Well I guess that will end any talk about McGwire pinch-hitting this season…
As reported by the AP. Here’s the story on Yahoo.
Most observers suspected as much, so this news will be received with a shrug and ‘of course he did’. Unfortunately for me, I’m one of the few who defended him. I’m one of the few that maintained there was no concrete proof.
But I was never so naive to not realize it was a distinct possibility he abused steroids, even as I hoped it didn’t happen, and even as I wrote passionately here defending his reputation.
McGwire knew he would have to face this question as soon as he stepped back into the Cardinal dugout, and forever if he steadfastedly refused to discuss it or even acknowledge it. Deep down, he must have been ready to publicly discuss it, put all the questions to rest, and move on, otherwise he would never have agreed to take the Hitting Coach job in the first place. I’m sure he feels a tremendous weight has been lifted off his shoulders. Since, as I mentioned at the beginning, most thought him guilty, this announcement today won’t do any more damage to his reputation; in fact, it may help it finally start to rehabilitate.
I don’t get the MLB network at my house, as I am probably one of about 15 people who don’t have digital cable (or a HDTV, I’m such a caveman), but I would really like to see the interview he gives to Bob Costas tonight, to hear what he has to say about his career.
I wonder about three other aspects of this admission:
- How many votes will he get for the HOF next year based on this announcement today? Will his total go up or down?
- What will this do to Tony LaRussa’s reputation? He presided over an A’s clubhouse where AT LEAST two high-profile stars used steroids, and claimed he didn’t know anything about it. Riiiight.
- Since Albert Pujols has played for LaRussa his entire career, and LaRussa tacitly allowed steroid use in his clubhouse, what damage (if any) will this do to Pujols’ reputation?
At least, starting today, we can move on from the incessant question on whether or not McGwire used. For the upcoming season, we can finally focus on how good a hitting coach he is, and whether or not he helps the team.
I have one request for you now, though, Mark. Make good on the pledge you made in front of Congress. Start talking to children about the dangers of steroid use.