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McGwire: In or Out?

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The 2007 Hall of Fame candidates have been announced and behold the player with most of the A's career records is up for induction.

Mark McGwire, who arguably had his greatest national fame with the Cardinals and not the A's, will be one of the top candidates this year. He would've likely been a first ballot, no question Hall of Famer if not for the steroids hearing in Washington where instead of coming clean, he clammed up.

We all know the history and the past. But we're not here to talk about the past. Oh wait...

My question is this to the people who loved McGwire the most...does he deserve to go into the Hall of Fame? What should the voters do? Should they make a statement by refusing to vote for him this year only to give him his rightful place next season?

I personally think this is only going to continue to get more and more challenging for HOF voters as the years go on. I mean there's another candidate this year that appears squeaky clean in Cal Ripken, but there has been speculation that Ripken also dabbled in performance enhancers (Canseco said it and we know how much Jose's credibility has gone way up since Palmeiro and the hearings). Only he wasn't brought in front of Congress to embarrass himself.

It's murky waters ahead for the voters, although many have already stated that they likely will not be voting for McGwire this year. It remains to be seen whether or not this is a one-year punishment or whether it becomes a permanent ban. And McGwire becomes the first poster boy for the steroids debate on the Hall of Fame level. It's a shame that someone who made his name as an Oakland Athletic is in this position. But he has no one to blame but himself.

As for what I'd do, well, I would probably vote for him next season because there's no question that he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he also should endure some kind of punishment for his shady past. I just don't know how other voters feel...I mean Ty Cobb is in the Hall of Fame and he was about as nasty a person as there was in sports history. Then again, I suppose he never got cheating. Some would argue, neither did McGwire.