How Mark McGwire gets into the Hall of Fame

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I was being facetious when I said earlier this afternoon that Mark McGwire simply needs to talk about the past in order to get into the Hall of Fame.  Bob Ryan is serious:

If he ever holds a press conference in his new gig as batting coach of
the Cardinals, and if he answers the questions, he could probably punch
his ticket. I know many of you hate it when people like me say or write
something like this, but that’s the way I feel.

Though I disagree, I get not voting for McGwire because he used PEDs. Though I disagree, I can even see voting against him because he wasn’t forthcoming before Congress.  But neither of those things can be cured, can they?  No matter how much he talks now, he still used PEDs and still failed to be forthcoming before Congress, didn’t he?  How on Earth does giving quotes to Bob Ryan and some other writers around a batting cage fix that?

Has the case against McGwire always been merely that he wouldn’t cater to the press and give juicy quotes about his past?  Was it not about cheating and being uncooperative in front of the House of Effing Representatives?  If not, aren’t the writers who agree with Ryan — the ones who would change their votes merely because McGwire gave a press conference — saying that they’re more important than the rules of baseball and The United States Congress?

If McGwire’s behavior sours you on his Hall of Fame candidacy, it seems totally unreasonable to change your mind simply because he talks into your Dictaphone down in Flordia this March.

Rangers sign Josh Hamilton to a minor league deal

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The Texas Rangers have signed Josh Hamilton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Not at all surprising. The Rangers released Hamilton last August, but that was simply to make some room on the 40-man roster. His season was already toast due to the surgery he underwent to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee which had the added bonus of revealing that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. At the time of his release both he and the Rangers made noises about him coming back on a minor league deal in 2017.

Hamilton turns 36 in May. The smart money has it that his big league career is over, but Hamilton would be silly to retire given that he is owed $30 million this coming season. That the Angels are paying $26.41 million of that makes it far less painful for the Rangers as well. If he can hit in the spring, hey, let him DH some and pay him low money. If not, no skin off of anyone’s nose. He can request a release on April 1 if he hasn’t made the big league roster.

A-Rod to host a reality show featuring broke ex-athletes

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Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.

He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:

Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.