Jan
11

Dog bites man

By

In news that will come as a surprise to approximately no one, Mark McGwire today admitted to a career of steroid use. McGwire, the only Hall-of-Fame eligible member of the 500-home run not enshrined in Cooperstown, is making his return to the field this year as the Cardinals’ bench coach and decided today that honesty was the best policy.

McGwire’s own words tell the story:

“I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 off season and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the nineties, including during the 1998 season.

“I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.

“During the mid-90s, I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years. I experienced a lot of injuries, including a rib cage strain, a torn left heel muscle, a stress fracture of the left heel, and a torn right heel muscle. It was definitely a miserable bunch of years and I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries too.

“I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids. I had good years when I didn’t take any and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.”

From around baseball, the reactions from those in charge and those close to the former slugger are as expected. Tony LaRussa, as he has done since day one, defended his man, and Bud Selig just sounded awkward about it. “I am pleased that Mark McGwire has confronted his use of performance-enhancing substances as a player. Being truthful is always the correct course of action, which is why I had commissioned Senator George Mitchell to conduct his investigation,” the Commissioner said. “This statement of contrition, I believe, will make Mark’s reentry into the game much smoother and easier.”

In the end, the same reporters who urged McGwire to come forward with his admissions, as Joel Sherman did in October, are already critiizing him for doing just that, as Joel Sherman did an hour ago. The moral outrage is bound to grow until it becomes insufferably loud.

For his part, though, McGwire did what he had to do even if it is of no great shock to the rest of us. He’ll talk about tonight at 7 p.m. on the MLB Network with Bob Costas.

Categories : STEROIDS!
  • Steve H

    Perfect title. I hope this helps him in the HOF voting, not that I like (or dislike) him, but the man is a Hall of Famer.

    • Bob Stone

      Totally agree.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      I would have to disagree. I know what he says about having good years w/no ‘roids and bad years w/’roids, but I don’t think he’d have been good enough w/o them.

    • Lanny

      He should be a slam dunk hall of famer. It’s not the writers job to pass judgment on an entire era and arbitrarily decide who is “good” and who is “bad”. How do we know Ripken, Gwynn, Puckett, etc weren’t on something? They do realize that doing steroids just doesnt make one look like hes a bodybuilder right?

      • Steve H

        Funny you mention those 3, I think Puckett is a slam dunk juicer, and the other two certainly aren’t above suspicion.

      • Pasqua

        It’s not the writers’ “job” to pass judgment, but they sure take full advantage of it being their right. They guard entry to the HoF as if they’re guarding the Holy Grail. It’s pathetic, but there’s no way to stop them. They are entitled, sanctimonious blowhards.

  • thurdonpaul

    i think it makes a lot of sense for McGwire to say this now, the reporters should be done questioning him about it by the time spring training starts.

  • Salty Buggah

    Add Heyman as one of those reporters

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Add half of the BBWAA. Such hypocrisy from the people “entrusted” with voting for the awards and the Hall of Fame and from those who were in the locker rooms with these guys night after night during the 1990s.

      • Steve H

        Agreed, though I’d stretch that time frame back to the 70’s, at least.

      • Pete C.

        I’ve been saying this all along, Ben. On the one hand the media wants us to believe theu’re just as shocked as we are that baseball players used ped’s in the 90’s and 00’s. But how do they square that with the pap about they get all the info on what’s going on? Either they’re regular Woodward and Bernstein’s. And if they are why didn’t they have 10page expose’s in the sunday sports back in 98 when people were beginning to wonder about all those “protein” shakes the players were getting. Or they’re a bunch of ignoramouses who can’t find their car keys, when all the while they have them in their pocket.
        I know they’re not the smartest but I’m pretty sure these guys test out more in line with the boys from the Post than anyone who can’t keep track of personal objects, but it takes all kinds.
        The sad thing is nobody cared about it when McGwire and Sosa were going at it, all they wanted was to see how far the juiced ballplayer could hit the juiced ball.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

    WIPE HIS RECORDS FROM THE BOOKS!!!

    Wait, he doesn’t have any records anymore? Oh well, then. Whatevs.

    • JGS

      AB/HR, but no one really cares about that one

      • Bob Stone

        I think some care about it. After all AB/HR is the truest measure of a plyer’s “ability” to hit home runs. In 1998, during his then record breaking performance his AB/HR was an incredible 7.27.

        He also hit 49 home runs in his rookie year. I don’t know if that is a rookie record or not, but I don’t remember any one else hitting more homers in his rookie year.

        • JGS

          sure is

        • pete

          i was about to say “*39″.
          then i looked it up.
          the guy literally hit 50 (well, 49 to be exact) home runs in his rookie year. holy fuck.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    I can’t wait to see WWIII break out between overly sanctimonious BBWAA writers and the Bloggers.

    Getting my popcorn now.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      If I had only one bullet in my gun and had Hitler and Mark McGwire tied up in front of me, I’d shoot Mark McGwire, then get a forceps, pull the bullet out, clean it off, and shoot Mark McGwire again.

      Because Hitler just killed a bunch of people. Mark McGwire killed our innocence.

      /BBWAA’d

      • Jack

        Alex Rodriguez has murdered baseball history.

        • Tom Zig

          was that Jayson Stark or Jim Caple?

          or was it Jimson Starple?

          • Jack

            Stark.

            • king of fruitless hypotheticals

              so what–Ty Cobb murdered a guy. A GUY.

      • Steve H

        IETC.

      • thurdonpaul

        why not have them stand in front of each other ?
        then you wont get your hands dirty.
        your welcome :)

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          My goal isn’t to kill them both. I’m only interested in killing McGwire.

          He’s the only one who’s TRULY evil.

          • thurdonpaul

            oh sorry, my bad, i read that wrong

    • Tom Zig

      Should be interesting. You know because none of them EVER cheated, bent the rules, or was ever dishonest to get where they are now.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

        IETC

  • Steve H

    When does Canseco’s next book come out?

    • Tom Zig

      It will be co-authored by Selena Roberts with a foreword by George Mitchell.

  • RobC

    are we still susposed to think that Selig and the owners knew nothing?

    • Lanny

      I’m sure they’re all crying as revenues hit the 6 billion mark.

  • pat

    I can honestly say I don’t really care. Once your name is linked with roids it’s pretty much an indelible relationship. At least Arod had the stones to admit he did them when all the allegations arose, unlike those two pussies from Boston.

    • Steve H

      Yeah, as much crap as A-Rod got for his admission, it was 10x better than any other big name. I still don’t know how Pettitte gets that pass he gets, while A-Rod was much more forthcoming and was still villified.

      • Salty Buggah

        Pettitte = Loved by fans and media.

        A-Rod = Hated by irrational Yankees fan and media.

        And to be fair, Alex is the highest player in the game and was expected to break the HR record being clean, which would have improved baseball’s image. Pettitte isn’t that important.

      • JGS

        People like Pettitte. People like Ortiz. People don’t like A-rod

        also, the more you threaten all time records of stuff, the more vilified you will get (Bonds, McGwire, Clemens) while no one cares about the lesser names of either good players (Pettitte and Ortiz) or even lower-tier guys (did you know Jerry Hairston was named in the Mitchell Report?)

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          Thorns came after Adam.
          I can’t stand Oritz.
          Big Papi (not to be confused with Big Poppa, or Big Pun) is an asshole, and I’m going to blame his free pass on the ESPN/RedSox love affair.

          QED

          (and leave your facts out of it.)

      • pat

        I guess it’s just the general public opinion of somebody that dictates how they’re treated by the press. Andy has always been portrayed as the aw shucks, heart of a warrior, church going, country boy while Arod has been seen as narcicisstic, money grubbing, heartless, unclutch, primadonna. Editors know who America wants to see vilified, and it’s usually guys like Arod not Andy.

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          Ty Cobb may have stabbed a guy, but Arod kissed himself in a mirror…

      • Ed

        I still don’t know how Pettitte gets that pass he gets, while A-Rod was much more forthcoming and was still villified.

        1) Almost everyone likes Pettitte, and very few people dislike him. A-Rod is polarizing. Lots of people like to hate A-Rod for various reasons – largest contract, personality, etc.

        2) Pettitte has had a very good career, but A-Rod has had a Hall of Fame level career. People care more when your career is more significant.

        3) The press has been slowly catching on to the medical research that shows HGH has no benefits in people with normal HGH levels, but can have significant side effects. People thought HGH would enhance performance, but the research shows that if anything it would hurt. So it’s not much of a story. Fans have been much slower to catch on to that.

        • radnom

          Agreed on all three points.

          It is amazing how many people just do not understand #2 when they are too busy trying to call out people for being hypocrites.

      • Bob B

        Pettitte = HGH

        A-Rod = Steriods

        They’re both PEDs for sure, but in the eyes of most of the public and to most in the medical profession, they do very different things. It’s a big distinction to the court of public opinion.

        Pettitte also is loved by the media and fans, A-Rod not so much.

  • Salty Buggah

    I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries too.

    Hahaha. Just wait a bit longer until the long-term effects of Steroids kick-in. A body breakdown is on the way.

    • Lanny

      False. There is no evidence that steroids administered properly will have severe long term side effects. Stop buying the Lyle Alzado hype.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        yet.

      • mustang

        Psychiatric effects
        A 2005 review in CNS Drugs determined that “significant psychiatric symptoms including aggression and violence, mania, and less frequently psychosis and suicide have been associated with steroid abuse. Long-term steroid abusers may develop symptoms of dependence and withdrawal on discontinuation of AAS”.

        • mustang

          That just the surface there is a reason why they are ILLEGAL.

          • andrew

            Except that they aren’t illegal…

            • mustang

              They are unless prescribe by a doctor for certain medical conditions. I don’t think hitting a baseball further is one of those conditions.

      • Steve H

        Google “dead WWF wrestlers”. Steroids build muscles. The heart is a muscle. A ton of steroid abusing wrestlers have died, and autopsies have revealed abnormally large hearts. Not a stretch to say that steroids have long term effects.

    • mustang

      Could not agree more and when most of these guys are on a dialysis machine or worst. I wouldn’t care one bit that’s the price for selfness.

      • mustang

        Selfishness

  • he was a ji-tard

    heymans an idiot…if there was a third side of his mouth to speak from, he’d find a way.

  • matt b

    As an attorney (who is in theory trained in advocacy–in theory) I have to say, in all seriousness, Mac has got himself an awfully good PR man. That’s one of the best written statements from an athlete I’ve ever read. Straightforward, to the point. plain language, contrite, but not to the extent as if he’s apologizing for killing dozens of small babies, and frankly, not overly self-indulgent about just doing it all for the good of the team, etc, etc. Yeah, the injury recovery excuse is in there – but lurking in the background.

    Just a ramble, and I’ll be singing a different tune when he in all likelihood cries in front of the cameras (and let me be clear, in my view, the man has no obligation to apologize to anyone for a damn thing, let alone the Lupica morality police who, IMHO, the biggest scum in sports)- but the dude he prepared that statement, if you’re out there, we’d love you doing our PR.

  • Evilest Empire

    “Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

    That is the line that I most dislike from McGwire. Dude has made tens of millions of dollars. I’m sure he doesn’t regret those.

    It comes off as way too tragic for my tastes. You juiced up, hit a fuckload of dingers while everyone clapped happily and took home 7 digit checks. Good for you, Mark. Honestly. Be happy about it, no one can take that away from you. Lots of people think you should even be a HOFer. Don’t grovel and mope and even possibly imply that you’re ashamed of the league during your time as a player. Don’t. First of all because you don’t really mean it, and second of all because I think it could actually invalidate some fun memories that good folks – your fans – have of you. Memories they should have every right to feel proud of.

    /talking to McGwire as if he were actually reading this’d

    • Steve H

      Agreed, that is very disingenuous, not only did he make a ton of money, but he wasn’t sucked in by the era, he’s one of the leaders of the era. No one forced that needle in his ass, and if he played today, he’d probably be using HGH and other undetectables. Pretty fraudulent line right there.

      • Brian

        Yeah, he wishes he never played during the “Steroids Era,” because he got caught.

        • mustang

          BINGO !!!!!!

      • Evilest Empire

        Its beyond fraudulent though, its unfair and only does harm.

        No one has the right to judge the guy in the first place. And that line is going to be quoted for years to come in all kinds of manipulative ways. It really frustrates me.

        Saying “sorry” is one thing (and he shouldn’t have to apologize either, but that’s another ramble altogether). Regretting you ever even put on a big league uniform because of it is something else entirely.

  • DerMegalodonster

    Undoubtedly, there will be some “moral outrage” and perhaps it may even be insufferably loud (more so to some than others), but I don’t think a principled, moral/ethical assesment or opposition to the issue should be peremptorily dismissed.

    For example, take the latest statment by Mr. Sherman cited in the post, while I neither care to judge or defend his motives or character, the fact is the statement was quite accurate. Or at least, well within the confines of reason to assert such (I would say within the confines of naivete to not assert such.)

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Yet, Sherman told him not three months ago to come clean for exactly the reasons McGwire cited in his statement. How do you reconcile those two positions?

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I think McGwire is doing the right thing by admitting that he cheated. I also think McGwire is a cheater and a man who lied about his cheating for years and who is only coming forward with a version of the truth now because he’s reentering the MLB world and this admission became an unavoidable result for him… And I don’t think any of those feelings are mutually exclusive.

        Also, Sherman didn’t say that, if McGwire admitted cheating, Sherman would immediately drop the issue or think that he made the admission for the most selfless of reasons or that he did nothing wrong. If he had said ‘if McGwire admits cheating then I will think he admitted it for the right reasons and that he’s a swell guy.’ If he’d said that, his tweet today could be construed as being hypocritical, but he didn’t say that. Nothing Sherman said in that article and that tweet is contradictory or must be reconciled, there’s no hypocrisy there.

        (I can’t believe I’m defending Sherman or the writers in general, but I think some of the criticism of him/them here goes a bit too far.)

        • dalelama

          I am curious why people believe McGwire cheated as I think during the time period of his steroid usage steroids were not banned by MLB. Is this belief of mine wrong ? Just curious because if steroid usage wasn’t against MLB rules then McGwire by definition didn’t cheat.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Yes, that belief is wrong. Steroid use was against both MLB rules and the law during McGwire’s career. There may not have been a testing program until recently, but use of steroids was still against the rules.

      • DerMegalodonster

        Sorry this response is late, hope you get it.

        The curt answer is that I don’t have to reconcile those two positions. Mr Sherman “may” (or may not) but as I stated I neither care to judge or defend his motives or character.

        But o.k., to engage your query, I don’t believe Mr Sherman’s two responses need to be reconciled. The fact is that they are not interdependent but — they stand on their own. They may (or may not) show Mr Sherman to be disingenuous or spiteful but they certainly stand on their own.

        Here’s how. You say, “Sherman told him… to come clean for exactly the reasons McGwire cited in his statement.” Not so. Mr Sherman makes two pertinent categorical statements. That “McGwire should give the country an honest chance to forgive” (i.e., by having a press conference and answering reporters questions)
        And, if he really wants to,
        “help his image and the game, then he should explain his career accomplishments in their entirety.” Mr McGwire did none of this.

        He did not hold a “press” conference and answer questions as to whether or not “he would tell a player struggling to hit or stay healthy to follow the same course” as Mr Sherman would have liked. He did not even say that it was wrong or cheating. He merely says that it was “foolish” and a “mistake” and that he shouldn’t have done it. He does not admonish other players not to do them. He does not come out and explain his career in its entirety as Mr Sherman wished. He says he had some good years and some bad years both on and off the stuff… Subterfuge. Just state your opinion one way or the other — did it help or didn’t it, and if it did — how much.

        But again, to reiterate, the most important point is that Mr Sherman’s two responses do not need to be reconciled. If you say so, perhaps you could point it out more precisely. Analyzing the substance of the separate texts, it eludes me.

  • radnom

    So tired of this.

    Release the list, lets be done with 99.99% of steroid stories from the “steroid era”.
    Sure, there will still be the occasional Manny who gets caught now, but hopefully with improved testing this will happen less and less often. As of right now, there are still 80 something potential names ready to create a media story and we are going to know them all eventually, it might as well be at once.

    • JGS

      No. These guys have rights too. You can’t test them, assuring them it would be anonymous and non-punitive, then change your mind a few years down the road because the climate has changed

      • radnom

        To be fair, it was THEIR unions actions which lead to the list being compromised.

        The deal was that the results would be destroyed, but the organization which they choose to represent them decided not to do so (in order to fight further testing, no less).

        But it is true that it would not be fair to all the player’s involved. I’m just talking about what would be best for all parties. A lot of people who are sick of the steroid stories seem to be against releasing the list, on the grounds that they don’t care anymore….but now that the list is compromised its just going to keep lingering until all the names are finally released.

        Besides, if you are a player who is going to get outed eventually anyway, would you rather it happen to you by yourself, on a slow news day when you least expect it, or at the same time as a bunch of other players?

        • JGS

          from my understanding, the players were retested (and their names were paired with the samples) in an effort by the union to prove that there were false positives. They were tested again, and before they had the chance to destroy the list, it was seized as part of the BALCO investigation. The Union didn’t decide not to destroy the list, it was seized before they could

          And if my name is on that list and I’m not a superstar, then there is a very small chance of my name ever leaking out because no one cares about the non-superstar steroid users (and I guarantee you there are far more Jerry Hairstons on that list than A-rods and Mannys) and I sure as hell don’t want it released and the law is very firmly on my side

          • Ed

            The truth is a little bit of both here.

            The data was supposed to be destroyed after the testing was complete. The union held on to the data for a while to dispute results, as MLB seemed to be a little too aggressive in marking tests as positive. That’s understandable, as more positives it made the players look worse.

            However, I don’t understand why the union fought as hard as they did. Even if MLB agreed with the union’s take on the results, the number of positives still would have been high enough to lead to strict testing based on the prior agreement. Basically, the union was trying to make the players come across looking ever so slightly better, but in the process left the door open for the list to get out. The union blew it bad.

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        dude? why bring climate change into this. this is about law, public opinion and spin–not politics.

        • JGS

          I see what you did there

    • Chris

      McGwire wasn’t on any list. So releasing a list won’t help.

      • radnom

        Won’t help what?

        What are you talking about?

  • mustang

    “For his part, though, McGwire did what he had to do”

    He should have done it years ago when it matter not when he wants to come back to baseball as the Cardinals hitting coach. He is a cheat plain and simple he cheated baseball out of one of its most sacred records that was held by Yankee, which angers me even more.
    I hope he never see The Hall of Fame.

  • Lanny

    These guys cant win with the writers. They shout that they want the truth and when they give the truth they pick apart the carcass. No one cares about steroids. Thats the big secret. No one cares that every NFL player is on something. Every basketball player. Every olympian. Because why wouldnt they when they have millions at stake and if they have doctors administering it to them safely?

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals

      they can’t handle the truth!

    • radnom

      You are right about the NFL and basketball, but dead wrong that “no one cares” about steroids in the olympics.

      It is the same reason that people actually care about steroids in MLB and not the NFL or NBA….like the olympics, records in baseball actually hold a great deal of public interest. Or at least they did. Fans are quickly becoming apathetic with many of the major records “tainted” and baseball is losing some of its charm over the other major US sports.

      • Lanny

        The Olympics? Just too big business for these athletes not going for every advantage possible. They have too much at stake. That is why they are so far ahead of testing. How much is a medal worth? Ask Michael Phelps.

        And fans dont really care. People just enjoy seeing world class athletes. No matter what they say. As you can see by the revenues and ratings. Thats how you can tell outrage. Not by asking middle aged writers who fondly remember the good ole days of yesteryear.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        I have to disagree. At least in the Northeast U.S., baseball is DEFINITELY a clear second to football. May not be first, but it’s pretty damn popular.

  • EB

    The part i dont get is the fact that the ‘amphetamine era’ is swept under the carpet.
    Someone like Hank Aaron, who was alleged to be central to the use of amphetamines in clubhouses, then has the nerve to pontificate about steroid use.
    It all stinks

  • LarryM, FL.

    My heroes were from a different era. Mick, Yogi and Whitey were the names. They played the game and played after the game some did, some didn’t. I don’t have a medical background to know the substances available to enhance their play at the time but there are a couple of hundred guys in the HOF who are not questioned as McQuire and his group. Heck, McQuire could have been taking steroids for a decade, giving his explanation of his injuries.

    Should their be a punishment. I say, yes. Their names should be withheld from consideration for 5 additional years pass the normal voting. And the list should be exposed to clean up this part of baseball history. If Arod has to wear the scarlet letter of PED’s then so should all who tested positive for the usage. Then we can truly forgive those alleged heroes. IMHO.

  • Richard Deegan

    He finally admitted it, so hats off to him. I don’t care if it’s via a deathbed confession, he still admitted using through most of his career. Compare that with “Gee, some pill fell outta Roger’s locker and I had a headache so, thinking it was an aspirin…”
    Or Big Papi, a DFA until Manny hooked him up in Boston, and almost a DFA again after Manny left. Fortunately Manny sent him a text message in June explaining how to use PMS meds for the same effect. Maybe he should now be called Big Momma?
    Now what we need is for Pete Rose to come clean, and stop the meally-mouthed double-talk evasions. I loved to watch him play, kinduva Hot Rod Kanehl with stats. But it’s long since time for him to ‘fess up.

    • Pasqua

      Didn’t Pete Rose come clean in his book?

    • A.D.

      I loved to watch him play, kinduva Hot Rod Kanehl with stats. But it’s long since time for him to ‘fess up.

      Fess up to what? Roids? Gambling? He’s fessed up to gambling.

  • pete

    All I can say is I wish people were still hitting 500+ foot home runs.

  • JFH

    he said in his interview he could have broken the hr record without steroids and he only took steroids to stay healthy. however, steroids help players recover faster, eliminate pain and keep them on the field for more games. in that sense alone, they aid a player’s stats from an hr perspective, because the player gets more at-bats.

    lets not forget bat speed increases too, which is performance enhancing. i do not buy it when he says he only took steroiods to stay healthy. but even if he did, i do not buy it when he implies that steroids did not improve his numbers or were not performance enhancing.

    that said i am happy he admitted it and welcome him back to mlb.

    • A.D.

      the funny thing is he couldn’t have broken the HR record if he wasn’t healthy, therefore if the roids are what kept him healthy, he needed the roids for the record.

  • Pasqua

    “Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

    Please note: a former pro athlete has actually attempted to turn the expression, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game,” into a legitimate excuse for his own mistakes. Bravo.

  • usty

    I can’t stand the level of outrage that has already overflowed the surface here. If ever the journalistic community has misjudged the fan perspective, the steroids issue is definitely it. How are you going to sit there and villify the man who basically saved baseball from it’s own strike-induced demons, thereby saving your job writing about it, and act like you didn’t cheer every single dinger he socked in 1998? Ridiculous.

    I have more outrage toward those asshats writing about it then I ever will conjure up for Mark McGwire. Thanks for a great show in ’98 and making people interested again in a game that had tried to destroy itself. That’s about all I feel toward him.

    • DCBX

      Erm, I think a lot of us here were busy watching the Yanks go 125-50 and only cared much at all about McGwire because he was breaking Maris’ record. Can I get an amen?

  • http://kikojones5.blogspot.com Kiko Jones

    So, the man finally confessed and the baseball world has been abuzz ever since the press release and subsequent Bob Costas interview on MLBN.

    Some thoughts:

    Can we really say McGwire couldn’t have been as great w/o steroids? He had two seasons—yes, two—where his HR total was exorbitant (70 and 65, in ’98, ’99, respectively), but this is a guy who hit 49 HRs in his rookie year and 42 in his last “clean” season. (Judging by Costas’ post interview comments you would think McGwire hit 60+ HRs every year for 10 years. Until you look at McG’s numbers, that is.)

    The dirty little truth, that those writers who feign moral outrage will never admit, is that there are tons of players who did PEDs and whose baseball careers never amounted to ANYTHING. [crickets chirping] Yeah, I know, that would involve the kind of fair-minded assessment most of them are incapable of. (And how do we make judgments about numbers during the steroid era without knowing if supposedly juiced hitters were or weren’t facing juiced pitchers, for instance?)

    And let’s not get into the hypocrisy of the supposed pulchritude of the game: JC Romero, not some scrub, but the Phillies setup man during their ’08 championship season was soon after caught and suspended for a PED violation and NO ONE said a word. Where was the outrage then, if it’s all about the sanctity of the game?

    Regarding the MLBN panel who covered the pre and post interview segments, as MLBN’s own Harold Reynolds later stated, they made it seem as if McG comes off much worse than he actually did; not like he painfully ‘fessed up to what he did but as if he had flipped everyone a big middle finger during the interview. No, the MLBN guys didn’t rubber stamp McG’s statements; they actually went out of their way to kick dirt in his face.

    For the record, I don’t condone what he did and wish he hadn’t done it. I’m disappointed in players that have decided to take the steroids route, including faves of mine. But, I was so appalled by the petty and hypocritical way the vast majority of the baseball press conducted themselves during the A-Rod PED scandal that I have come to believe that Manny Ramirez’s non-chalant, disrespectful brush-off, when openly confronted about his own steroid use—“It’s not like I killed or raped anybody”—is every bit the treatment these hacks deserved. (Yes, they’ll have their revenge on him when it comes time for Manny to make reservations for Cooperstown. But I would bet top dollar he gives not a @#*&.)

    In other words, are the writers going to change their minds and grant McG their Hall of Fame vote now that he’s finally given a confession/apology which they tirelessly demanded? No, right? They’re too busy attacking the confession. (Damned if you do…) And btw, why the hell do writers get to select the HoF inductees? They are the baseball equivalent of Ellen DeGeneres as a judge on American Idol, for Pete’s sake.

    So I say, let the self-righteous, irresponsible and trifling scribes harp on about what McG did or did not say Monday night. Meanwhile, players are the only ones to take the fall for this kind of mess when EVERYONE in baseball—MLB, ownership, agents, writers etc, etc, etc—all benefited when it happened. Whatever. Let me just say, good luck to Big Mac and the Cards in 2010.

    Enough already.