Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thoughts on McGwire

Yesterday Mark McGwire became Santa Claus. Not really, but in a sense his admission that he used steroids was similar to me finding out that Santa wasn't real. It is something I might have suspected, but until it was confirmed, there was always hope. I guess I always wanted to believe that Mark had a good reason for his, "I'm not here to talk about the past," performance before Congress. But, to be honest with myself, all the evidence was that McGwire was on steroids throughout the 90s when he broke Roger Maris' single season home run record and I knew it. (Just look at some of the videos of a skinny McGwire hit homers as a rookie in '89).
Now, how do I feel about his confession? It amazes me that many of the writers who have been calling for this have been ripping him. I don't know what else they wanted. He really didn't have much to gain by this admission. He has enough money so he doesn't need his coaching job with the Cardinals. I think he came clean because he wanted to get back in the game and he knew that he couldn't do that without facing the music.
Do I believe he came completely clean? Probably not, but maybe in his mind he did. He has probably convinced himself over these years that the steroids only kept him in the game but didn't really "enhance" his performance. I don't know how he can honestly state that he did not feel the steroids helped him hit all of his home runs. Maybe he has convinced himself that it's true.
For the most part, I believe him and I do think it took an amount of courage to come forward. He is getting hammered all over again when he really didn't need to put himself through this. I believe he wants to contribute to the game, he loves the Cardinals and Tony LaRussa. I don't think he did this to persuade Hall of Fame voters. He knows that he is not getting into the Hall of Fame. Several writers who have voted for him, now said they never will because of this. I don't know who is more delusional, Mark or those writers who voted for him before this admission. Maybe they just found out Santa isn't real also.