Monday, January 7, 2008

Three words are three strikes for McGwire

Three words appear on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s annual Hall of Fame ballot and they are probably the three words that will keep Mark McGwire out of the Hall for the second straight year.

Those words are: integrity, sportsmanship and character.

Any voter sitting on the fence can use those words as a guideline for not voting for McGwire, despite all the home runs, the records and the magical summer of 1998.

McGwire hasn’t been roasted like Barry Bonds, but the suspicions are the same.

I think most of us believe McGwire’s power was the stuff of chemistry.

That he retired in 2001 with 583 home runs is certainly worthy of Cooperstown. He retired ahead of the steroid posse and didn’t suffer the same acquisitions now aimed at Bonds. But he embarrassed himself during his appearance in front of Congress, and the fact that he’s dropped out of sight is, to some, a signal of his shame.

The Hall’s Class of 2008 will be announced today.

Don’t be surprised when the name of one of the greatest home run hitters in the history of the game is not on it.

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