So Mark McGwire has admitted to using steroids during his playing days. No! You don’t say?! Next someone will tell me that O.J. Simpson was not a Ward Cleaver-like husband. What would be next after that?
Actually I am glad McGwire finally came clean. But I don’t think I believe he has offered complete disclosure. For instance:
I am not sure I can buy as fact that his sole motive was the medicinal value. McGwire stated that he began using steroids during a stint on the DL, hoping that they would help him recover more quickly. Ostensibly he continued to use them both to recover from the nicks and pains of the long seasons and as a preventative measure against further injuries.
Even if that was the initial motive, Mark, at no time during usage did you ever consider the competitive advantages? PLEASE!
Secondly, when asked if he thought he would have hit the requisite number of homers to break Roger Maris’ single season record had he not been on steroids, McGwire offered a lame, indefinite response. In effect, he said: “I had good seasons and bad seasons when I used steroids. I had good seasons and bad seasons when I did not use steroids.”
One way to measure the effect, Mark, might be to take your 3 best HR seasons into consideration, and tell us if you were on the juice during those seasons. If the answer is “Yes”, then I think you might safely surmise that your performance was supplemented.
My questions aside, I am glad McGwire has made the admission. He has apparently got the point (needle pun intended) that American sports fans are often more willing to overlook the indiscretions of those they believe are forthcoming. Maybe Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will soon follow.
Now, go ahead, put McGwire in the Hall of Fame. Let’s put this all behind us and move on.
There is a real sense I am not sure I care that he was on steroids. At least not from a baseball standpoint. The fact is, while people talk about his “cheating”, there was no rule against using steroids in Major League Baseball.
I am not being soft on steroids. I am glad that professional sports are cracking down on these synthetic performance enhancers. But, in short, if he didn’t break the rules, he should not be excluded from the fraternity.
While it is questionable that he would have had HOF numbers apart from the drugs, let’s get real: It is a Hall of FAME, not sacred post. And few players have ever been as famous for their play – legal play, mind you – as McGwire was during the late ’90’s.
If someone needs to be hung in effigy, it seems to me it ought to be Baseball Commish Bud Selig. He knew full well what was going on around the league, but chose to look the other way AND keep the performance enhancers legal. And more recently he has violated promised immunity to players who willingly submitted to drug tests so that MLB could ascertain the extent of the steroid epidemic.
Selig is the snake.
McGwire and the other players were just stupid.