Mark McGwire released a statement to the ASSOCIATED PRESS today admitting that he took steroids when he was playing Major League Baseball.
“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.”
“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’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.”
“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.”
“I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 offseason 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
The AP reports some additional tidbits.
McGwire said he took steroids to get back on the field, sounding much like the Yankees’ Andy Pettitte two years ago when he admitted using HGH.
The person close to McGwire said McGwire made the decision not to answer questions at that (Congressional) hearing on the advice of his lawyers.
McGwire also used human growth hormone, a person close to McGwire said, speaking on condition of anonymity because McGwire didn’t include that detail in his statement.
The next big step for McGwire will be to take questions on all this from the media. There’s a lot more to this story and we’ll see how forthcoming he’ll be about everything. The media is going to demand that McGwire come clean on the circumstances of his usage. In the statement McGwire uses injuries as cover, like Pettitte. It needs to be known just how many times he took steroids, when he took them and for how long.
If he’s transparent about what happened, he can quiet the inquiries after his first trip around the National League. If he’s opaque, his coaching career with the Cardinals will obviously be less pleasant.
McGwire said in his statement, “I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”
Apparently it’s lost on him that he was the one, along with Sammy Sosa, who created the perception that there ever was one. He makes it sounds like he was a victim of some sort. A victim of circumstance.
With that sneaking into his statement, sounds like he might still have the same lawyers advising him.
UPDATE: McGwire will sit for Bob Costas on MLB Network tonight at 7p ET from a location in California.
Huge coup for MLB net, let’s just hope Costas doesn’t give McGwire a pass as Peter Gammons did with Alex Rodriguez.
UPDATE: Tony LaRussa tells ESPN-TV today that “I’m encouraged he’d step forward (and admit steroids). His explanations will be well-received.”
LaRussa said he didn’t know about McGwire’s admission in advance.
More from LaRussa:
“I didn’t know anything (about McGwire doing steroids with A’s, Cards), except that we ran a legit program and that Mark got all his strength gains from hard work.”
“I think he’ll (now) regain stature with fans and pros (MLB players).”
As stated earlier, I don’t think McGwire will completely regain his reputation (if ever) until more is revealed about his usage profile.