Mark McGwire said yesterday he has "moved on" from his use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) and is refusing to talk about the issue any more. Unfortunately, in his typical arrogance, McGwire has once again decided to put himself ahead of the Game, disregarding the fact that although he has "moved on" (and I believe he moved on a long time ago, even before he embarrassed himself and baseball in front of Congress) the game cannot, partially because of the dark stain he helped put on it.
Remember the feel-good season of 1998? Baseball was back. The strike of 1994, which forced the cancellation of the World Series, was being filed away as a brief but dark chapter, hopefully never to be relived again. In 1998, McGwire and Sosa were chasing history. Two heroes who were both different in style, but both seemed to be clean-cut guys who were shaping the future of baseball while properly paying homage to its past.
Little did we all know they were, along with many of the other stars of the time, first class frauds. An entire era of baseball is clouded in suspicion thanks to McGwire, Sosa, Canseco, Bonds and Clemens, just to name a few.
Now, more than a decade later, after a self-imposed exile, Mark McGwire doesn't want to talk about any of it.
"That's a chapter of my life that I've moved on from," he said yesterday before the Cardinals played the Mets. "I've already answered all those questions."
I'm sure it's not a fun subject for him. I'm sure it brings up painful memories and perhaps some embarrassment (if McGwire were capable of feeling that emotion, which his conduct since he was revealed to be a cheater clearly shows he is not). Well, too bad . He cheated. He lied. Then he made the decision to step back into the public spotlight and take a high profile job with the Cardinals and he expects no one to ask about the issue, which is still very relevant? McGwire shouldn't get that luxury.
The truth is, he never really did "answer all those questions" and he has never admitted that steroids and HGH use helped him in any way to improve his performance on the field.
"I did this for health purposes. There's no way I did this for any type of strength use." he said. While it's true that steroids and HGH will not help someone without the eye-hand coordination required to hit a Major League pitch, they will undeniably improve the strength of a Major League hitter, which will turn a warning-track fly ball into a home run. McGwire clings to every bit of deniability he can, which shows neither remorse nor regret. It shows arrogance.
Like a child, he feels that because he issued some halfhearted "apology" that all should be forgotten. Well, that's simply not the way the real world works. Maybe in the fantasy world he lives in, he can still be 'Big Mac' but to those of us who choose not to give him a pass, he's just a guy who cheated us and the game we love.