In an interview with Bob Costas on Monday night, Mark McGwire finally admitted to using steroids and human growth hormone over the past decade. McGwire said that he used steroids in the 1989-1990 off-season then again in 1993 after an injury and periodically throughout the remainder of his career, including 1998 when he set the single season home run record of 70.
Why Now? Why At All?
There are a few reasons why Mark McGwire has chosen now to come clean and state the fact that he used steroids during his career.
1. McGwire is coming back to be the hitting coach in St. Louis. Whether it was Bud Selig, Tony LaRussa or even deep down within himself, Mark knew that coming back to baseball would open up the can of worms when they report to training camp. No team wants that much bad publicity around the clubhouse before the season even starts.
Imagine Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols each hitting 50 home runs in 2010. What kind of questions are going to come back about their hitting coach now that he's admitted using steroids and said how big of a mistake it was. If McGwire came back not having admitted to his performance enhancing drug use, everyone would have their assumptions (which would all be true), leading everyone to believe that he got them on the juice too.
2. McGwire very well could be taking the Pete Rose approach and hoping that his peace offering will be enough to win over the votes for the hall of fame. Big Mac stated in his interview with Costas that this wasn't for ballot votes, but we don't know what he really thinks about that. We all know where I stand with it. Steroids or not, McGwire was one of my childhood heroes and I would vote him into the hall of fame in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.
3. Maybe his conscience finally couldn't bear it anymore and with the statute of limitations finally closing out on five years, he lifted a large weight off of his shoulders. It's always that feel good story topped with the apology that will win America's heart over, but has America run out of forgiveness with all the apologies for steroid use and excuses of injuries, health reasons and unknowingly using. Doubtful, but you never know which spin the story will take.
What do you think about the whole situation? Should Mark McGwire be in the hall of fame? Are you surprised by his admission of steroid use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thanks to Paul V8 for the screenshot of Mark McGwire.