NEW YORK, NY — If the baseball writers who elect Hall of Famers voted today, Mark McGwire wouldn’t make it, according to an Associated Press poll published Friday. Barry Bonds, however, would probably be a first-ballot inductee.
Polling 155 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, 65 (42 percent) said they would vote for McGwire when he becomes eligible in 2007, while 38 (25 percent) were undecided. A player needs 75 percent of the vote to get into the Hall. 105 of the BBWAA members said they would vote for Bonds with 25 undecided, accounting for 84 percent of poll responses.
Many members admitted that neither player has been proven to have used steroids and that neither was violating MLB rules at the time. “The Hall of Fame is not a museum for saints,” wrote Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s filled with racists, philanderers, players who used cork bats and spitters and everything at their disposal to their advantage. It’s hard for me to single McGwire out.” “Barry Bonds is the greatest player of our lifetime, with or without steroids,” added the Miami Herald’s Dan Le Batard.
However, others couldn’t justify voting for a player who they believe used performance-enhancing drugs. “I will not vote for Mark McGwire,” said the LA Times’ Bill Plaschke. “It’s obvious from his own statements he used some form of performance enhancing drugs and it’s obvious from his statistics he did not become a Hall of Fame type player until he did so.” Plaschke was obviously referring to McGwire’s meager 49 home-run output in his rookie season…