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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

McGuire Rejected by Hall

Baseball, or at least its writers, finally got something right. Yesterday, Mark McGwire only received 23.5% of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The only question is why the slugger widely believed to have used steroids in his career, including the season he set the single-season home run record, received any votes.

McGwire’s ridiculous testimony in front of Congress two years ago, when he refused to testify about allegations that he used steroids, laid to rest any doubt for anyone with a clue that he used performance enhancing drugs. What exactly are the 23.5% of the voters missing about the words performance enhancing?

The lamest explanation I heard was from Peter Gammons. He actually suggested that if it was determined that this was the “steroid era” in baseball, McGuire might actually make the Hall someday. While I didn’t see enough to know whether or not Gammons endorsed such thinking, Tony Gwynn (who was elected to the Hall along with Cal Ripken, Jr.) echoed the sentiment:

"I hope that as time goes on, that number will increase," Gwynn said [of McGuire receiving 23.5% of the votes]. "I hope that one day he will get into the Hall of Fame, because I really believe he deserves it."

Gwynn recalled the time in which McGwire thrived -- an era of performance-enhancing substances.

"In the late 1980s and early '90s, we had no rules," Gwynn said Tuesday. "We knew, players knew, owners knew, everybody knew, and we didn't say anything about it."

This type of reasoning is absolutely idiotic, and it’s sad that Gwynn would defend his baseball bretheren with blind loyalty.

McGuire cheated. I don’t care if these drugs weren’t spelled out as banned substances by baseball, nor that it hasn’t been “proven” that he used. I also don’t give a damn that other unsavory athletes have been inducted to the Hall.

This isn’t a court of law. It’s also not kindegarten. Common sense is all voters should need to keep McGuire out, and the logic of “we can’t punish one for cheating if we didn’t punish others” doesn’t cut it. In fact, if the choice is to let more cheaters in or toss suspected cheaters out, baseball should take its cue from another voting population and throw the bums out.

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