Jim Souhan: Rejection on election day

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 9, 2007 - 10:38 PM

The facts aren't all in about baseball's suspected steroid users, but Hall of Fame voters chose to find Mark McGwire guilty.

Perhaps like many of you, I've grown weary of the debate over Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, and whether their accomplishments should be viewed through the wrong end of a telescope because of their apparent abuse of power-enhancing drugs.

Relief from this relentless topic arrived Tuesday, when baseball writers informed us that the debate is over -- players suspected of steroid use will be effectively banned from the Hall of Fame.

McGwire, he of the 583 career home runs, was named on 25.3 percent of ballots cast in this year's election.

That isn't a rebuke or a reprimand, a warning or a suspension.

That -- 25.3 percent of the votes for the seventh-most prolific home-run hitter in baseball history -- is a conviction to a life sentence, without possibility of parole.

This is a class-action snub. If McGwire won't make it with 583 home runs, then 1,000 home runs won't get Barry Bonds into Cooperstown without a ticket, and Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro might as well appear on "Dancing with the Steroid Stars" if they want to win any honors in their hermetic retirements.

Tuesday, two divergent icons were elected to the Hall -- Cal Ripken, the perpetual playing machine, and Tony Gwynn, the oval hitting artist.

Both were aided by pristine reputations. Ripken is thought to have ingested nothing more illicit than beer, Gwynn nothing more form-altering than sugar donuts.

The fact that our perceptions of Ripken, Gwynn and McGwire are nothing more than assumptions based on anecdotal evidence did not seem to matter to voters.

I voted for McGwire because I don't trust baseball writers (myself included) to be moralists or scorecard-toting CSI units. Few of us have even worked as investigative journalists.

I don't think we (I) know enough about this generation of players to separate presumptive cheaters from the hundreds who cheated more subtly or intelligently, or who have otherwise avoided scrutiny.

Like, oh, aging power pitchers who display tremendous resilience and longevity, not that I'm thinking of anyone in particular, Roger.

Ah, but my views have been marginalized by my peers. We, the tenured members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, have spoken, and our vote can be translated thusly:

If you had BALCO on your speed dial, were unveiled by excellent investigative reporting, failed a drug test, stammered in front of a Congressional hearing or walked around the clubhouse flexing your biceps and selling tickets to your "Gun Show," you've got about as much of a chance in this election as Saints manager George Tsamis.

McGwire, at 25.3 percent, found himself closer to Bash (and butt-injection) Brother Jose Canseco (1.1 percent of the votes) than less-accomplished but untainted slugger Jim Rice (63.5).

Rice was a righthanded power hitter of limited versatility who played in a hitter's park. He hit 382 home runs.

McGwire was a righthanded power hitter of limited versatility who played in pitchers' parks.

McGwire hit 201 more homers than Rice. Rice got 218 more votes Tuesday.

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Boston - LP: A. Ranaudo 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: C. Morton 4
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: U. Jimenez 8
Washington - WP: T. Roark 3 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 9
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 6
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Surkamp 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 4 FINAL
Houston - LP: N. Tropeano 2
Detroit - LP: J. Nathan 3 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: G. Perkins 4
Milwaukee - WP: B. Kintzler 3 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: K. Siegrist 2
Los Angeles - LP: D. Haren 4 FINAL
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 10
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: J. Collmenter 1
Seattle - WP: C. Smith 13 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 2
Texas - WP: N. Tepesch 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Kazmir 3
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 4 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 5
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan

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