Monday, January 11, 2010

Truth was not an option for Mark McGwire

  Today, Mark McGwire admitted he used steroids during his remarkable comeback from injuries in the early 1990’s to become the first player to hit over 70 homers. In 2005, McGwire refused to discuss his steroid use before Congress, saying “I’m not here to discuss the past”. Today he says that he couldn’t tell the truth then because he was not granted immunity. Facing the consequences of his actions was not an option, I guess.

  McGwire says that he only took steroids to make his body feel better and that it didn’t help his performance. Right!!! Being able to play and workout without aches and pains or back and foot injuries wouldn’t help any player’s performance. Never mind the added muscle and improved eyesight that come with steroid use.

  In his written statement, McGwire said “Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.” Nonsense. McGwire couldn’t stand the end of his career and used illegal means to prolong it. He denied using steroids during his career even when writers found a bottle of andro in his locker (andro was legal at the time). There is no doubt in my mind that if McGwire had played baseball in a different era, he would have found another way to cheat. If he was a cab driver, he would have been driving tourists all around town to steal an extra few dollars. If he was a politician, he’d have been taking kickbacks. If he was a mailman, he’d be stealing valuable packages instead of delivering then. Mark McGwire has proven he will take the easy way out and taking steroids was the easiest way to prolong his career. I imagine he never expected to become a home run king and that his own fame would bring more scrutiny that he could bear.

  McGwire made a fortune by cheating. He stood up and took the accolades for breaking Roger Maris’s home run record. He cheated all the players in the history of baseball who didn’t take steroids. He cheated all the fans that paid to watch him hit home runs by cheating. He cheated the Barry Bonds of the world who cheated so they could compete against cheaters like Mark McGwire. He cheated all the young players who took steroids so they could be successful like Mark McGwire.

  My big question is why is McGwire coming clean now? He is going to be the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals this year and probably doesn’t want to be pestered with questions all year. Also, it has become apparent that he is not currently going to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  Would I vote for Mark McGwire for the Hall of Fame? Sure! After every player in the history of the game who didn’t cheat is in the Hall of Fame, I’d be happy to consider his application.


Robinson said...

The only problem with disallowing Mark McGuire from the Hall of Fame is -- who do we now allow in? There is, quite likely, a very large percentage of players in the major and minor leagues that are using or have used either steroids or HGH or some other illegal performance-enhancing drug. A former college baseball player explained to me the cycling process that he and all his team mates who aspired to pro ball used, sharing his belief that nearly everyone in the MLB was using and that the problem must be even worse in the NFL. His was a more-informed opinion than mine, and I believe it to be correct.

I don't share this to excuse McGuire's behaviour with some "everyone is doing it" argument, but rather to question if anyone who played in the Earthquake World Series and since is eligible for the Hall and to point out that this problem has definitely not been addressed by MLB.

HankAnzis said...

I'm comfortable having the baseball writers pick out the Hall of Famers from this generation, since so far they are showing disdain for the steroid generation. I'd hate to see Jeter not be in the Hall, but I'd be comfortable not having any of the steroid generation in.

What you said about the college players underscores the seriousness of the scandal. Whole generations of athletes risking their health cheating for a chance at the dream.