Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Baseball’s Hall of Fame: Room for supposed steroid users?

My favorite part of baseball does not take place within the actual season, but during the process of voting for new inductees to Cooperstown.

For those who missed it, Rich “Goose” Gossage was the only inductee this year. In his ninth year on the ballot, Gossage received 85.8% percent of possible votes (75% is needed for induction). Longtime nominee Jim Rice missed the cut once again in his 14th year on the ballot. Mark McGwire managed to only garner about 25% of the total vote in his second year of eligibility.

Frankly, I’m kind of surprised. Though McGwire undoubtedly took steroids, his numbers probably deserve a place in Cooperstown. 583 career home runs merit some sort of spot in my opinion. Let’s not forget that the androstenedione found in McGwire’s locker in 1998 was legal at the time.

The release of the Mitchell Report in December begs the question of how the voters will handle an influx of players that may or may not have taken steroids. Roger Clemens, for instance, would have been a guaranteed first ballot inductee if his name had not been named in the report. Now, Clemens is scrambling to save face and his hall of fame status is in limbo.

If McGwire is any indication, Clemens may just have to wait for a while.

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