McGwire then went on to admit that he suspects professional wrestling is faked, Britney Spears may be lip-syncing and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter is—gasp —not butter. These and other startling revelations can be read about in McGwire’s new book, No Duh: Things That Are Super Obvious to Everyone Except Mark McGwire.
I think we all had a sneaking suspicion Big Mac was using steroids during his playing days when occasionally McGwire would forget to take his baseball bat up to home plate and just head butt a 450-foot home run.
Back then, McGwire was just as likely to break into a home run trot around the bases as he was to fly into a ’roid rage, climb to the top of the foul pole and start swatting at planes with his giant Bluto arms.
But McGwire has decided that, after years of flat-out denials and refusals to “talk about the past,” that it’s time to finally admit that he cheated, give back the millions of dollars he profited from baseball and ask that all of his statistics be erased from the record books. Oh wait, that’s what a non-delusional egomaniac would do who hasn’t spent more than 20 years lying to stadiums full of adoring fans.
Here’s what McGwire said instead:
“There’s no way a pill or an injection will give you hand-eye coordination or the ability or the great mind that I’ve had as a baseball player,” he told The Associated Press.
“Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era,” he told Bob Costas.
McGwire also said he “absolutely” could have broken the single-season home run record without using steroids, that he can’t remember the names of the drugs he took and that he never, ever took steroids to increase his strength.
Um, Mark then why were you taking steroids? Bikini season?
As far as apologies go, McGwire’s was an infield pop-up. He sounded about as sorry as the Cookie Monster after he’s already emptied the jar of Chips Ahoy!
McGwire saying he wished he hadn’t played during the steroid era is like mugging everyone on your block, stealing their wallets and then complaining that you live in a crime-ridden neighborhood.
And I don’t buy that McGwire can’t remember any of the names of the drugs he took. Don’t kid yourself. McGwire’s an athlete with a self-reputed “great mind,” which means he probably glanced at a label or two while he was injecting steroids into his body for more than a decade.
This is the first time McGwire has ever talked about his steroid use—more than 8 years after his retirement as a player. And the only reason he’s confessing now is because—surprise, surprise—he wants something. In McGwire’s case, it’s a part-time job as a hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and let’s hope his advice to young ballplayers goes deeper than, “Take steroids.”
So McGwire wants back into baseball? Fine. But that doesn’t excuse that he’s faker than a Folex watch, and one of the athletes responsible for the most shameful era in American sports (not counting when NBA players used to wear those really short shorts).
McGwire let down an entire country. He stole a 37-year-old homerun record from a man of integrity who respected baseball and sportsmanship. And the worst part is even now McGwire doesn’t seem to completely grasp how steroids tainted everything he and every other player of his generation were a part of, like peeing in a public pool.
Steroids made Mark McGwire stronger. Period. Steroids made it possible for Mark McGwire to react quicker and to swing a baseball bat faster and harder than players who were not taking steroids. It’s the reason some track athletes and weight lifters take steroids, too: To become stronger and faster. And for McGwire to argue that steroids didn’t give him a physical advantage is laughable.
(It also makes me wonder if steroids didn’t cause a little bit of shrinkage in Big Mac’s brain, too.)
Contact Jeff Girod at email@example.com.