Mark McGwire Must Think We’re Stupid

by Diane Dimond on January 25, 2010

Not Buying What He's Sellin'

Not Buying What He's Sellin'

Mark McGwire must think we’re stupid.

The former baseball superstar certainly looked the part of a contrite apologist last week during his interview with sportscaster extraordinaire, Bob Costas. With his red eyes brimming and his chin quavering, McGwire finally came clean about his past use of performance enhancing drugs. I truly felt for the man.

“I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize,” McGwire said.

He went on to explain that he first dipped his toe into the fetid steroid pool during the 1989 season. After he was injured in 1993, McGwire admitted, he once again began using both steroids and human growth hormones, and he kept using them right through the 1998 season.

That, of course is when he and slugger Sammy Sosa held the nation spellbound as they battled to see who would break

Maybe He Was Born With It ...

Maybe He Was Born With It ?

the 37 year old homerun record set by the legendary Roger Maris.

He should have stopped talking right there but he didn’t.

“I did this for health purposes,” McGwire told Costas, explaining that he believed the banned and illegal substances would help him heal faster from his many injuries. “There’s no way I did this for any type of strength use.”

Oh, really? This from a man who, while on the juice, put on 30 pounds of muscle, sported biceps that looked like bazookas and clocked homeruns off checked swings! I guess he really took no pleasure in piling up the homerun stats. Yeah, he was probably just thinking about his injured heels.

Was McGwire actually denying what every other athlete and pro sports trainer believes – that steroids give a person more stamina and power in their swing?

“I was given a gift to hit home runs,” McGwire declared without a hint of irony. He maintained that simply studying pitchers and adjusting his swing is what caused him to end the ’98 season with a record shattering 70 homeruns to Sosa’s 66. McGwire insisted he could have hit all those homers without the performance enhancing drugs he was taking.

“I truly believe so,” he said.

Parody of McGwire's Milk Ad

Parody of McGwire's Milk Ad

Again, Mark McGwire must think we’re stupid.

In my book you apologize for accidents or mistakes – not for something you did repeatedly for 10 years! That’s like saying you’re sorry for deliberately cheating at poker games – for 10 years! The best apologies are simple declarations, “I did this and please forgive me” usually suffices. “I did this but let me explain it to you….” just feels less like an apology and more like a strategic statement.

Look, I applaud McGwire for coming clean now, better late than never. And I think he still has a major contribution to make to baseball as the new hitting coach for the St. Louis, Cardinals. But Mark McGwire has to know in his heart that those drugs helped him resurrect a faltering career and then go on to break the homerun record.

I’m betting one guy who’s watching this all play out closer than anyone is Barry Bonds, the current King of both homeruns and steroid suspicion. In 2001 he outdid McGwire’s homeruns by hitting 73 of them. Will Bonds now follow McGwire’s lead and come clean? His reputation and the arrogance of our modern day athletes suggests not.

The time for McGwire to have (you’ll pardon the pun) stepped up to the plate, was five years ago when Congress

He Swore to Tell the Truth

He Swore to Tell the Truth

summoned him to testify about steroids in pro sports. He refused to “talk about the past” then because, as McGwire now explains, his lawyers told him his answers could be used to file charges against him.

Oh, really? I can’t think of one major league baseball player ever charged with a crime due to steroid use – ever.

Our nation remains gripped in a double-fisted drug problem; illegal street drugs and the proliferation of too many prescription drugs. As parents try to teach their children about the importance of staying away from drugs, being honest and admitting their mistakes how should they explain this guy to the kids?

“Well, Sonny, see, McGwire admitted he did it and he said he’s sorry. So he’s getting this great new high paying job back in baseball. And, it’s all okay because he said the steroids probably didn’t help him beat Roger Maris’ record anyway ….” Sheesh.

The Real Deal - R.I.P.

The Real Deal - R.I.P.

McGwire says before he went public with his steroid admission he called one of his longtime supporters, Pat Maris, the widow of the man who held the homerun season record of 61 for more than four decades. “I felt I needed to do that,” he said. He reports she was disappointed to hear the news.

Many of the rest of us were disappointed at his apology.

And, by the way, Mr. McGwire, I don’t think you’ve helped your chances of getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I’ve been to Cooperstown. You don’t belong there.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane January 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

ABQ Journal Reader Antonio Maestas writes:

“Ms Dimond,
Just read your article in my hometown paper, The Albuquerque Journal. I’m afraid McGuire will go to the grave thinking he passed Maris on his own. Not to take McGuire off the hook but fans (and hence market forces) wanted to see 480 foot home runs and 8-7 ballgames as opposed to a hit and run to win a game 2-1. A C- student in statistics knows you can’t go from 60 (Ruth in ’27) to 61 (Maris in ’61) to 70 (98). McGuire’s coming out wasn’t news to those with a clue.

Incidentally, I’m introducing a bill in the NM House on Monday you may be interested in. Treatment instead of incarceration for first time drug offenders. Hopefully it will start a serious dialogue to ratchet back the war on drugs to a level of sanity. ”

-Rep. Antonio Maestas

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 10:58 am

Dear Diane:
ABQ Journal Reader Gary Horvat,

“I enjoyed your Op Ed on Mark McGuire. But with his admission regarding steroid use, couldn’t he be indicted for lying to Congress? I agree that probably no baseball player has been convicted for using steroids, but Mark, along with a few others, could be charged for perjury. Am I right in that assumption?”

Gary Horvat

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 11:10 am

No, I don’t think so because he skirted all the Congressmen’s questions about it. When asked McGwire kept saying, “I’m not here to talk about the past.”

Now, Rafael Palmeiro, could be a different case. He was angry about even being asked about steroid use and wagged his finger at the lawmakers as he answered. But you notice no action was taken against him because despite lots of evidence that he did use steroids (he failed a test after this appearance) he has never fully admitted it.

What a system!

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

DD web site reader Doug B. writes:

“I can’t stand McGuire and he should definitely be banned from the Hall of Fame –“

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

DD web site reader John Roth writes:

“Good article Diane.He deserves to be elected to the Hall of Shame.”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm

DD web site reader Mark Ebner writes:

“What a prick”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Facebook Friend Tony Annyschyn writes:

” This apology is too little,too late and not genuine. If he would have come clean and been apologetic when he made his appearance in front of the government committee years ago,people would have given him slack and be much more forgiving.

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Facebook Friend Matt Kimberly writes:

” I think he’s full of it, Diane. He’s trying to apologize and justify what he did at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. “

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Facebook Friend (and long time friend) Pete Fogel writes:

” No way D. They call it “performance enhancers” for a reason. He was a very good player for the first half of his career. Once he started using, he all of a sudden became Babe Ruth. No matter how you look at it, he was a cheater. I doubt McGwire or Barry Bonds will ever get elected to the HOF.”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Facebook Friend Penny Cook writes:

” NO! NEVER! if Pete Rose isn’t eligible, McGwire certainly isn’t!
he soiled my beloved baseball, he can kiss my ass!”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Facebook Friend Peter Shams-Avari writes:

“Mark McGwire Must Think We’re Stupid” — probably because as a collective citizenry we are stupid.”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Facebook Friend Ken Smith writes:

“No way should he enter the hall of Fame. His apology can’t take back his use of performance enhancing drugs.”

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Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Facebook Friend Andrew Siegel writes:

“I think it’s his pathetic and pitiful way of rationalizing what he did. He hit 49 hr’s as a rookie in 1987 “clean” (supposedly), so obviously he was cable of hitting 70 “clean”, as well. And one every 6.8 at bats, or whatever his outrageous ratio was in 1998. He’s a sad loser.”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Facebook Friends Shawna Levins writes:

“Not AT ALL!!!!
As a retired pro tennis player that ALWAYS played my game clean…it’s an insult/slap in the face to every athlete to have ANY known performance enhanced drug athlete to receive ANY award/accolade. “

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Facebook Friend James Piccoli writes:

” I do not feel his statistics would warrant his entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His apology was shallow.”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Facebook Friend Frank J Rucco Jr. writes:

” No, he and the rest of the “roid-boys” should not.. Maris is the one and true @ 61. …and what makes me laugh is that the Cardinals want him as a hitting coach for 2010?!?!? Really!!!! Cardinals need to check that contract to see if they can NULL that…Just saying.”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Facebook Friend Daisy Olivera writes:

” yawn…I’m so bored. Another apology “for effect”! (what he really meant was “I’m sorry I got caught!”) LOL!”

Reply

Diane January 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Facebook Friend Theresa Van Poucke-Shanahan writes:

” His apology was not sincere. No way to the hall of fame.”

Reply

The Merry Standish Standard February 1, 2010 at 8:48 pm

From The Merry Standish Standard:
Jan. 11, 2010
In a confession that surprised no-one, home run record holder Mark McGwire admitted to using performance enhancing steroids while breaking that record in 1998.

What did raise a lot of eyebrows was McGwire’s blubbering when describing how hard it was to tell the truth about his Popeye-like changes to his family.

“I hated lying to my kids,” he cried, wiping snot from his nose,” I told them that all they had to do was eat their spinach and they’d look like me. I hate spinach.”

The widow of Roger Maris, the New York Yankee slugger whose record of 61 home runs was eclipsed by McGwire’s 70, released an official statement.

“The steroid story is one thing. Heavens, Roger used to drink Ovaltine twice a day. But all that boo-hooing…Who does he think he is, Lou Gerhig?”

The display of unmanliness has prompted rumors of estrogen use by The Big Fake who was recently signed as a hitting coach (as in “Take a hit of this…”) for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Quiet sobbing could be heard from Sammy Sousa’s locked bathroom.

Original story here-
http://www.wildoak.macwebsitebuilder.com/McGwire.html

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