Mark McGwire finally came clean Monday, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball’s home run record in 1998. Not like this would come as a surprise to most, but today the inevitable came to fruition. Personally, I have always been a big fan of Mark McGwire. In 1998, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire took MLB and carried them on their backs for an entire summer, they made baseball fun again. This was after baseball was looking pretty miserable coming off a shortened season due to a strike and lack of interest from fans. It was the steroid era and these guys had the weight of the sport to carry and needed a little extra muscle to lift the league. I am not saying what they did was right, they cheated and all of these men have had to deal with tremendous pressure, stress, and mental abuse for their transgression. But for the good of the sport, let’s move on already.
Below is Mark McGwire’s official statement:
“Now that I have become the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, I have the chance to do something that I wish I was able to do five years ago.
I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 off season and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the ’90s, including during the 1998 season.
I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.
During the mid-’90s, I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years. I experienced a lot of injuries, including a ribcage strain, a torn left heel muscle, a stress fracture of the left heel, and a torn right heel muscle. It was definitely a miserable bunch of years and I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries, too.
I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids. I had good years when I didn’t take any and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.
Baseball is really different now — it’s been cleaned up. The commissioner and the players’ association implemented testing and they cracked down, and I’m glad they did.
I’m grateful to the Cardinals for bringing me back to baseball. I want to say thank you to Cardinals owner Mr. DeWitt, to my GM, John Mozeliak, and to my manager, Tony La Russa. I can’t wait to put the uniform on again and to be back on the field in front of the great fans in Saint Louis. I’ve always appreciated their support and I intend to earn it again, this time as hitting coach. I’m going to pour myself into this job and do everything I can to help the Cardinals hitters become the best players for years to come.
After all this time, I want to come clean. I was not in a position to do that five years ago in my congressional testimony, but now I feel an obligation to discuss this and to answer questions about it. I’ll do that, and then I just want to help my team.”
Now that Big Mac is back in baseball as the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, and has come clean on his steroid abuse, it is time to put this whole steroid thing to bed. Who cares who did it and who didn’t. Whatever happened in the past happened. It is time for McGwire to be considered for the Hall of Fame, properly. If you are going to tell me that Andre Dawson (recently inducted into the Hall of Fame) was more important to the sport or more valuable to the league then Mark McGwire, you got to be kidding me. Let’s open the doors to these guys and move them in. Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemons, Alex Rodriguez, and Andy Pettite are Hall of Fame Players. And while were at it, why don’t we let good old Pete Rose in before he dies. Give the guy some closure on a baseball career that was one of the best of all time. But that story is for another day.