John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse has an update on the reception Mark McGwire is getting from his MLB peers.
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?
I get that Macha works in the same business as McGwire, so that may color his opinion of the formerly steroid-addled slugger, but to put McGwire and Woods in the same category is not only a stretch, it’s dead wrong.
McGwire betrayed the integrity of baseball. Woods betrayed his wife.
McGwire deceived and cheated his co-workers and the fans of his sport. Woods deceived and cheated on his wife.
When golfers welcomed Woods back to his sport, they were greeting a man who did nothing to injure their actual game. Including the integrity of play and all its records.
When baseball players welcomed McGwire back to his sport, they were greeting a man who injured their actual game. Including the integrity of play and all its records.
McGwire’s cheating damaged the performances of his peers. Woods’ cheating damaged the performance of his bank account.
It’s amazing that a guy like Ken Macha, who is renowned for studying the game to get an edge on an opponent, would be so blind to the incredible damage McGwire did to a sport that - more than any other - relies on the integrity of its records.
Wonder if Barry Bonds would get the same consideration?