MLB: Reaction to McGwire’s admission of steroid use
Reaction to St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire’s admission Monday that he used steroids and human growth hormone as a player:
“The so-called ’steroid era’ — a reference that is resented by the many players who played in that era and never touched the substances — is clearly a thing of the past, and Mark’s admission today is another step in the right direction.” — Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
“I can’t excuse the fact that players did this. They took performance-enhancing drugs to enhance their numbers and make more money. And they did it and made more money and enhanced their numbers. It bothers me that we always talk about those guys, and we seem to forget about the guys who didn’t cheat. They get penalized twice. They don’t make as much money, and when it comes to the Hall of Fame, their numbers are going to pale in comparison to the other guys.” — Hall of Famer Joe Morgan.
“There were probably guys back then — in late 1980s and early ’90s, pitchers and other players — who were one step away from the World Series, who were clean and going up against those A’s teams that were loaded with steroids. Those are the people I feel sorry for.” — Minnesota Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer.
“It’s a little black eye on baseball, but it’s hard to fault a guy for doing it to bounce back from a heavy workout or to be better. ... I don’t think he’s alone. Mainly, I blame it on the fact the trainers completely changed their philosophy. I have no idea how many, but I’m sure there were a lot of people in that era using, I’m not just saying steroids, but using vitamins and drugs to help bounce back.” — Davey Johnson, former major league player and manager now a senior adviser to the GM for the Washington Nationals.
“I admire him for doing it. I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Maybe he’s clearing his conscience. Again, every man has to live with himself.” — Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker.
“To have the truth out there, I think that’ll help the fans and the game move on. I don’t think it helps him in any way. He’s on the ballot for the Hall of Fame and he’s getting about 23 or 24 percent of the votes right now. And I think that number will just go down now, in my opinion.” — Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.
“I’m not surprised. I think Mark has stepped back and realized probably being honest is the best way to go.” — San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
“I think this admission might help with voters who suspected McGwire wasn’t being truthful with the fans about steroids. But I don’t know if it helps him at all with voters determined to keep the taint of the drug-use era out of Cooperstown. Basically, McGwire has so many votes to make up, I’m not sure it makes that big a difference to the question of his Hall of Fame chances. But at least he’s admitted to something suspected by many of us for a long time.” — Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame voter Joe Ostermeier of the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat.
“He looked ridiculous to most of the public, but he didn’t have many good options. We put him in a pretty tight spot. He was candid and honest in our interrogation of him. He said: ’Someday, I’ll tell the story.”’ — Former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., who chaired the March 17, 2005, congressional hearing at which McGwire repeatedly said he would not “talk about the past.”
“Mark McGwire is doing the right thing by telling the truth about his steroid use. His statement sends an important message to kids about the importance of avoiding steroids.” — Rep. Henry Waxman of California, the ranking Democrat on Davis’ committee in 2005.