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Bud Selig is "delighted" at McGwire's return; the feds? Not so much

Oct 27, 2009, 11:01 AM EDT

Bud Selig’s comments following the announcement of Mark McGwire’s return:

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, a fan of Mark McGwire’s when the latter broke the major-league home run record and thereafter, too, said Monday he “was delighted that Mark’s coming back to the game,” as the Cardinals’ new hitting coach.

Speaking by telephone from his office in Milwaukee, Selig said, “I give (manager) Tony La Russa a lot of credit and (chairman) Bill DeWitt a lot of credit for making this happen. I was — and am — very supportive of their decision. I wish everybody well.  When Mark was there, I had a lot of affection and admiration for him . . . I have no misgivings about this at all. Mark McGwire is a very, very fine man and the Cardinals are to be applauded.”

So everyone’s happy? Not so much. Here’s retired FBI agent Greg Stekskal, who investigated McGwire:

Monday, Stejskal questioned the return to the game of a player who refused to acknowledge involvement with steroids.

“It’s basically rewarding a guy who hasn’t stood up and taken a stand against this stuff,” Stejskal said. “There’s been no mea culpa, and instead he became a recluse. It reminds me of a passage from Proverbs: ‘The wicked flee where no man pursueth.'”

As I said yesterday, I’m somewhere in the middle. Certainly not as effusive as Selig is — it’s gonna be awkward for a while and we can’t pretend that what happened didn’t happen — but I certainly don’t believe that McGwire was “wicked” or needs to wear a scarlet “S” on his cloak.

Who’s really right? I’m not sure, but like I’ve always said: if you find yourself disagreeing with both Bud Selig and a federal agent who spent taxpayer dollars investigating the personal drug use of professional athletes, you’re probably doing pretty well in life.

  1. Scott - Oct 27, 2009 at 11:31 AM

    First of all Mr. Stekskal said about spending tax payer dollars on and investigation that the American people could care less about is what should be investigated. This country has a hell of a lot more problems than trying to find out if Mcquire used Steroids. Who cares if he did or not, the fact of the matter is if he did then it was before it was banned by baseball. The fact is most of theguys that were investigated supposedly did sterooids before they were banned. So the Federal Government has wasted millions of dollars investigating something that was not banned at the time. Nobody cares if these players lies to congress, and for that matter why should they Congress LIES to the American Taxpayers all of the time. Mr. Steksal, Congress are they irresponsible ones in this matter not baseball players.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    I’m not touching any political angle with a 10′ pole, nor should anyone else, but am I the only one who thinks it’s hypocritical for an agent of the federal gov’t to bash someone in saying:

    “It’s basically rewarding a guy who hasn’t stood up and taken a stand against this stuff,”

    How fast (again don’t do it) can we list all the crap the federal gov’t has done wrong that no one has stood up for.

  3. Cru11 - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Do we expect anything different from Bud? Serioulsy. Just get the hell out of here. If you look closely at the picture above you can see the juice oozing from that mammoth of a forearm.

  4. comeonman - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:15 PM

    I love when everyone shows compassion for Athletes and so much concern for their well being and their life after they foolishly use Steroids, so they can hear the crowd cheer for them.
    It is wonderful that we as humans can show we have these players well being in our thoughts. GOOD JOB BUD, BUD WAS SO HAPPY FOR BIG MAC BECAUSE HE AND SLAMMIN SAMMY SOSA INFLATED THE PRICE OF THE BREWERS AND MADE THE RIPE FOR SALE, THIS HAS MADE BUD SO HAPPY.

  5. Esvie - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:26 PM

    mr. stekskal, when you find a stand up guy working for the federal government let us know.
    Boo hoo! He used steroids, huh? How many child molesters or mortgage crooks did you investigate? How much of our tax dollars did you spend flying across the country, driving rental cars and eating in fancy restaurants while you were doing your so called investigation? And, by the way, how much of our tax dollars are we paying you to sit around on your butt all day?

  6. BCTF - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    Are you guys kidding me? This is one guy who worked for the FBI, he is not a represetivive for the entire goverment. Don’t hang this guy because of what someone else did.
    And Esive “mr. stekskal, when you find a stand up guy working for the federal government let us know.”
    This is the most moronic statement I have ever read. My father worked for the federal government for 25 years as an ATF agent protecting your ignorant ass and my wife currently works for the federal government at the Department of Veteran Affairs, she helps veteran’s get there benefits that they deserve. There are thousands of employees that work at the federal govt to make our country great. You should do everyone a favor and shut the f up, or if you can’t do that you should seriously look in to euthanizing yourself.

  7. JLB - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    How can the BC accept McNeedle back into baseball? Is he nuts. Just because McNeedle runs like hell when he should of stepped forward and been honest all is forgiven. Crazy.

  8. Robb - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    If the substance(s) McGwire used at the time were not banned, what law was broken and why was the FBI investigating? If none, then Mr. McGwire has every right to work in any profession he chooses and is qualified to do. If he was considered a cheat, I understand that during that period of time many thought most players in all major sports were using some type of enhancing substance thus the above investigation would appear to be kinda one sided…

  9. BCTF - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:56 PM

    @Robb
    Steroids are illegal and were illegal at the time. This is one guys opinion, he is not stopping anyone from working.

  10. Big G - Oct 27, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    Who cares what some disgruntled Fed that wasted million & millions of American taxpayer money on this. Murder rates are up across the Country, predators & vilent crimes go unsolved & this guy is mad cause he is playing. Who care what these idiots put in there body. Coming from a cop who probably drinks after work everyday. What are you putting in your body there Officer. So tired of these do gooders shooting there mouths off. As for Bud, well aw shucks I didn’t know they were using steriods, I only made 17 million last year as the Commish. Come on both of these clowns the cop & Bud should be given no credence what so ever. I am not raising my kid to be Barry Bonds Barak Obama or Mark McGuire or Bud Selig. i am raising him to be Cole Daniel Rodich. They get in a uproar over this yet as we write someone just stole billions in a ponzi shceme & someone just molested a child & took him across state lines.

  11. Steve - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    So Bud is happy and has open arms for an ex-player who possibly/probably broke the home run record by using performance enhancing drugs – basically cheating and tainting the game – but Bud will have nothing to do with Pete Rose, who didn’t cheat or take performance enhancing drugs, only gambled on his own games, hurting no one but himself and tainting nothing but his reputation? Seems a little bass ackwards to me. Mark should be made to answer to the allegations that were brought against him. Admit to things, get it out in the open, say your sorry, cry a little, write another book, then become the hitting coach. I would not take any direction from him if i were a batter, couldn’t trust him.

  12. BCTF - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    @Big G
    You should shoot yourself in the face.

  13. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

    Steroids are illegal and were illegal at the time. This is one guys opinion, he is not stopping anyone from working.

    Devil’s Advocate, but where’s this proof that McGwire took steroids? All we know for sure is he a bottle of Andro in his locker, which was legal at the time (and I think still legal but banned in baseball).

  14. BCTF - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

    Hence the investigation

  15. Duhhh! - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    McGwire didn’t lie while under oath unlike some others who testified before Congress – Bill Clinton comes to mind first. Mark simply refused to incriminate himself, which is his right under the 5th amendment. And there wasn’t anything criminal if he did do ‘roids, which he obviously did, because MLB had no ban on those substances at the time. So why all the ruckus and self-righteous indignation? If he lied under oath then he would be subject to prosecution for perjury. Or in the case of Slick Willy for impeachment. The same government who pays this disingenuous FBI agent didn’t fully impeach Slick Willy, so leave Mark McGwire alone, will ya? At least Mark knew when to shut up.

  16. BCTF - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    The 5th amendment protects you against incriminating yourself in the court of law. That doesn’t mean he is innocent. He won’t go to jail but he doesn’t mean someone needs to hire him.

  17. Tim L. - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:20 PM

    This comment is misguided at best. While steroids may have not been banned from baseball at the time Big Mac used them, it was still illegal under the law to buy, sell, and use them in that manner at that time. Our beloved baseball players are not above the law…or at least, they aren’t suppose to be.
    As for the foolish comments comparing an FBI agent to a Washington bureaucrat…what a poor analogy. I suspect that many (most?) FBI agents are upstanding citizens that don’t regularly lie and mislead the public like our congressman and woman do, so don’t lump them in with these political types. Just because the FBI agent is employed by the govt. doesn’t mean he’s the same as a knucklehead like Barney Frank (and too many others to mention). It’s like saying the guy that was the janitor at Bernie Maydoff’s business was guilty by association with his boss. That’s patently absurd!
    Does anyone ever use reason on these story comments? It seems like 95% of the replies are nothing but emotional dribble with little — if any — thought behind them. People, use your brains first. Amazing!

  18. Steve D. - Oct 27, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    Mark is being hired as the Cardinals hitting coach. There’s not one person who can deny that Mark McGwire could hit a major league baseball better than 95% of the major leaguers playing today. If you can’t hit performance enhancing drugs will not make you a better hitter. It will make you strike out more dramatically. Mark knows how to connect with a major league pitch. That’s what he’s being hired to coach.
    Those of you critics who say Mark shouldn’t be afforded the chance to coach should be screaming at the top of your lungs that two members of the American League Champion Yankees have documented proof that they have used PEDs. Why are they being afforded the opportunity to play when they’ve proven to be distrustworthy? There seems to be a distinct double standard here.
    Mark has never been convicted of a crime or even accused of abusing a drug. People have assumed that he has but you can’t base any logical decision on that assumption. At a time when baseball was on the brink of losing itself in the mire of strikes and controversy, almost single handedly broght MLB back into the summer sun of popularity. How did he do that? By hitting a baseball better than any other human being on the planet. Mark Mcgwire a hitting coach? Its a no brainer.

  19. willmose - Oct 27, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    Didn’t the FBI have information about the 911 plot and do nothing about it. It reminds me of Deuteronomy 23:1, be sure to keep Stejskal out!

  20. cards fan - Oct 27, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    The thing about steroids that most don’t seem to understand is if the pros use them to gain an edge, then other pros think they also have to use them to keep their jobs. Then the guys in college think they have to use them in order to get a pro contract. Then kids in high school think they have to use them to get a college scholarship.
    The medical evidence is quite strong that steroids can lead to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. That’s why they are schedule 2 drugs with serious criminal penalties for distribution and/or posession.
    So when someone says it shouldn’t matter what the pros put in their bodies, they’re wrong. It matters a great deal.

  21. jon - Oct 28, 2009 at 9:59 PM

    so if crystal meth wasnt a banned substance in baseball it would be totally ok for a baseball player to use it. just because its not a banned? Steriods are illegal drugs in America. Last time i checked baseballs banned substance list do not supersede American laws.

  22. strawberry smoothie - Feb 12, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    Another great postThanks for the information.

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