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National Pastime Archive: January 2009


  • Steroid Era confronts Cooperstown

    Mark McGwire's Hall of Fame candidacy was supposed to serve as the test case for Steroid Era players, but the only real precedent it established is that the Baseball Writers Association of America won't vote to induct a one-dimensional slugger widely believed to have used performance-enhancing drugs during his prime years. However, as the names of McGwire's contemporaries begin to appear on the ballot in the coming years, the BBWAA will be faced with far more nuanced - and perplexing - decisions. The way they collectively choose to view the stars of the Steroid Era and their accomplishments will play a major role in determining this period's place in baseball's long and storied history. Published January 29 2009

  • Steroid Era confronts Cooperstown

    Mark McGwire's Hall of Fame candidacy was supposed to serve as the test case for Steroid Era players, but the only real precedent it established is that the Baseball Writers Association of America won't vote to induct a one-dimensional slugger widely believed to have used performance-enhancing drugs during his prime years. However, as the names of McGwire's contemporaries begin to appear on the ballot in the coming years, the BBWAA will be faced with far more nuanced - and perplexing - decisions. The way they collectively choose to view the stars of the Steroid Era and their accomplishments will play a major role in determining this period's place in baseball's long and storied history. Published January 29 2009

  • Steroid Era confronts Cooperstown

    Mark McGwire's Hall of Fame candidacy was supposed to serve as the test case for Steroid Era players, but the only real precedent it established is that the Baseball Writers Association of America won't vote to induct a one-dimensional slugger widely believed to have used performance-enhancing drugs during his prime years. However, as the names of McGwire's contemporaries begin to appear on the ballot in the coming years, the BBWAA will be faced with far more nuanced - and perplexing - decisions. The way they collectively choose to view the stars of the Steroid Era and their accomplishments will play a major role in determining how this period will fit into the long and storied history of baseball. Published January 29 2009

  • The best bargain of the winter?

    The Yankees, as usual, made headlines this winter with the signings of big-name free agents CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, but lowly Kansas City may well have made the shrewdest move of the offseason on Monday by inking right-hander Zack Greinke to a four-year, $38 million deal. In doing so, the Royals bought out the emerging ace's first two years of free agency and showed their fans that they're serious about getting the once-proud franchise back on track. Published January 27 2009

  • Baseball writers swing and miss

    You don't have to be a card-carrying member of the BBWAA to know that Rickey Henderson was a no-brainer in his first year on the ballot, and if Jim Rice had been more accommodating to the media during his playing days he would have been in long ago. Henderson and Rice will be inducted along with the late Joe Gordon - a Veterans Committee selection, and a questionable one at best - but my problem with the 2009 Hall of Fame class lies not with who was included, but who wasn't. Published January 12 2009