Tiger Welcomed Back, McGwire Deserves Same?!

John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse has an update on the reception Mark McGwire is getting from his MLB peers.

Mark McGwire and Tiger Woods

Justin Morneau, Twins. Jonny Gomes, Reds. Carlos Gomez, Brewers.

On the surface, those three wouldn’t seem to have that much in common other than their membership in the Major League Baseball Players Association.

They have in the last week connected in another way. Each has gone out of his way to approach Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire and welcome him back to baseball.

Hickey gives us no details of those meetings, but he does provide a curious comment from Milwaukee Brewers manager Ken Macha about McGwire’s return to baseball:

“I would hope they would welcome him back. No one can go through live without lots of difficulty. I think what you are seeing is Mac getting votes of support, like a lot of golfers are welcoming back Tiger Woods this week.”

So McGwire getting back into baseball is similar to the return of Tiger Woods to golf? Read more…

McGwire: ESPN Ignores Steroids, Brother’s Claim

In a story dated Feb. 22 and today, the excellent baseball writer Tim Kurkjian did an ESPN video and print piece on Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols. Remarkably, Kurkjian did not ask McGwire or Pujols about steroids or PEDs in print or on video.

Jay McGwire interviewed by Mike Fish on ESPN

Today ESPN.com posted a video and print piece by Mike Fish for Outside the Lines about McGwire’s brother Jay. Jay McGwire, who will release a book on Monday about his brother’s steroid use, states in the print story that Mark misled the public. Jay claimed to ESPN that his brother used the juice to not only heal injuries, but to aid on-field performance.

“[Mark] knows that he [was] getting stronger and bigger, come on,” Jay McGwire said during a series of interviews with ESPN. “He is coming across that it is only for health reasons [that he used the drugs], but he put on 30 pounds of lean muscle mass. That is why a lot of people don’t understand why he is not really coming out clean like that. Why not just admit it all? It is OK, everyone knows how powerful these drugs are.”

Mark has previously claimed he only used steroids to treat injuries as it pertained to getting back on the field.

Mark McGwire Tim Kurkjian Albert Pujols

So in pieces two days apart, ESPN produced a serious allegation from Mark McGwire’s brother about the former Cardinals slugger and an extensive piece on the same former player that included zero inquiries about that allegation or anything involving steroids.

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Gammo: Fans ‘Don’t Care To Know’ About ‘Roids?

Peter Gammons is a treasure. Love watching and listening to him. No one knows or cares more about baseball.

Peter Gammons Interviews Alex Rodriguez

(ARod gave steroid confession to Gammons last February)

But something he wrote today @ MLB.com about the ongoing media and fan treatment of Mark McGwire disturbed me a little.

Clearly the baseball public is different than the public that adores other sports, most of whom don’t care to know (about steroids). The baseball public still hasn’t let go of The Steroid Era, and won’t until it comes to grip with it.

With all due respect, and I mean that sincerely, Gammo went way down the wrong road with that statement.

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McGwire Drug Dealer: Steroids Weren’t For Injuries

ESPN’s T.J. Quinn has comments today from a drug dealer who the FBI has long claimed provided steroids to Mark McGwire.

Curtis Wenzlaff

On Thursday, Curtis Wenzlaff confirmed what had been reported and confirmed by FBI sources and documents nearly five years earlier — that he supplied the drugs to (Jose) Canseco and (Mark) McGwire and he added that the drugs were to help McGwire become a better baseball player, not to recover from an injury.

Wenzlaff, speaking to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, said he feels there is no doubt that the array of drugs he provided McGwire helped him become a more-accomplished home-run hitter. “Will it help you hit a baseball?” Wenzlaff said. “Let me put it to you this way. If Paris Hilton was to take that array, she could run over Dick Butkus.”

In 2005 the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reported Wenzlaff gave McGwire the following: “½ cc of testosterone cypionate every three days; one cc of testosterone enanthate per week; ¾ cc of equipoise and Winstrol V, every three days — all to be injected into the buttocks.

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Juicy: McGwire’s Steroid Dealer To Talk To ESPN

The walls may be closing in on Mark McGwire. Earlier today, the Busch family ripped into the former Cardinals first baseman. Statement from Adolphus A. Busch IV:

Mark McGwire Steroid Dealer To Talk To ESPN

The highly orchestrated apology by and on behalf of Mark McGwire has reached a point that tests one’s tolerance. I suspect I am not alone in my disappointment at McGwire’s recent “clarification” on his use of illegal steroids

Busch goes on to nail McGwire to the floorboards, along with Bud Selig and Donald Fehr. Doesn’t get more compelling than that for St. Louis Cardinals fans.

And that isn’t even the worst news of the day for McGwire.

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Cal Ripken, Jr.: The O.J. Of Steroids Investigators

On May 16 of last year, the PALM BEACH POST reported:

Ripken Brothers Cal and Billy

(Left: Holmes, Right: Watson)

Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. has known New York Yankees All-Star Alex Rodriguez for 16 years, but the two have not spoken since Rodriguez admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers.

But when they do, he has one question.

“I really want to know why,” Ripken told the audience at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s Men’s Night Out banquet Thursday.

 ”I’m going to make it my business to find out.”

Like you, I’m certain we’ll soon know what Ripken found out during his six month investigation. Probably right around the time Furman Bisher breaks the news that Tiger Woods has re-emerged from a sex addiction clinic in southern Mississippi.

In 2007, (gumshoe) Ripken and Mark McGwire were both eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time. Ripken was voted in while McGwire was not only embargoed by the BBWAA that year, but in two subsequent elections.

BBWAA member and Baseball Hall of Fame voter Mel Antonen in a 2007 USA TODAY web chat after voting concluded:

Oyster Bay: How do we know that other Hall of Famers never took steriods? How do we know 100% that Cal and Tony never did it? Please tell us, the American baseball fan how we can trust the media to give us the truth, when this was going on for years? Charlie from Oyster Bay
Mel Antonen: Cal and Tony were never accused of steroids by any legitimate source. There was no drug testing in place when they played.

Elon, NC: Some writers said they won’t vote for anyone in the steroid era. Ripken got 98.5% Can he really be considered from the steroid era? Aren’t his numbers/accomplishments enough from 1981 to 1998?
Mel Antonen: I agree. It doesn’t make sense to link Ripken to any kind of steroids use.

With steroids primarily used by the population to recover from injury, “it doesn’t make sense” that Ripken partook during his run of 2,131 consecutive games played?

On the same day as Antonen’s chat, Jack Curry of the NEW YORK TIMES reported this quote from Baseball Hall of Fame voter Phil Rogers of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE on McGwire:

“I can’t imagine ever voting for him. He’s been linked too directly to steroid use.”

At the time of those quotes, an accusation by Jose Canseco in his first book was the only anecdotal link between McGwire and steroids. There was no direct evidence of any kind.

So the same guy MLB blackballed and BBWAA writers looked down their noses at, Canseco, had enough credility at that time to ruin McGwire’s Hall of Fame chances?

If that’s the case Mr. BBWAA, then what about Canseco’s 2009 clear implication that Ripken did steroids? Where’s the follow on that?

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McGwire Critics: Stop Masturbating To Porn First!

Finally we get some proper context on the Mark McGwire steroids *confession*, from Dutch Daulton (via Landon Evanson at BugsandCranks.com):

I always thought the whole thing was pretty comical. I think it gives a real good pulse of the American people and what we perceive as this big military, industrial, world-wide, number-one country that presented itself in a manner that turned on one of their own and just really collapsed like a house of cards.

Darren Daulton Was Married To Hooter Girl And Playboy Model Lynne Austin

(No argument here, dude was married to porn)

I mean, if I was a foreign country and wanted to take over this country, I’d get a prescription for steroids and stand at the border and wave them, and then watch the American people fold.

I thought it was pretty comical, it seemed like there were 250 million victims out there, so that was the comical part. I think it was all just useless, but it did give us a pretty good read on what our society is like.

Q: Do you have any comments on rumors that former teammates Dykstra and Dave Hollins used them?

No. Heck, no, I could care less, there are a lot more important things in the world, and again, this is useless information. What does it do? What has all of this done? Finding out whether or not a guy does steroids or not, I could never understand this. There are a lot of things that a lot of people do behind closed doors that they probably don’t want the public to know about.

Whether you’re cheating on your wife, your husband, or you’re doing drugs, you don’t want your boss to know about something, you’re hiding something from somebody, or you’re watching porn and you’re masturbating.

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Unfortunate Angle Theater: McGwire Taking BP

Derrick Goold of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reports on video taken by photographer Chris Lee: “of St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire raking taking batting practice on Jan. 14, 2010, at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif.

Mark McGwire Takes Batting Practice As Cardinals Hitting Coach

(Before or after extolling the benefits of oral?)

Goold reports that McGwire was, “working with two Cardinals hitters, Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan.

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McGwire Lying Confession Worse Than His Hiding

SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY has a thorough rundown of reax from the media to Mark McGwire’s steroid admission yesterday. While most opinions of McGwire’s limited contrition skew negative, none I saw called it what it really was if you believe ESPN Investigative Reporter T.J. Quinn and Jose Canseco.

Staffers in ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH Newsroom Watch McGwire Steroids Admission

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch Newsroom Watching McGwire Last Night)

Quinn was the most compelling presence in the media yesterday with his eye-popping portrayal on ESPN-TV of McGwire as a serial hardcore user (horse steroids!) who enthusiastically shared his knowledge with many a major leaguer.In addition to steroids, Quinn said McGwire was perhaps the first MLB player to use HGH, and that he introduced the drug to many other MLB players, while giving them bogus information on the effects of the hormone. Damning, ugly stuff.

Quinn’s specific claims about McGwire were based on over 10 years of reporting on the subject and hundreds of interviews with MLB players, staffers, executives and medical experts in the field of PEDs. Video of his comments after the jump.

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Mark McGwire Admits To Steroids; Cites Injuries

Mark McGwire released a statement to the ASSOCIATED PRESS today admitting that he took steroids when he was playing Major League Baseball.

Mark McGwire Steroid Comparison

Excerpts:

“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.

Read more…