Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cheater, cheater

23.5 percent.

Less than one-quarter of the Hall of Fame voters put Mark McGwire on their ballots.

For someone who crushed pitching for five years thanks to juicing a remarkable workout regimen, McGwire certainly didn't get many votes.

Then again, he was a mostly-average first baseman with a lot of power for five or six seasons. That, in and of itself, doesn't seem like enough to get anyone elected. Maybe people looked at his overall career and realized that it didn't merit consideration.

Or maybe they looked at what happened starting in 1993 and realized that there really aren't a lot of players who suddenly get their power stroke midway through their careers.

Gossage didn't get in? That's a surprise. Jim Rice didn't get in? What does he have to do, put on a Yankees cap?

Albert Belle got 19 votes. Paul O'Neill 12. Jay Buhner 1. These people realize that this is the national Hall of Fame, right? Sportswriters wonder why players seem to have such a low opinion of them ...

I hope McGwire gets 4.9% of the vote next year. Then he can spend the rest of his days not explaining how he feels about missing out on the Hall of Fame, just like he doesn't explain why he didn't have anything to say about the past when he testified - strange behavior for someone who volunteered to speak out about drug use. (Maybe he thought he was being asked to recommend it.)

Sorry, Mark, but I have your '88 Topps card. You were 24. You weighed 220. You looked about like I did at 24 (well, much taller, but you know what I mean). And you want us to believe that it was all natural. What did you do at USC, get other people to carry your books?

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