Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Baseball Rant On The Tedious Story of Mark Mcgwire and Steroids

Above: Roger Maris Breaking Ruth's Record the Old Fashioned Way

Mark Mcgwire (Here are his career statistics at and it seems, many Major League baseball players are still in a state of denial and unreality when it comes to the use of "supplements" to improve their performance on the field. So we go on understanding that Jose Canseco remains the most truthful and honest actor in the whole MLB steroid farce. Mcgwire's statements to Bob Costas on the MLB network Monday night include these treasures of misdirection and glamour.

Young Mark BS (Before Steroids ca. 1987)

"The gyms you worked out back in the day. It was readily available. Guys at gyms talked about it. I believe it was the winter of 89 into 90. I was given a couple weeks worth. I tried it, never thought anything of it, just moved on from it.As far as using it on a consistent basis, the winter of 93/94. I did it on health purposes. If you look at my career in 93, 94, 95, 96, I was a walking MASH unit."

What Mark wants you to believe: Everyone was doing it and I only did it for therapeutic purposes. And not that much. And only for that. I never even considered that it would make my name a household word and myself a very wealthy man as I assaulted baseball's most treasured records.
Successful Mark At the Height of His Fame

"It doesn't feel good when you have teammates walking by saying, 'He's injured again.' I knew I was talented. I knew the man upstairs gave me the ability to hit this baseball, gave me the hand ey coordination. My parents gave me the great genetics. But I was running into these roadblocks by something I very much regret."

Mark's internal mythology: I didn't want to rob baseball, the fans, my teammates and the man upstairs of all those wonderful exploits I would perform. Meanwhile I reject the thought that everyone gets injured and those who don't cheat play through the injuries or sit out while I rake in the cash.
Comment: Even if you believe the "I did it for injuries argument." Mcgwire's injuries actually increased in the years he began to use. And if you were constantly getting injured before that you didn't get such great genetics from your parents.

Costas states: "Could hit 70 HR without steroids?"
"Absolutely. I was given this gift by the man upstairs. My track record as far as hitting home runs, my first at bat in Little Legaue was a home run, they still talk about the home runs in high school, they still talk about the home runs in legion, they still talk about the home runs I hit in college, I led the nation in home runs. They still talk about the home runs I hit in the minor leagues...... I've always had bat speed. I just learned how to shorten my bat speed. I learned how to be a better hitter. There is not a pill or an injection that is going to give me the hand-eye - or give any athlete - the hand-eye coordination to hit a baseball. A pill or an injection will not hit a baseball."

This is the biggest myth of all that is constantly spewed out by the excuse mongers. Many baseball players have convinced themselves that steroids did not make them better hitters. What a strong delusion! The apologists say it takes extraordinary skill to do what Ted Williams said was the most difficult thing in sports: hit a baseball. And I agree with Ted on that. And Mark Mcgwire was a pretty good hitter, much better than the average guy slumped on the couch; most who play professional baseball are that. ( Dave Kingman was a pretty good hitter in his own way; and Mark Mcgwire without steroids was a very similar hitter as he.) But steroids do more than give a good hitter extraordinary power. Steroids make the good hitter better in many ways. A stronger augmented man can wield a larger bat which gives him power beyond his cartoon muscles. But when using a modern lighter bat he becomes the mongoose to the pitcher's cobra. The hitter has much greater bat control and bat speed when he is stronger. The pitcher soon learns there are fewer holes in the hitter's swing. The hitter cannot be jammed inside as he was before. The hitter can therefore wait a little bit longer before making up his mind on where to direct his swing or whether to swing at all. With the quicker bat the ball that was a loud 400 foot out to center field gets pulled and becomes an impressive 400 foot home run blasted to left field.
Whenever I hear a steroid apologist say it doesn't make you a better hitter I know I am listening to a deluded man. When MM insists "I've always had bat speed." he neglects to say: 'but not as much as I do when I take steroids'. I invite you to go to a batting cage. Use a 30 ounce bat. Record how many solid hits you make. Then use a 42 ounce bat, which is the weight used by Babe Ruth. (The heaviest bat used today is probably Alfonso Soriano's 38 ounce stick.) I doubt you will foul a pitch off with the Babe's bat. But if you get pumped up enough that heavy bat feels like a light bat. And the light bat is hardly felt at all.
Steroid muscles allow tremendous control of the average 30 to 34 ounce bat in use today because those muscles make the bat lighter in your hands.
And lastly, the "man upstairs" doesn't give you the gift to hit a baseball so you can cheat. I cannot believe in a universe created to showcase the flawed and therefore chemically augmented hitting skills of Mark Mcgwire. So many athletes believe they are chosen by God to do what they do. "I was given this gift by the man upstairs." said Mark. But that justifies nothing. What if the man upstairs gave him a gift to aim a rifle? Would that justify becoming an assassin? What if the man upstairs gave him the golden tongue of Odysseus? Would that justify becoming a world class liar and deceiver who runs a pyramid scam? I almost went to law school, but after surveying the profession I saw the inevitable corruption it would engender in me. So I decided to avoid that pitfall, saving the world from the malign effects of another lawyer.

Costas: If that's the case, you must really regret . You're telling me you could have done what you did without touching PEDs.

MM: That's why it's the most regrettable thing I've ever done in my life (Tears well. Sniffs)

Good Grief! It's still all about Mark robbing himself by making the mistake of using steroids that really didn't help him at all. Boo Hoo. It's true. Athletes do have unimaginably huge egos. And they probably need them. But very few, as in the rest of the population, have any analytical skills, especially concerning themselves. And those who do have such skills use them to deceive.

Quotes of the Day:

"Asking me or any other player to answer questions about who took steroids in front of television cameras will not solve the problem. If a player answers 'No,' he simply will not be believed; if he answers 'Yes,' he risks public scorn and endless government investigations.... My lawyers have advised me that I cannot answer these questions without jeopardizing my friends, my family, and myself. I will say, however, that it remains a fact in this country that a man, any man, should be regarded as innocent unless proven guilty."- Mark McGwire's teary eyed opening statement to Congress in 2005

"I'm not here to talk about the past. I'm here to be positive about this subject."-MM's oily response to Congressman Elijah Cummings when asked if he was invoking the 5th Amendment

"First, Canseco told ESPN Radio he stands by his story that he and McGwire injected each other in the Oakland A's bathroom stalls, which McGwire denied."I've defended Mark, I've said a lot of good things about him, but I can't believe he just called me a liar," Canseco said, challenging McGwire to a televised polygraph duel.He also disputed La Russa's statement that he didn't know about the steroid use until Monday."That's a blatant lie," he said. "Tony La Russa was quoted as saying that I was using steroids back then, and I was talking about it in the clubhouse, openly. ... These guys remind me of politicians that just lie to the public and expect to get elected.""from the Detroit Free Press story Jose Canseco: "Mark McGwire is lying"

"All sin is a kind of lying."- St. Augustine, Against Lying

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