I think at this point it's safe to assume that precisely no one has had their mind changed about Mark McGwire, steroids, Pete Rose, or anything else by impassioned blog posts, poorly thought out blog comments, or columns on ESPN.com. On the other hand, it certainly does seem to be generating clickthrough, which apparently is making someone happy.
That being said, I would like to propose a set of rules for the argument going forward:
1-You cannot criticize Mark McGwire unless you spell his last name properly. This holds particularly true if his name is spelled correctly in the title or body of the article/blog post/poorly thought out Gene Wojciechowski rant you are commenting upon.
2-Anyone pointing to Andy Pettite and Jason Giambi as "guys who came clean" must be able to quote the line where Giambi admitted publicly he did steroids. This may take them a while.
3-Any gratuitous asides at cranky old time Murray Chass types will be penalized two semicolons and a link to a Joe Posnanski post. There's enough to take issue with in the posts without reigniting the whole "Mainstream Media Versus Nerds In the Basement" idiocy.
4-Anyone pointing out that we don't know how much effect, if any, PEDs actually have on baseball production must perform six minutes of interpretive dance on YouTube for failing to recognize that the argument is one of perception, and the perception is that PEDs turned McGwire into Popeye. The required time is cut in half if they can name at least eight scrubeenies (team and position included) listed in the Mitchell Report as users who still couldn't crack the Top 30 at any position in the Sporting News Fantasy Baseball Guide.
5-McGwire's Hall of Fame candidacy and McGwire's current employment as hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals are two different things. Failure to recognize this is grounds for being forced to listen to a CD of Joe Morgan narrating recorded Bigfoot calls from rural Ohio.
6-Anyone claiming that since McGwire's steroid use was illegal, his Hall candidacy is forfeit must immediately make a blog post demanding the removal of Ty Cobb for his aggravated assault of Claude Lueker. However, the first commenter to note the extensive amphetamine use by baseball players in the 70s and 80s has their posting privileges revoked until the first commenter in the thread figures out exactly who Claude Lueker was.