Somebody apparently convinced Mark McGwire that he can't just waltz into training camp next month as the Cardinals new hitting coach and expect that nobody's gonna ask him about steroids.
So Monday afternoon he issued a statement confessing to a decade of steroid use but insisting that the steroids didn't affect his play.
The statement is essentially cattle excrement from the very first sentence:
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.
Nobody, when he told that congressional committee he wasn't there to talk about the past, was stopping him from instead saying: Yeah, I used. It wasn't banned, there were plenty of others using, it was accepted in clubhouse culture. You may not like knowing it, but you sure enjoyed all those home runs, didn't you? You got what you wanted, I got what I wanted.
He didn't say it then. He won't say it now. But it's a lot closer to truth than what he said in the past and what he said today.
Here's some more organic fertilizer:
Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.
If we are to take his current version to be accurate — a big if, considering how long it's taken for him to come off his claims of innocence — he only used to recover from injury. If that's the case, had he NOT played in the steroid era, he wouldn't be significant enough for us to notice today.
I see two ways to view McGwire:
- He tainted the game as badly as has been done since the days of the game fixers in the 1910s — in which case he shouldn't be back in uniform.
- His steroid use was regarded as acceptable at the time and isn't now — in which case he hardly needs a weepy apology.
What we got today is McGwire saying he shouldn't have done what he did but what he did didn't make any difference.
Which makes no sense at all.