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Tuesday January 12, 2010 10:00 pm

McGwire finally comes clean

Mark McGwireIt appears that Major League Baseball’s “Steroid Era” isn’t quite over yet. Mark McGwire finally admitted to the public what we already knew – that he was on steroids for a significant portion of his career; including when he broke the Home Run Record in 1998. However, he did say that he only took steroids in low doses to help him recover from injuries in the mid-90s and not to improve his on-field performance. However, that doesn’t explain why he still thinks his career statistics and records should remain untarnished.

Everything smells fishy about this admission. Coming a week after McGwire’s standing among Hall of Fame voters didn’t improve, he’s finally doing what has been suggested he do years ago, perhaps to see if he can finally earn the sympathy votes next year. Perhaps he will, but some voters might still be upset at just how long it took McGwire to admit to using. In his defense, however, the use of performance-enhancing drugs was not illegal in the era in which he played, but he shouldn’t expect that to change the minds of fans today who believe that if he is admitted to the Hall, he should carry an asterisk with him.

McGwire will rejoin the baseball community at Spring Training when he officially begins his tenure as hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. As part of the conspiracy theory, McGwire may have been forced to talk to the media now in order to minimize the impact of his return on the club come March. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has said that he is “pleased” that McGwire has admitted his error, which could lead to a parade of former players admitting their usage to the public, but is this something that people really care about anymore?

Why is it that it seems most athletes only come clean (so to speak) when it benefits them? Allegedly, McGwire’s lawyers recommended he tell the truth five years ago during his congressional hearings, but he refused, saying that he wasn’t ready. Now that he’s back in baseball, it’s every bit as likely that the Cardinals organization told him to come clean as if he was finally “ready” to. Either way, Big Mac is back. Oh, and expect Tiger’s admission speech in 2016.

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