After years of silence on the worst kept secret in baseball, Mark McGwire has finally made public the knowledge of his years of abuse to steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.
McGwire is not the first, nor will he be the last to make this admission. He should not, nor should past or future admissions by any players, be applauded for their willingness to finally step forward. Cheaters should not be commended for finally admitting to their mistakes, but they should be condemned for cheating the game and fans.
Some will say that everyone in the game and fans watching were at fault for not speaking up at the time. The home run did, in fact, save the game and see the return of fans in exponential numbers after the player's strike of 1994.
Regardless of an individual's feelings on the "Steroids era" and the players involved, one thing is true: The biggest loser in the entire ordeal is history, most notably Roger Maris and Hank Aaron.
While Barry Bonds will likely never admit to doing anything illegal, it is becoming more apparent as time passes that Bonds was as involved with PED's as much as any player of that time. Steroids and other PED's may not have been illegal in the game at the time, but steroids were illegal in society.
In his interview McGwire said he spoke with Maris' widow and spoke of how sorry he was for what he had done. Roger Maris was once punished by an asterisk, but it is now time for Major League Baseball to reinstitute the asterisk so that Maris and Aaron are given their proper place in history.
An asterisk was placed next to Maris' name in the record books after he broke Babe Ruth's record in 1961. Maris received hate mail and death threats throughout the year as it became increasingly likely that he would break Ruth's record.
McGwire, along with Sammy Sosa, was embraced by the entire nation for saving baseball as they chased down Maris 37 years later. Not once in his career was Maris ever suspected of using any sort of performance enhancing drugs, yet McGwire was questioned during the 1998 season for his open use of androstenedione, and now the suspicion of his use of steroids has now been proven to be fact.
Maris admitted after his playing career just how stressful the 1961 season was for him. Many friends and families felt that after his death in 1985, that his life may have been cut short in some way due to the stress he endured in that time.
It was easy to see in his interview yesterday that McGwire has endured pain and suffering over the past several years due to keeping the secret of his drug use. There is no way to tell at this time if his steroid use will ultimately cut his life short, but it is a possibility.
The memory of the 1998 season will never be forgotten. It was a time when millions of fans flocked back to a game they had once shun. Everyone feels betrayed now that they realized what they saw was a fraud.
In the eyes of many fans, Bud Selig is as much at fault for the steroids era as anyone else for either turning a blind eye or being ignorant to what was happening around him. Selig now has the power to rewrite history and right the biggest wrong in the history of the game.
Selig needs to place an asterisk next to those names in the record book that played during the era. It won't erase the memories, but it can reveal the story behind the numbers so that in the future Roger Maris gets his proper place as the single season home run king.
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