BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
Were Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire watching the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown, NY, on Sunday?
I doubt it.
Despite three All-Star Selections, a career .295 batting average, 434 Home Runs and 1,404 RBI, I have a feeling that the Baseball Hall Of Fame will mean nothing to him after next year. Gonzalez has used steroids and the Baseball Writers are making him pay for it. This year he had 30 votes and 5.2%. If he goes below 5%, he'll be off the ballot permanently. He was the last player at the cutoff point.
When Rafael Palmeiro pointed his finger at Congress and said he didn't use steroids, only to be suspended for 10-days on August 1, 2005 by Baseball for indeed using the performance enhancers, his 569 Home Runs and 3,020 Hits, meant nothing. In his first year of eligibility in 2011, the Havana, Cuba native received only 64 votes for 11% and is just above Gonzalez. I wouldn't hold my breath to see Palmeiro's name called anytime soon.
I know where McGwire will be when Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven give their induction speeches. He'll be in Pittsburgh in uniform as his St. Louis Cardinals face the upstart Pittsburgh Pirates. McGwire is the hitting coach for his loyal friend and manager Tony LaRussa. I give LaRussa a lot of credit for keeping McGwire in baseball because at least it gives him a fighting chance to keep his Hall of Fame hopes alive.
According to his voting totals in 2011, McGwire's numbers decreased by 3.9%. He received 115 votes for 19.8%. Will McGwire's 583 Home Runs and 12 All-Star Appearances be enough to change the minds of the Baseball Writers. I'll be curious to see how this plays out.
The Class of 2013 will be a good indication as to what the future holds for McGwire since Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens will be ready to eat their taste of Humble Pie. These Three Stooges know what they did. They cashed in on the millions of dollars and statistics but now they know that their numbers mean absolutely nothing. I'll be anxious to see if they get 25-30% of the vote.
But for now, The Six Stooges of Gonzalez, Palmeiro, McGwire, Bonds, Sosa and Clemens can be thankful for what they have but the public knows what they're unlikely to get, a plaque on the wall in the Baseball Hall Of Fame. They won't join their artifacts that are currently in the museum that have been shown to visitors over the years both past, present and in the future.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33.com and his blog can be seen at www.scottsports33.com.
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