A Major League Circus

neil SaftContributor IJanuary 12, 2010

WASHINGTON - MARCH 17:  Former St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire (L) talks with Rafael Palmeiro of the Baltimore Orioles during a House Committe session investigating Major League Baseball's effort to eradicate steroid use on Capital Hill March 17, 2005 in Washington, DC. McGwire and Palmeiro were named in the Mitchell Report that was released December 13, 2007 by a committee looking into use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball and headed by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images



Yesterday, former Oakland A's and St. Louis Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire, "came clean" the way a scolded child does admitting he indeed used steroids during his baseball tenure, including his record breaking season in 1998, where he hit 70 home runs.


The best quote by far to come out of McGwire's admission is the, "I wish I never played during the steroid era," line.

Funny, because during his next full season after injury, which was 1995, McGwire started to crank baseball's, "back, back, back, back, back...gone!" He cranked 39 in '95, 52 in '96, 58 in '97, of course 70 in '98, 65 in '99, 32 in '00 and 29 in '01. Of his career 583 dingers, at least 345 or 59% of his homers were hit while under the influence of steroids.

I wouldn't feel too bad though, I mean Bill Clinton really made being dishonest "in" '98 and he was the President for Pete Rose's sake!!

Really Mark? In what other era would you have played? Remember, this is a guy who is a career .263 hitter over 12 seasons, struck out 1596 times out of 6187 at-bat's; (an average of a strikeout per 2.5 plate appearances), and has had no meaningful defensive position since he won a Gold Glove at first base in 1990. Doesn't really sound like the old school studs from generations of old. McGwire also struck out 33 times in his 129 postseason at-bats.

My point to this is without his drug induced ability to hit the long ball, #25 doesn't seem to have much of a Hall of Fame presence on a baseball diamond. 

If McGwire had indeed played in a non-steroid era, my guess is that he'd be a 6 or 7 hole hitter playing DH in the AL.

Numbers aside, the audacity of this new wave of athlete kills me. It's this sociopaths line of thinking that if you just deny every report and lie to a grand jury, lie to the media, lie to the fans and lie to yourself; once you're actually willing to tell the truth, everything will be okay.

You know what the most f@*!%d up part is? We as fans and the mainstream media allow, accept and support this behavior!!

We as fans forgive and forget, live and let live, no matter how bad, ugly or wrong the athlete is. And this attitude isn't only transcended in sports, in fact; it's caught up to sports! (Insert your favorite bailout story for a former CEO)

If you had any sympathy for Mark McGwire during his interview yesterday, (aside from his immediate family) I'm sorry, but you are a moron!

Mike Greenberg of Mike and Mike in the Morning said it best when discussing the use of steroids in the professional game, saying that it is a disrespect and slap in the face of every fan who watches games on TV, pays money for tickets or supports a franchise in any way.

As a fan, (Greenberg claims), we are expecting a level of authenticity from our athletes. We all as fans of sports knew (at the very latest, during our collegiate years), we would not be able to make our careers on hardwood, an ice rink, a patch of AstroTurf, or a baseball diamond. 

Because of our physical limitations, we count on these men and women to show us how special these feats, (ex: MLB's home-run record) we argue and stress over everyday actually are. 

When a man or women enters a professional sport as a fraud, it should not only offend us as fans, it should piss us off. When a professional athlete enhances an aspect of their game with something illegal, without discussion their accomplishments and awards are to be considered nothing but a sham. 

You mean to tell me those guilty in the Mitchell Report can make it to the Hall of Fame, but men like Pete Rose and now Roberto Alomar can not?

While players like Rose and Alomar needed to exercise more personal discretion, other "athletes", like Rafael Palmerio and now Mark McGwire have devalued, defrauded and brought an amount of shame to professional baseball that has cast such a black eye over the sport, it may never recover. 

If anyone who is found guilty in the Mitchell Report makes it into Cooperstown, Major League Baseball will be nothing more than another WWE, it will be a scripted form of entertainment where a World Series champion is picked out of a hat and nothing more.

That, ladies and gentlemen, brings tears to my eyes much quicker than a man who finally decided he'd tell the nation the truth after five years of dishonesty.

Oh, and last but not least...

I did not have any illegal relations with that syringe!!!