Biographical

Portrait of Mark McGwire

Mark McGwire 1BAthletics

Athletics Player Cards | Athletics Team Audit | Athletics Depth Chart

Career Summary
Years PA AVG OBP SLG TAv WARP
16 7660 .263 .394 .588 .333 56.2
Birth Date10-1-1963
Height6' 5"
Weight215 lbs
BatsR
ThrowsR
WARP Summary

Standard

YEAR TEAM AGE G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR TB BB SO HBP SF SH RBI SB CS AVG OBP SLG TAv VORP FRAA WARP
1986 OAK 22 18 58 53 10 10 1 0 3 20 4 18 1 0 0 9 0 1 .189 .259 .377 .241 2.0 -0.8 0.1
1987 OAK 23 151 641 557 97 161 28 4 49 344 71 131 5 8 0 118 1 1 .289 .370 .618 .342 63.5 -5.5 5.8
1988 OAK 24 155 635 550 87 143 22 1 32 263 76 117 4 4 1 99 0 0 .260 .352 .478 .306 32.2 -12.3 2.2
1989 OAK 25 143 587 490 74 113 17 0 33 229 83 94 3 11 0 95 1 1 .231 .339 .467 .300 21.5 -2.9 2.0
1990 OAK 26 156 650 523 87 123 16 0 39 256 110 116 7 9 1 108 2 1 .235 .370 .489 .320 42.3 -4.7 4.0
1991 OAK 27 154 585 483 62 97 22 0 22 185 93 116 3 5 1 75 2 1 .201 .330 .383 .271 8.1 3.2 1.2
1992 OAK 28 139 571 467 87 125 22 0 42 273 90 105 5 9 0 104 0 1 .268 .385 .585 .351 48.8 -6.4 4.6
1993 OAK 29 27 107 84 16 28 6 0 9 61 21 19 1 1 0 24 0 1 .333 .467 .726 .400 16.2 -0.4 1.6
1994 OAK 30 47 172 135 26 34 3 0 9 64 37 40 0 0 0 25 0 0 .252 .413 .474 .321 13.3 -3.9 0.9
1995 OAK 31 104 422 317 75 87 13 0 39 217 88 77 11 6 0 90 1 1 .274 .441 .685 .371 55.6 1.8 5.6
1996 OAK 32 130 548 423 104 132 21 0 52 309 116 112 8 1 0 113 0 0 .312 .467 .730 .368 74.7 -6.2 6.5
1997 OAK 33 105 433 366 48 104 24 0 34 230 58 98 4 5 0 81 1 0 .284 .383 .628 .325 28.7 -6.7 2.2
1997 SLN 33 51 224 174 38 44 3 0 24 119 43 61 5 2 0 42 2 0 .253 .411 .684 .358 24.3 -2.3 2.2
1998 SLN 34 155 681 509 130 152 21 0 70 383 162 155 6 4 0 147 1 0 .299 .470 .752 .380 82.8 -5.3 7.6
1999 SLN 35 153 661 521 118 145 21 1 65 363 133 141 2 5 0 147 0 0 .278 .424 .697 .343 63.9 0.6 6.1
2000 SLN 36 89 321 236 60 72 8 0 32 176 76 78 7 2 0 73 1 0 .305 .483 .746 .364 37.9 2.5 3.8
2001 SLN 37 97 364 299 48 56 4 0 29 147 56 118 3 6 0 64 0 0 .187 .316 .492 .268 2.8 -4.2 -0.1
Career187476606187116716262526583363913171596757831414128.263.394.588.333618.7-53.556.2

Advanced

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G PA TAv oppAVG oppOBP oppSLG oppTAv BABIP BPF BRAA repLVL POS_ADJ FRAA BRR BVORP BWARP VORP WARP
1984 MOD A+ 16 63 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .303 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1985 MOD A+ 138 596 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .308 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1986 OAK MLB 18 58 .241 .262 .319 .412 .265 .219 96 -1.1 1.6 0.2 -0.8 0.4 2.0 0.1 2.0 0.1
1986 HUN AA 55 249 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .348 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1986 TAC AAA 78 330 .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 .376 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1987 OAK MLB 151 641 .342 .266 .332 .426 .266 .291 94 56.5 18.9 -11.5 -5.5 0.6 63.5 5.8 63.5 5.8
1988 OAK MLB 155 635 .306 .264 .327 .400 .271 .274 95 27.8 16.6 -10.6 -12.3 -2.3 32.2 2.2 32.2 2.2
1989 OAK MLB 143 587 .300 .261 .323 .384 .265 .214 95 22.5 15.3 -9.8 -2.9 -3.7 21.5 2.0 21.5 2.0
1990 OAK MLB 156 650 .320 .261 .327 .390 .264 .223 94 38.5 17.4 -11.2 -4.7 -3.7 42.3 4.0 42.3 4.0
1991 OAK MLB 154 585 .271 .261 .327 .397 .266 .214 97 6.2 15.8 -10.1 3.2 -1.1 8.1 1.2 8.1 1.2
1992 OAK MLB 139 571 .351 .263 .328 .391 .267 .252 97 50 14.8 -9.5 -6.4 -2.8 48.8 4.6 48.8 4.6
1993 OAK MLB 27 107 .400 .277 .340 .420 .269 .333 96 16 3.1 -1.9 -0.4 -0.7 16.2 1.6 16.2 1.6
1994 OAK MLB 47 172 .321 .284 .354 .470 .277 .291 96 11.7 5.2 -3.3 -3.9 -0.8 13.3 0.9 13.3 0.9
1995 OAK MLB 104 422 .371 .266 .336 .422 .263 .232 97 52.1 12.6 -8 1.8 -1.0 55.6 5.6 55.6 5.6
1996 OAK MLB 130 548 .368 .274 .343 .442 .267 .308 100 68.3 16.9 -10.8 -6.2 -0.2 74.7 6.5 74.7 6.5
1997 OAK MLB 105 433 .325 .271 .339 .428 .264 .293 101 30.8 11.9 -8.1 -6.7 -4.1 28.7 2.2 28.7 2.2
1997 SLN MLB 51 224 .358 .261 .329 .410 .256 .220 98 24.2 6.0 -4.2 -2.3 -0.5 24.3 2.2 24.3 2.2
1998 SLN MLB 155 681 .380 .262 .329 .412 .257 .285 100 89.9 17.7 -12.9 -5.3 -7.4 82.8 7.6 82.8 7.6
1999 SLN MLB 153 661 .343 .269 .337 .428 .258 .250 100 64.5 17.9 -13.2 0.6 -4.7 63.9 6.1 63.9 6.1
2000 SLN MLB 89 321 .364 .268 .347 .436 .263 .312 103 39.6 8.8 -6.1 2.5 -4.4 37.9 3.8 37.9 3.8
2001 SLN MLB 97 364 .268 .266 .330 .432 .259 .171 101 3.3 9.8 -6.8 -4.2 -1.6 2.8 -0.1 2.8 -0.1

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
Year Team Lg PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG ISO TAv VORP FRAA WARP
1984 MOD A+ 63 7 11 3 0 1 1 8 21 0 0 .200 .302 .309 .109 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1985 MOD A+ 596 95 134 23 3 24 106 96 108 1 2 .274 .397 .481 .207 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1986 HUN AA 249 40 59 15 0 10 53 46 45 3 0 .303 .436 .533 .231 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1986 OAK MLB 58 10 10 1 0 3 9 4 18 0 1 .189 .259 .377 .189 .241 2.0 -0.8 0.1
1986 TAC AAA 330 42 89 21 5 13 59 42 67 1 1 .318 .408 .568 .250 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
1987 OAK MLB 641 97 161 28 4 49 118 71 131 1 1 .289 .370 .618 .329 .342 63.5 -5.5 5.8
1988 OAK MLB 635 87 143 22 1 32 99 76 117 0 0 .260 .352 .478 .218 .306 32.2 -12.3 2.2
1989 OAK MLB 587 74 113 17 0 33 95 83 94 1 1 .231 .339 .467 .237 .300 21.5 -2.9 2.0
1990 OAK MLB 650 87 123 16 0 39 108 110 116 2 1 .235 .370 .489 .254 .320 42.3 -4.7 4.0
1991 OAK MLB 585 62 97 22 0 22 75 93 116 2 1 .201 .330 .383 .182 .271 8.1 3.2 1.2
1992 OAK MLB 571 87 125 22 0 42 104 90 105 0 1 .268 .385 .585 .317 .351 48.8 -6.4 4.6
1993 OAK MLB 107 16 28 6 0 9 24 21 19 0 1 .333 .467 .726 .393 .400 16.2 -0.4 1.6
1994 OAK MLB 172 26 34 3 0 9 25 37 40 0 0 .252 .413 .474 .222 .321 13.3 -3.9 0.9
1995 OAK MLB 422 75 87 13 0 39 90 88 77 1 1 .274 .441 .685 .410 .371 55.6 1.8 5.6
1996 OAK MLB 548 104 132 21 0 52 113 116 112 0 0 .312 .467 .730 .418 .368 74.7 -6.2 6.5
1997 SLN MLB 224 38 44 3 0 24 42 43 61 2 0 .253 .411 .684 .431 .358 24.3 -2.3 2.2
1997 OAK MLB 433 48 104 24 0 34 81 58 98 1 0 .284 .383 .628 .344 .325 28.7 -6.7 2.2
1998 SLN MLB 681 130 152 21 0 70 147 162 155 1 0 .299 .470 .752 .454 .380 82.8 -5.3 7.6
1999 SLN MLB 661 118 145 21 1 65 147 133 141 0 0 .278 .424 .697 .418 .343 63.9 0.6 6.1
2000 SLN MLB 321 60 72 8 0 32 73 76 78 1 0 .305 .483 .746 .441 .364 37.9 2.5 3.8
2001 SLN MLB 364 48 56 4 0 29 64 56 118 0 0 .187 .316 .492 .304 .268 2.8 -4.2 -0.1

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT

Injury History

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2001-08-23 2001-09-01 DTD 9 8 Right Thigh Strain Hamstring - -
2001-04-16 2001-05-28 15-DL 42 36 Right Knee Inflammation - -
2000-10-23 2000-10-23 Off 0 0 Right Knee Surgery 2000-10-23 -
2000-07-07 2000-09-08 15-DL 63 56 Right Knee Inflammation Patellar Tendinitis - -
1996-07-27 1996-08-01 DTD 5 4 - Low Back Spasms - -
1996-04-01 1996-04-23 15-DL 22 18 - Foot Inflammation - -
1995-08-06 1995-08-26 15-DL 20 19 - Low Back Soreness - -
1995-07-18 1995-08-02 15-DL 15 13 Left Foot Contusion - -
1994-04-30 1994-06-18 15-DL 49 43 Left Foot Stress Fracture Heel - -
1993-09-10 1993-10-04 DTD 24 24 Left Foot Surgery Plantar Fascia and Bone Spur 1993-09-24 -
1993-05-14 1993-09-03 60-DL 112 101 Left Foot Recovery From Strain Partial Tear Plantar Fascia - -
1993-05-05 1993-05-05 DTD 0 0 Left Foot Strain Partial Tear Plantar Fascia - -
1992-08-22 1992-09-13 15-DL 22 20 Right Trunk Strain Rib Cage - -
1989-04-11 1989-04-26 15-DL 15 14 - Low Back Cartilage Injury Herniated Disc - -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2001 SLN $11,000,000
2000 SLN $9,333,333
YearsDescriptionSalary
2 yrPrevious$20,333,333
2 yrTotal$20,333,333

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
14 y 47 d

Details
  • 2 years/$30M (2002-03). Retired 11/01, leaving 2002-03 extension unsigned. 02:$14M, 03:$16M. Attendance bonus of $2/fan for each fan beyond 2.8 million. About 25% of $30M deferred at "reasonable" interest rate. 2002-03 extension negotiated without an agent.
  • 3 years/$28.5M (1998-2000), plus 2001 mutual option. Signed extension with St. Louis 9/16/07. $1M signing bonus. 98:$8M, 99:$8.5M, 00:$9M, 01:$11M mutual option ($2M buyout). Attendance bonus of $1/fan for each fan beyond 2.8 million. Bonus worth $586,493 in 2000.
  • 5 years/$28M (1993-97). $7M signing bonus. 93:$2.6M, 94:$1.6M, 95:$5.5M, 96:$5.6M, 97:$5.7M.
  • 1 year/$2.7M (1992)
  • 1 year/$2.85M (1991). Re-signed 2/91, avoided arbitration $3.3M-$2M.
  • 1 year/$1.5M (1990). Signed 2/90 (avoided arbitration, $1.72M-$1M). May earn up to $170,000 in performance bonuses.
  • 1 year/$0.455M (1989). Received $55,500 in bonuses.
  • 1 year/$0.25M (1988)
  • 1 year/$72,500 (1987)
  • 1 year/$60,000 (1986).
  • Drafted 1984 (1-10) by Oakland, $125,000 signing bonus. Drafted 1981 (8-198) by Montreal (did not sign)

BP Annual Player Comments

No BP Book Comments have been found for this player.

BP Articles

Mark McGwire is referenced in the following articles.

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Prospectus Hit and Run: Hall of Fame Cases at Third and ShortJay Jaffe2009-12-23
Prospectus Hit and Run: Alomar, the Crime Dog, the Big Cat and Big MacJay Jaffe2009-12-21
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The Week in Quotes: October 26-November 1Alex Carnevale2009-11-02
Prospectus Q&A: Sam FuldDavid Laurila2009-11-01
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Prospectus Today: My BallotJoe Sheehan2007-12-28
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Bonds Responses: Staff Takes on a Landmark--Updated @ 11:00 pm ETBaseball Prospectus2007-08-09
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This article requires BP Fantasy or Premium accessFantasy Focus: Man CrushesKenn Ruby2007-07-25
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The Answer: No Asterisks NecessaryClay Davenport2007-07-15
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Doctoring The Numbers: The Draft, Part 11Rany Jazayerli2006-06-02
Prospectus Notebook: Athletics, MarinersBaseball Prospectus2006-05-25
Prospectus Hit List: Week of May 14Jay Jaffe2006-05-16
The Prince Is Dead: Long Live the KingJonah Keri2006-05-05
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The Daily Prospectus: It's a Hard Game, FolksJoe Sheehan2001-05-14
From The Mailbag: Free Erubiel Durazo!Baseball Prospectus2001-05-02
Internet Baseball Awards: Player of the YearBaseball Prospectus2000-11-03
NL West Notebook: Dodger BluesDave Pease2000-08-25
Doctoring the Numbers: The Doctor is...Gone.Rany Jazayerli2000-08-15
Field General or Backstop?: Evaluating the catcher's influence on pitcher performanceKeith Woolner2000-01-10
1999 Internet Baseball Awards Results: Your ballots have been counted, and the results are inGreg Spira1999-11-20
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BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2014-07-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Ben! One of the quintessential records of my youth was the rookie HR record set by Mark McGwire in 1987. McGwire even had a white IROC-Z with a 49 IN 87 license plate. I realized this morning that Jose Abreu is currently on pace to break that record. Where does this rate on your scale?
(scatterbrian from CA)
It's not insignificant, but it's not appointment viewing. If I were watching a highlight show and they did a live look-in because he was one away from the record, I wouldn't be upset. (Ben Lindbergh)
2013-08-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)Sure with the PEDs, but some players who used were never all that disdained: be it Marlon Byrd or Andy Pettitte or Mark McGwire and all talent levels in between. A-Rod just seems so universally hated in a way that only Bonds and maybe Clemens reached.
(Jim Clancy from Exhibition Stadium)
Yes, the perception certainly has to do with other factors. A-Rod has a long history of saying/doing the wrong/unpopular thing at the wrong time. (Ben Lindbergh)
2013-08-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)What I don't understand is why this is such a punitive environment? For many PEDs, we have no idea if they are actually PEDs. Wouldn't it make more sense if MLB and MLBPA instead engaged in programs in service to the health of players? To build trust would enable everyone to figure out which supplements are used quickly and figure out if there are any dangerous effects. Let them use PEDs that are safe like advil or caffeine.
(Steve from Baltimore, MD)
An interesting premise. I think that itís far easier for the sides to work from, ďLetís err on the side of being safe.Ē In other words, itís harder to go backwards on this matter. Look at what occurred with Mark McGwire and Androstenedione. It was banned in the NFL and then after MLB banned it, it loomed over McGwire well before his admission to using other PEDs. I guess the very unscientific answer is, itís messy (Maury Brown About Biogenesis and Business)
2013-03-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Following up on steroids, can you envision a steroid regimen coupled with a conditioning program that actually reduced injury risk? Thanks.
(Matt from SD, CA)
Absolutely. If a player intelligently configured his intake volume with a balanced conditioning regimen, then he could see huge benefits with respect to injury risk. Known users like Ken Caminiti and Mark McGwire credited steroids with keeping them on the field, moreso than actually hitting home runs. The benefit of feeling 100% every day during the long-haul of a season is a tremendous benefit that should not be underestimated. (Doug Thorburn)
2012-11-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Ben, I'm not sure if you noticed but the Hall of Fame ballot this year includes names such as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, and Mark McGwire. We hear a lot about should they be in the hall of fame or not, what do you think the writers will do?
(Steve G. from Athens, OH)
They're going to vote Bonds and Clemens in eventually, I think--it's much harder to justify an argument that they wouldn't have been Hall of Famers without steroids than it is for Sosa and McGwire, and the Hall is going to have to have the best players ever in it if it wants people to pay to get in. But as that guy in Gladiator says, "Not yet...not yet." (Ben Lindbergh)
2012-01-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Will Bagwell make the HOF, or is he done like Mark McGwire?
(Demian from Orlando-ish)
He's in much better shape than McGwire, and I expect he will top 50 percent this year, which creates a clear pathway to election, even if it won't be instant. (Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special)
2011-04-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Rank these players in their feasibility to enter the MLB Hall of Fame someday: 1. Shoeless Joe Jackson 2. Pete Rose 3. Mark McGwire 4. Barry Bonds 5. Roger Clemens 6. Sammy Sosa 7. Alex Rodriguez
(UCBravesKing from Covington, KY)
I think A-Rod before any of the rest, because his usage will be seen as a dalliance and the bulk of his career is so impressive. The same, to a lesser extent, can be said of Clemens and Bonds, but the weight of his usage is so much heavier with the ongoing lawsuits, the Congressional testimony, etc. ALL the steroids candidates will benefit from some moment TBD when we have a better understanding of the impact of steroids on production, because just about everything you see is supposition. (Steven Goldman)
2010-09-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Speaking (Kingpin's Q) of Cardinals hitters getting hot or not, how much of the total collapse of non-star hitters in St. Louis this year can be laid at the feet of Mark McGwire? If nearly everybody but Pujols, Holliday and Rasmus that has been on the major-league roster all season is performing at their tenth percentile according to PECOTA (and other measures), why doesn't the hitting coach get targeted as part of the problem?
(BillJ from New Mexico)
Too high-profile? Big Mac is probably less replaceable than the typical hitting coach, from a PR perspective, so maybe that buys him some time. I'm not a big believer in the efficacy of firing a hitting coach, when it comes to producing real results on the field (of course, it probably doesn't hurt a whole lot, either).

And yeah, Pujols, Holliday, and Rasmus provide pretty good cover. St. Louis has had the 5th-best offense in the NL, according to TAv. (Ben Lindbergh)
2010-07-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)Where do you rank Jim Thome among possible Hall of Famers? There doesn't seem to be much buzz except from the bees. Care to stir up that nest?
(WARPspeedfreak from Headspace)
I certainly think Thome belongs, and so does JAWS, which had him one point ahead of the 1B standard at the outset of the year. Even so, he's well behind Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire on the scale, and below Keith Hernandez and Will Clark. Not having an MVP award has led to the perception that he's just an accumulator, and I think he's gonna be a guy whose candidacy gets fought over for little reason. He belongs, though. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-04-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)The best on-air personality on MLB Network is ...
(dianagramr from NYC)
You know, I haven't watched enough to identify one. I've always been a fan of Bob Costas and the interviews he does, though I'm not sure the Mark McGwire thing was his best moment. (Steven Goldman)
2010-02-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)David, your interviews are among the highlights of BP's site. I especially like the variety of subjects you choose, from retired players and coaches to prospects. Can you name a few living people you'd like to interview someday? Any people who have died since you started this who you regret not covering?
(Asinwreck from Chicago, IL)
Thanks. Kind words are always appreciated, to say the least. As for people who died (and, oh yeah, RIP poet/musician Jim Carroll; I was a fan), the one who first comes to mind passed away about a year before I began writing for BP. That was Dick Radatz, who was not only a brilliant closer but a bit of a character and apparently a wonderful man. Much more recently, I never did get a chance to interview, or even meet, Mark Fidrych. I regret that.

As for who Iíd like to interview, there are certainly many. Talking to Barack Obama about baseball would certainly be enjoyable. Sitting down with Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire to talk hitting -- and only hitting -- would be great (has anyone actually done that before?). Iíll be in Ft. Myers in early March, and Iíd love to run into Harmon Killebrew and/or Tony Oliva in Twins camp. I want to talk to Darrell Evans. (David Laurila)
2010-02-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you see any chance that Mark McGwire comes back and picks up at least a few ABs this year?
(MarinerDan from SF)
Not after all of the controversy that's surrounded him this winter. The country would grind to a halt on the day he was activated, as all of the BBWAA's soapbox derby champions would begin sermonizing on the great evils of not confessing in exactly the manner in which you've been told to confess. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-01-19 15:30:00 (link to chat)Not to beat a dead horse but the steroids discussion is really frustrating. The point isn't whether the steroids did any good, or whether the decision by the government or baseball to ban them was arbitrary. The use of HGH, anabolics, etc. was illegal. Full stop. Say I'm running a marathon. The course layout is by definition arbitrary. Heck, ALL the rules in a sport are "arbitrary". That doesn't mean it's OK for me to run a different course than the other entrants - even if I could argue later that I gained no advantage from it. Cheating is cheating. Watching people rationalize it just drives me up the wall. If you want to criticize writers, managers, owners, etc. for not saying or doing anything about it in the 90s but moralizing now, that's fine. But Mark McGwire and crew don't deserve ANY sympathy at all. They knew it was wrong. Frankly, merely having their reputations tarnished is getting off easy.
(gecko1 from cupertino, ca)
I agree with you, Gecko. They did something that was against the rules. Yet, people do that all the time, don't they? They speed. They park in the handicapped spot. They smoke where it says "no smoking." They pay the children's menu price for their kids when the kids are over 12. They cheat on their taxes. They buy stocks on insider tips. Batters erase the batters' box lines and load their bats. Runners go out of the baselines. Fielders make phantom tags. Pitchers have balk moves, or cut the ball. Granted, not all these things are equal, but there are degrees of breaking the rules. We don't run our world in a way that you're either okay or you're committing murder. So you're right, you're right, you're right -- so if the PEDs didn't really do that much enhancing, what level of dudgeon do you think is really appropriate? (Steven Goldman)
2010-01-14 16:00:00 (link to chat)Stats and records have long been the backbone of baseball fandom. How can we reconcile that with the new age of "cheating" and potentially the whole record book being ambiguous? No cliched, "cheating in baseball has gone on forever" please. This stuff is different and will only progress. Sophisticated artificial body parts are a natural progression down the line.
(bobbailey from Canada)
I guess I come at this from a different angle. Mark McGwire* was anointed a cultural hero, and it turns out heís a cheat. Yes, this makes the record book ambiguous and messy, but no matter what, the numbers happened. My question is why is it only an outrage when a player in the record book or on the doorstep of the Hall of Fame cheats. There were a bunch of players named in the Mitchell Report and a good number of them were inconsequential. Whereís the outrage over the allegations about Glenallen Hill* or Ricky Bones*? The steroid controversy isnít about the players or the records themselves. Itís about the fact that our culture got caught with its pants down picking heroes by how many home runs he hit. And thatís a stupid way to pick heroes. (Russell A. Carleton)
2010-01-12 18:30:00 (link to chat)Mark McGwire: "I took steroids" The rest of known world: "Really?"
(JimmyJack from What if they had a war and nobody came?)
I figure this will be a popular subject so I'll give my brief take now and maybe answer some more later, but to be perfectly honest, and this is not an attempt to just take a contrarian view, but I simply don't care. I remember being a 13-yr old baseball fanatic in 1998 and watching the McGwire-Sosa race was some of the most fun I've ever had as a fan. What McGwire did and what Sosa may have done doesn't change that for me. (Eric Seidman)
2010-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)Surprised at the vote?
(Tim from Tampa)
Surprised but not terribly so. My conclusion to today's piece:

So with the business of the pitchers concluded, we add Bert Blyleven to the ranks of Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell on the JAWS 2010 ballot. With the voting results scheduled be announced later today (Wednesday), I wouldn't be at all surprised if that slate draws a blank while Andre Dawson gets in, though I do think Alomar has a decent shot (early returns suggest reasons for optimism) and Blyleven may be nearing the tipping point. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-01-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'd call this good news for Bert. I was worried he'd stagnate around 62%. do you have the % of the vote for Edgar, Raines and Barry? They don't have it on espn.com. Thanks.
(collins from greenville nc)
539 ballots, five blanks, Andre Dawson 420 (77.9%), Bert Blyleven 400 (74.2%), Roberto Alomar 397 (73.7%), Jack Morris 282 (52.3%), Barry Larkin 278 (51.6%), Lee Smith 255 (47.3%), Edgar Martinez 195 (36.2%), Tim Raines 164 (30.4%), Mark McGwire 128 (23.7%), Alan Trammell 121 (22.4%), Fred McGriff 116 (21.5%), Don Mattingly 87 (16.1%), Dave Parker 82 (15.2%), Dale Murphy 63 (11.7%), Harold Baines 33 (6.1%), Andres Galarraga 22 (4.1%), Robin Ventura 7 (1.3%), Ellis Burks 2 (0.4%), Eric Karros 2 (0.4%), Kevin Appier 1 (0.2%), Pat Hentgen 1 (0.2%), David Segui 1 (0.2%), Mike Jackson 0, Ray Lankford 0, Shane Reynolds 0, Todd Zeile 0.

Segui gets his vote. Baines remains on life support thanks to the persistence of a stubborn few. Karros receives more votes than he had All-Star appearances. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-12-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)A softball to get you started: Who would be on your Hall of Fame ballot this year?
(Bill from New Mexico)
Holdovers: Tim Raines, Bert Blyleven and Mark McGwire. For newbies, Barry Larkin and maybe Robbie Alomar, though I'm iffy enough on that one that I don't even remember if I'm for or against him at present. Just as a "I liked this guy, and I want to vote for him" kind of deal, and not because I think they should get in, I would toss a vote to Robin Ventura and Ellis Burks.

The good news is that Ray Lankford is finally on the ballot, so if he doesn't get 5% of the vote I can see if I can get him to write a foreword for "The Ray Lankford Wing of the Hall of Fame: Book Edition" without him feeling snubbed someday. (Marc Normandin)
2009-08-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)How is a guy nicknamed Walrus going to cover the vast foul territory at the infield corners in Oakland?
(ashitaka from long beach, ca)
To be fair, Mark McGwire wasn't exactly known for cat-like swiftness. Nor, at the end, was Carney Lansford. That said, I've not seen Wallace play live, and television's a lousy way to judge whether a guy moves around well to cover foul territory. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-07-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)Some friends and I recently had a discussion about Mark McGwire's Hall of Fame candidacy. I was of the feeling that - excluding the steroid factor - his body of work was that of shoe-in inductee. Perhaps he was not an inner circle HOF'er, but certainly a strong addition. Would you concur?
(chunkstyle from Toronto)
His home run totals and other accomplishments suggest he'd be a shoe-in, and his overall JAWS case is strong enough that he'd rate as an above-average HOF first baseman. The problem is that it's impossible for voters to exclude the steroid factor, and I think they'll make an example of him for his entire 15-year run on the ballot. Which is pretty pathetic, given the writers' role in allowing the steroid boom to happen under their noses without doing any real reporting. Just remember the way they shunned the guy who found the Andro in his locker for a lesson in total hypocrisy. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-04-10 16:30:00 (link to chat)Hey CK! Just counting down hours until my flight up to Oakland for Opening Night. So far this season, A's hitters seem to really be focusing on going up the middle and to the opposite field. Is this early-season noise, or a product of new hitting coach Jim Skaalen?
(ashitaka from long beach, ca)
Hope you have a great time at the ballpark; I know it's not really the same thing now that the Coliseum's been mauled beyond recognition, but I sort of feel about the A's home park the way some Mets fans feel about Shea--sure, it's a pit, but it's *our* pit.

I don't think we can put this on Skaalen just yet; this isn't quite like Rick Burleson jumping on Mark McGwire to hit singles to right, and getting the single worst season of Mac's career for his troubles. It's important to keep in mind the talent that's on this year's roster, never mind that we don't have Emil Brown to kick around any more. Adding hitters like Orlando Cabrera and Nomar Garciaparra gives you a lineup with people who put the ball in play a lot more often than those of us who still treasure the memories of watching Olmedo Saenz or Matt Stairs or Ben Grieve (at his best) taking their cuts. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-01-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)What do you make of Matt Holliday's comments about Bobby Crosby swinging the bat well after work out with Mark McGwire? Do the A's still bring in Cabrera (costing them a 2nd round pick) or just go with some combination of Crosby, Pennington, and Petit?
(Dave from Chicago)
I'll believe it when I see it. That's not to say I don't trust Holliday, it's just that you hear those kinds of stories all the time, and people seem to still be willing to give Crosby the benefit of the doubt.

I don't think Cabrera is worth the pick. Maybe the A's should just call the Cubs, and send over one of their non-prospects in exchange for another middle infielder they don't want to use. (Marc Normandin)
2008-01-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Joe, what's your stance on Mark McGwire's candidacy? The writers seem to have really taken a hard-line with him - do you think this will bleed over into the Palmiero/Sosa/Bonds etc candidacies down the road? Or does Big Mac make it in after being properly "chastised" by the self-annointed guardians?
(sabotlt from A's Country)
He's gotten my vote the past two seasons, and he'll get my vote the next 13.

His lack of forward momentum this year surprised me, although it my be that the timing of the Mitchell Report hurt him, keeping "PEDS ZOMG!!!" in the forefront of voters' minds.

It really bugs me that the same people who had all the freaking access in the world in "the steroid era," and who hold up their organization as being about access for reporters, have the gall to now say "shucks, we didn't know," and at the same time act as judge and jury on the guys they didn't have the balls to cover honestly when they were active.

It's not having it both ways. It's having it about four different ways.

Call me when they decide to not give out a Spink Award for a decade. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-01-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)my prediction: Goose in. Rice misses by an extremely small margin. Much, much bleating commences over the voters who submitted blanks to protest roids users, thus depriving the "deserving" pre-roids slugger.
(TomH from Lexington Park MD)
The Goose is Loose! He gets 85.8 percent, and he's the only one who gets in on this ballot.

Rice falls just shy at 72.2 percent, setting him up for a 15th-year push.

Raines 24.3 percent. Oh is that ugly.

Player Total Votes Percentage Rich Gossage 466 85.8% Jim Rice 392 72.2% Andre Dawson 358 65.9% Bert Blyleven 336 61.9% Lee Smith 235 43.3% Jack Morris 233 42.9% Tommy John 158 29.1% Tim Raines 132 24.3% Mark McGwire 128 23.6% Alan Trammell 99 18.2% Dave Concepcion 88 16.2% Don Mattingly 86 15.8% Dave Parker 82 15.1% Dale Murphy 75 13.8% Harold Baines 28 5.2% Rod Beck 2 0.4% Travis Fryman 2 0.4% Robb Nen 2 0.4% Shawon Dunston 1 0.2% Chuck Finley 1 0.2% David Justice 1 0.2% Chuck Knoblauch 1 0.2% Todd Stottlemyre 1 0.2%
Jose Rijo 0 0% Brady Anderson 0 0% (Jay Jaffe)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-04-05 09:30:00Season Opener RoundtableMark McGwire sure looks strange with a gray goatee. (Clay Davenport)
2009-11-02 17:00:002009 WS Game FiveI was thinking Mark McGwire. (Dan Malkiel)
2009-10-16 13:00:00NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game OneAnd back to the well for another one which Steve already touched upon...

Toni (Oakland, CA): (not about this game) Jay I've been thinking a lot about the 1989 A's (20 year anniversary of Loma Prieta) and do you see any of the players from that team making the HoF outside of Rickey? Dave Parker maybe? And do you think Mark McGwire ever get in?

Well, Dennis Eckersley is already in. Parker - I don't see it. His candidacy is like the canned goods at the Kwik-E-Mart: maybe the official expiration date hasn't been reached yet, but everyone's made up their minds pretty firmly on the subject.

McGwire, I think, will eventually be there. It may take 30 years of genetic mutant 80 homer a year guys, and a 20-part Barbara Walters interview, but i think eventually the voters will have enough perspective to tackle the steroids issue with a bit more rationality than they can muster these days.
(Jay Jaffe)