Monday, January 11, 2010

About Those Steroids...

RE: Mark McGwire's "confession" that he did, indeed, take steroids (like nobody knew?).

First of all, it comes off as extremely self-serving, given that he's finally talking as a necessary precursor to his taking a job with the St.Louis Cardinals, his old team, and the first people he'll have to reconcile are the fans in his home stadium. The same fans who cheered him on in 1998 when he was breaking the single-season home run record, and the same fans who had every reason to believe that what they were watching was truly talent, and not a chemically-enhanced moron with a bat.

Secondly, if McGwire gets away with this -- and by "gets away" I mean gets to keep his job in baseball, and, God forbid!, eventually finds his way into the Hall of Fame -- then I shall have to pray for the soul of Pete Rose. Rose simply gambled, and the implied problem with that was that he had the ability to affect the outcome of games so as to make good on those bets. McGwire, thanks to a better Life Through Chemistry, had the ability to affect games simply for his own selfish ends, i.e. the Record and the Hall of Fame...not to mention millions in contract negotiations.

Tell me how one (Rose's offense) is worse than the other's (McGwire's offense) and then explain to me why Pete Rose is persona non grata and McGwire gets the chance to "rehabilitate his image"? Is it because Rose stonewalled for many years? Well, didn't McGwire do the same thing, and even do it in front of Congress, under oath? Is it because Rose's actions struck at the very integrity of the game? I can't think of anything that undermines the integrity of the game more than a player who has knowingly taken drugs deliberately designed to increase his strength. If Mark McGwire were a racehorse, somebody would be going to jail. We cared about doped up racehorses then, but not human beings...

Mark McGwire is a liar and a cheater. He has cheated baseball. He has cheated the fans who paid good money for tickets in the mistaken belief that the competition was on the up and up. He has desecrated another man's (Roger Maris') accomplishment. I not only hope McGwire fails in his new capacity as hitting coach (and seriously, what sort of hitting coach can you be when your experience is limited to "shoot up, bulk up and swing hard"?), and I hope the only way he ever sees Cooperstown is from the Interstate.

Mark McGwire is one of the reasons why I no longer watch baseball, and haven't for years. The other reason is the sanctimonious "owners" who knew full-well that the sport was being cheated by McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens and others, and who then acted shocked...shocked...that the sport was crooked. They made billions --- and then had the nerve to tut-tut and click their tongues when the public outrage became widespread. What a bunch of phonies! A pox upon both their houses.

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