The Philly Daily News caught up with Mike Schmidt. The former Philly HOF third baseman says players like Mark McGwire have his HOF vote.
PERHAPS MIKE SCHMIDT is on to something.
Yesterday, at Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Fla., Schmidt told reporters that if he had a vote, he would have selected Mark McGwire for this year's Baseball Hall of Fame class.
Schmidt sees no problem with the accused 'roid users. He doesn't understand why nothing much was written about McGwire or Sosa back in '98. Perhaps Schmidt is a better fielder than a reader. BALCO did not occur until 2002-2003, with 'Game of Shadows' published in 2006. Although reporters caught Big Mac with little Andro, the extend of the anabolic use was unknown (at least to most) in the late 90s.
While he is at it, Schmidt should endorse corked bats too.
Maybe it's time for that to change. Maybe it's time for baseball to take the Hall of Fame vote away from the writers and instead give it to Hall of Fame members.
In the big picture, Schmidt and other Hall of Famers probably do have a better perspective on how McGwire, whose career is shadowed by a popular belief that he used performance-enhancing drugs, fits into the baseball pantheon.
"I think Mark McGwire, along with [former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa], sort of saved the game back in the late '90s," Schmidt said...
"I don't see how we all could ride on the shoulders of Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa for 4 or 5 years and not write much or say much about the steroids element in the game."
Schmidt questioned why people watched those players and wrote about them, and then, when it came time for Hall of Fame considerations, they "all of a sudden bring up the issue of steroids and connect them to it."...
Some Hall of Fame members are like Schmidt and think the steroids issue is overblown with respect to Hall of Fame credentials.
Others think it is an unforgivable violation of the spirit of the game...
"I think it set a precedent," Schmidt said of McGwire's omission from the Hall. "Anyone who has been associated with steroids or substance abuse is probably not going to get in the Hall of Fame, certainly not in their first opportunity."
The actual members of the Hall of Fame should be the ones to decide that.