I wonder, you know, like these government guys have anything better to do? I mean give me a break

can’t you leave baseball and steroids ALONE! god, how long will this shit go on

so they juice up, hit the stack, poped the cherry, hell 1/2 of the government snorted coke, and??? who’s questioning that

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Baseball’s Steroids Taint Gets Hall of Fame Test With McGwire

By Danielle Sessa

Mark McGwire’s performance on Capitol Hill in 2005 may have more to do with his chances of being voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame than his 583 home runs.

McGwire refused under oath to answer questions from a congressional committee on whether he used steroids. By repeatedly saying “I’m not here to talk about the past,” McGwire raised doubts about his 16-year career, according to a Hall of Fame pitcher who is now a U.S. senator.

“He didn’t handle himself very well,” said Jim Bunning, a Kentucky Republican. “I will be anxious to find out how much influence his performance before the Congress will have.”

Bunning will find out tomorrow when the Baseball Writers Association of America announces the results of balloting for the 2007 Hall of Fame class. Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn probably will lead the tally.

McGwire, 43, is the first player under the steroids cloud to be listed on the ballot. How much support he receives may indicate how Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and others linked to performance-enhancing substances will be judged. McGwire, Bonds and Sosa all have repeatedly denied drug use.

McGwire’s business manager, Jim Milner, didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Players named on 75 percent of the roughly 575 ballots gain entry to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. A total of 32 players are on this year’s ballot. Ripken, who holds the record for consecutive games played at 2,632, and Gwynn, who won eight batting titles, are likely inductees.

First-Ballot Statistics

Based on career statistics, McGwire might be a first-ballot inductee. The St. Louis Cardinals first baseman became the first player to hit 70 home runs, and his career total ranks seventh. He won the 1987 American League Rookie of the Year with the Oakland Athletics and was picked for 12 All-Star teams.

McGwire’s race with Sosa in 1998 to break Roger Maris’s single-season home run record of 61 helped draw fans after the 1994 players strike. McGwire beat Sosa to Maris’s mark and held the record with 70 for three seasons until Bonds topped him with 73.

In congressional testimony, McGwire’s voice cracked and he frequently reviewed his prepared statement. Sosa, a Dominican Republic native, used an interpreter. That cast doubt about the legitimacy of their chase, said Bob Klapisch, national baseball writer for New Jersey’s Bergen Record newspaper.

“We don’t know what we saw, I don’t know what I covered,” said Klapisch, who said he left McGwire off his Hall of Fame ballot. “There’s too much of a mystery on where the home runs came from. Until we know more about what he did, I don’t see him getting in.”

Steroid Tests

McGwire was never tested for steroids. Major League Baseball didn’t screen for the drugs until 2003, two years after he retired. Lawmakers pressured the sport to test after Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti admitted taking performance-enhancing substances and charged that usage was rampant throughout baseball. That pressure accelerated after the March 2005 hearing.

Canseco, who alleged in a book he wrote that he injected teammate McGwire with steroids, is also on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, along with Caminiti. McGwire denied Canseco’s allegation, telling the news media he never used “steroids or any other illegal substance.”

Bunning, 75, was among those who pushed baseball to strengthen its drug policy and sponsored legislation to mandate testing and penalties in major professional sports. He dropped the bill after baseball agreed to strengthen its policy in November 2005. Baseball and its union first banned steroids in its 2002 labor contract.

`Wiped Out’

Bunning, who pitched a perfect game in 1964 for Philadelphia, said cheaters shouldn’t receive baseball’s highest honor.

“All your records should be wiped out from the day you were found to be using illegal steroids,” he said.

There’s no proof McGwire or Sosa, who last played in 2005, took steroids.

Another congressional witness, Rafael Palmeiro, was suspended for 10 days for failing a steroids test five months after he pointed at lawmakers and stated he never used drugs. Palmeiro wasn’t re-signed by the Baltimore Orioles and hasn’t played since 2005.

The support McGwire receives may show how voters will judge players like Palmeiro and Sosa, said Lyle Spatz, a baseball historian in Boynton Beach, Florida.

“The message they will be sending is that `We kind of recognize that some of the numbers you put up were not comparable with what players before you put up under a more level playing field,”’ said Spatz.

Bonds

Steroids suspicions have dogged Bonds, who’s agreed to return to the San Francisco Giants. In leaked grand jury testimony, he said he might have unknowingly used steroids.

Baseball appointed former Senator George Mitchell last March to investigate steroids. Bunning said he’ll reserve judgment on players until Mitchell’s report comes out or an ongoing federal investigation uncovers evidence.

Until then, some players aiming for the Hall, on the first ballot at least, may have more to worry about than whether their statistics are compelling, Bunning said. “Now they have the added problem of being suspicious.’

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