Mr. Bonds and Mr. Clemens, the floor is now yours
Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids on Monday. In other news, the Pope admitted to being Catholic.
I doubt anyone was really shocked to hear McGwire's big revelation. Most people assumed he used, as his not wanting to talk about the past before Congress in 2005 spoke volumes. He had long been convicted in the most important court of them all - the court of public opinion.
"I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come," McGwire said in a statement. "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 offseason and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the nineties, including during the 1998 season."
With McGwire now coming clean, maybe Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will follow suit and finally give everyone some closure to this whole steroid era. Does anyone really care if Sammy Sosa admits to using steroids? No, at this point all we want to hear from is the big three.
So why is now the right time for McGwire? Does he think that enough time has passed and the game is so stained with the steroid stink at this point that this will essentially just blow over? That could be. Let's face it. This is a big story today, but it would have been a monster five or six years ago.
Maybe this was part of the deal when the St. Louis Cardinals asked him to be their hitting coach. Or perhaps he thinks this will help his Hall of Fame candidacy.
"I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come," Mark McGwire said in a statement.
Let's remember, though, everyone said all Pete Rose had to do was admit to gambling on baseball and he would be forgiven. Rose, though, never did until it was too late and you know what? People resented him even more once they heard him actually admit it. (The fact that he used the admission as a pretext to promoting a book didn't help.)
I am not sure such resentment will occur with McGwire. People love him. They want to forgive him. He was a modern-day Babe Ruth. I think we have all realized by now that the whole era was tainted. He definitely wasn't the only one using.
Honestly though, I have no problem with McGwire not getting elected into Cooperstown, but I think he is a close call regardless of the steroid issue. McGwire was a one-trick pony. All he did was hit home runs. Sure he did it better than anyone else, but Dave Kingman hit a lot of home runs too. Inject him with the amount of steroids McGwire took and he too would have been closing in on 600 homers.
Is Kingman a Hall of Famer? No chance.
The way I see it, all these steroid players or suspected steroid users will get in one day. Bonds will be the first, then the dominoes will fall from there... Clemens, McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sosa and whomever else might be on that list.
This was the right thing for McGwire to do. Yes he should have done it a long time ago, but he has set the record straight. Spring Training would have been a zoo for him had he not admitted to this. Now he will have his press conference like Alex Rodriguez did last year, and that will be the end of it.
I have said it before: the fact that a name like this comes out every so often kills the game more than the fact that the steroids were even used. There have always been three primary faces to this whole steroid era. One admitted to using. Let's get the other two to follow and put this whole thing to bed.