In a statement to the Associated Press, McGwire admitted that he used steroids, HGH, Darvon, Vagisil, Ben Gay and in a pinch he’d rub a little jalapeno in his nose to get that running.
Over the next few days you’ll hear talk show hosts and baseball “experts” say, over and over again, that America is a forgiving nation and that they’re “ready to forgive Mark McGwire.” America’s also a nation with the attention span of a gnat, and chances are, that they mostly just won’t give a shit.
The really unsurprising things that came out of this aren’t McGwire finally coping to what we already knew, but that he couldn’t really admit it without a lot of qualifiers. His statement has the futile stench of him trying to say “I only did it to recover from injuries and it didn’t really help me, and it might have hurt me.”
Here’s a little secret. Athletes use steroids because they work.
Shocking, I know.
More unsurprising horseshit: LaRussa claimed he didn’t know McGwire ever used. Anybody with a modicum of common sense knows that no teams have ever been more loaded up on steroids than the Oakland A’s of the 80s and the St. Louis Cardinals of the 90s and 00s. The Genius can play dumb as much as he wants, but only the red-clad sycophants in Missourah are even pretending to believe him these days.
Here’s McGwire’s statement.
“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.
Yes, he was unable to do it five years ago, because he’d done steroids within the previous five years and he didn’t want to admit to it and end up going to jail. He also could have spouted out a list of his teammates who he knew were users, and was worried that if he took any questions on it that he’d have to lie to protect them, and he didn’t want to end up going to jail for that, either.
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 used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 off season 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.
Why is the ’89-’90 offseason important? Because ’89 was his third full season in the majors and his numbers were sliding in the wrong direction. After hitting 49 homers as a rookie in ’87, he only had 50 extra base hits in ’89, and batted a robust .231. His numbers did rebound (at least his homers, RBI, slugging and on base) in ’90, but by ’91 he was having to sit out games late in the season to avoid hitting under .200. He finished at .201.
He says he used them “on occasion” throughout the 1990s and says he did in the 1998 offseason, apparently trying to make us think that he didn’t use them the offseason before he hit 70 homers. Sure he didn’t.
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.
That’s not what he wishes. What he wishes is that we never figured out that guys like him were doing steroids. If he hadn’t started using them, he was destined for a Rob Deer like career, bouncing from team to team hitting homers and not much else. If he wishes he had never played during the steroid era it’s likely because he wishes he’d played back when everybody had cool handlebar mustaches, or he wishes he played before steroids because he looks back fondly on the days when his testicles still worked.
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.
Here’s where the bullshit really starts. He’s clearly trying to give the impression that steroids ruined his career and caused him to suffer all of these injuries. He wants to claim that the only reason he even started using them is because they’d help him heal faster. You know, kind of like how a current Cardinals player who I won’t name here (but his initials are Albert Pujols) managed to turn a 12 week calf injury into two and a half weeks on the DL two years ago. It’s almost like somebody in that organization has found something that can speed up the healing process? I wonder what that could be?
But which is it, Mark? Did you use the steroids before you got hurt and that’s why you got hurt, or after you got hurt?
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.
I don’t think anybody with a brain wonders if you could have hit all those home runs if you’d never taken steroids. You couldn’t have. You wouldn’t have played long enough to do it.
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.
It’s been cleaned up, my Aunt Fanny. Nobody really believes that. There is no test for HGH and its use is rampant. You know why people use HGH Mark? Because it works.
I’m grateful to the Cardinals for bringing me back to baseball. I want to say thank you to Cardinals owner Mr. DeWitt, to my GM, John Mozeliak, and to my manager, Tony La Russa. I can’t wait to put the uniform on again and to be back on the field in front of the great fans in Saint Louis. I’ve always appreciated their support and I intend to earn it again, this time as hitting coach. I’m going to pour myself into this job and do everything I can to help the Cardinals hitters become the best players for years to come.
Blah, blah, blah. We all can’t wait for you to get introduced on opening day down there in Dogpatch, so that the fans can give you a standing ovation and you can cry, and it’ll just be so neat. It’ll make all those times you had your brother, or Jose Canseco, or who knows, maybe The Genius himself, shove a needle up your ass worth it again. But we all now realize that the only reason you chated was because you loved the game and owed it to the fans to get back from your “injuries” as quickly as possible. Fuck the Hall of Fame, let’s just have you Canonized! Holy crap, you are awesome. What a guy you are! And your courageous decision to admit what you did in only your ninth season of retirement, is an inspiration to all!
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’m sure what you are really sorry about is that you were able to cash in your chemically altered ability to hit a baseball 600 feet to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. It’s a shame that’s all you got. You are really quite a guy.