Hello Blobbers! I realize it’s been a while since I’ve Blobbed…I’ve been taking a respite since the season ended, while converting my occasional musings to my Twitter account (where you can find incredible insight like what kind of burger I ordered from In ‘N Out…woo hoo!)
But Mark McGwire’s admission of steroid use compelled me back to the keyboard —
Look, right out of the gate, I’m happy he finally admitted it. I’m happy for fans, the game and for Mark…he’s a decent guy and shouldn’t have darts thrown at him his entire life…I imagine he feels a greater sense of relief today, after getting this dark secret out in the open.
However, what compels me to Blob is not the admission itself…I’m not here to pontificate on the evils of steroid use, nor am I going to wring my hands and say how it ruined the game….blah, blah, blah. What I don’t understand is this: why does it seem that with every mea culpa that comes out these days, from athletes to entertainers to politicians, they are always given with about 95% truth and conviction.
What I mean is, McGwire says he’s ashamed, apologizes, cleanses his soul…TERRIFIC…but he also says that he took it only for healing purposes and (get ready for the spin) that it never helped him hit a baseball. YEAH, WE ALL GET THAT! We have for years, ever since steroids came to light and we’ve all been educated/bombarded with detailed information of ‘roids and what they can do to one’s body.
But steroids DO increase your strength…maybe a little, maybe a lot…I rather doubt juiceheads at neighborhood gyms have, for decades, taken steroids NOT to get bigger or more muscular, but for healing purposes only….so I’ll put this in the simplest terms possible, so that any future athlete and their accompanying spin doctors can understand…
Yes, a player like Mark McGwire is blessed with “God given talent and abilities to hit a baseball”…and with “incredible hand/eye coordination”…BUT the non-steroid fly ball that travels 398-feet into the glove of an outfielder standing on the warning track, most likely flies 5 or 10 feet (or more) further coming off the bat of a steroid-enhanced hitter, enough so that maybe 20, 30 or even 50 such potential outs become homeruns instead. Steroids didn’t help you hit the ball. But it did help you hit it further.
I mean…I get that, you get that, a 5th-grader gets that! So, do us all a favor…steroid-using athletes of the past, present and future…stop insulting our intelligence. You’re using your great ability and talent to try and mask the obvious, and all that does is add a gray, murky area to what should have been 100% cleansing absolution.
In that regard, I give Alex Rodriguez credit for his 2009 Spring Training admission of using performance-enhancing drugs. He came clean, moved forward and found peace…and along the way, he re-discovered his love for the game.
As for McGwire, he’s going to be left to answer questions that come from the gray, murky area he failed to clean up…and those questions won’t go away, though that’s what he had hoped for.
So the next time any athlete has to make such an admission and come clean, I guess I have just one question for them and their lawyers, handlers and spin doctors…
“Are you smarter than a 5th grader?”