I knew someone was going to make the suggestion sooner or later and earlier this morning, Fanhouse's Terence Moore obnoxiously made it official with a click-attracting controversy of a column.
Yes, Moore is the first media man to say that he wants Mark McGwire to show up at his old St. Louis stomping grounds for next week's All-Star Game.
Though Moore admits there's a greater chance of the Gateway Arch turning into a giant magnet than the reclusive McGwire making a grand entrance at Busch Stadium, he drops the argument on us anyway because he thinks it'd be some sort of conciliatory moment that will heal McGwire's relationship with our wounded nation and possibly open up a gate to heaven in the process.
"Now is the time for McGwire to step up and man up. Everybody will be listening, especially with all of the living former Presidents slated to attend. Current President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. So, if done correctly, McGwire's presence and words during such well-scrutinized All-Star festivities could convince me and other Hall of Fame voters to place our pens at least a centimeter closer to the box next to his name on the ballot."
As a pal of mine just said, "the headline of that column should have been 'Mark McGwire, please show up and completely ruin the All-Star Game.'"
But past the fact that next Tuesday will be a time for today's stars and McGwire's return would take away from their time, Moore should know as well as anyone that an appearance by McGwire wouldn't attract that kind of attention from the assembled press corps. Even a rumored sighting of Big Mac in Big Mac Land would trigger automatic hissing and snarling from the folks who forever turned against McGwire during his whole "I'm not here to talk about the past" bit. A grip-'n-grin with Buck and McCarver would better McGwire's chances of Hall of Fame entry? Please.
Not in the year 2009.
And unlike the reclusive habits of John Hughes and Lauryn Hill, who both left possibilities on the table, I'm going to venture a guess that most people are completely fine with McGwire retiring from the spotlight and don't need a reconciliation. Even when he was one of the world's biggest stars, people were only attracted to him for the length of his tape-measure moonshots and previously unseen home run totals. Now that both of those are residing in our suspicious minds, we're left with a mostly uninteresting man who needed people like his son, goofball Sammy Sosa(notes) and the Maris family to provide the human drama in the Great Home Run Chase of 1998.
Thing is, McGwire obviously doesn't see the need to become a public figure again and he's retired to a reportedly happy life with his family in California. He's smart enough to know that baseball already has one disgraced star trying to bang his way back into the sport — rhymes with "Pete Rose" — and doesn't really need another one lumbering about.
We should all feel the same way.
And with the exception of Terence, I think most of us do.