Mark McGwire owes us an apology

Nearly 5 years ago I wrote a post titled “Apologies are owed to Mark McGwire”.  It was the first post that I had written to gain any sort of attention. The point of the story was that even though Mark McGwire hadn’t told Congress that he had taken steroids, he didn’t lie on the stand, and he should be respected for that, especially in light of Raphael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa. I defended him for that. Watching Palmeiro and Sosa up there, lying under oath, I respected that he didn’t lie. That’s all undone tonight.

I watched Mark McGwire go on the MLB Network and lie to the fans and that is unforgivable. McGwire stated that he didn’t take steroids for performance enhancing benefits, just to get back out on the field sooner. He also stated that was able to hit because he had God given talent. Maybe he believes this, but Mark, you benefited from taken steroids, whether you wanted to, or not.  It’s not as if you can tell the steroids to only make you feel better and not make home runs go 25 feet further.

Either McGwire lies or he’s stupid, and I don’t think he’s stupid. What I don’t understand is why come this far just to screw it up at this point. What’s worse is that when McGwire stated that he wishes that he didn’t play in that “era”, he basically threw every player that played in the 90’s under the bus. It’s one thing for writers and fans to do that, it’s another thing entirely for McGwire to do so.

Good for Mark McGwire coming clean after all these years, I wish him the best of luck as a hitting coach. Let’s hope he teaches his players how to play on the field, and that those same players learn from his example of how not to behave off the field.

The Mitchell Report

As you may have heard, the Mitchell report was released today and it’s a mixed bag.   The list of names is based on talking to a couple of people.   There was no cooperation by 99% of baseball players, so what we have is an incomplete list, based on hearsay, with no positive tests.   I feel as if the commotion is a lot of hullabaloo   over nothing   new.   The players listed aren’t new for the most part; the recommendations were all recommendations that we’ve seen before.   It’s also interesting the names that weren’t included; no Sammy Sosa or Mark McGwire.

steroidsOne thing I do wonder is whether or not people will indite Roger Clemens the way Barry Bonds has been.   It’s always been unfair that Bonds has been the poster child, but it probably will be unfair if Clemens is attacked in the same way.   I think the only thing that would have been fair is if Selig had labeled the entire past 25 years an embarrassment that was allowed by everyone involved in the sport, and short of punishing everyone, you have to punish no one.   Mitchell as much said the same by asking that the commissioner not punish anyone.

The bottom line is that regardless of this report and the few names listed, the problem was widespread in baseball.   To believe otherwise is naive.   Baseball has done a disservice to the sport and to the fans.   The benefits of this era were reaped by baseball.   After the 1994 strike, people turned away from baseball – Sosa and McGwire brought them back.   Today baseball is as popular as it’s ever been today.   Officials turned a blind eye and pocketed the dollars.

Baseball should just turn the corner and make sure nothing like this every happens again.

Time runs out for Barry B*nds

I think that baseball in general deserves an asterisk.

After 4 years, plenty of speculation, and the realization by everyone that performance enhancing sports are prevalent in all sports, the poster boy for all that is wrong in baseball was indicted by a federal grand jury.   While he hasn’t been found guilty, it sure doesn’t look good.   Somehow the government has found enough evidence to take this trial.   I think it’s good that this has gotten to this point.

That said, I don’t think it’s fair that he’s the only one being indicted.   Baseball has benefited because of steroids; attendance went up, they’re making more money than ever – it’s been a great time to own a baseball team.   Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have had their whispers, but Sammy is back, and while there is disappointment with McGwire, there is none of the venom that Bonds has experienced.   A lot of people, me included, think race is involved in the public reaction to Barry Bonds – it seems as if when black athletes go wrong, the public seems to go wild demanding not just justice, but vengeance.   I hate to bring race into it because I don’t believe it has anything to do with whether or not he did wrong.   He deserves to be punished if he lied, and I think he did.   I also think that unfortunately, the high profile offenders are all black: Pacman Jones, Michael Vick, Tank Jones, etc.   And of course most of the media, the management, and fans are white.   It shouldn’t matter, but it’s there and won’t go away.

There’s talk of striking his records – will they strike Giambi’s?   I think over the past 25 years there has been rampant cheating in baseball and everyone in the game turned a blind eye; to say otherwise is disingenuous.   To single out one or two players out is simply not right.   I think every record that took place from 1995 through 2003 should be marked as occurring in the “steroid era” and for Major League Baseball to take some responsibility for the mess that occurred.   They were in charge and I don’t believe they couldn’t have done anything.

Of course there’s the fact that Bonds is an asshole to the media and the publics view of him is based on what we read in the papers on see in the news.   Ask yourself why do people hate him so much?   What basis do we have for this hatred?   Do you know him personally?   The public feelings about Bonds is directly related to how he is portrayed in the press.   With so many rumors, how could you not hate him?

Baseball has wanted closure on this embarrassment, and it looks like they’ll get it. Bonds will never play again and he’ll won’t get into the Hall of Fame, and I think those things are somewhat deserved.   But the fact is baseball was rotten to the core, but as of today the mantra will be: it was all Barry’s fault.