I've said before that all the PED guys are going to wind up in the Hall of Fame, and we have some major movement on that this week, with Tony LaRussa trying to give Mark McGwire his reputation back by hiring him as the Cardinals hitting coach.
This is a bit distressing for me, because it's a great thing to do, and I've never really liked LaRussa very much at all, so I get a bit of cognitive dissonance.
At any rate Mark McGwire was one of the great hitters, and clearly deserves to be in Cooperstown. I don't know whether we'll see a major increase in his HOF voting this year, but I'd guess within two years he'll start moving up in the voting. This coming year the strongest new candidates are Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin; the next year it'll be Jeff Bagwell and Rafael Palmiero, and then one fairly quiet year before the deluge (in 2013 and 2014, Curt Schilling and Mike Mussina will be new to the ballot -- along with eight guys who are significantly better candidates than those two). So we'll see whether McGwire ever gets in from the writers' vote, but if not he'll eventually get in from a Vet Committee process.
Hmmm...McGwire has been tailing off in the vote, with 2009, his third year on the ballot being his worst one yet. I guess I'll predict that he'll turn that around a bit in 2010. I'm fairly confident that he'll be closer in 2012 than he was in 2009, but I'm going to guess that that it'll start in this year's voting.