BY SHAY RODDY
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.
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.
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.