Mark McGwire finally admitted today that he used steroids heavily throughout the 1990′s including his record-breaking year of 1998. McGwire had previously denied allegations and dodged direct questions about steroids. He refused to discuss the issue when called before Congress and has not spoken publicly about the topic since the hearings.
Today’s admission has much more to do with his lackluster showing in the recent Hall of Fame balloting than it does with his being forthright or honest with the fans.
McGwire certainly had the numbers to at least be considered for the Hall of Fame, but his shameful actions and even more shameful denials have kept him out of the Hall and has caused a backlash among voters.
McGwire is only one in a long line of Baseball starts who have either admitted to, been accused or are under heavy speculation about steroid use. The list includes: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Raphael Palmiero, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.
What’s most troubling about the whole sordid story is how it effects the Hall of Fame. As Simon turns 6 he’s starting to gain a good understanding of baseball and is starting to follow certain players. I hope to take him to the Hall of Fame one day and see some of the stars of the past. The sad part is that on our next trip to Cooperstown The All-Time HomeRun leader, Single Season HomeRun leader and All-Time Hits leader will not be represented due to their transgressions. The record books are now littered with individuals who cheated the game in one aspect or another which has forced their preclusion from Baseball’s most prestigious honor. As usual, it’s the fans who really lose out, but isn’t that always the case.
It’s because we care more than they do.