The Mark McGwire Soap Opera Continues


On this week’s episode:

-Guest star steroid dealer Curt Wenzlaff disputes McGwire’s claims that he took the steroids for health/injury purposes. He may not be the cleanest source, as he’s been convicted for his steroid business, but McGwire is not exactly a saint. Wenzlaff said he was a supplier for McGwire during the late ’80s, and that his usage was very heavy. To illustrate his point, he painted this picture: “Let me put it to you this way. If Paris Hilton was to take that array, she could run over Dick Butkus.” The bottom line is that McGwire continues to look bad in this situation and it hasn’t been a month yet. Sadly, his attempt to apologize and move on is failing and the storm is far from over. The media, fans, and players must keep the heat turned on high to make sure McGwire and the rest of the steroid crew get the message. The problem is, all that muscle and ego is hard to get through. I guess we’re just going to have to get louder and more persistent because Bud is not getting it done. Thankfully, the opinions keep coming and they remain strong and angry. A few for tonight:

-HBO’s Bryant Gumbel got real on his show, “Real Sports,” sending out a message for the entire steroid era. After cheating for a decade or more and ruining the game, do not insult the game and the fans more by trying to cheat through the apology. I thought you were supposed to learn from your mistakes? Cheating is cheating and that’s what McGwire is doing, again. Gumbel lit him up during the show:

"“Finally tonight, an open letter to baseball’s usual suspects. Dear Barry (Bonds), Roger (Clemens), Sammy (Sosa) and Rafael (Palmeiro), I’m writing in hopes you saw Mark McGwire’s phony non-apology last week and learned from it. I’m assuming that you, like most people not named Tony La Russa, got a good laugh out of Mark’s crocodile tears and his self-serving claims about truth, guilt and the pharmaceutical way.”“So on behalf of all fans, do us a favor. If and when you’re ready to come clean, don’t insult us with talk of how much of what you did was God-given and how much was chemically induced. Let us figure that out, OK? And don’t play us for idiots. Spare us the lies about talking ‘roids for health reasons. We’re all grown-ups. You took stuff for the same reason most of us break or bend rules. You thought you could get away with it. And you did.”“You did because commissioner Bud Selig, being Bud, was, of course, asleep at the switch when you suddenly grew Shrek-like necks and bloated biceps.”“In closing guys, please feel free to share this letter with (Jeff) Bagwell, Nomar (Garciaparra), Pudge (Ivan Rodriguez) and all those others who went from hitting homers to power outages overnight. Tell ’em fans are ready to accept what happened. Tell ’em we’re ready to move on. Tell ’em that most of us get it — even if they, like you, still don’t.”"

Well said, Mr. Gumbel. These cowards shouldn’t be left off the hook because they shed a few tears and said they were sorry. The fact that McGwire will be sitting in a baseball clubhouse this season is a disgrace to the game. We can’t erase him from our memories as a player, but we could put an end to the memories with a ban for all admitted and convicted steroid users.

Either that or Fergie Jenkins’ idea. Jenkins is disgusted by the entire situation and how it affected the game so much, even costing some pitchers their jobs. His idea? How about a return to the old days — when disrespect came at a price. Steroids certainly fall into the category of disrespect. The price to pay, Mr. Jenkins?

"“It’s tough to hit a home run off your back,” Jenkins said. “In my era, Seaver, Gibson, Drysdale, Carlton, there were so many guys that would have probably knocked him on his butt. He wouldn’t have hit home runs the way he did in that era.”"

Steroid users be warned, there is a price to pay. A short apology doesn’t cut it.