Jonathan Begley

January 12, 2010

ONE STEP TOWARDS COOPERSTOWN

Filed under: Character,Current Events — jonathanbegley @ 1:51 pm

Mark McGwire finally comes clean. Obviously many fans are completely surprised that the man took steroids, but the question remains, does he belong in Cooperstown? A few weeks ago many of you know that I would have answered that question with “absolutely not.” Now, I have to admit that my answer is “not yet.”

Although McGwire would like for us all to believe that he took Performance Enhancing Drugs for health reasons only, we all know that this is not exactly true. PEDs obviously make you stronger. If not stronger than how do they “enhance” your performance? Yes, McGwire has God given talent to hit a baseball. No one doubts that. What I doubt is that he could have hit 70 home runs in 1998 without them. Any records that he does still hold should be abolished. We will never know what his careers statistics would look like without PEDs.

Are his career statistics worth a place in the Hall of Fame? Not if he cheated. Roger Maris didn’t cheat and neither did many of the other Hall members. They played with their God given talent and played through injuries whenever possible. When they couldn’t play any longer, they hung up their cleats. What I believe does qualify him to be in the Hall is his contribution to the game. McGwire has made an unmistakable mark on the game, and not just the “I’m not here to talk about the past” remarks. McGwire was the face of America’s pastime during the 80’s and 90’s; teams won pennants and fans cheered.

With his recent admission of steroid use throughout his career, McGwire has shown that he is now ready to address his mistakes. Is he ready to earn the trust and respect of America? He has taken the most difficult step but now he must make a decision. Does he continue on with the Cardinal’s organization like nothing happened? Or does he use his God given position, his talents, and his energy to help repair the damage that was done to the game of baseball?

It is not what he did that will keep him out of the Hall; it is what he will do with his future that might get him in.

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