Has there been another day in recent memory in which the incredibility of baseball’s players and management was so succesfully showcased? Newsday’s Jon Heyman on Thursday’s Congressional Hearings.
No one whiffed more pathetically and profoundly than Mark McGwire, who didn’t have the guts to either admit or deny he and his records are one gigantic fraud.
McGwire came up remarkably small. Speaking like an automaton after nearly breaking down during his evasive statement, McGwire said nothing worthwhile while alternating three excuses, one lamer than the next.
“I’m a retired player,” he said.
“I want to be positive,” he said.
“I’m not going to talk about the past,” he said many times.
Guess what? That’ll be our precise answer when Mc.Gwire’s name comes up for Cooperstown consideration. We won’t consider his past, either, at least nothing before yesterday, when he stonewalled at every turn after nodding dutifully and unconvincingly to the committee’s assertion that baseball needs to eradicate steroids.
Deviating from his pitiful script once, McGwire said, “Steroids are wrong. It gives you nothing but false hope.”
Alas, his great hope of getting away with a career-long deception ends now.
Today, McGwire’s 70 home runs in 1998 look like a sham.
McGwire read a statement trumpeting his good deeds and lamenting the no-win box he’s in. He has himself to blame.
If McGwire were innocent of taking steroids — or even confident of not being caught red-handed — he would have asserted innocence. But he knows investigators and reporters are closing in. He said, “My lawyers have advised me I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family or myself.”
But he was never asked to name one name, only his own.
Predictably, he declined.
In a way that is understandable, as he was saving his hide. What’s the excuse of the other four playing panelists?
Canseco scored by being the one player to admit baseball’s serious problem, but his credibility quickly went into the toilet.
Without pressure, Canseco retracted the very thesis of the book he pumped for weeks, that steroids are good. Now Canseco says steroids are bad, very bad. The reality is, he says whatever is convenient or profitable. Another fraud.
Schilling supposedly was invited because he’s the one in the game who’s both outspoken and admired. Yet he took back the honest comments he’d made about the prevalence of steroids in baseball, erasing any reason to admire him on this matter.
“I grossly overstated the problem due to being uninformed and unaware,” he said. Then Schilling called Canseco a “liar” for doing the very same thing, for “grossly overstating” things. Schilling, another phony, is unbelievable.
After expressing condolences to three parents who lost steroid-using sons to suicide, not one player felt an obligation to provide straight answers.
Maybe they thought they were being team players by toeing the company line. But to a man, they came off as monstrous weasels.