SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY has a thorough rundown of reax from the media to Mark McGwire’s steroid admission yesterday. While most opinions of McGwire’s limited contrition skew negative, none I saw called it what it really was if you believe ESPN Investigative Reporter T.J. Quinn and Jose Canseco.
Quinn was the most compelling presence in the media yesterday with his eye-popping portrayal on ESPN-TV of McGwire as a serial hardcore user (horse steroids!) who enthusiastically shared his knowledge with many a major leaguer.In addition to steroids, Quinn said McGwire was perhaps the first MLB player to use HGH, and that he introduced the drug to many other MLB players, while giving them bogus information on the effects of the hormone. Damning, ugly stuff.
Quinn’s specific claims about McGwire were based on over 10 years of reporting on the subject and hundreds of interviews with MLB players, staffers, executives and medical experts in the field of PEDs. Video of his comments after the jump.
So let me say what others in the media aren’t: what McGwire did on Monday was far worse than his hiding from the media. Worse than his spectacularly embarrassing testimony in front of Congress. From what Quinn and Canseco have said in the past 24 hours, McGwire lied more than he told the truth yesterday.
That doesn’t even include McGwire’s asinine assertation that steroids had nothing to do with his performance. As I said yesterday on Twitter, if steroids had nothing to do with his home runs, why did he feel the need to apologize to the Maris family?
McGwire told Costas that his admission had nothing to do with the Hall of Fame, which runs contrary to comments made by those who know McGwire best. He’s reportedly obsessed with his legacy, which of course includes Cooperstown. But from talking to BBWAA members today who vote for the baseball Hall of Fame, I was told that McGwire’s remarks actually hurt him more than his self-imposed media embargo the past few years.
McGwire said yesterday that wished there had been drug testing in baseball when he played. If that’s the case why did his player’s union, of which he was a prominent member, repeatedly refuse to allow MLB to test for steroids? Why didn’t McGwire say something at the time? #rhetorical
Along with trying to salvage his professional reputation, McGwire went public to reduce media attention on him this season as he starts a tenure as Cardinals hitting coach. If he hadn’t agreed to get back into baseball, yesterday would’ve never happened. That said, in my opinion, McGwire taking the Cards hitting coach job was related to his desire to improve his Hall of Fame candidacy. It gave him an excuse to go public with what turned out to be flaccid contrition.
After all these years of athletes hopelessly trying to damage control their personal and professional foibles, you would think that McGwire would’ve learned that the coverup is almost always worse than the crime. With over 100 MLB players who tested positive for banned substances still yet to be identified, this isn’t the last we’ll hear about McGwire’s steroid habit.
My advice to Big Mac? Keep that Maris family number current.