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3.24.2005

He Went to Get the Hangin' Judge, But the Hangin' Judge was Drunk 

Next time I'm being tried in a court of law, remind my lawyers to knock these three guys out of the jury pool during the voir dire:

"I will not vote for Mark McGwire," Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times said. "It's obvious from his own statements he used some form of performance-enhancing drugs and it's obvious from his statistics he did not become a Hall of Fame-type player until he did so."

"Right now I'm sort of sitting on the fence, but leaning toward not voting for McGwire or Bonds because they cheated," said Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News, himself a member of the Hall's writers' wing. "McGwire had the opportunity to say something, but didn't. To me, that's sort of like pleading the Fifth Amendment and not denying he did it."

"[McGwire] had a chance to help himself, help his sport, a chance to help kids and the parents sitting behind him and he just whiffed," said Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times. "It might as well be a guilt admission."

All three spoke in an Associated Press survey of Hall of Fame voters. Here's what the Chronicle's Henry Schulman had to say:

"The Hall of Fame is not a museum for saints. It's filled with racists, philanderers, players who used cork bats and spitters and everything at their disposal to their advantage," he said. "It's hard for me to single McGwire out. Unless he commits a crime, he's on my ballot."

And:

"I think [Bonds] was a Hall of Famer before he had those monster home run seasons. … Even if he were convicted of a crime, I would probably give him my vote to be consistent within myself. I've always felt Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. I'd have to get some damning evidence confirmed on Barry before I would knock him off my first ballot."

Somebody tell Bonds that Schulman is standing up for him no matter how much abuse Bonds heaps upon him. Sometimes it's noble to flaunt the system, and sometimes you're just an asshole. Bonds's problem is he's never learned the difference between the two.

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