Big Mac has finally come clean about his steroid use during his great career, saying “I wish I had never touched steroids, it was foolish and it was a mistake.” (SI.com with the quote)
While I am not so sure I believe McGwire that he wishes he had never done steroids, it is a step in the right direction that he admits to using them. The fact is when McGwire was before Congress under subpoena (he first declined when asked to appear), his comments were non-constructive and a step in the wrong direction. The “I’m not here to talk about the past” comments destroyed his pristine reputation and probably cost him a chance at the Hall of Fame.
The fact is McGwire will never regain what he could have had if he had come clean years earlier. People might have understood if McGwire just emphasized that he did not use them much in the early part of his career plus that they were legal at the time. At least that would have been better than what he did.
But it was important that he come clean. This takes pressure off himself and the Cardinals, especially Tony LaRussa, as McGwire prepares to be a coach for them this coming season. That would have been an obvious story nationally and McGwire takes care of it before spring training begins, plus there is time for the story to fizzle down. Now, McGwire will get to be coaching two of the best hitters in the National League in Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, who are poster boys for batters not using steroids. If he can do well with the team, he will regain some popularity and sympathy.
It is good for Big Mac and baseball that he came clean about using steroids. It just may be too little, too late.
Blog from Dave Vatz