I have been bothered by the baseball writers and their recent change in attitude towards Mark McGwire. I thought the attacks on him were idiotic, and what bothered me most were the comments that "McGwire is no longer a hall of famer."
Of course he is. He and Sammy saved baseball in 1998. For that, alone, he deserves to be in the hall on the first ballot.
So, with all of this bad feeling out there about McGwire, I am incredibly please to see today's ESPN poll: Is Mark McGwire a Hall of Famer?
I agree. I think he is certainly a hall of famer. I think the player who is unfortunately going to get screwed out of the Hall of Fame is Fred McGriff. Why? He stayed clean. He was a pro. He was a class act. His numbers are very comparable among a lot of baseball greats already in the Hall of Fame. Why does 500 Homeruns have to be the standard now, or so it seems? If so, why are guys like Ryan Sandberg, Wade Boggs, Ozzie Smith, & Pee Wee Reese in the hall of fame. I know I have bitched about this before. Maybe I love McGriff a little too much, but in my eyes, he has hall of fame type numbers & he almost single handedly, atleast offensively, won the Atlanta Braves their only World Series.
Home runs are not the only criteria one should consider when deciding who should be in the Hall of Fame. I think that 500/3000/300 should be a good guideline for a lock, but especially if a modern player is clean, it shouldn't be the only criteria.
McGwire and Bonds and Sosa? They used steroids, obviously. That should be a factor in the decision of the baseball writers. I guess I wouldn't mind if Bonds made it on his pre-steroids numbers alone, but it does an extreme disservice to the greats if we pretend as if they got where they are on their own power. (Or if the superstar athlete who treats his body as a finely honed machine 'didn't know' what his trainer was giving him.)