Monday, January 11, 2010

Keep Big Mac, all steroid users out of Hall

So it's official. Mark McGwire finally confirmed what many baseball fans and independent watchers suspected after his disastrous performance in front of the US Congress in 2005: that he used steroids, as well as human growth hormone. Now where do we go from here?

The steroid use has cast a dark shadow over the sport that I love. Even McGwire referred to the 1990s as the "steroid era." The most frustrating part for me, aside from the fact that the clean players have to defend themselves against unfair and untrue steroid allegations, is the lack of punishment for the users.

What should that punishment be? It seems clear that McGwire has no chance of getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He couldn't get more than 25% of the vote when he was merely suspected of using. How much do you think his numbers will drop in next year's balloting? It's possible that if McGwire stays on the ballot long enough, his numbers could actually improve with the passage of time. Already there are sports watchers advocating amnesty for those like McGwire that admit their steroid use. But I think denying him the Hall of Fame will be the way he and other users are punished for their misdeeds.

McGwire admitted using steroids during his 1998 competition with Sammy Sosa for the home run title. If it were up to me, his statistics would be permanently removed from the record books. At the very least, there should be an asterisk next to his name. But this is a form of punishment that Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig seems unwilling to inflict.

In a posting last week about the chances of current Yankee players making the Hall, I wrote that Alex Rodriguez should be denied entrance because of his admitted steroids use. I think it's also true for McGwire and should be true of all players who are caught or admit to using performance-enhancing drugs. I know there are other bad apples in the Hall right now, but that's no reason to let in any more. Let's try to keep the Hall as clean as possible.

Thanks to Rdikeman via Wikipedia for the photo.

No comments:

Post a Comment