This was going to be a comment to Bratch’s piece on McGwire’s snub but it kind of got out of hand.
McGwire may get in over time because the speculation is that voters did not want him to go in on the first ballot and would elect him on the second or third ballot. This makes no sense whatsoever because it doesn't say on your plaque how many times it took to get in or how many votes you received. But no one said sportswriters were smart.
It will be interesting to see what happens when more players of the steroid generation come up for voting. Is Sosa out? Is Palmiero out? Is Bonds out? Based on McGwire's vote I would say they would not get in, at least on the first ballot.
Here is something that was brought up on Mike & Mike this morning. What happens when Roger Clemens comes up for HOF voting? There have been suspicions and rumors. Those are the same factors that kept McGwire out of the Hall, seemingly. Will Hall voters only keep out homerun hitters? Or will they also keep out pitchers that may or may not have used illegal substances? What about Pudge Rodriguez? He is not a big home run hitting guy, but he has been brought up in the steroid talk. Is he in danger of not getting in?
I am not sure what you can do without punishing some that may be innocent and rewarding some who are not. I agree with ESPN baseball analyst Jason Stark’s views on this predicament. Jason Stark voted for McGwire and has said he will vote for anyone who has HOF numbers regardless of suspected steroid use, simply because no one will know for sure, barring admission, who did or did not use in that era. If you are not going to vote for McGwire, then you can’t vote for anyone who played during the time he played simply because everyone who is/was great has to be under suspicion.
As bad as I think steroid use is and as much of a mess it has made for baseball, you have to look past it when it comes to HOF voting. I think that time will be hard enough on those suspected of illegal drug use whether they get in the HOF or not. I can’t believe that three to four generations from now, people won’t still associate McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds with steroids. Baseball never forgets. Just ask Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe.