Sound familiar? Using his famous quote from the past as the foundation for his media game plan to leave his admission in the past, McGwire is going in the wrong direction.
Just when I was ready to move on from the Mark McGwire situation, the Cardinals’ hitting coach continues to pop up in the news. And he continues to get it wrong. At the Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up in St. Louis, McGwire was already ready to move on, saying, “I hope you all can accept this,” McGwire said. “Let’s all move on from this.”
Oh come on Mark, I was just getting excited to talk about the past. If he thinks an hour with Bob Costas, a phone call to Tim Kurkjian, and a few token interviews put this whole steroid thing in the past, McGwire has another thing coming. It’s been nearly a decade since he made his quiet getaway from the public eye and 5 years since the embarrassing congressional hearings—it’s been a long time, and an hour is not enough to erase the wait and the decade that McGwire was using steroids. I mean, they’re kind of a big deal. Steroids now name an entire era in baseball, and a confession draws every major media outlet on the globe. This is no little story that is going to disappear like McGwire and baseball would like.
Yet McGwire practically ran from questions at the Warm-Up. He gave every cliché in the book and expressed a great interest in moving on. It has been like 5 days since he confessed right. That news is ancient. He sent out a message to kids that steroids are bad. Unless you’re an athlete trying to recover from injury, right Mark? He said he was ready to pass on his vast amount of baseball knowledge to the Cardinals players this season. For clarification purposes, are we talking about which new drug or concoction to take or what? Because hitting wise, I see a career .263 hitter (.249 before steroids) that made his name hitting home runs. And we now know that his prowess as a long ball hitter is not so impressive.
If his past is all out there, then why is McGwire still running? If that day last week was the most difficult in his life, wouldn’t life be easier if the whole truth was out? Not for McGwire, who spoke with an arrogant tone (see video) that says, “I’m still better than you, so what, I took steroids.” No one cares if he’s the first or the last guy at the cage. His stint as hitting coach in St. Louis is miniscule in the game’s history, unless another drug era erupts. His time as a player, a career that’s majority was spent with the help of steroids, is huge in the game’s history. He used for the longest and possibly the earliest of any of the convicted cheaters thus far. What he did is important as baseball tries to make sense of the past 20 years.
Instead, McGwire will continue to look out for himself. He even thinks he’s handling this situation with great class and dignity. In response to Jose Canseco’s claims, McGwire said, “I’m not going down that road with Jose, I’ll take the high road with the Jose stuff.” Thanks Mark, it’s nice to see your willing to not say anything to avoid hurting Jose’s feelings.
As soon as McGwire appeared ready to finally talk, he pulled the old “I’m not here to talk about the past” card, again. Maybe he can coin the phrase as his own “Yogism.” But instead of stating the truth, it would be sly way to avoid it.
-Side note: Jack Clark is not going to take back anything he said about McGwire. Clark exploded in the aftermath of McGwire’s confession, calling steroid users, “fakes, phonies, and creeps” and saying they should be banned from the game (I agree Jack). As far as McGwire, he said he wouldn’t even look at him at the Cards Warm-Up this weekend. I like Clark even more for refusing to back down despite pressure from the St. Louis Cardinals organization and Fox Sports, where he works as a broadcaster. At least Clark can speak the truth, why should he hold back. Take notes, Mark.