January 11, 2010

Quotable: McGwire choked up on interview with MLB Network

Mark McGwire sat down with MLB Network's Bob Costas tonight from 7-8 p.m to show the world how sorry he is for using steroids. However, the most important thing people got from this interview is that McGwire believes performance enhancing drugs do not enhance performance.

As you can see from part of the transcription below, he said he believed he could have hit 70 home runs in 1998 and collected 583 homers over his career without steroids, just as a result of his God-given ability. I'm not even going to bother discussing why steroids do enhance performance. Ask any doctor, they'll tell you the same thing. I actually asked an athletic trainer, one who is very knowledgeable about PEDs, and he told me they did, unequivocally.

Sorry Big Mac, but that is just not a believable idea. I don't believe you for a second. I can understand you only used them when you were recovering injury, but those things that make you recover quicker also give you more strength. Not to mention, the PEDs sped up your recovery time, which in turn helps your performance. There's no argument here.

I was glad McGwire finally came out earlier today, and he definitely gets more credit than guys like Barry Bonds. But to believe that his power numbers were not abnormal and not related to the stuff he took, is just flat out stupid. So now I believe he has some more admitting to do, because I think he knows he is just dodging the full impact of what he did.

Some notable quotes from the interview:

Could you have hit 70 home runs without using steroids?


McGwire went on to say how people still talk about his homers he hit in little league, high school, legion and the minors.

"The only reason I took steroids was for my health purposes."

They made you stronger than you ever could have been without steroids. They didn't just speed up your recovery.

Asked on what PEDs he took:

"The names I don't remember. The steroids I took were very low dosages, just because I wanted my body to feel normal."

You are making millions of dollars to play baseball. How do you not know what is going into your body?

Why not say what you are saying now back in front of congress in 2005?

"So 2005, I was ready willing and prepared to talk about this. I wanted to talk about this. My lawyers Mark Bear Marty Steinbre, I meet them back there. We talk about the situation. Marty laid out a couple scenarios: If you go out there and you talk about this, without protection, there's a very good chance of prosecution."

"I wanted to get this off my chest. I had to do what I had to do to protect myself, my family and my friends. Anybody that was in my shoes would have done the same exact thing."

Nobody in baseball who has admitted to taking steroids has been prosecuted. I think you should have tried harder to work something out with the D.A. and your lawyers.

Did your family ever ask questions about your use of steroids?

"I have never been asked."

People don't need to ask you when they already know.

Do you think your body broke down because of the steroids you took?

"If you look at when I started taking it in the winner of '93/94, I broke down in '94. I took it the winter of '95, I broke down again. It could have been. For some reason, I kept doing it. I mentally thought that maybe if I keep doing this, maybe I'll feel better and better and get out of this rut of being a mash unit."

"For some reason." Maybe it's because they helped you hit more home runs? Just a guess.

"I never talked about it. I can't remember conversations about this in any of the clubhouses I played. If I ever did, which I don't remember, I walked the other way."

Do you view your numbers as authentic? Completely legitimate?

"Unfortunately I decided to take steroids because of injuries. When I look at my hand-eye coordination, what God gave me, I'd have to think so"

Great question by Costas. No way McGwire would answer that one directly.

How much does the Hall of Fame matter to you?

"I'm not doing this for the Hall of Fame. I'm doing this for me to get this off my chest. I played this game of baseball because I was given the ability to play. If I get lucky enough to get in there, that's just icing on the cake."

Everybody wants to get into the Hall of Fame. It should matter to you especially since you have the numbers and the records as a first-balloter.

Will St. Louis forgive you?

"I'm asking for a second chance. I have a lot to offer. I have a whole Rolodex of things I'd like to teach hitters."

You set a nice example. Teach hitters to take steroids? Just kidding, Mark.

If you had a Hall of Fame vote, would you vote for Mark McGwire?

If I had a Hall of Fame vote, I'd leave it up to the writers.

You would.

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