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Friday, November 09, 2012

Mark McGwire: Why would player cheat?

Big Mac…leaking through the Un-Sealright.

McGwire granted an interview to Fox Sports Radio (compiled by Sports Radio Interviews) in which he said some very interesting things, considering his history.

“I’m a great example of what happens when, I mean I owned up to it,” said McGwire. “Why anybody would even think about doing that today I have no idea. I’m sad for these guys but then again you have to look at Major League Baseball and what they have done to crack down on it, it’s been fantastic for the game of baseball and you just have to move on from it.”

Give credit McGwire for at least one thing: he certainly has long-term implication in mind. He seems to have come to terms with the fact that he’ll never be in the Hall of Fame, but beyond baseball consequences, honestly telling his children about his indiscretions, he says, was not worth his time on top.

“It’s a mistake that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I have to deal with never, ever getting into the Hall of Fame. I totally understand and totally respect their opinion and I will never, ever push it. That is the way it’s going to be and I can live with that. One of the hardest things I had to do this year was sit down with my nine and ten year old boys and tell them what dad did. That was a really hard thing to do but I did it.”

While McGwire may never end up in Cooperstown, it does speak to his love of the game that he came back to deal with the inevitable questions to work in the sport again.

Repoz Posted: November 09, 2012 at 06:19 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, steroids

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   1. cardsfanboy Posted: November 09, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4298754)
It took him a while, but he seems to have grasped what it takes to move the needle on people accepting him back into the game. Instead of arguing, lying or defending, the proper response is to admit(if you did) and then basically answer questions on the matter, and don't look to blame others or minimize your actions. This is the response the reasonable anti-roid zealots want to see, he's never going to gain acceptance by the extremists, but at least these actions will help him move on with his baseball career.
   2. AROM Posted: November 09, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4298763)
In his time as Cardinals hitting coach, he's seen four guys who were never considered top prospects (never made BA top 100) turn into productive big league hitters (Jay, Craig, Carpenter, Freese). He's seen a pair of old switch hitters join the team and find the fountain of youth (Berkman, Beltran). He's seen a guy who would have stayed in the lineup no matter what he hit, because of his glove, turn into a really good hitter (Yadier).

That kind of record will help his post-playing career.
   3. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4298765)

He's seen a pair of old switch hitters join the team and find the fountain of youth (Berkman, Beltran).

Beltran went from hitting .300/.385/.525 with the Mets/Giants in 2011 to .269/.346/.495 with the Cards in 2012. I don't disagree with your overall point but Beltran is not a great example to use.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: November 09, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4298767)
People can learn from their mistakes, and I'm glad that McGwire has. Good for him.
   5. phredbird Posted: November 09, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4298811)
t took him a while, but he seems to have grasped what it takes to move the needle on people accepting him back into the game.


that assumes he's really, really worried about his legacy, which i doubt. he's been pretty philosophical about the treatment he's gotten from the finger wagging grandmothers in the press and all the other hypocrites sitting on their high horses. and ... 'accepting him back in the game'? wtf? he's the hitting coach of the dodgers for chrissakes. he's in the game more than any of the haters will ever be.

“It’s a mistake that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I have to deal with never, ever getting into the Hall of Fame. I totally understand and totally respect their opinion and I will never, ever push it. That is the way it’s going to be and I can live with that. One of the hardest things I had to do this year was sit down with my nine and ten year old boys and tell them what dad did. That was a really hard thing to do but I did it.”


this is one of the saddest things i've ever read. he's really going to cave in like this? his sons aren't old enough to understand that when he did it it wasn't against the rules? that peds aren't a magic pill that make you bigger and stronger immediately? that the sainted hall of famers of the steroid lynch mob were an assortment of drunks, cokeheads, pillpoppers and gamblers? (sorry, am i using a little too broad of a brush there? you could never accuse the steroid haters of that kind of behavior!) that the bbwaa is mostly a bunch of ignorant clods who are proud of their aversion to math and critical thinking?

three years as the hitting coach at st. louis and the numbers they've put up and the way he's carried himself in his post baseball life should have those idiots rethinking their opinion of him, but i'm not going to hold my breath. they should be apologizing to him, not the other way around.
   6. McCoy Posted: November 09, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4298836)
Well, Mark probably doesn't want his kids to use drugs and his kids probably do hear a bunch of crap fro their fellow kids at school. He can't ignore all of that and stonewall his kids if he actually cares about his kids. So if you don't want your kids to use steroids and you also what your kids to understand/cope with Daddy's problems you have to sit down with them and explain what you did, why you did it, what it cost you, and why it wasn't correct.
   7. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: November 09, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4298896)
his sons aren't old enough to understand that when he did it it wasn't against the rules?

Anabolic steroids have been a controlled substance since 1990 and against the MLB rules since 1991.
   8. Ron J2 Posted: November 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4298919)
#7 I'm sure you know this -- it's old ground. But the guy who wrote the "no steroids" memo specifically stated that it didn't apply to the PA. He did not have the power to unilaterally change any policies -- and he knew it.

EDIT: It's worth noting that he thought so little of it that he could not even recall what prompted him to write the memo in the first place.
   9. phredbird Posted: November 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4298930)
Well, Mark probably doesn't want his kids to use drugs and his kids probably do hear a bunch of crap fro their fellow kids at school. He can't ignore all of that and stonewall his kids if he actually cares about his kids.


i don't have a problem with this, i'm just saying maybe he could give them a more nuanced take. kids are smarter than people think. what i have a problem with is his quote makes it sound like he's admitting to his children that he was a convict or something.

his sons aren't old enough to understand that when he did it it wasn't against the rules?

Anabolic steroids have been a controlled substance since 1990 and against the MLB rules since 1991.


that's a debate with a long pedigree on this site and it is very much open to interpretation as to enforcement and penalties. even if it was a controlled substance, against the rules, etc., even stipulating that, there's no barrier to a player being elected to the HOF except for the highly selective smug morality of the bbwaa voters.

all i have to say about how messed up peoples priorities are is that i'm pretty sure if pete rose was on the ballot he'd get more votes than mark mcgwire. that is seriously f-ed up.
   10. phredbird Posted: November 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4298933)
coke to ron.
   11. bachslunch Posted: November 09, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4298957)
Anabolic steroids have been a controlled substance since 1990

Greenies have been a controlled substance since 1970. Despite this, MLB clubhouses for years reportedly contained bowls full of the things for players to use as they saw fit, and I have no doubt such players took them to enhance on-field performance. The HoF very likely has dozens of greenie users enshrined, including self-admitted users like Mike Schmidt. And nobody seems to get their panties in a bunch over it.
   12. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: November 09, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4298968)
three years as the hitting coach at st. louis and the numbers they've put up and the way he's carried himself in his post baseball life should have those idiots rethinking their opinion of him, but i'm not going to hold my breath. they should be apologizing to him, not the other way around.


I feel kind of bad for McGwire too, mainly because I think he's a good person that happened to make a mistake. But let's not pretend what he did wasn't unethical. I'd personally vote for him to make the HOF, but I don't think anyone owes him an apology.
   13. AROM Posted: November 09, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4298971)
what i have a problem with is his quote makes it sound like he's admitting to his children that he was a convict or something.


Well, he's not a convict because he wasn't caught, he admitted to things long after the fact. But he did break the law. If he had been unlucky he could have been a convict, like if some cop heard something suspicious, opened up an Oakland bathroom stall and wondered what Jose Canseco was sticking into Mark McGwire's butt.

Not that it would prevent me from voting for him in the HOF, I don't automatically disqualify steroid users. But fact is McGwire broke the law, and he knows it.
   14. McCoy Posted: November 09, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4298997)
cokes
   15. phredbird Posted: November 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4299000)
Greenies have been a controlled substance since 1970. Despite this, MLB clubhouses for years reportedly contained bowls full of the things for players to use as they saw fit, and I have no doubt such players took them to enhance on-field performance. The HoF very likely has dozens of greenie users enshrined, including self-admitted users like Mike Schmidt. And nobody seems to get their panties in a bunch over it.


agree.

I feel kind of bad for McGwire too, mainly because I think he's a good person that happened to make a mistake. But let's not pretend what he did wasn't unethical. I'd personally vote for him to make the HOF, but I don't think anyone owes him an apology.


fair enough, but you end up in the same place as i do. there's no compelling reason to keep him out of the hall of fame.

Not that it would prevent me from voting for him in the HOF, I don't automatically disqualify steroid users. But fact is McGwire broke the law, and he knows it.


again, a fair statement. but the consequences he's forced to endure are, to me, not commensurate with the nature of his transgressions. i'm a little emotional about this. he simply has not gotten a fair shake. i wanted to throw up after reading plaschke's column this week.
   16. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4299022)
Not that it would prevent me from voting for him in the HOF, I don't automatically disqualify steroid users. But fact is McGwire broke the law, and he knows it.


Indeed. But nobody talks about throwing Ty Cobb out of the Hall.
   17. bachslunch Posted: November 09, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4299056)
But he [McGwire] did break the law.

Here's hoping McGwire's family doesn't have two babies who he then decides to bathe together in the same tub. There's apparently is a law on the books that says it's illegal to do so in Los Angeles. According to a brief online search, it looks like he'd also be breaking the law in LA if he:

--hunts moths under a street light.
--licks a toad.
--cries on the witness stand.
--wears a zoot suit.
--owns two dogs that mate within 500 feet of a church.
--beats his wife with a strap wider than 2 inches without her consent (soooo, it's okay if the strap is 2 inches or smaller across?).
--shoots at the teller with a water gun while in the act of robbing a bank.
   18. Gonfalon B. Posted: November 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4299066)
According to a brief online search, it looks like he'd also be breaking the law in LA if he:

--licks a toad.


Good thing Hideki Irabu was never a teammate.
   19. Ron J2 Posted: November 09, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4299087)
#11 The same "no steroids" memo also specifically includes amphetamines. Indeed all controlled substances.

As Vincent has stated, at the time their primary focus was on recreational drugs.
   20. SuperGrover Posted: November 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4299154)
this is one of the saddest things i've ever read.


Jesus Christ man, read about events in Sub-Saharan Africa once in a while.
   21. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4299160)
--hunts moths under a street light.
--licks a toad.
--cries on the witness stand.
--wears a zoot suit.
--owns two dogs that mate within 500 feet of a church.
--beats his wife with a strap wider than 2 inches without her consent (soooo, it's okay if the strap is 2 inches or smaller across?).
--shoots at the teller with a water gun while in the act of robbing a bank.


Is it OK if the dogs are borrowed? Seriously, I need an answer soon.

My favorite part of this list is the hair-splitting and mental gymnastics required to come up with a law that treats women as chattel, but still allows them the legal right of consent. "You can beat your slaves all you want, unless you get really brutal about, in which case you have to stop. Unless the slave is OK with it, of course."
   22. Morty Causa Posted: November 09, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4299175)
Well, Mark probably doesn't want his kids to use drugs and his kids probably do hear a bunch of crap fro their fellow kids at school.


This brings to mind that I have always thought McGwire sounded like a "recovering addict/alcoholic." In fact, I think I read about that some years before he broke the record. He sure sounds like one sometime--like here, for instance. The recovery culture strenuously promotes being as honest as possible. The reason is not just moralistic. Dishonesty creates angst; angst leads to seeking ways to relieve it.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: November 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4299188)
Personally I am bemused that an admitted PED user can become a hitting coach, under the same manager who looked the other way (twice!) during his use, a number of borderline or worse hitters become good hitters, a couple of old guys age well and nobody blinks an eye.

Which would be rather quaint if it weren't for the fact that "we" still play "teammates with Canseco" games and convict Sosa because he hit HRs.

Man, this circumstantial evidence is tricky stuff.
   24. AROM Posted: November 09, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4299205)
Personally I am bemused that an admitted PED user can become a hitting coach, under the same manager who looked the other way (twice!) during his use, a number of borderline or worse hitters become good hitters, a couple of old guys age well and nobody blinks an eye.


I guess it depends on your opinion of the testing program. None of Mark's Cardinals have been caught (at least I don't think so, my memory is nothing special). I can guarantee you that if Melky Cabrera had been a Cardinal the last 2 years, McGwire would be vilified over it. That's a risk he takes as a hitting coach. He better hope no Dodger hitters are caught next year.
   25. phredbird Posted: November 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4299212)
this is one of the saddest things i've ever read.


Jesus Christ man, read about events in Sub-Saharan Africa once in a while.


this is uncalled for. do i really have to qualify comments on these types of threads to exclude non-baseball subjects? are father/son dynamics trivial to you? what have you got to contribute to the discussion at hand?
   26. Ray (RDP) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4299228)
One of the hardest things I had to do this year was sit down with my nine and ten year old boys and tell them what dad did. That was a really hard thing to do but I did it.”


Won't be as hard as when he has to sit down with them after they become young adults and explain to them why dad caved in to media pressure and people holding pitch forks.
   27. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: November 09, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4299287)
One of the hardest things I had to do this year was sit down with my nine and ten year old boys and tell them what dad did. That was a really hard thing to do but I did it.


I imagine he did have a conversation like this with his kids. I also imagine it a) came about because his kids saw him on TV and asked questions, and b) wasn't really him caving to media pressure, but more of a necessity of parenting.

I also think his contriteness is calculated to get back into the public's good graces. Sure, he probably feels bad about cheating, but not THAT bad.
   28. Lassus Posted: November 09, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4299424)
Won't be as hard as when he has to sit down with them after they become young adults and explain to them why dad caved in to media pressure and people holding pitch forks.

Not as bad as the people holding guns pointed at his head.
   29. Gonfalon B. Posted: November 10, 2012 at 05:53 AM (#4299477)
I don't know whether the BBWAA having a bad breakup with their ex-boyfriend Mark is the single worst recorded example of human cruelty, but it's definitely in the top two.
   30. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: November 10, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4299481)
this is one of the saddest things i've ever read. he's really going to cave in like this? his sons aren't old enough to understand that when he did it it wasn't against the rules?
I just hope he's teaching his kids not to share needles, and to swab before and after with alcohol. If you're going to do it, do it right.

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