Why shouldn't Mark McGwire be in the Baseball Hall of Fame?
He never lied about his usage of PEDs. When a reporter had the audacity to pull a bottle out of Mac's locker and ask, "What's this?", Mac gently took the bottle from the reporter, replaced it into his locker and stated, "It's not illegal." And, at the time, it was not. Had that been Roger Clemens, he'd likely had half his face removed. Had it been Bill Romanowski or Lyle Alzado (Bronco & Raider linebackers who died from PED usage), that reporter would probably have lost his entire head and a quarter of his trunk.
Yes, Mac did succeed spectacularly. But, he was a great success before he turned to this stuff. Once he discovered it, he blasted into the stratosphere.
But, what athlete doesn't grasp for EVERY possible way to make him/herself better? Why do we consider a man (or woman) spending 16 hours a day building themselves into a machine a great thing? They're frittering away their lives when they could be devoting some of that time to their families and friends.
What is the psychological impact of that behaviour? What happens to them after they leave the sport and become "just a normal person"? What happened to Junior Seau?
When most of these earlier users of PEDs discovered them, they were just "vitamins" that would give them a burst of energy and build their bodies to god-like proportions. Yeah, of course they took 'em. It wasn't until years later that the effects of those PEDs on their bodies, minds and their phyches would become known. And, in many cases, it was devastating.
Once the ramifications of their use became apparent, rules/laws were eventually enacted to protect our kids who would become these athletes from the dangers these drugs posed.
But, to say Mark McGwire cheated? You'd be an idiot. He did what every other athlete of the time would (and did) do - he found a way to make himself better and he didn't hesitate.
Barry Bonds? Roger Clemens? Alex Rodriguez? Yeah. I'd toss them. They tried to slip around the rules. They lied. They covered up evidence. They continue to try to make themselves look like the victim. You make your own choice about Sammy Sosa. But, I've yet to see him (or Rafael Palmeiro) man up about it. But, then again, we can't know for sure that (or when) they actually joined the PED fad. All we know about Raffy was that he eventually did trip up - but, we don't know that it wasn't a misguided effort to stave off the end of his career. For sure, that, sort of, frumpy body wasn't built the same way Mac, Jose Canseco and others built theirs!
Mark McGwire stood up and said, "Yeah. I took 'em. It was a mistake and I am sorry." I sincerely hope he isn't "sorry for anything he did to us"... I only hope his sorrow is in that he hurt himself and took himself out of the arena far before his time was due.
I'm sorry. But, Mark McGwire, above all these liars and cheats, belongs in the Hall of Fame. He didn't cheat. He was just trying to be better and was clearly not aware of the inherent dangers when he started down that path. If he was cheating, then you're cheating every time you take an asperin or a vitamin. After all - you're trying to make yourself better. Is that cheating?
Er, you're not a Christian Scientist, are you?
Comments: Who WOULD you vote for Cooperstown?
Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, Gary Carter, Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Mike Piazza, David Justice, Kirk Gibson, Mo Vaughn, Jason Giambi, John Rocker, Eric Nadel