January 11, 2010

I know this story isn't political, but it does have ramification on a media level. And when the sports media tries to whitewash an event it only hurts the public at large. And we cover media extensively on C&L.

Mark McGwire finally admitted to what most baseball fans already knew: He used steroids throughout his career and during the magnificent 1998 HR chase to break Roger Maris' single-season record of sixty-one home runs.

Mark McGwire finally came clean, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998.

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade.

"It's very emotional, it's telling family members, friends and coaches, you know, it's former teammates to try to get a hold of, you know, that I'm coming clean and being honest," he said during a 20-minute telephone interview, his voice repeatedly cracking. "It's the first time they've ever heard me, you know, talk about this. I hid it from everybody."

"I'm sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids," McGwire said. "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."

He wants a new job in Baseball so he finally tells the truth with a well oiled PR staff behind him. ESPN came on in the afternoon and did a 30 minute infomercial in support of McGwire which was sickening. They didn't have on anybody who thought Mark was a cheater. And after I watched some of his interview with Bob Costas on the MLB Network I almost threw up and felt compelled to write this post. He has the nerve to say steroids didn't help him hit HR's and he uses his earlier background as proof of that to Costas.

Listen Mark, there were plenty of high school and college level superstars that never panned out in the majors. Steve Balboni was a marvel in AAA but couldn't make it in the bigs. How many players didn't have a career in the Majors because they didn't juice up? According to him 'roids didn't help him at all. Costas pressed him on it, but he would not budge. As I said, it was a disgraceful performance. The Cardinals have to be behind this 100%.

This is a complete sham and his half hearted apology is ridiculous. How do you think the Maris family feels now after being party to the scam back in 1998 when he hit home run number 62 and they stood there watching him? ESPN's Baseball Tonight acted like part of the PR campaign designed by the Cardinals to ease him back into the spotlight. And McGwire is only being hired to be the damn hitting coach.

Here's the type of articles that was written when the magnificent 1998 HR chase to break Roger Maris' single-season record of sixty-one home runs happened.

Mark McGwire completed an amazing and wonderful journey into baseball history tonight, finishing a mission that has captivated a nation, revived a sport and constructed a legend. With one more mighty swing, he became the first man in history to hit 62 home runs in a season, surpassing the previous – and once seemingly untouchable – record of 61 by Roger Maris in 1961.

"Absolutely incredible," an emotional McGwire said later. "What can I say? I'm almost speechless. It's been awesome. The last week and a half my stomach has been turning and my heart beating a million miles a minute. What a feat." Play was stopped for 11 minutes as McGwire and 49,987 fans at Busch Stadium soaked up the moment. After McGwire's St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Cubs, 6-3, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig conducted an on-field ceremony.

The media drooled all over him. I watched that chase at the time between McGwire and Sosa and the fans were really into it. Baseball had recently come off the strike year in 1994 and they needed a shot in the arm. Maybe it was a shot in the ass, as it turns out.

In a room filled with humbled heroes, Mark McGwire hemmed and hawed the most.

His voice choked with emotion, his eyes nearly filled with tears, time after time he refused to answer the question everyone wanted to know: Did he take illegal steroids when he hit a then-record 70 home runs in 1998 — or at any other time? Asked by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., whether he was asserting his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, McGwire said: "I'm not here to talk about the past. I'm here to be positive about this subject."

Asked whether use of steroids was cheating, McGuire said: "That's not for me to determine." To a couple of other questions, all he would say is: "I'm retired."

It's disgusting watching the baseball pundits try to justify his actions. ESPN sends on Bobby Knight in the middle of BT after their stable of analysts all stay on the same " I'm so happy for him" script. It's finally over for him. Bobby Knight, a friend of McGwire's called Mark a first ballot HOFer who only got some bad legal advice. I was expecting McGwire's family to go on next.

I'm writing about this because it looks to me like the media is part of the McGwire Resurrection Project. It's interesting the the Giants aren't trying to do the same for Barry Bonds. This is a well orchestrated event by the Cardinals and some of the sports media seems to be a willing participant. Tony Clark is a new member of the Baseball Tonight team, and he looked like he was reading a script from the teleprompter as he whispered sweet nothings into the ear of McGwire.

Nice try, Tony LaRussa. Nice try, ESPN. Nice try, Cardinals.

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