This past St. Patrick’s day, former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire, sat in front of congress to discuss steroid use in major league baseball. When asked about his personal experience McGwire chose to essentially plead the 5th. The fact is McGwire didn’t tell us the truth, but he also didn’t lie to us. But the media and baseball fans everywhere threw McGwire under the bus. They said he wasn’t “forthcoming”. Reporters said they wouldn’t vote him into the Hall of Fame. McGwire was disgraced.
At this same congressional hearing Baltimore Oriole first baseman Rafael Palmeiro defiantly told congress that he had never taken performance enhancing drugs “period”. The same media and baseball fans pointed to Palmeiro’s testimony as a shining example of what McGwire should have said. This past week Palmeiro was suspended when steriods were found in his system. I’m pretty sure that Palmeiro didn’t come up with the idea to take steroids all of a sudden in the past month at the age of 40. It is likely that he lied to us in March. Big surprise.
I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Our culture is one that prefers and expects a good lie when cornered. My girlfriend always says it’s basically the idea of “respect me enough to lie to me”. This is wrong. If someone decides that to avoid lying, it’s best to not speak at all, we should respect that decision.
I have no proof that Sammy Sosa, Curt Schilling, and Rafael Palmeiro didn’t lie on that day in March, but I know for a fact that Mark McGwire didn’t. While McGwire didn’t deserve praise for what he did, at least he deserved our respect.