McGwire Steroids Admission

The McGwire steroids admission is not so much a surprise as a cathartic release for Big Red.  A good person by all counts, he was clearly pained when he didn’t want “to talk about the past” and was living under a self-imposed exile from baseball until good ol’ Tony LaRussa dragged him back to be the hitting coach for the Cardinals this year.

He knew that he’d eventually need to talk about the past, and the surprise is not so much the admission, but the level of detail – Big Mac outlined the years of usage, and his opinion on how successful he was/wasn’t in roided years versus non-roid years.  Here’s the testimony, as well as the beginning of the AP story (Below).

Also note – this definitely affects his Hall of Fame chances, and I think it will paradoxically have a POSITIVE influence on votes.  I realize most BBWAA members are curmudgeonly, white, male & self-righteous, but there was a certain charm possessed by McGwire; it may have been that he saved the game, it may have been his prodigious blasts – I think more than anything, voters were waiting for an admission before really giving him his chance.  We’ll see what happens a year from now.

McGwire apologizes to La Russa, Selig

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Mark McGwire finally came clean Monday, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball’s home run record in 1998.

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade.

McGwire statement

McGwireText of the statement Mark McGwire issued Monday, admitting he used steroids during his career:

“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.”

“I wish I had never touched steroids,” McGwire said in a statement. “It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”



  1. Higbot

    He didn’t come clean, he didn’t admit anything and he didn’t own up to anything. HE GOT CAUGHT. We all know that he used steroids, so coming out now and “admitting” it is a joke. McGwire is pathetic.

  2. Bob Harrigan

    Evan Lovett asked me “Why no Hall of Fame?”
    This was my reply:

    It’s divisive. It’s exclusive. It says, to the vast majority of baseball players, basically “You’re not good enough. Your value is insufficient. THIS guy, your former TEAMMATE…well, HIM we LOVE, but YOU? not so much. Even though his statistics were only perhaps microscopically better than you, HE gets into this sort of man-made “Heaven”, while you, you are left to contemplate your inadequateness.”

    It’s a sportswriters fantasy of becoming Saint Peter, the gatekeepers of baseball heaven. It’s a power trip for “Last picked” kids who were never good enough to actually play the game and don’t understand that it really is a team game.

    It’s a popularity contest. It means absolutely nothing more than that. Didnt we all hate the homecoming king and queen in high school? Aren’t we over all that? It’s not based on baseball alone. The all-time leader in hits is excluded. The guy with the 2nd highest lifetime batting average of all time is exculded. The entire crop of homerun hitters during the recent -and currently continuing– “steroids era”, will be excluded as well..not to mention the only pitcher with 7 Cy Youngs.

    Also, the “Hall of Fame” includes players from the “White Leagues”. That bothers me. George Hermann “Babe” Ruth never had to hit a ground ball past a black shortstop. He never had to face Satchell Paige or any other of the black pitchers, nor hit a ball into the gap patrolled by black outfielders. All those players have been excluded; albeit with some token inclusions recently. All the white players from the Jim Crow baseball era, that would be everything from `1882-1947 should be excluded as “not legitimate”, to use a phrase from Bob Costas. Ty Cobb, Lou Gerhrig, Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Dizzy Dean and even Walter Johnson…all of em.

    Is it the “Hall of the FAMOUS” cause if its that, then Mark “The Bird” Fidrych should be in there, right next to Fernando Valenzuela. Legends, both, near-dieties in thier cities forever.

    I suppose the best attack on the HOF is to ask you to simply place a question mark on the statement “Hall of Fame”. “Hall of Fame?” Why do we HAVE a HOF? Whats the purpose of it?

    Why create something that only serves to further glorify individuals, when its a team sport? And the dividing line is so subjective. Why should there be something in the world that has Larry Bowa thinking to himself, “I wasnt good enough”, when all he did was set the record for fielding percentage at SS and give more than 100% every day of the week. I also wonder about those guys with a TON of natural talent, who were really LOAFERS, DRUNKS and Cheaters, as compared to those guys like PHIL “SCRAP IRON” Garner. WHO IS BETTER AGAIN? i forget. What is “better” anyway?

  3. Pingback: The McGwires and Ari Fleischer « YallKiltIt – Sports from an L.A. State of Mind

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