“two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion on a sesame seed bun…” goes the ol McDonald’s Big Mac jingle. Today we know now that Big Mac, at least, Mark McGwire’s…special sauce was steroids. Again unless you’ve been living under a rock for ther last 24 hours you probably heard that Mark McGwire announced to the world that he used steroids off and on through much of his career.
I think this hardly comes as a shock to anyone reading this, let alone the casual baseball viewer who may have gotten swept up by the 1998 Home Run Race.While not not surprising, this announcement reopens the same questions fans have beenplagied with for the last decade or so: What happens to the records? Should he be eligible for the Hall of Fame? Should anybody from this era?
I think that the use of PEDs is the biggest sin in this sport; far worse than gambling or even throwing a game. But if we question the Hall of Fame worthiness of known steroid users – as several baseball writers have done by invoking the character clause seen on the HOF ballot. Don’t we have to second-guess the HOF worthiness of Ty Cobb, Gaylord Perry, Mickey Mantle – a racist, a ball doctorer and a drunk respectively? What about the countless number of players who have used “greenies” over the years for that little extra edge? What about the players who got swept up in the cocaine epidemic of the 80s? Or the wife beaters? Where does it end?
I’m not saying the “Steroid Era” was a good thing, but like it or not, it is/was a part of the game. The numbers are the numbers are we have to accept them, however inflated they may be. One can argue that any statistics kept after the dead ball era are inflated (which they are)