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Mark Mcgwire Pete Rose Ben Johnson Cooperstown And Gold Medals

The case of Mark McGwire and the Hall of Fame cannot be compared to the case of Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame without acknowledging a pivotal difference.

Mark McGwire and Pete Rose are two of the best retired Major League Baseball players that are not currently in Cooperstown.

Both players have career offensive productivity levels that could have put them into Cooperstown already, however both have been kept out so far because, in one way or another, they both disgraced the game.

Pete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all time hits leader, gambled on Major League Baseball games as a manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

Mark McGwire, who once held the single season mark for home run totals, used steroids – by his own admission now.

Comparisons are being made between the two and there are similarities of course.  The main similarity between Rose and McGwire is that they both disrespected the game in a way that is hard to forgive.  Keeping them out of the Hall is their punishment (however putting Rose in and making him wear an Expos’ cap might be punishment enough).

However in the case of Pete rose, his rule breaking was not performance enhancing.  His 4256 career hits are genuinely his, without juice, without cheating, and you can honestly say that Pete Rose actually belongs in the Hall of Fame, at least based on his athletic performance on the field.

Mark McGwire had a career OPS of .982, which clobbers Rose’s career average for that stat.  McGwire had his best offensive seasons in his mid-30s, something that was always eyebrow raising as players do not generally get better after they pass their prime in sports.

When you look at McGwire’s 583 career home runs, unlike Rose’s hits, you can’t take that total at face value.

What you need is a biological scientist who has a specialty in the effects of steroids to work together with some baseball expert to figure out how many homers McGwire would have hit if he never used steroids at any point in his career.

450? 500? 525?

Since he used steroids to combat injury, McGwire’s home run total could really be a lot lower, depending on how many plate appearances any avoided injuries may have cost him.

Whatever believeable number you throw out, McGwire would probably still be good enough for the Hall but because he created this doubt himself, why should we have to bother to figure out how good he was?  He was supposed to prove that himself, steroid free.

If McGwire ever makes baseball’s Hall of Fame, then maybe Ben Johnson, the disgraced Canadian sprinter from the 1988 Olympics, should retroactively be re-awarded the gold medal he was stripped of more than 20 years ago.  After all, if we are going to award baseball juicers with the sports highest honor, then we should stay consistent and respect Johnson’s 9.79 as legitimate.

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Richard Roche
Richard is our sportsbook specialist. Spotting the best odds on the market or a curveball spread opportunity is his job - and he dedicates himself to it.

Richard is our sportsbook specialist. Spotting the best odds on the market or a curveball spread opportunity is his job - and he dedicates himself to it.

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