good pitcher yes, HOF no. I don't understand why people want to dilute what the HOF is all about. I think a player shoud get one chance at it from the writers then another with the Veterans Committee.

registerthis
11-27-2006, 06:53 PM
I'd vote for him. We don't know what he did or didn't take. At the time, it wasn't a violation of league rules and there was no testing.

...and HoF ballot voting isn't coupled with any rule that states players who technically broke no rules must be voted for, all other things being equal. HoF voters may vote for whomever on the list they feel is deserving, for whatever reason they deem acceptable.

Somehow I doubt that most people's feelings about McGwire will be tempered with the "he didn't technically break any rules" line of thought. My guess is, most people view McGwire as a steroid user. And most people view that as a negative attribute.

redsfanmia
11-27-2006, 06:59 PM
i absolutely agree with keeping mcgwire off the first year ballot...while some say your either a hall of famer or you're not, there is something special about making it your first year and i don't think he deserves this...

my ballot would be:
gwynn
ripken
concepcion
trammell
dawson

Either McGwire is a hall of famer or not, whats the point of not voting him in on the first ballot. Personally I dont think he merits being in the hall, he was basically a one trick pony.

justincredible
11-27-2006, 07:19 PM
Gwynn
Gossage
Ripken
Dawson
Concepcion

Those would be my votes...

savafan
11-27-2006, 07:44 PM
He won 20 games once he lost 250 games. Good pitcher yes, HOF no. I don't understand why people want to dilute what the HOF is all about. I think a player shoud get one chance at it from the writers then another with the Veterans Committee.

I don't exactly think wins and losses is the best way to rate pitchers.

Col_ IN Reds fan
11-27-2006, 08:06 PM
The person that brought his name up first here used the 280 wins. I just used the 250 losses. I didn't say it was a good way to rate them , but it is a pretty important stat. If we have to debate about if a player belongs in the HOF and many people are on both sides of this issue , then do you think maybe that player is not a HOFer? Every good player should not get into the HOF. IF Blyleven goes then why not Tommy John or Jim Kaat? These are also pitchers that played forever. And finally sava, if we don't use wons and losses as a guage then what would you suggest?

RFS62
11-27-2006, 08:12 PM
Blyleven has been getting jobbed for years. It's time to put him in.

Gwynn and Ripken are no brainers.

McGwire...... I'm not here to talk about the past.

savafan
11-27-2006, 08:19 PM
McGwire...... I'm not here to talk about the past.

Well said! :thumbup:

When he does get in, that should be the only thing on his placque

Dom Heffner
11-27-2006, 08:24 PM
he was basically a one trick pony.


It just happened to be the most important trick in terms of offense.

The guy produced runs at an incredible rate.

I wouldn't vote for him, though.

On this ballot, for me, it's Ripken and Gwynn.

Blyleven is deserving, too.

Patpacillosjock
11-27-2006, 08:44 PM
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.

Andre Dawson, Alan Trammell, and Dale Murphy should get in before Ripken IMO.

savafan
11-27-2006, 09:17 PM
Andre Dawson, Alan Trammell, and Dale Murphy should get in before Ripken IMO.

It's sad that Murphy will probably never make it in, as he was always one of my favorites to watch and was dominant for quite a while.

RedsBaron
11-28-2006, 06:37 AM
The AP polled 125 out of approximately 575 eligible HOF voters regarding McGwire, asking if they would select McGwire for the HOF. 18% responded "yes", 59% responded "no or probably no", and 22% "other." I have no idea what "other" meant, but if the poll acurately predicts HOF voting this year, McGwire shouldn't plan on a trip to Cooperstwon anytime soon.

RedsBaron
11-28-2006, 06:47 AM
Ripken=overrated IMO

For all his consistency in showing up to play, Ripken was often very inconsistent season to season in his offensive contribution, but in his best seasons he was very, very good, and a great shortstop. He had seasons with Win Share totals of 23,35,37,25,28,20,25,26,20,34,21,17,18,16,22,18,13 ,12 on his way to a career total of 427. By way of comparsion, Barry Larkin had Win Share seasons of 6,11,28,15,25,26,32,18,19,30,31,12,25 and 24 on his way to a career total, through 2001, of 320.

dougflynn23
11-29-2006, 06:40 PM
300 is the magic number for wins, not 280. :) That's gonna be one hell of a lonely "magic number" after Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson become the last two pitchers EVER to reach that mark. 300 wins in the era of the 5 man rotation is going to end at 4....Maddux. Clemens, Glavine, and Johnson; all whom played the majority of their careers with winning teams, not the early 1970's Twins, mid-70's Rangers, and mid-'80's Indians.

dougflynn23
11-29-2006, 06:43 PM
IF Blyleven goes then why not Tommy John or Jim Kaat? These are also pitchers that played forever. And finally sava, if we don't use wons and losses as a guage then what would you suggest? :confused: How about 3,700 strikeouts as a magic number?

redsfanmia
11-29-2006, 07:06 PM
For all his consistency in showing up to play, Ripken was often very inconsistent season to season in his offensive contribution, but in his best seasons he was very, very good, and a great shortstop. He had seasons with Win Share totals of 23,35,37,25,28,20,25,26,20,34,21,17,18,16,22,18,13 ,12 on his way to a career total of 427. By way of comparsion, Barry Larkin had Win Share seasons of 6,11,28,15,25,26,32,18,19,30,31,12,25 and 24 on his way to a career total, through 2001, of 320.

Ripken to me was Dale Murphy like only he lasted and stayed healthy. He had a few great years, a few good years and alot of average years. He probably could have been better if he would have taken a day off here and there.

Cyclone792
11-29-2006, 07:21 PM
Bert Blyleven
Goose Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Tommy John
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Lee Smith
Alan Trammell

Gwynn and Ripken are automatics. Ripken is arguably a top five second baseman of all-time, and Gwynn is arguably a top 10 right fielder of all-time (BTW, that sounds harsh on Gwynn, but realize that right field historically is stacked with Hall of Fame caliber players).

Gossage is highly underrated as a reliever and should definitely be in, but it's up in the air if he'll ever make it.

Bert Blyleven, Dale Murphy and Alan Trammell are three guys that I'm not sure if they'll ever make it, but I would argue for their inclusion. Plenty has already been written on Blyleven's credentials elsewhere so it's not necessary to dive into him, but Murphy and Trammell don't get much publicity.

I think a very credible argument can be made that Dale Murphy is among the top 15 center fielders of all-time, and that he's also greater than five center fielders already in Cooperstown, Richie Ashburn, Kirby Puckett, Larry Doby, Earl Averill, and Hack Wilson. Murphy, along with Jimmy Wynn, are two guys that somehow got skipped over by Hall voters altogether. I don't think they're at the Billy Hamilton/Edd Roush level, but I have a very difficult time believing any of Ashburn, Puckett, Doby, Averill, and Wilson were greater than both Murphy and Wynn.

Alan Trammell also has a very sound argument to belong in the top 15 shortstops of all-time, which should be enough to put him in the Hall considering there's about a half dozen shortstops in the Hall of Fame that shouldn't crack the top 15. Unfortunately for Trammell, he's likely to take a seat alongside Bill Dahlen as an underrated shortstop who should be in the Hall of Fame, but likely never will be.

Tommy John and Lee Smith are guys that I'd probably vote for just to be liberal with the vote, but could pretty easily be persuaded not to vote for.

RedsBaron
11-29-2006, 09:26 PM
:) That's gonna be one hell of a lonely "magic number" after Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson become the last two pitchers EVER to reach that mark. 300 wins in the era of the 5 man rotation is going to end at 4....Maddux. Clemens, Glavine, and Johnson; all whom played the majority of their careers with winning teams, not the early 1970's Twins, mid-70's Rangers, and mid-'80's Indians.

I was thinking about this exact subject earlier this week. There is a decent chance that sometime in the next couple of seasons Glavine, who has 290 career wins, and Johnson, who has 280 career wins, will each notch his 300th career victory. I thought, if and when the second of this pair wins 300, some sportswriter will opine that no one else will ever win 300.
I will be very surprised if Glavine and Johnson are the last of the 300 game winners. Yes, with the era of the five man rotation and the six inning starting pitcher, 20 wins in a season are becoming more and more rare (none in 2006). However, a lot of pitchers who having extraordinarily long careers and winning a lot of games, perhaps because the five man rotation helps them avoid injury.
For example, Juan Marichal was a tremendous pitcher who won 20 games six times, with three seasons of 25 or more wins. With a heavy workload of complete games, Marichal finished his career with 243 wins. Meanwhile, Mike Mussina has never won 20 games in a season, yet, with 239 career wins he almost certainly will surpass Marichal in career victories.
The five man rotation has been in vogue since the early 1970s, with the Mets and Dodgers being early pioneers of the concept. Since that time we have seen the following pitchers rack up 200 or more wins: Clemens 348, Maddux 333, Carlton 329, Ryan 324, Sutton 324, Phil Niekro 318, Gaylord Perry 314, Seaver 311, Glavine 290, John 288, Blyleven 287, Jenkins 284, Kaat 283, Randy Johnson 280, Palmer 268, Jack Morris 254, Dennis Martinez 245, Tanana 240, Mussina 239, David Wells 230, Tiant 229, Catfish Hunter 224, Koosman 222, Joe Niekro 221, Reuss 220, Lolich 217, Jamie Moyer 216, Jim Perry 215, Reuschel 214, Kevin Brown 211, Bob Welch 211, Blue 209, Kenny Rogers 207, Schilling 207, Pedro Martinez 206 and Hershiser 204. That's 36 of the top 100 winners in major league history, all of whom pitched significant portions of their career since 1970. I could add Marichal and Bob Gibson to that list as well, but they pitched in four man rotations.
Pitchers are not winning as many games in a season as they used to, but they are having longer careers and racking up impressive career win totals.

Cyclone792
11-30-2006, 01:06 AM
I was thinking about this exact subject earlier this week. There is a decent chance that sometime in the next couple of seasons Glavine, who has 290 career wins, and Johnson, who has 280 career wins, will each notch his 300th career victory. I thought, if and when the second of this pair wins 300, some sportswriter will opine that no one else will ever win 300.
I will be very surprised if Glavine and Johnson are the last of the 300 game winners. Yes, with the era of the five man rotation and the six inning starting pitcher, 20 wins in a season are becoming more and more rare (none in 2006). However, a lot of pitchers who having extraordinarily long careers and winning a lot of games, perhaps because the five man rotation helps them avoid injury.

Good stuff, RB.

This is sort of my take too, and I think the most accurate take for that sportswriter to opine is that nobody else will ever win 300 games ... for at least a short period of time after Mussina gives it his best shot.

With 239 wins right now, I do think Mussina has some chance at reaching 300 wins, especially since he just extended his contract with the Yankees through the end of the 2008 season. If he can win 30 games over the next two seasons, which I think is possible given the high-powered offense the Yankees carry, he'll be knocking on the door of 270 wins. If his health and effectiveness holds up, he may be close enough to be willing to play another one or two seasons to see if he can reach that magical 300 win plateau.

After Mussina, it starts to get tough. The current active 200 plus game winners are David Wells, Jamie Moyer, Kenny Rogers, Curt Schilling, and Pedro Martinez. Except for Wells' 230 wins, the highest win total for the rest of that group is Moyer's 216 wins. Pedro Martinez is also the only guy under the age of 40, and he just turned 35 and only has 204 wins. Pedro's peak was nothing short of incredible, and he'll probably go down as one of the 10 greatest pitchers ever, but I think the more accurate question is will he reach 250 wins rather than will he reach 300 wins.

John Smoltz is 39-years-old with 193 wins. He should reach 200 wins next season, but 300 wins looks impossible.

Andy Pettitte is only 34-years-old, and he has 186 career wins as a beneficiary of some excellent New York Yankee teams. I think Pettitte has a realistic shot at 250 wins, but not quite for 300 wins. I somewhat expect him to be a controversial Hall of Fame topic as to whether he belongs as he nears retirement.

Beyond Pettitte's 186 wins, I don't see any active pitcher currently with 125-185 wins that can reach 300. We have to drop down to guys such as Tim Hudson (119 wins), Barry Zito (102 wins), Roy Oswalt (98 wins), Roy Halladay (95 wins), C.C. Sabathia (81 wins), and Johan Santana (78 wins) to see who among that crop is on the horizon. Some absolutely excellent young pitchers are on that list, and if they can maintain/improve their excellent for several more seasons and last quite a long time, then they might have a shot.

Whether or not any of those pitchers can reach 300 wins is a big time unknown, and whether or not any current pitcher beyond Glavine, Johnson, and Mussina can reach 300 wins is also unknown. What we do know is that the game is constantly evolving, constantly changing, and eventually at some point is likely to turn back and favor the pitcher instead of the hitter. When that happens, I'd say the chances of finding another 300-game winner improves again somewhat.

RedsBaron
11-30-2006, 06:55 AM
Andy Pettitte is only 34-years-old, and he has 186 career wins as a beneficiary of some excellent New York Yankee teams. I think Pettitte has a realistic shot at 250 wins, but not quite for 300 wins. I somewhat expect him to be a controversial Hall of Fame topic as to whether he belongs as he nears retirement.

Beyond Pettitte's 186 wins, I don't see any active pitcher currently with 125-185 wins that can reach 300. We have to drop down to guys such as Tim Hudson (119 wins), Barry Zito (102 wins), Roy Oswalt (98 wins), Roy Halladay (95 wins), C.C. Sabathia (81 wins), and Johan Santana (78 wins) to see who among that crop is on the horizon. Some absolutely excellent young pitchers are on that list, and if they can maintain/improve their excellent for several more seasons and last quite a long time, then they might have a shot.

Whether or not any of those pitchers can reach 300 wins is a big time unknown, and whether or not any current pitcher beyond Glavine, Johnson, and Mussina can reach 300 wins is also unknown. What we do know is that the game is constantly evolving, constantly changing, and eventually at some point is likely to turn back and favor the pitcher instead of the hitter. When that happens, I'd say the chances of finding another 300-game winner improves again somewhat.

I agreed with the Cyclone's entire post.
Pettitte may be this generation's Tommy John, a lefty with a few 20 win seasons who was never dominant but who racks up enough career wins to warrant HOF discussion. John hasn't yet made the HOF, despite 288 wins. I'd guess that Pettitte needs 300 wins or close to it to make the HOF. Pettitte probably hurt his HOF chances by leaving the Yankees, where he would probably have won a few more games. Had he stayed a Yankee, he would also now have an excellent shot at being the Yankee career leader in wins, as he is 50 wins behind Whitey Ford, 236-186 (counting Pettitte's wins as an Astro).
With 239 wins, Mussina, age 37, does have a chance of reaching 300, given the talent around him.
I can recall reading some sports articles when free agency first arrived, with people specualting that players would have shorter careers because the "big money" they were earning would mean they would not need to play as long. Instead, players seem to be playing longer than ever. As long as someone is willing to pay a quality player millions, most decide to keep playing.
Cyclone is right about the game constantly changing. I would not be surprised to see some teams return to the four man rotation. If pitch counts are carefully monitored, pitchers arguably could be just as successful and healthy in a four man rotation. If this occurs, we could see more twenty game winners and long careers.

BRM
01-04-2007, 02:02 PM
A Hall of Justice

By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Editor's note: This article appears in the Jan. 15 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Normally, I enjoy the week the Baseball Hall of Fame inductees are announced. Not this year. With Mark McGwire's inclusion on the 2007 ballot, we have officially entered the Let's Blackball the Potential-Steroids-Guy Era.

Some writers won't vote for McGwire because he probably used steroids -- keep in mind there's never been proof that he did, other than a visible bottle of andro and those 135 pounds of muscle he added from 1990 to 2002 -- which would be fine if they weren't so pious about it. Not content with simply dismissing McGwire's candidacy and moving on, they need to climb on their high horses and rip the guy to shreds. Of course, many of them would appear on any radio or TV show for 50 bucks and a free sandwich. We're supposed to believe they would refuse the chance to take a drug that would enable them to do their job twice as well and make 10 times as much money? Yeah, right.

These people have now become the self-proclaimed moral arbiters of baseball, and they need you to know that Big Mac cheated, disgraced the game, deceived the public, tainted the record books and pushed the sport into a spiritual free fall. They rush to tell you that they can't vote for McGwire because their conscience won't allow it. San Jose Mercury News columnist Ann Killion wrote that she can't vote for McGwire because she wouldn't be able to explain it to her kids.

She concluded her column with this: "All I can do is cast my own vote judiciously. And be able to look my kids in the eyes when I do it."

Ann, I'm glad you're such a thoughtful mom. Seriously, that's great. But a vote for McGwire isn't exactly an endorsement of drug use. And anyway, part of our country's problem is the shortsighted way we "protect" our kids from life's harsh realities. Janet Jackson's nipple slip was such a traumatic moment for Americans that some live sporting events now run on tape-delay, and Howard Stern fled to SIRIUS to escape the clutches of the increasingly fascistic FCC. Meanwhile, any kid can glimpse Britney's crotch if he or she is even remotely familiar with Google, and anyone can be slandered anonymously on a blog or message board.

Look, our country is screwed up. Whether we like it or not, people will always gamble, use illegal drugs, drink and drive, cheat on their spouses, cheat on tests, lie and steal, ditch their families, swear and fight, use performance-enhancing drugs. Banishing Mark McGwire from Cooperstown isn't going to make any of that go away. Let's stop pretending that the Baseball Hall of Fame is a real-life fantasy world -- a place where we celebrate only the people and events we can all unanimously agree deserve to be celebrated -- and transform it into an institution that reflects both the good and bad of the sport. Wait -- wasn't that Cooperstown's mission all along? Shouldn't it be a place where someone who knows nothing about baseball can learn about its rich history? Isn't it a museum, after all?

If that's the case -- and I say it is -- then how can we leave out Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader and most memorable competitor of his era? And how can we even consider leaving out McGwire, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa, the three most memorable hitters of the 1990s? We're supposed to stick our heads in the historical sand and pretend these people were never born? Imagine if the rest of the world worked like this. Word is, JFK cheated on his wife. Should we change the name of the airport and remove all his memorabilia from the Smithsonian?

McGwire boasts some undeniable credentials:

He was the most famous slugger of his era and one of the most intimidating physical presences in sports history. While he was at his apex, you didn't turn the channel when he was at bat. Under any circumstance.

He broke an untouchable record (Maris' 61), belted 245 homers over a four-year span, finished with 583 home runs (seventh on the all-time list) and made 12 All-Star teams.

He appeared in a Bash Brothers poster with Jose Canseco that nearly shattered the Unintentional Comedy Scale.

He's the most successful athlete of all time with flaming red hair.

When a painful strike canceled the 1994 World Series and nearly killed the sport, two events got people caring again: Cal Ripken's breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games record in 1995, and McGwire's and Sosa's battling for Maris' record three years later. Watch the end of "61*" sometime, or reread Mike Lupica's gushing book, "Summer of '98." (Note: Lupica now argues that Big Mac doesn't belong in the Hall. He never says anything about returning the profits from his book, however.) The home run chase meant something back then. And by the way, when it was going on, we all chose to overlook the fact that McGwire was a can of green paint away from being the Incredible Hulk and that Sosa looked like he was developing a second jaw. Let's not forget that.

When McGwire finally broke Maris' record, his subsequent handshake-hug with Sosa was the single most awkward sports-related moment since Apollo and Rocky embraced on the beach in "Rocky III." That's gotta count for something.

His "I'm not here to talk about the past" speech is running in a dead heat with Denny Green's "They were what we thought they were!" rant for the honor of Most Ridiculously Enjoyable Public-Speaking Sports Moment of the Decade.

Unlike Bonds, McGwire actually seems ashamed about what he might have done.

Forget the fact that there were no testing procedures in place to catch him. If he took steroids, he did break the rules. All that does is give him something in common with Hall of Famers like admitted ball doctorer Gaylord Perry and Ty Cobb, a virulent racist who deliberately tried to hurt other players and was accused of fixing at least one game. Are we really going to play the morality card for Big Mac when Cobb is in the Hall? Who's OK with this?

I hate to break the news to Ann Killion's kids, but people have been cheating in baseball for decades. They've fixed games, stolen signs, corked bats, slimed balls, popped greenies and, yes, injected steroids and rubbed HGH cream. We're told that baseball is America's pastime, the implication being that it mirrors real life. And you know what? It's true. A long time ago, Babe Ruth showed us that athletes, like everyone else, are imperfect. More recently, Rose hammered home the point for any of us who might have forgotten it. What did McGwire make clear? That human beings are always searching for an edge, and when they find it, they use it.

If we really want to do the right thing, let's vote in Rose and McGwire as soon as possible, then inscribe on Rose's plaque that he's a dirtbag who bet on his own team, and inscribe on McGwire's that he almost definitely used performance enhancers and wouldn't answer questions about it under oath. And if that information is too sobering for your kids, well, don't take them to Cooperstown. Take them to Disneyland.

It's a fantasy park.

LINK (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070103&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab5pos2)

KoryMac5
01-04-2007, 02:15 PM
...and HoF ballot voting isn't coupled with any rule that states players who technically broke no rules must be voted for, all other things being equal. HoF voters may vote for whomever on the list they feel is deserving, for whatever reason they deem acceptable.

Somehow I doubt that most people's feelings about McGwire will be tempered with the "he didn't technically break any rules" line of thought. My guess is, most people view McGwire as a steroid user. And most people view that as a negative attribute.

If that's the case can we remove Don Sutton from enshrinement.

KoryMac5
01-04-2007, 02:29 PM
This article really hits on why a guy like Blyleven should be in it is by Rich Lederer of Baseball Analysts.

Here is the link http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2005/12/the_hall_of_fam.php

Cyclone792
01-04-2007, 03:03 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/index


Mark McGwire put up Hall of Fame numbers during his baseball career, at one point setting the single-season record for home runs. But McGwire's image is plagued by steroid rumors and speculation as to how he attained his lofty home run totals. On Tuesday, McGwire will appear on his first Hall of Fame ballot, and the debate rages as to whether he should be a first-ballot inductee. Today on "Outside the Lines: First Report" (ESPN, 3:30 p.m. ET), how the years since McGwire left baseball have affected his candidacy for the Hall of Fame, followed by the results of an ESPN survey indicating how Hall of Fame voters will cast their ballots.

OTL usually does a pretty good job with its reports, and this McGwire segment will be on in less than a half hour.

Cyclone792
01-04-2007, 03:52 PM
Here's ESPN's survey results of over 100 BBWAA Hall voters ...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof07/news/story?id=2717705



Over the past two months, ESPN surveyed Hall of Fame voters for their opinions regarding Mark McGwire's presence on the Hall of Fame ballot. ESPN also compiled columns from media members indicating how they voted on their ballot and included those within its survey.

Of those whose surveys were taken and columns were read, here are the results (questions in bold):

Will you vote for Mark McGwire, on the first ballot, for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Yes -- 37 (26.8 percent)
No -- 101 (73.2 percent)

Of the 101 who said that they would not vote for McGwire, ESPN asked the following question:

If no, will you vote for him in succeeding years?

Yes -- 5 (5.0 percent)
No -- 31 (30.7 percent)
Undecided -- 43 (42.6 percent)
No opinion given -- 22 (21.8 percent)

We also asked the following questions to those who responded to our survey:

If he were eligible this year, would you vote for Barry Bonds?

Yes -- 44 (44.4 percent)
No -- 31 (31.3 percent)
Undecided -- 24 (24.2 percent)

If he were eligible this year, would you vote for Sammy Sosa?

Yes -- 20 (20.4 percent)
No -- 50 (51.0 percent)
Undecided -- 28 (28.6 percent)

If he were eligible this year, would you vote for Rafael Palmeiro?

Yes -- 8 (8.2 percent)
No -- 68 (69.4 percent)
Undecided -- 22 (22.3 percent)

BRM
01-04-2007, 03:54 PM
OTL usually does a pretty good job with its reports, and this McGwire segment will be on in less than a half hour.

How was the McGwire segment? Did you watch it?

Cyclone792
01-04-2007, 04:04 PM
How was the McGwire segment? Did you watch it?

It was a combination of discussing McGwire's disappearance ever since he retired from baseball and his chances of making the Hall of Fame. They interviewed Wright Thompson, who wrote the article Fading Away (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=mcgwire), and they talked a bit about some of what Thompson wrote and what sort of reaction he's gotten from people since the story published. Bob Ley also discussed the survey results that I posted above, and he later asked Jayson Stark whether or not he thought McGwire belonged in the Hall or not.

If you read the Thompson article and glance at the survey results, you'll get the gist of what was on the OTL.

BRM
01-04-2007, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the recap Cyclone.