I grew up in the Bay Area and as a kid attended many Oakland A’s games featuring the Bash Brothers—Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. My, were they physical specimens! Those Popeye arms and gargantuan legs really stood out, and we’ve known the reason why for quite some time. The Bashes eventually went their separate ways, and chose to handle their secrets in different ways. Canseco wrote a tell-all book about steroids in baseball that made him extremely unpopular with fellow players and much of the general public. McGwire chose to remain silent, even under questioning in front of a Congressional committee five years ago—until this week.
McGwire apologized on Monday, but the apology rings extremely hollow to me. He waited years to come clean, as the rumors kept building and building—and only after he wanted to get back into baseball as a hitting coach. That makes his sobbing statement hard to take. The content of the apology also rings disingenuous. True, the “I used drugs to help me recover from injuries” excuse worked for Andy Pettitte, but not for a guy who hit 70 home runs in 1998! In post-apology interviews, McGwire said he could have done just as well without taking drugs. Now that’s believable! Much has been said in public relations of the importance of an apology, but this one was flawed. Who is giving McGwire advice?
What do you think of Mark McGwire’s apology?
-Scott Van Camp