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McGwire trying to gather support into HOF


Eddie Altamonte
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http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...sp&c_id=mlb

 

McGwire looking for more Hall support

12/31/2007 10:00 AM ET

By Matthew Leach / MLB.com

 

Mark McGwire's Hall of Fame candidacy looked drastically different in December of 2006, when he first appeared on the ballot, than it did when he retired following the 2001 season. The question now is whether the picture looks that much different in his second year of eligibility.

McGwire, who retired as the No. 5 home run hitter of all time (he's now eighth), looked like a stone cold lock for immortality back when he called it a career. But by '06, the question of illegal performance-enhancing in drugs in baseball had become a front-burner issue, and McGwire was the first true casualty in Hall of Fame voting.

 

"Big Mac" was named on 23.5 percent of ballots his first time around, ranking ninth among all candidates. It was more than enough to keep him on the ballot for another year, and he's the seventh-leading returning vote-getter on the '08 ballot.

 

But just as the conversation changed from when McGwire retired until he was up for Hall of Fame voting, it's changed again in the last year. More accurately, it's changed in the last month. Former Sen. George Mitchell's report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball now frames all discussions of the issue, and it has brought some prominent names under the microscope -- some names that weren't previously there.

 

Yet the report provided no new information on McGwire. It simply rehashed what was already known and reported. McGwire was neither cleared nor further fingered.

 

The slugger has admitted taking androstenedione, a steroid precursor, but nothing stiffer than that. He retired before steroid testing came to baseball. He was accused of steroid use in Jose Canseco's tell-all book, "Juiced," however. And when he testified before Congress in the spring of 2006, McGwire delivered a performance that disappointed even his staunchest defenders.

 

As much as all of those issues harmed his candidacy in 2007, though, he may bounce back some in 2008. Undoubtedly many voters staged only a one-year protest and will be willing to include McGwire on their ballots going forward.

 

For most, the chemical question is the only question regarding McGwire. He was a true offensive force and perhaps an underappreciated defender. McGwire was a 12-time All-Star, a Gold Glover in 1990 and finished in the top 10 in MVP balloting five times.

 

He ranks ninth all-time in slugging percentage, eighth in home runs and first in at-bats per home run. McGwire played on six playoff teams, three pennant winners and the 1989 World Series champions.

 

Take away the questions and accusations, and it is indisputably a Hall of Fame career.

 

"For me, there isn't anything that's changed about, No. 1, how much I believe in him, and No. 2, what that means as far as his career and his production and some of the historic things he did," said Tony La Russa, who managed McGwire in both Oakland and St. Louis. "I'm hoping that he gets that honor sooner rather than later.

 

"I don't know how to tell you the context as far as an answer. I just know there are issues that guys, fans raise, media raise, and however they get sorted out." When McGwire made his full-season debut in 1987 for a young and emerging Oakland team, he was a phenomenon. He smoked 49 homers, most of them mammoth and majestic. He drew 71 walks, showing the strike-zone judgment that would be nearly as much a part of his profile as his power. And he did it in a brutal hitters ballpark several years before the offensive explosion of the 1990s took hold.

He followed that up with 32, 33 and 39 homers for the three-peat pennant winners from '88 to '90, then struggled badly in 1991. A rebound brought 42 jacks in 1992, but McGwire battled injuries throughout '93 and '94.

 

When McGwire returned healthy in '95, though, he was a force like never before. He hit for a higher average than he ever had. He drew even more walks. And he hit homers at a rate even he hadn't previously managed. From 1995 through 2000, his last really effective season, McGwire went deep 316 times, an average of once every 8.06 at-bats.

 

He was a terrorizing force in the lineup until injuries finally took him down. McGwire struggled through 2001 before hanging it up at age 38.

 

At that time, he was a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and a first-ballot one at that. But McGwire is going back on the ballot for a second season, likely with 13 more chances after that if needed. If voters have been desensitized to the drug question, which some surely have, he could get a big bounce in support. If they're more outraged than ever, which some surely are, he could even drop off some ballots.

 

McGwire was a test case a year ago. He's a test case yet again in 2008.

 

I say just let him in and start moving away from Steroids discussion completely. It is time to heal for baseball Happy New Years Everyone!

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The problem I have with McGwire is his game all of it was predicated on power , he did not hit for a high average , no speed , defensively not that good , so we have a guy who was a one dimensional guy who took performance enhancing drugs that enabled him to gain and sustain strength and power . Sorry Big Mac if I was HOF voter I'd say no.

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The problem I have with McGwire is his game all of it was predicated on power , he did not hit for a high average , no speed , defensively not that good , so we have a guy who was a one dimensional guy who took performance enhancing drugs that enabled him to gain and sustain strength and power . Sorry Big Mac if I was HOF voter I'd say no.

He had a GG ...well even Jeter has a GG! He was a good defensive 1st baseman. He was always a terror with runners on base. He brought the fans back to the game after many walked away. Steroids aside he earned his spot in Cooperstown

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The problem I have with McGwire is his game all of it was predicated on power , he did not hit for a high average , no speed , defensively not that good , so we have a guy who was a one dimensional guy who took performance enhancing drugs that enabled him to gain and sustain strength and power . Sorry Big Mac if I was HOF voter I'd say no.

He had a GG ...well even Jeter has a GG! He was a good defensive 1st baseman. He was always a terror with runners on base. He brought the fans back to the game after many walked away. Steroids aside he earned his spot in Cooperstown

 

For the duration of his career McGwire was not a good defensive 1st baseman , he was not good defensively when he came up it is true he improved some won a gold glove than his defense particularly his range decreased greatly . He was a terror with runners on because of his power which was chemically enhanced , and yes he and sosa (both cheaters) brought fans back . McGwire was a career 263 hitter , no speed , defense i would say below average to average fielder , had a little more than 1600 hits , 12 stolen bases , the man was a great power hitter and that is it. I can't vote for a guy who is so one dimensional when the drugs he used inflated his one "great" attribute. McGwire had 583 career home runs many of them later in his career when he clealy was using steroids if he has say 450 -485 home runs are we even discussing him as a HOF'er ?

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The problem I have with McGwire is his game all of it was predicated on power , he did not hit for a high average , no speed , defensively not that good , so we have a guy who was a one dimensional guy who took performance enhancing drugs that enabled him to gain and sustain strength and power . Sorry Big Mac if I was HOF voter I'd say no.

He had a GG ...well even Jeter has a GG! He was a good defensive 1st baseman. He was always a terror with runners on base. He brought the fans back to the game after many walked away. Steroids aside he earned his spot in Cooperstown

 

My thoughts exactly...

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he had a near .400 career OBP, probably would have been over 400 if it wasn't for his last season. That's not one dimensional.

 

Career 162 OPS+, .982 OPS. Yes, he's a HOFer.

His case is a dilemma for me. Usually my position is that if MLB didn't ban the use of performance enhancing drugs then I have a hard time holding it against a player for using them.

 

The 162+ is impressive but his career lacked longevity and he missed a lot of gam,es with injuries. He played over 104 games only 10 seasons. He was very good in only 6 of those 10 seasons. He was "dirty" in 3 of those 6. If you take his seasons from '96 to '98 seasons out, when he was dirty, would he be a hall of famer?

 

I leave him out.

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I don't think the HOF are going to be able to exclude all of the steroids linked players (Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, etc.) simply on that facet alone. The main piece of information I gathered from reading the Mitchell Report was that steroids were just so widespread that they will just have to be an accepted evil of their era. That is not to say that MLB should not take measures from this point forward to prevent their usage.

 

Steroids aside, McGwire should be in.

 

While i think the era is tainted I am not for excluding everyone . McGwire is a unique case he I would argue was a very one dimensional player and even though he was the dominate player for brief peroid his career numbers are considerably less than his contemporaries , compare sosa's career numbers vs mcgwire's . If McGwire had a higher average , more hits , was known as a better defensive player , had some stolen bases ,hit the bulk of his homeruns before the steroid era any combination of a couple of those categories I might think differently but since McGwire's game is build upon the long ball (I believe his dominant few years were greatly enhanced by his use of steroids) it is hard to view him as legitimate hall of famer . Additionally , and i am going to go out on a limb and believe he didnt use roids and other drugs before the mid 1990's I wonder if he would accumulated all those home runs because he was injured often during the beginning of his career , and the drugs he used helped recover from injury faster and build up abnormal strength which i am sure would help a player during the grueling mlb schedule . To each their own but I say NO to McGwire

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Seems like people here are bashing the guy based on superficial statistics (hits, BA). The man was a feared hitter and knew how to draw a walk. Before his final season of retirement, McGwire had only one season with an OBP below .400 (from 1993-2000).

I can't believe you're using seasons in which he played 27 and 47 games ('93 and '94) to make support his making the hall of fame.

 

I also think that using seasons in which he played 104 and 89 games ('95 and '00) is ridiculous but not as ridiculous as the other ones.

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I think he's borderline without the steroids. There are players like Andre Dawson who won MVPs, and had better numbers in some cases, and they haven't been able to get into the Hall.

 

Because of the steroids, it makes him, at least in my view, a player who has no right to be in the Hall. His walks because he was feared by pitchers should be discounted, because that was a result of 'roids and other borderline legal drugs.

 

If you're going to put McGwire in the Hall, then Keith Hernandez deserves to be in first. At least he had close to 14 Gold Gloves in his career, and was arguably the best defensive first-baseman of all time.

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I think he's borderline without the steroids. There are players like Andre Dawson who won MVPs, and had better numbers in some cases, and they haven't been able to get into the Hall.

 

Because of the steroids, it makes him, at least in my view, a player who has no right to be in the Hall. His walks because he was feared by pitchers should be discounted, because that was a result of 'roids and other borderline legal drugs.

 

If you're going to put McGwire in the Hall, then Keith Hernandez deserves to be in first. At least he had close to 14 Gold Gloves in his career, and was arguably the best defensive first-baseman of all time.

 

lol

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If you're going to put McGwire in the Hall, then Keith Hernandez deserves to be in first. At least he had close to 14 Gold Gloves in his career, and was arguably the best defensive first-baseman of all time.

 

If you're not going to put McGwire in the Hall of Fame because of steroid allegations, no player from this era should be put in the Hall of Fame, you cool with that?

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If you're going to put McGwire in the Hall, then Keith Hernandez deserves to be in first. At least he had close to 14 Gold Gloves in his career, and was arguably the best defensive first-baseman of all time.

 

If you're not going to put McGwire in the Hall of Fame because of steroid allegations, no player from this era should be put in the Hall of Fame, you cool with that?

Well, there aren't a whole lot of good choices anyway. Unless you try to lump Maddux and Glavine in with Bonds and Clemens, which is wrong.

 

Although there is a case to be made that Bonds was a HOFer before he used steroids, which was around 1999.

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I believe Bonds was a HOFer prior to his homerun surge and now he shouldn't be at all. That is just me, McGwire career was tragically hampered by injuries through a significant portion of it, it is known to many insiders in baseball that trainers were the first to offer steroids to recover from injuries. Bonds career was of no such history, those that have spoken out against Bonds refer to his steroids usage out of jeolousy and desire to maliciously enhance his performance in his power numbers. Bonds and McGwire are juxtapositional in that way. I would grant McGwire his spot in Cooperstown and deny Bonds his enshrinement, considering this point alone. The problem is the evidence sufficient against Bonds. With the Indictment if he is convicted my response would be yes.

McGwire never tested positive or has been convicted of anything while Bonds would have a conviction. I do believe with the way the federal court system operates that Bonds will not be acquitted even though the evidence is reportedly flimsy against him. It just doesnt happen that people walk away from federal indictments scott-free. (Michael Vick learned that the hard way) McGwire should be given a spot in Cooperstown because most voters believe he has the merits and the only thing holding them back is the steroids concerns. That being the case let him in the HOF and let's move on now to a steroid-free era

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I believe Bonds was a HOFer prior to his homerun surge and now he shouldn't be at all. That is just me, McGwire career was tragically hampered by injuries through a significant portion of it, it is known to many insiders in baseball that trainers were the first to offer steroids to recover from injuries. Bonds career was of no such history, those that have spoken out against Bonds refer to his steroids usage out of jeolousy and desire to maliciously enhance his performance in his power numbers. Bonds and McGwire are juxtapositional in that way. I would grant McGwire his spot in Cooperstown and deny Bonds his enshrinement, considering this point alone.

 

 

Whoa, what?!?!?

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Anyone who doesn't think that McGwire's numbers deserve the HOF without the steroid issues are fooling themselves and just allowing the steroid potential to raise a bias. IMO, he is the greatest pure power hitter ever, and unlike Bonds, he did not have a suspicious spike in power when he was almost 40. McGwire was always an incredible power hitter, as his rookie HR record would attest to, and even before he broke the single season HR record he set the ab/hr record in an injury shortened season (correct me if I'm wrong, this is something I seem to recall from years ago that I haven't looked up). Either way, the HOF has a number of other players whose game was as one dimensional as McGwire...but oh what a dimension it was.

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Wow.. good thing Eddie Altamonte doesn't actually have a vote... putting McGwire into the Hall, but not Bonds?? Hmmm....

You didn't understand my position at all. If Bonds is convicted there is tangible undisputed evidence of cheating, considering he doesn't have a history of injuries in his career that puts him in a category all by himself apart fom McGwire and apart from Clemons, as much as I hate Bonds for being an a**hole of monumental proportions, if he is acquitted he should be in the HOF. Considering the federal court system's history, very few people who are indicted and go to trial are ever acquitted. In my mind it just doesn't look good at all for Barry Lamar Bonds

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