Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Why Barry, Not Big Mac Belongs

Barry Bonds hasn't retired, yet, but that doesn't mean he's not the elephant in the middle of the Hall of Fame controversy swirling around Mark McGwire.

If Bonds' name were on the ballot he would get my vote. McGwire would not (don't think his numbers are worthy, period).

Bonds, on the other hand, stands up, numbers-wise, even discounting what he accomplished in the steroid era.

My reasoning: when he looked like Derek Jeter, played like Jeter (doubles, triples, and more than the occasional big fly), he won three Mvps. So even prior to the suspected steroid years, he accomplished things some players already in the Hall did not.

Big Mac never had an Mvp season, not even in that magical summer of '98, suggesting an immensely impressive feat that was, none-the-less a singular one _ kind of like Roger Maris' summer of '61. That, too, was not considered enough to get Roger into the Hall.

Pleeease ... Say It Ain't So, Mac

A lot of those who are responding to the Mark McGwire/Hall of Fame vote contend that McGwire had yet to be found guilty of using banned substances (remember, Andro was not illegal when McGwire admitted using the over-the-counter substance).

Still, none of this convinces me that McGwire went through the steroid era cleanly, mostly because he still refuses to adamantly say that he did!

Big Mac has yet to deny Jose Canseco’s claim that they shot each other up with steroids during their Bash Brother days.

Why not call him a liar, or sue for libel to clear his name?

I know I would – if I knew I was clean and there couldn’t possibly be a smoking gun. I’m still waiting for Mac to come to his own defense.

Thus far, his silence continues to speak volumes.