I wrote this in response to Bill's inquiry over at RedLeg Nation, but thought I'd repost it here.
Here's Bill's question:
You're a HOF voter... do you vote for Mark McGwire or not? Why or why not?
And my response:
I do. I don't know if he took steroids or not. As far as I know, there's been no evidence presented that he did except that he refused to answer questions at the senate hearing. And I don't agree with "convicting" a guy on charges of long term cheating without evidence.
But even if there was evidence, he played in an era in which that sort of doping was permitted (or at least not restricted) and reportedly widespread. I'm not sure it's reasonable to try to correct baseball's mismanagement of the use of performance-enhancing substances after the fact. Do you want to throw anyone who used amphetamines out of the hall of fame as well? That goes back into the '60's. So, for me, it's about his performance as a player and nothing more.And the performance is absolutely there. 583 home runs, career 0.394 OBP, career 0.588 SLG, career 0.982 OPS, 100.9 career WARP3. Six consecutive years with a 1.000+ OPS, during which he had 400+ plate appearances all but the last year. Yeah, for me, he's a hall of famer.