McGwire could have put it all behind him

BY SHAY RODDY

McGwire his rookie season. Photo: Ronald C. Modra/ Getty Images

Boy did my jaw hit the floor the other day when I heard for the first time in my life that Mark McGwire was using steroids throughout his Major League career. Shocked would be the only word to describe my emotions as McGwire’s tears tripped down his cheek during his heartfelt, remorseful statement.

Sense the sarcasm?

As if we didn’t realize that McGwire was up to something the day he told congress he’s “not here to talk about the past.”

Maybe we didn’t see it when Mark smashed Roger Maris’ single-season homerun record in a never before seen display of power.

Maybe we just weren’t sharp enough to realize that McGwire was on roids when his muscles grew at an unnatural rate and his body became abnormally bigger.

I guess we all just thought it was McGwire’s gift from the “man upstairs,” as he put yesterday.

Okay, okay, McGwire’s admission was no revelation, but it was a step toward forgiveness for the former slugger, right? Not so fast.

McGwire during his steroid use in the "Got Milk? ad campaign. Got Juice, Mark?

It could have been a great day for  McGwire. A day where fans would forgive him for his wrongdoings. But, it was just another day that made baseball fans cringe and love to hate one of the faces of the “steroid era” just a little more.

McGwire further tarnished his already soiled reputation, when he not only admitted to taking steroids, but did so in a way that he hoped would lead fans to believe the drugs did not increase his power or performance. They were apparently only used to recover from injury.

Yeah right.

For the better part of eight seasons, Mark McGwire used performance enhancers, but he believes that he would have put up the same numbers had he not been on the drug. As he told Bob Costas, in an MLB Network interview that spanned over an hour, he believes that the steroid use had no effect on his Hall of Fame level numbers, neither intentionally, or incidentally.

Costas asked him twice if he believed that the use of performance enhancing drugs could even incidentally affect his numbers. He replied, “absolutely not” both times.

Now Mark, when you are taking steroids your muscles are going to get bigger, you’re going to get stronger, whether that’s the goal or not, and I have trouble believing it wasn’t.

Coming out saying that your numbers are legitimate the day you admit your performance on the field was enhanced by illegal substances isn’t the best idea.

It isn’t believable either.

The people will forgive you, just as they did Andy Petite, if you come out and say, “I was wrong. My records aren’t legitimate.” I understand that the times were what they were and everyone was doing it. But it isn’t an excuse. That doesn’t cut it.

Come out and tell the whole truth, put all your cards on the table, come clean and we will forgive you, as we have time and time again, but don’t get half way there, then pretend that what you did doesn’t change your performance.

We aren’t stupid. It’s time athletes take responsibility for what they did and how they disgraced the game and every athlete that came before them. We’re sick of hearing half of the story.

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10 Comments

Filed under Editorial, Shay Roddy

10 responses to “McGwire could have put it all behind him

  1. Chris R

    Hey, nice piece. Sums up just about everything wrong about the charade that is McGwire’s confession. This half-assed and half-true blubfest would be the template for Sosa’s, Bonds’s, Palmiero’s, etc., etc., unless there is substantial and lasting outrage.

  2. I don’t think we will ever hear from Sosa, Bonds or Palmeiro ever again. McGwire seemed genuinely remorseful, but he only made the statement because he was taking the job as Card’s hitting coach. He even admitted it to Costas. The other three will just run away from baseball, it’s too late to salvage their names, even with a completely honest, heartfelt confession. It would only be reiterating what we already know. Bonds is the poster child, Sosa cheated in multiple ways (he corked his bat), and Palmeiro lied to congress. Of the four, McGwire had the only legitimate shot of winning back the public opinion.

  3. Thedude

    Nice article. McGwire is a cheat, plain and simple. Might be a nice guy but he’s a cheater. He owe’s a big apology to guys like Rob Dibble, Kruk, Eric Davis and others whose numbers now look small because of him and all the other roidheads. He apologized to the Maris family. Why now? Why wait so many years? ONLY because he wanted to keep his job as a coach. Mark McGwire is a cheater and should not be hall-bound.

  4. The hall of fame has written into it’s voting policy that character and integrity are factors in becoming a HOFer. Not only did McGwire, or any steroid user, have no integrity or character, but they also damaged the integrity of the game of baseball. No one, including Pete Rose for that matter, who damages baseball’s integrity should ever even undergo consideration for the Hall. The 25% he’s getting is a disgrace. Any writer checking McGwire’s name on the ballot should have their voting privileges revoked.

  5. Homer

    Shay Shay Shay oh Rockin Roddy one…
    Please do not put Pete Rose in the same sentence, paragraph, page or prison cell with any of these ass jabbers. Well, you can put him in a cell if there are video camera’s and chicks involved. I remember “Night Sticky Dicky Tracy, Episode Four, No Dudes Allowed,” and I think that had a baseball theme, wait, I got off track…..OK…I’m better. Seriously, Plate has to intervene on Pete’s behalf. Yes, he did stain the game. But if what he says is true, and he did only bet on the Reds to win, then I still support his being a part of the game. Maybe not in the hall of fame, but a part of the game. He NEVER comprimised the on the field stuff and he certainly never cheated. Being the great purveyor of all things brilliant, I don’t know why MLB has never sat with Pete and said why don’t we turn your bad into the biggest possible positive. Not only let him in the hall but give him his own wing. This wing will not only showcase the greatest hitter the world has ever seen, but it will feature videos from Pete on the troubles associated with gambling and how it ruins lives. I think we all know that all sports are rooted in gambling, this would be a great opportunity to help thousands of people across the country. Just a note, another major problem with sports is the selling of sex via cheerleaders and dance teams. I think for at least two seasons all said squads should be banished to my humble abode so I can make sure they do no further harm to the PLOAM.
    Homer

    Note: PLOAM (potential loins of America’s men)

  6. Homer, Homer, Homer…
    There’s one cardinal rule in baseball- don’t bet on baseball. It’s posted in every clubhouse in every stadium. If you break it then out you go. Rose knew it, he did it anyway, and now must pay the price, even though I happen to like Pete and would consider him nothing short of the greatest hitter of all time.

  7. theDude

    Wow, interesting debate….you guys should do a “point-counterpoint” article or better yet, a web streaming video segment.

    You can’t argue with Shay’s point, he did bet.. but in the end I tend to be a “Platist” on this one-, as in I agree with Homer. Pete Rose was an amazing player that embodied so many good things that today you rarely see in baseball. Hustle, hard work, dogged determination and most importantly, Pete was very fan-friendly. When I was a little dude, I met him in 1980 when he was a Phil. I met the whole squad. Carlton…jerk. Schmidt…jerk….Bowa…big jerk (even said to Schmidt about me “who the “f” is that???” to which Mr. All-Universe replied, “Who cares”). Pete went out of his way to come over, say hi and give me a baseball from his private stash of balls used for infield practice. He even had the team sign it and then sent it to me! And I was not someone important or related to anyone important…just a little dude who liked baseball. Point is, that’s the kind of guy Pete Rose really is. He’s no cheater in the game. What he did was a victimless crime that in many places is even legal. Shay’s right, rules are rules but Pete Rose deserves better than the treatment he has gotten.

  8. Absolutely, but HOFer, no way.

  9. Homer

    I know how we can get Pete into the hall of fame…Kill Shay
    Love, HoMer

  10. Thanks for the love, Homer!

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