Today’s Chicago Tribune featured the “picks” for nine of Chicago’s sportswriters, all of whom will have voted in this year’s Hall of Fame selection. I noticed with some degree of surprise that Mark McGwire was not listed on any of these writers’ straw ballots.
“Some degree of surprise” because not a single one of them chose McGwire – it seems like only yesterday that McGwire and Sosa captivated a nation with their histrionics. And it seems like only yesterday when Major League Baseball showed it’s fanny to the sports world with allegations and then further allegations of doping.
Very soon it appears that indictments will be handed down – the federal courts have ruled that the names and samples of about 100 players who tested positive in 2003 can be used by government investigators in their probe of steroids in baseball. It remains to be seen whether or not high profile players who have testified in front of Congress may have perjured themselves.
Perhaps we all feel worst about Mark McGwire – he was baseball’s fair-haired boy. We can be pious and indignant about Bonds and Palmiero – but we all respected and admired McGwire. He represented all that was good about baseball and perhaps even America. How could he have let us down?
Perhaps that is why history will be hardest on Mark McGwire. I can’t recall him ever lying about sterioids but he hurt us more than any of the others. We thought he was a hero but, in the end he was just one of us. A mere mortal, an imperfect man capable of making mistakes. Will Mark McGwire ever make the Hall? Perhaps, but there are also some mistakes you never stop paying for. Only time will tell.
Note From Joe:
I skipped a couple college classes and called in sick to work to watch this one…