Mark McGwire is probably my all-time favorite baseball player. The 1998 Roger Maris home run chase was an emphatic point in my life. I was young(er), and it was the rudiment of my baseball fanhood. McGwire wielded strong arms and hit balls out of every park with sheer power. I loved every minute of that season, watching McGwire hit homer after homer, going toe to toe with Sammy Sosa.
Then a few years later it was pretty obvious that he had cheated after various substances were found in his locker room.
A couple of weeks ago he dropped the bomb. He admitted he used steroids. Done.
The 1998 season was twelve years ago. Ever since then I’ve become accustomed to seeing players admit their use of steroids and move on. I’ve become used to McGwire likely taking them. And then he admitted it.
I was never shocked by McGwire’s admission as many people were. After everything that has happened over the past twelve years, I expected him to admit it sooner or later, or for the truth to eventually be elucidated. Finally, it was, and I figured he would apologize, say that it was stupid, say he wanted to be the best so he took them to be the best, and all that jazz, but he only hit two of three there.
McGwire said he used roids to recover from injuries and nothing more. The man was already a spectacle in 1988, but he did grow significantly. After already having an impressive career, his numbers really didn’t dwindle after the years in ’93 and ’94 when he was hurt and unproductive.
I’m tired of writing a load of facts that everybody already knows, but I must say one thing: McGwire’s alibi sucks! He may have used them to heal, but he also used them to keep his muscle in tact and his strength ready to aid him in hitting home runs.
Those who defend the players who have used roids, you are right when you say that roids won’t help you hit a baseball, but if you are already in the MLB, I would suspect that would be no problem, so when you use roids you are only adding to your skill like it’s a video game and you are editing the player ratings.
I’m not a huge baseball fan these days, although I love the St. Louis Cardinals, but I keep up with it enough to still know the game’s ins and outs, the teams, managers, players, and all that good stuff. As a fan I listen year after year to reports on some heralded player admitting their use of steroids, and I never shake my head. Why? Because I’m never surprised. It’s becoming a sport where juice will be the name of the game. Not peanuts and cracker jacks.
It’s baseball, and it hasn’t been completely clean since probably the 1950s.