It's that time again. If you'd like to take a moment to forget about the A's roster (This guy here; he's dead! Cross him off then!), we can argue about the Hall of Fame. At least one writer makes a case for Mark McGwire, and Rob Neyer lets us know why he is wrong.
McGwire finished in the top 12 in MVP voting five times in those 14 seasons. That's a league award, not an "in the game" award. I would say that McGwire probably was not generally considered one of the 12 best players in the game. Here and there, sure. But not consistently. Still, I suppose it's arguable. Sort of.
Sports Illustrated (SI.com) published a piece from Joe Posnanski on the upcoming Hall of Fame elections; the candidates largely tainted with steroid scandal. I think it's a really interesting article, especially from the voice of a HOF voter. It has it all; how power corrupts, how "being exclusive" can backfire; the drought vs. tidal wave of players elected in various years; it's really quite fascinating. But he offers this perspective:
And now, while writers may think we’re keeping the Hall of Fame pure by keeping out the steroid heathens … we may find that we’re doing something else entirely. What? Well, time will tell. Maybe we will find that the standards of the Hall of Fame will crash again — players deemed "clean" will get elected even though they were not great players. How often already do you hear the, "Well, he doesn’t have the career, but he did this without steroids" argument?
Al Yellon, from the SB Nation Cubs site, wrote a piece this week for Baseball Nation on How to Fix The Hall of Fame, which offers up a five-tiered system for changing the voter structure to avoid some of the pitfalls that Posnanski referenced.
So what do you think? Is the Hall of Fame a moral issue? Is steroid-use a greater crime than any number of other issues? Should the Hall be less-inclusive? More-inclusive? Who should vote? Is McGwire Hall of Fame worthy? How would you handle the upcoming voting? Is there anyone you would automatically exclude?