Yesterday I wrote that the Cardinals should put that Mark McGwire statue they had made out with all of the other statues of Cardinal greats.
A couple of hours later, the post was linked by the Birdsonthebat forum, and a discussion ensued. Granted we’re dealing with a small, self-selecting sample size here, but I have to admit that I was surprised at just how forcefully the participants in that conversation came out against having McGwire’s statue join the others. A couple of sentiments that, by in large, were representative of the group:
What McGwire did for baseball was exemplary. He and Sammy Sosa brought baseball back. Everybody was on roids so who cares. With that said, he should NOT have a statue out there.
545 games played in a Cardinal uniform. Only two seasons of 100+ games. It takes more than two seasons to earn a statue.
No way. I like McGwire, but I wouldn’t even retire his number. The statues should be reserved for the best of the best. Albert’s will be there someday, but not Mac’s. Who knows…if Molina has a lengthy career as a Cardinal and continues to improve his offense, perhaps he might even be there in the future.
Well, maybe the Molina sentiment isn’t representative, but that’s the overall tenor of things.
Maybe this is yet another instance of the passage of time messin’ with my mind, but I seem to remember there being a far greater amount of admiration for McGwire back in the day, and that would hold even if you controlled for the steroids business. Is it possible that this is one of those rare instances in which a guy got a considerably greater amount of love from the national press than the locals? Steroids disclaimers aside, is it a matter of the steroids thing looming larger in Cardinals’ fans mind than they care to admit? Have I simply underestimated just how high an honor Cardinals fans consider their ring of statues to be? Because I’ll admit, I just assumed it was a nice little honor as opposed to the Great Big Important honor these posters are implying it is.
Maybe all of those things are at work. I don’t really know. I just find it pretty interesting.