Mark McGwire, I forgive you
The big news today in baseball is that Mark McGwire has admitted to using steroids throughout his major league career.
McGwire went on the hit 583 career home runs, the eighth most all time. At the time of his retirement, McGwire was considered a possible unanimous pick for baseball’s Hall of Fame. Since he has been eligible for election, he has failed to ever garner more than 24% of the vote. (75% is needed to be enshrined)
Mark was recently hired as the hitting coach for the St Louis Cardinals and has decided to come clean so as not to be a distraction or burden to the team. Questions about his steroid use would’ve lingered throughout the season.
I’m glad McGwire apologized and came clean. I always had a sense that McGwire had done steroids along with Sosa, Bonds, and Palmeiro. At least McGwire never lied about taking steroids, or mysteriously forgot how to speak English when asked about his steroid use (Sosa).
Therefore, when McGwire and the Cardinals make their several trips to PNC Park this summer, I will not boo. I will not taunt. I will welcome McGwire back and cheer him.
From a ballhawking perspective, this is a fantastic thing. The Cardinals had an extreme opposite field approach last year and yielded very little home runs during batting practice. Hopefully Big Mac can get them to go long ball a little more often in batting practice.
As for his Hall of Fame bid, I don’t think McGwire will ever get into the Hall of Fame. He is forever tarnished. If I had a vote, even though I would want to vote for him, I couldn’t.
From those players who began their careers in the early 1990′s the only true sluggers that I would vote for when they would retire would be Jim Thome, Ken Griffey Jr, and Chipper Jones. Recently retired Frank Thomas would also get my vote.
McGwire is an admitted steroid user and may now become the litmus test for the steroid era. If he doesn’t get close to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I don’t see how Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez or Alex Rodriguez can get in.
The home run crown has lost it’s glitter. Some baseball purists refuse to recognize Bonds as the best home run hitter of all time. I just hope that Albert Pujols one day hits #763 to surpass Bonds so we have a true home run king of all time. And I hope McGwire is the first one to congratulate him at home plate when he does.