Big Mac to go, please
Gee, Mark McGwire did steroids? Really?!
The only thing surprising about the whole cluster-fiick of a confession was the fact that he actually did it. After his Congressional embarrassment, I was sure that he’d be one of the last guys to admit his guilt (Bonds/Clemens will be the very last). Here are the NON-surprising aspects of the media-suckfest:
- He claimed he did it to recover from injuries (AKA, the Pettitte defense). This is so his equally pathetic toadies can point to the confession and say, "SEE? He was thinking about his team!" It’s amazing how quickly the toadies and ex-teammates lined up to take this perspective.
- He cried, ostensibly from the burden of the suppressing his emotions from the shame for so long. What about the burden of, oh, I don’t know…. LYING to your family and fans for fifteen years?!?! And maybe he cried because steroids suppress your testosterone production… did you ever think of that?
- He also claimed in the Costas interview, which instantly became the Frost/Nixon interview of baseball, that he would have hit just as many home runs without steroids, that it was his own "God-given skill". Uh-huh, that’s why you kept doing it for your entire career.
- Tony LaRussa leapt to his defense. Listen, if there’s one single person to blame for the entire steroid era, it’s LaRussa, who presided over Ground Zero for the steroid boom in MLB, and did nothing about it. So it’s totally unsurprising that LaRussa would spout idiocies like "I’m prouder of him now" after his new batting coach admitted to committing a felony. Well done, Tony. You’ve affirmed my long-held belief that you’re a complete douchebag.
- The timing. Let’s examine that a little more:
o He just got 25% of the Hall of Fame vote, meaning that his standing among HOF voters wasn’t improving. He clearly needed to do something different to get in. How about confessing? Hey, denying doesn’t seem to be working…
o He had just accepted a job as hitting coach for the Cards, and was no doubt in for more questions and more media scrutiny than any other hitting coach in history. Might as well try to head this thing off at the pass.
o It’s NFL playoff time. Most of the country isn’t talking about baseball, they’re more concerned with their Super Bowl pool. Let’s try to slip this through in the middle of the playoffs to shorten the shelf life.
o It’s also entirely possible that MLB demanded this mea culpa as a term of employment. Since McGwire’s endorsement deals are roughly comparable to mine, he might actually need the job, hence his newfound conscience, which was heretofore silent.
I’m still waiting for a ballplayer to come out and say, "Yeah, I did steroids. So what? You didn’t seem to give a shit when I hit 50 bombs and you showered me with awards. I was paid to hit the long ball, so I did my job." Instead, we get sniveling, pussified "confessions" about the pressures of performing. McGwire whined "I wish I didn’t play during the steroid era", like the era existed before he and Sosa decided to play Dr. Frankenstein with their bodies… like it was "the times", and not his own desires to keep up with his fellow Bash Brother (who incidentally comes off as the Oracle of Delphi).
Costas actually pressed him on some points, which surprised me. I thought that he would play the Oprah role of friendly shoulder-to-cry-on, but he took the baseball purist role, frequent jabbing at McGwire’s self-serving, rambling PR stunt. This type of self-indulgent pity party has become far too prevalent in America today. It started with the frequently mocked Jimmy Swaggart tearful confession… it became a staple of Diane Sawyer softball interviews with disgraced celebrities… and it’s led us to Big Mac’s wimpy, cathartic blubbering.
I’m sick of it. But I watched every minute of it.