Monday, January 11, 2010

(2) Comments

Guest Post: Mark McGwire

Stu sent this over, and it's so strong I thought it deserved a post.  I'm watching the Costas/McGwire interview now, and will post something shortly.  Here's Stu:

I read McGwire’s complete statement on your web site and wanted to pass along my perspective as someone who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s before cheating became commonplace and, to some degree, acceptable in sports.  Looking at his statement there are a few questions I would love someone to ask him.

Feel free to use some of these if you want (no credit to me needed).  I just want to see all of these guys called out on the carpet.  As far as I’m concerned anyone who used PED’s cheated the game and cheated the fans.  It still amazes me that players who chose not to use steroids during that era have never spoken out about the jobs and the income that they lost when they chose to do the right thing.  Guys like McGwire, Pettite, ARod, etc. made a fortune of money after cheating.  Money that they would have never made had they not cheated.   Where is the punishment? 

Stu from NJ

“After all this time, I want to come clean. I was not in a position to do that five years ago in my Congressional testimony, but now I feel an obligation to discuss this and to answer questions about it.”

You weren’t in “a position” to testify truthfully to the United States Congress?  Perhaps now that it’s clear that you probably would never be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame that you realize that “coming clean” is your only opportunity to rehabilitate yourself with enough time remaining on your eligibility that you may someday make it?

“I used them on occasion throughout the nineties, including during the 1998 season.”

So will you be asking Mr. Selig to strike your name, or at least mark it with an asterisk, in the record books?

“Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

Oh.  OK.  So it is the fault of the “steroid era” and not you and your personal choices.  Are you saying that everyone who played in that era used steroids?  Hello, my I please speak with Mr. Ripken, Mr. Cal Ripken?  (Are you saying that he is a fraud too?)

I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids.

Some people may wonder how many home runs Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Roger Maris would have hit if they had take steroids.  Perhaps they would have put up numbers so far out of reach that McGwire and Sosa in 1998 would have been insignificant.

Here’s a question for you (you can consult with Mr. Nice Guy, Andy Pettite – another one who just wanted to get back on the field with his teammates)

After you starting taking steroids in 1993 you signed contracts worth $56.5 Million (according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts).   Now that you are admitting that you cheated, how much of the $56.5 Million will you be returning to the fans who paid higher ticket prices, etc. to support paying your contract.

Mark McGwire 1b
Oakland 1987-1997, St. Louis Cardinals 1997-2001
  • 2 years/$30M (2002-03)
    • 02:$14M, 03:$16M
    • attendance bonus of $2/fan for each fan beyond 2.8 million
    • about 25% of $30M deferred at "reasonable" interest rate
    • 2002-03 extension negotiated without an agent
    • retired 11/01, leaving 2002-03 extension unsigned
  • 3 years/$28.5M (1998-2000), plus 2001 mutual option
    • signed extension 9/16/07
    • $1M signing bonus
    • 98:$8M, 99:$8.5M, 00:$9M, 01:$11M mutual option ($2M buyout)
    • attendance bonus of $1/fan for each fan beyond 2.8 million
    • bonus worth $586,493 in 2000
  • 5 years/$28M (1993-97)
    • $7M signing bonus
    • 93:$2.6M, 94:$1.6M, 95:$5.5M, 96:$5.6M, 97:$5.7M

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2 Responses to "Guest Post: Mark McGwire"
Ry said :
January 11, 2010 at 9:23 PM
i take issue with stu saying that he grew up watching baseball before "cheating" became commonplace. maybe it was before steroids became commonplace, but the use of amphetamines or "greenies" was incredibly widespread. the motivation to use these drugs was solely to gain a competitive advantage and they were absolutely performance enhancers. jim bouton wrote about these in 1969...and they had been around long before that.

we can't call one thing cheating and ignore the other simply because one of the two happens to have an impact on the sexiest stat in sports, while the other's impact might not be as readily visible.

in looking back, stu's argument is really full of holes from bottom to top...i don't understand what you found to be so strong as to warrant posting it here when there are other places where this discussion is being conducted that are meant for more serious discussion and not the more lighthearted stuff that i come to this site to read.
January 11, 2010 at 9:31 PM

I hear you on the light-hearted stuff, which is one of the reasons I don't do too many game recaps or such.

One of the things that I've been proud about the blog is that a community has formed. With that, when someone takes the time to write at length, I like being able to share the forum with others.

In the leadoff spot for the morning, we have some good quality chop-busting related to Shea Stadium. For tonight, it's a big baseball story that I think warrants a few hours.

I appreciate your comment as much as I appreciate Stu writing, and this is the sort of dialoge I hope to foster on all issues here on the site.

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