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Tuesday (Mark McGwire) edition: Wha' happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: January 12, 2010 - 9:27 AM

Some thoughts on Mark McGwire to start the day:

*Even if everyone in the world suspected it for a long time and it was essentially a given after the 2005 hearings, the grey area has been removed from the story. That is usually a good and healthy thing.

*That said, McGwire still seems to be delusional about two things: 1) how much steroids helped him. He says he started using between the 1989 and 1990 seasons. He had a 49 HR year in 1987, and two very ordinary years after that before turning to the juice. For him to say he believes "absolutely" he could have hit 70 home runs in a season without steroids is ridiculous. Without steroids (or HGH, which he also admitted to using) to both give him extra strength and help him recover from injuries, he never breaks Roger Maris' record. He maybe doesn't get to 500 career home runs (he finished with 583). And he doesn't have the numbers to be considered for the Hall of Fame.

*2) When he says, "I just wish I was never in that era," referring to the steroids era, it rings hollow. For our money, he defined that era. It's like Paris Hilton saying she wishes she hadn't grown up in an era of vapid, do-nothing celebrities. Without him, there are still steroids to be sure. But what he accomplished while cheating probably paved the way for plenty of others to jump on the juice. Like maybe this guy, even if he's never admitted to knowingly using PEDs.

*Long story short: he gains some measure of respect back for finally admitting to this, even if it was several years later than it really could have been. But that's about all he gets.

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