Mark McGwire admitted on Monday that he used steroids while playing baseball. The McGwire admission of steroid use didn’t end up coming as much of a surprise to many baseball fans or analysts, but it may shock some viewers who saw the interview what McGwire had to say. In his interview, he claimed that he didn’t remember which drugs that he was taking, only that he had taken several different ones over the span of his career. He also went on to state that he felt that the steroids he was taking had no affect on his ability to hit the baseball and that he could have hit 70 home runs in one season as well as 583 during his career without having taken steroids.
The dichotomy that exists between fact and what Mark McGwire had to say on Monday night seems to be about as wide as the distance from home plate to where his home runs landed. Two things can be taken from his interview with Bob Costas, and it depends on which side of the issue that a person wants to place themselves. If we are to believe everything that Mark McGwire stated on Monday, then we are to believe that Mark McGwire was taking illegal drugs and putting them in his body without knowing what they were. We are also expected to believe that the steroid and HGH use didn’t help him become a better hitter and that steroids were only used by McGwire in order to help him become a healthy ball player. The second option is far less glamorous, where we don’t believe a word that Mark McGwire had to say about his steroid use.
Mark McGwire has already been hired by his former manager Tony La Russa to be the hitting coach of the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals, putting him face-to-face with rookies and young players in the Cardinals system that will be looking to become better players. What exactly can fans of the Cardinals expect their new hitting coach to teach the hitters of the future? If we are to believe what Mark McGwire said in his latest interview, then we walk away with the realization that Mark McGwire does not believe that performance enhancing drugs exist. For Mark McGwire to state that he used these performance enhancing drugs but didn’t receive any benefit on the field, then why does he state that steroids were bad for the game?
Moving forward, Mark McGwire is going to have a dark cloud hanging over him for as long as he is either involved in baseball or for as long as he remains silent on a few key components missing from his story. He still needs to come clean about where he got the illegal drugs, how he purchased them, and he needs to reveal the names of all other players that he knew were using these drugs. He needs to prove that there is a reason why baseball fans should be forgiving of an illegal drug user who basically broke the law in order to help himself stay on the baseball field. What he felt the benefits of those drugs might have been is only secondary to the fact that he supported the illegal drug industry, and has yet to actually address that part of the whole situation.
Mark McGwire has tainted his image through his latest revelations, and whether he thought that this would clear up his image is still pretty unclear. Maybe he needed to get some of this stuff off his chest, but it’s just like most steroid users in baseball, where they claim ignorance as to what they put in their body or where they got it. Just like Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire is pleading the 5th on several important questions still, and it’s time that baseball started protecting itself against the loss of integrity that people like these steroid users have caused.
McGwire MLB Interview