For years, many speculated that former St. Louis Cardinals’ slugger Mark McGwire used steriods. Well today, all that speculation came to an end.
In an interview with the Associated Press, McGwire admitted to what most people already knew–he used steriods. In the interview he claimed to have used steriods on and off for about a decade.
Here is the full statement from McGwire:
“Now that I have become the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, I have the chance to do something that I wish I was able to do five years ago.
I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. 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 off season and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the ’90s, including during the 1998 season.
I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.
During the mid-’90s, I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years. I experienced a lot of injuries, including a ribcage strain, a torn left heel muscle, a stress fracture of the left heel, and a torn right heel muscle. It was definitely a miserable bunch of years and I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries, too.
I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids. I had good years when I didn’t take any and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.
Baseball is really different now — it’s been cleaned up. The commissioner and the players’ association implemented testing and they cracked down, and I’m glad they did.
I’m grateful to the Cardinals for bringing me back to baseball. I want to say thank you to Cardinals owner Mr. DeWitt, to my GM, John Mozeliak, and to my manager, Tony La Russa. I can’t wait to put the uniform on again and to be back on the field in front of the great fans in Saint Louis. I’ve always appreciated their support and I intend to earn it again, this time as hitting coach. I’m going to pour myself into this job and do everything I can to help the Cardinals hitters become the best players for years to come.
After all this time, I want to come clean. I was not in a position to do that five years ago in my congressional testimony, but now I feel an obligation to discuss this and to answer questions about it. I’ll do that, and then I just want to help my team.”
So the question many have is why now? Why didn’t McGwire just say all this during the congressional hearing five years ago?
My opinion on this–and this is just my opinion–McGwire is desperate to get back in baseball and desperate to get into the Hall of Fame. McGwire got terrible legal advice during those hearings and I don’t think he ever realized how much damage he would do to himself by doing what he did that day.
He took the first step to get back in baseball by becoming the hitting coach of the Cardinals in 2010. Admitting he took steroids he is the second step.
Now that everything is in the open, he will be more accepted in baseball circles. Admission worked for Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez.
Do I think betters his chance of getting into the Hall of Fame? No I don’t.
I don’t see how anyone can justify voting for someone who admitted 10 years of his career probably should have never happened. He admitted to using steroids in 1989 to 1998. Take away those stats from his career and then look at what you have.
While I give McGwire credit for coming clean and coming clean about exactly what he did (unlike Giambi, who apologized for doing nothing), I do have a problem with one of the things he said.
“Looking back, I wish I had never played in the steroid era.”
Mark, the steroid era didn’t make you do steroids. This was your choice and your choice alone. There were plenty of other players who didn’t do steroids during this time.
Don’t blame the era, blame yourself.
McGwire will speak publicly tonight for the first time on the MLB Network. The interview will take place at 7:00 pm ET tonight.
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