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Mark McGwire

A former professional baseball player.

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Did We Really Need Him To Tell Us He Was a User?

  • Jan 12, 2010
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I watched Mark McGwire squirming in a chair licking his lips in front of Bob Costas answering a tirade of questions given to him about his steroid use.  I was asking myself, "did we really need this?"  I mean having Big Mac tell us that he used steroids was like asking a professional wrestler if wrestling was "staged."  Any person that has watched to sport for any length of time or who just watches pre-1990 games on the MLB network can see that ballplayers just looked a lot smaller back then.  Even the most feared hitters of their day (Frank Howard, Willie McCovey) look like the proverbial 98 pound weakling compared to the Lou Ferrigno bodies that guys like McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Pujols (yeah Albert Pujols too) have.

How many more of these guys do we have to see squirm before us to satisfy our sadistic urges to make a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, admit that he was stealing cookies?  Whose ego are we satisfying?  So we got Roger Clemens being screamed at by a lot of worthless Senators who all have their own issues, to get him to say something they already knew.   When is this going to end?

I have a niece who is dating a minor league "pitcher" who is bigger than anyone that goes regularly to my gym.  Now considering all the time he spends pitching and the recovery time between starts, I doubt that he is hitting the gym too often without some type of "enhancer."  And by the way he throws 96 miles an hour.  He told me that just about everyone in the minors  does something or they couldn't compete.  Nothing short of a blood test could detect the things they are putting in their bodies today.

Do we want to force ballplayers to give blood samples every game?  I think that is a lot of wasted effort for something that is not going to really change the game we are watching on the field.

Many writers want to refer to the 90's as the "steroid" era and maybe make a separate set of records for those times.   Many of them forget that at the beginning of the 90's baseball interest was wanning especially after the players strike and it took a homerun race by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to re-ignite the sport.  Since then there has been record attendance and virtually every team has been able to get a new ballpark.  During the height of the era we had the 1997, 2001 and 2002 World Series which were three of the best of all time.

We have reached a new time in America where marijuana is becoming legal for medical purposes and athletes are using things to help increase their workouts and speed recovery times.  This era is here to stay so let's deal with it and stop dragging another athlete in front of the camera to admit something that everyone already knows.

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January 13, 2010
I am totally with you on this!  I may be one of the few people, but I could care less whether these guys use roids or not.  If they make the game a little more entertaining, fine.  As long as they know what they're getting their bodies into.  So many amazing players now have this black mark on them and it's really a damn shame.  I feel like A-Rod got screwed the most out of it.  But he proved to everyone that he could play without them after the season he had this past year.  Really nice write up!
January 13, 2010
Yes, he had to come clean. He is one of the first not to be forced into an admission by a test result. I liked a few things about his interview. He halfway owned the steroids saying it is the dumbest thing he's ever done. What I didn't like was him saying he wished he never played in the steroid era. He WAS the steroid era. Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens are the poster children for the steroids era . In my eyes, they caused others to take 'roids to keep up with the outrageous numbers. Another thing I didn't like was him saying he could have accomplished the same feats without the PED's(Performance Enhancing Drugs). I have to channel my inner Chad Johnson and say "Child please!". He was hitting one HR every 14 at bats before he started and after he hit a HR every 8.5 at bats. His slugging percentage and batting average also sky rocketed. The final ,and most disturbing reason in my eyes, is him saying he only took them to get better from injuries and t keep them from occurring. I am waiting for an athlete to come out and tell the truth. They wanted bugger numbers and more money or even say they were being passed by others who were taking, so they took them to keep up. That would be honest and I would respect and forgive anyone who owns up to their mistakes and tries to keep others from following that path. Baseball and McGwire need this to cleanse their souls.
January 13, 2010
Great points! The main premise is did he have to state the obvious. He gave a way better and more sincere explanation and apology than any of the prior players (think ARod and Andy Pettitte). Why does he really have to come out and say that the things he ingested helped his performance when it is obvious? The analogy I used is the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Do you need the kid to tell you he was taking cookies or it is so obvious that it could be left unsaid? I find some of the reporters ridiculous (I point out Mike Lupica as a big example) as to what they want him to say. I watch CNN a lot and over the last few years we have been subject to many Senate hearings where these "senators" grill people. I look at a lot of those senators and many of them are the most corrupt people around so why do they poke and poke trying to get the people they are grilling to state obvious things?
January 13, 2010
Accountability. That's why he has to come out and say it. It may not mean much to us who are already older and have out own set of ideals, but for the up and coming athletes. They don't see loyalty like we used to see between players, coaches and organizations. It's already all about me me me, and then we throw out people that are obviously using steroids and we know but they are still denying it. Someone needs to come out and just simply tell the truth. It's bigger than us assuming we know. Integrity of the game should be the most important thing. Baseball sat back and watched as it was tainted, but Bud Selig should not ruin this game for the next generation of kids because of his stupidity.
January 12, 2010
Think this press conference was nothing more than a well orchestrated first step at rehabilitating McGwyre's image with the ultimate goal of induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sorry, but I'm not buying it. Of course the owners were well aware of what was going down in those days but so did the union. I hold them every bit as much responsible as the owners, maybe more. The union should have stood up for those players who were being victimized by the cheaters. How many marginal pitchers who were the 24th or 25th guys on the roster lost their jobs because of these creeps. McGwyre and Sosa in the Hall. Forget it!
January 12, 2010
Paul, I feel as you do but as things go I think performance enhancers will not go away anytime soon. Most of today's top players (ex. Pujols) are probably users so once one gets in, they all will.
January 12, 2010
While he is back in baseball, I think that this has more to do with admittance to the Hall of Fame than some sense of right and wrong or his job with the Cardinals. Yeah, I am a little cynical with the reason. :-)
January 12, 2010
Why I don't think it had to do with the Hall is that his admittance came a week after the results were announced. He would have come clean before the voting for it to matter. With Spring Training about 5 weeks away, he gets to air this all out now and then report to the Cardinals camp without having to answer any questions on the subject just like ARod did last year.
January 12, 2010
Following that logic, which I think is sound, then he would also have a year to get in the good graces of the Baseball Writers and, hopefully, get enough votes for admittance. Although, in hindsight, it might be a tough election for him: http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2010/01/06/the...fame-voters-snub-stats/
January 12, 2010
Answer to your headline: No, we didn't really.  I don't really follow up with sports, but I do know that he Mark McGwire retired years ago, so I wonder what the circumstances of bringing light to this issue now were.  I don't support the use of performance enhancing drugs in pro sports, but I don't see what the big deal is with this since it was years ago, before any major crackdown.  Plus, people have been speculating that for years anyhow.  Great thought-provoking review, Michael!  By the way, this was shared on twitter ;)
January 12, 2010
Thanks Devora. He came out because he will be the hitting coach for the Cardinals. By putting it on the table now, he won't have to deal with questions from reporters on the subject once Baseball training camp starts.
January 12, 2010
Ah, good call then. Thanks for that tidbit, MIchael! :)
January 12, 2010
Which is why I have quite literally switched professional sports off in my life completely. I used to be an avid sports nut but I wouldn't even cross the road to watch a baseball game if you handed me free seats on first base. It's completely meaningless and the participants are, for the most part, self-serving self-indulgent ego-maniacs with an outrageously inflated sense of entitlement. And that is served by people who continue to worship at their feet. It would all be fixed - and, INSTANTLY, I might add - if somebody, somehow could simply engineer a mass boycott with the intent made known to the athletes. Nobody watching television, nobody in the stadiums and nobody buying the products of the sponsors. Would it ever get fixed right quick then!!
January 12, 2010
I wasn't implying he was an ego-maniac. He wanted to elevate his game. ARod, Clemens and Barry Bonds are the three players that are ego-maniacs. ARod seems to have reformed this past season. Maybe the hip injury and the divorce brought him down to Earth.
January 12, 2010
I wasn't talking specifically about Mark McGwire. I was making a generalized comment about professional athletes.
January 12, 2010
I guess there are quite a number of them throughout sports. Funny but it may be able to deal with the banned substances than the egos.
More Mark McGwire reviews
review by . January 13, 2010
Kind of late isn't it Mark?
Mark McGwire finally admitted that he used steroids.  Mark is going to become the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach and Tony LaRussa convinced him to come out clean about his drug use.  For a time, he broke the home run record owned by Roger Maris (since broken by an alleged user Barry Bonds).  His home run chase with Sammy Sosa (another alleged user) brought back baseball from the strike doldrums of the 1994-1995 seasons.  We all knew he used creatine during the late 90's (a …
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Mark David McGwire (born October 1, 1963) is a former Major League Baseball player who played his major league career with the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals. He is replacing Hal McRae as the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals for 2010.

For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the lowest at bats per home run ratio in baseball history (Ryan Howard is second at 11.32 and Babe Ruth is third at 11.80). In 1987, he broke the single-season home run record for rookies, with 49. In 1998, McGwire and Sammy Sosa achieved national fame for their home run-hitting prowess in pursuit of Roger Maris' single season home run record; McGwire would break the record and hit 70* home runs that year. Barry Bonds now holds the record.
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