Shanoff's WUC: Hall, McGwire, Shanahan, Iowa

Today's Calls: Mark McGwire vs. Randy Johnson, Roberto Alomar vs. Edgar Martinez, Bert Blyleven vs. Andre Dawson, Mike Shanahan vs. the Redskins, Julian Edelman vs. Percy Harvin, Alabama vs. Texas, Iowa vs. Triple-Option, Charlie Weis vs. Tommy Tuberville, Matt Holliday vs. Albert Pujols, Tiger Woods vs. Pat Burns and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: I am not here to talk about whether Mark McGwire should or should not be in the Hall of Fame. There are fair arguments on both sides: On the one hand, the sublime power. On the other hand ... you know. ↵

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↵We can agree or disagree about whether McGwire's intransigence should have any bearing on his Hall worthiness. ↵

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↵What I am saying right now is this: All McGwire has to do to get into the Hall of Fame -- ALL HE HAS TO DO -- is talk about this stuff openly. Go on a tour. Be transparent. It cannot possibly hurt him more than his silence. ↵

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↵I'm not sure why he continues to refuse. (As a sidebar, I'm not sure how he thinks he can go through a season as the Cardinals' hitting coach without talking about it, willingly or not.) ↵

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↵But I know something very simple: 75 percent of writers want to put him in the Hall. All they want is to feel like he makes at least some acknowledgment of what he did. Whatever it was cannot possibly be worse than what fans currently think of him. ↵

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↵McGwire should be entering the Hall this year. Or last year. Or the year before. All he had to do is say seven words: ↵

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↵"I'm here to talk about the past..." ↵

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↵In the absence of that, like every other Hall reject today, he and I can share the same reaction: Maybe next year... ↵

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↵2010 Hall class: Roberto Alomar is a lock. Larkin should be and will be. Edgar Martinez should be, but won't be. Andre Dawson might be this year's Jim Rice. And, as usual, the most contentious contender will be Bert Blyleven (who should be in). ↵

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↵Speaking of Hall of Famers ... ↵

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↵Randy Johnson retires: It's not just that he is the greatest pitcher of the last 20 years -- Roger Clemens DQ'ed himself a year ago. But there is a very good case to be made that Big Unit is, without hyperbole, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, on a very, very short list that includes the immortal pitchers in baseball history. Might as well make the Hall of Fame plaque now. ↵

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↵Redskins hire Mike Shanahan: Anyone NOT see this coming? I'm not sure Shanahan's martial style will work out any better in DC than it did in the final days in Denver, but Dan Snyder obviously loves him, and that's all that matters. Foreshadowing of the inevitable break-up: Shanahan has "final authority" over football decisions. Or so he thinks. ... ↵

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↵Wild Card Weekend X-Factor: Julian Edelman. ↵

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↵NFL Awards: Percy Harvin wins Offensive ROY, which wins my award for "Best Prediction of 2009." Think the Raiders regret not taking him, rather than DHB? (Or the Eagles taking Maclin over him?) ↵

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↵Good Read: Tunison's Designed Rush, on the Wild Card match-ups. ↵

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↵Alabama-Texas Lead-Up: My favorite detail is that the Tide is approaching the game with a seriousness reflecting Nick Saban's demeanor; Texas is acting loose. I think the team treating this like all-business will win, big. More tomorrow. ↵

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↵Gone Bowlin': Orange. What can you say except ... ↵

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↵Kool and the Gang! It might have made struggling through the entire bowl worth it. (Clearly, credit goes to Iowa for shutting down Georgia Tech's triple-option offense, which might be befuddling when you only have a week to prepare -- but with 4 weeks? Less daunting.) ↵

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↵Who's ready for the GMAC Bowl? Oh, I'm sorry, I should say, "Who's up for the career finale of DAN LEFEVOUR?" Much like the rest of his career, this is almost as big as Tebow's finale. "Tebow Lite" to the end, DLF. ... ↵

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↵CBB Mania: New Mexico is overrated. Keep this result in mind when you're filling out your bracket in March. (Same with Georgia Tech, which lost to Georgia. Yeesh: Bad night for Tech.) ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: So all this distraction is terrible for the Wizards off the court, but it looks like it might be helping on the court. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Matt Holliday re-upping with the Cardinals (7Y/$120M) finally sorts itself out. No reason to think that the Cards can't stay competitive in the NL Central. ↵

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↵Coaching Carousels: ↵

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↵NFL: Charlie Weis to be Chiefs OC? Just to show that I only had a problem with Weis as coach at Notre Dame, not as a coach in general, I approve of this move. The guy has a great track record as an NFL OC. ↵

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↵CFB: Tommy Tuberville to Texas Tech? Presumably in his interview: "So, what's your policy on dark rooms?" ↵

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↵The Last Word: "He kept saying there was nothing there. He went to watch television. ... then suddenly, bang! A nine-iron in the face!" -- Former NHL coach Pat Burns, who apparently has the "I heard from a friend ..." confirmation that Elin bashed in Tiger's teeth so badly with the golf club that he had to get plastic surgery. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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