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Hall voters talk about McGwire

Hall voters talk about McGwire
November 27, 2006

Quotes from Hall of Fame voters on whether they plan to vote for Mark McGwire in the upcoming election:

"Short answer on McGwire is: No. I will not vote for any admitted or highly suspected steroid user until more time passes and more information is uncovered. I think this era stained the game, and as for McGwire personally, his appearance in D.C. was such an embarrassment for both him and the game that my current feeling is that if he refuses to defend his own career, why should I?" -- Scott Miller, CBS Sportsline.com.

"I do not plan on voting for McGwire this year. I believe the totally positive accomplishments of Ripken and Gwynn for over two decades in the game should stand alone this year and be left separated from any controversy. I will consider McGwire in the future." -- Bill Center, The San Diego Union-Tribune.

"I turned in my Baseball Writers' card this year, specifically so I wouldn't have to vote on cheaters after possibly already having voted in cheaters without knowing so, because there was no steroids testing at the time." -- Dave Newhouse, The Oakland (Calif.) Tribune.

"I'm going to vote for him. I can't say I feel good about voting for him. ... Just as baseball allowed Gaylord Perry to go out and cheat his way to 300 wins -- which got him to the Hall of Fame -- it allowed McGwire and all of these players to compile their stats and break their records and earn their money and accolades based on those feats. So I think I'm stuck with evaluating what the sport allowed to happen on the field. Either the '90s happened or they didn't. Since they happened, and the hundreds of players using whatever they used leveled the playing field to some extent, I feel more comfortable voting for players like McGwire than I do trying to pick and choose who did what, and when, and why." -- Jayson Stark, ESPN.

"Definitely no until he gives us some answers. He's got a lot of explaining to do." -- Bob Klapisch, The Record of Hackensack, N.J.

"I don't have any plans to vote for Mark McGwire. This will be my first Hall of Fame ballot, and I take that responsibility very seriously. There are just too many questions surrounding McGwire." -- Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle.

"I'm still pondering this issue, as I'm not sure whether to punish the player or punish the era." -- Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune.

"I will not vote for McGwire. The steroids/andro situation helped me reach that conclusion, but I don't think he was a Hall of Famer before he fell knee-deep in controversy." -- Hal Bodley, USA Today.

"I'll vote for him. You can't rewrite the history of the game after the fact. Besides, think of all the money baseball would have to refund to the fans and the networks if all of a sudden it said, Remember how much McGwire's home runs did for us in our post-lockout agony? Never mind."' -- Ron Rapoport, retired.

"I'd have no problem voting for McGwire if I thought his plaque would mention that he was called to testify before Congress on the steroid issue; and if there were a room in Cooperstown devoted to the whole debate over steroids, with film from McGwire's testimony. But without that, it's hard to stomach the notion that he would be celebrated as a home run hero without some kind of qualifier about the whole steroid era. Long story short: I might vote for him." -- Filip Bondy, Daily News of New York.

"The first ballot should be for the automatics, the guys with no doubts and no clouds over them. He doesn't deserve that honor." -- Tom Gage, The Detroit News.

"Once somebody is in the Hall of Fame, you can't kick them out. But if somebody doesn't get in, you have several years to re-examine, get more perspective, learn more and change your thinking. I'm open-minded about voting for him, but I really need more information on what he did and what went on at the time." -- Dom Amore, The Hartford Courant.

"I can't elect a guy for home run hitting alone. If a guy doesn't have 2,000 hits, unless he's a pitcher, or a guy who had a remarkable career that was ended by unfortunate circumstances, I can't vote for him." -- Bob Rosen, Elias Sports Bureau.

"I'm not going to close the door on him throughout the 15 years if he stays on the ballots. I'd still like to hear him talk about the past." -- Jim Salisbury, The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"I'm voting for him. Where's the proof?" -- Dave O'Hara, retired.

"No, I will not vote for McGwire. The one thing -- the only thing -- that makes him worthy of Cooperstown consideration is his home run total. And that statistic is so tainted, I cannot take it seriously." -- Jim Hawkins, The Oakland (Mich.) Press.

Updated on Monday, Nov 27, 2006 6:43 pm EST

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