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McGwire's lawyers feared prosecution in 2005

Jan 15, 2010, 9:29 AM EDT

The legal jeopardy Mark McGwire faced in 2005 was all rather murky at the time, but when things are murky is when things are dangerous.  As the Daily News reports, his lawyers certainly feared that he’d be dragged into BALCO, the FBI’s Project Equine or some mystery Florida steroids investigation if he testified, and that’s the reason he didn’t say anything. If I were advising him I probably would have told him to take the Fifth, public relations be damned, but in the event he was able to essentially do the same thing with his “I’m not here to talk about the past stuff.”

So Jon Heyman: still think McGwire was a pansy for not testifying? 

  1. Moses Green - Jan 15, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Heeyyyy – lay off Heyman. Boras totally said that to him, so what’s he gonna do, not write it?

  2. Chuck - Jan 15, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Only because major league players insist on not reporting to spring training yet (what is wrong with them?), parsing McGwire-speak will have to pass the time.
    I think people were annoyed by his “I’m not here to talk about the past” response because it was just so, well, annoying (of course, Congress’s ridiculous circus was even more annoying, lest we forget). McGwire’s (non-)response seemed to be a weak compromise between actually talking and just taking the fifth. But, I imagine his handlers suggested that taking the fifth would have been tantamount to admitting “guilt”, if only in the court of public opinion, and that his “not about the past” jibberish would at least carry with it a small likelihood of seeming like a sincere position and serve, to some, as a non-admission of “guilt”.
    But I ain’t no lawyer so don’t know how these truthiness games get played.

  3. izzy - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    McGwire cheated period!!!……If you don’t think that the PED’S he took didn’t help him during those years you’re are in denial just like he is……..He along with anyone else whoever took steriods should NEVER be accepted into the Hall of Fame!!…….Just think how the likes of Ruth, Gehrig, Musial, Schmidt etc.etc. would feel knowing they achieved immortality by using there GOD given talents ONLY!…If McGwire, A-Rod, Sosa, Bonds and Pamero get into the HOF then the credibility of that great institution has been diminished and I for one would never believe in baseball again…..

  4. izzy - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    McGwire cheated period!!!……If you don’t think that the PED’S he took didn’t help him during those years you’re are in denial just like he is……..He along with anyone else whoever took steriods should NEVER be accepted into the Hall of Fame!!…….Just think how the likes of Ruth, Gehrig, Musial, Schmidt etc.etc. would feel knowing they achieved immortality by using there GOD given talents ONLY!…If McGwire, A-Rod, Sosa, Bonds and Pamero get into the HOF then the credibility of that great institution has been diminished and I for one would never believe in baseball again…..

  5. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Prosecution or persection. Choose your downfall

  6. mick-7-1961 - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Mark McGwire dug his own grave in his interview with Bob Costas. To blatantly lie about why he juiced and then to insult every clean baseball player’s (and the fans) intelligence by stating that he felt he could have hit 70 home runs without the chemicals and that the steroids didn’t enhance his performance….hey Mark, there’s a reason they’re called, ‘Performance Enhancing’…wow, it’s one thing to do it and not say anything at all, it’s another thing to try and think you’re fooling anyone by lying through your teeth and then to cry about it.
    boo hoo

  7. Evil EmpireE 2010 - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    McLIAR wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him with a bat……..

  8. Bill - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    McGuire was supposed to trust Congress to do the right thing. Congress stipulated they had authority in a Witch Hunt which they then get upset when he refuses to talk about the exact subject they refused to give immunity from. HE would have been very irresponsible to his family if he said any more than he did in that setting. Congress has never been worthy of anyone’s trust.

  9. izzy - Jan 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    This had nothing to do with congress……..this was about a baseball icon that little kid’s idolized that cheated because he wasn’t satisfied with the GOD given talent he was blessed with…..Take your head out of the sand and realize that he not only cheated he lied and is still lying to this very day.

  10. Whatever... - Jan 15, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    I got bad news for ya. If HGH & ‘roids were around and as effective as they are today, BELIEVE there would’ve been usage among players – even the great ones. And if one thinks that the aforementioned Ruth, Gehrig, etc, didn’t use SOMETHING to get an edge on the competition, you’re in denial. Whether it was a certain salve or balm to use during certain situations, whatever the case, competitors have always…ALWAYS used them to their advantage. Why & how does anyone believe athletes of old were some sort of perfectly behaved saints?? For all we know, any of them coulda been using something, oh say COCAINE during or before games (please don’t claim they didn’t…its PROVEN they did). Anyway, my point is, all these guys are only human & subject to temptation like anyone else.

  11. mick-7-1961 - Jan 15, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    You’re absolutely spot-on, izzy. I will always consider Roger Maris to be the one and only single season homerun leader and Hank Aaron the career leader.

  12. mick-7-1961 - Jan 15, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    You’re probably right, whatever, but salve and balm didn’t increase strength, didn’t enhance the God-given ability the players already had.
    It’s not a secret, speed (beenies) were rampant during Mantle’s career and alcolhol was the beverage of choice after the games.
    What we’re talking about here are Steroids..proven strength enhancers..chemicals that changed the statistics, pure and simple.
    What past players did and took, pales in comparison to the chemicals today’s cheaters shot-up and ingested.

  13. bear - Jan 15, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    I believe that MLB is behind that whole Congress fiasco back in 2005. Every player denied using (Except Sammy who all of a sudden didn’t speak english). I think MLB told them all to deny using. The blame needs to go on Bud Selig. He needs to come out from behind the veil of ignorance that he has invented. Own up Bud you and MLB new all along that theses guys were misbehaving. The ratings and ticket sales were just to good I guess.

  14. Oscar Meyer N Jack Daniels - Jan 15, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    Ruth used hotdogs and beer, he admitted.

  15. Rays fan - Jan 15, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Prepare then to stop believing in baseball, Izzy.
    PEDs are nothing new, even to Hall of Famers.
    I refer you to this article from Sport Illustrated in 2008 (Craig–you’ll love it, it even has a Hitler-used-steroids reference!):
    There have been allegations that Pud Galvin used steroids in the 19th century . Distribution of steroids only became a felony in 1990.
    From Jim Bouton’s Ball Four, “Baseball players will take anything. If you had a pill that would guarantee a pitcher 20 wins but might take 5 years off his life, he’d take it.” Remember that Bouton was a major leaguer, a teammmate of Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, etc.
    Meanwhile, amphetamines (or “greenies”) have been around since the 1940’s, and illegal without a prescription in 1970. Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle have both been named as users. Hank Aaron even admitted trying them once. Greenies are PEDs. See below.
    From an article in 2006 in the Dallas Morning News:
    “Amphetamines were not being used for kicks,” former major-league left-hander Bill “Spaceman” Lee wrote in his book The Wrong Stuff. “They were being used to sober up … to get the pulse going on the morning after the night before.”
    “Going without help from chemistry was so rare that a player who did not use amphetamines was said to be “naked.” Better to have a team full of speed freaks, because the other dugout had a full supply of greenies.”
    So…how do you differentiate one PED from another, to say anyone is squeaky clean or that steroid users are worse than amphetamine users?

  16. Moses Green - Jan 15, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    He actually ate platters of pig’s knuckles, and those aren’t quite of sufficient quality to make it into a sausage.

  17. rnmwater - Jan 15, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Roided up batters were hitting homeruns off roided up pitchers. Pitchers got more benifit from Roids then hitters. They got added volocity to their pitches it allowed them to go further in games and the most important allowed them to recover quicker from start to start. You can’t write off a whole era of baseball you just need to look at the numbers differently 600 homeruns would be the new benchmark anything below that comes down to position rank allstar apperance’s and MVP awards. With that formula McGwire is borderline and Palmero is out and Bonds and Sosa are in. If Jose says 80% of baseball was doing it I believe him because he hasn’t been wrong yet.

  18. willmose - Jan 15, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    Not only did McGwire face jail time, but club house guys, fellow innocent ball players and any one else who did not tell the prosecutors what they wanted to hear. Mac had the bucks and laywers to defend him. But what about the guys handing out the jock straps in the locker room. What did they know and when did they know it. Has one of Barry Bond’s high school buddies spent years in jail because he didn’t tell the prosecutors what they wanted to hear. No trial, just jail time. Isn’t it about time that somebody put Jon Heyman under oath and asked him when he first knew about steriods. Who were his sources? How about some jail time.

  19. kp - Jan 15, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    All of this steroid talk is beginning to bore me! WHO CARES??? Do you honestly think ball players haven’t always taken something to enhance whatever they needed enhancing for? Geez, it’s illegal now so let’s just all move on and play ball! Forget about it already!

  20. kp - Jan 15, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Finally, someone in this discussion that has a brain! I couldn’t agree with you more. Now let’s just all move on.

  21. studes - Jan 15, 2010 at 3:15 PM

    Thank you, Craig! I’ve been saying for some time (look it up in the Shysterball archives) that McGwire did the honorable thing at the hearings and didn’t deserve all the crap he got. I mean, the guy obviously had been taking steroids, and saying he hadn’t would be lying while saying he did would open up a can of legal worms. His testimony was the most admirable thing about those hearings.

  22. stephanie - Jan 15, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    frankly i really don’t care why he did steriods he finally confessed and that is all there needs to be said about it. quit trying to put more into this then what it is, heck if i was him and congress did not give me immunity (sorry can’t spell) then i would not have said anything either, the heck with it, all of a sudden people are mad and still calling him a lier, give me a break this guy can’t win or lose with people. everyone knows who the steriods users are.

  23. benny goodman - Jan 15, 2010 at 8:49 PM


  24. cheaters justice - Jan 17, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    His lawyers were worried because of the CRIMES that were probably committed by Mcgwire and alot of other MLB players. CRIME and the associated CRIMINAL penalties were the worry.
    Same can be said for many of players mentioned has having used drugs like speed which eventually became federally controlled subsstances. The players in the 60s & 70s were lucky that the hippies were able to almost legitimize ILLEGAL drug use. But just as the hippies their ‘revolutionary’ supplements were in many cases CRIMINAL and not revolutionary.
    I have no empathy for the speeders either. That’s one reason I don’t give a rat’s behind if Pete Rose never get reinstated for another unethical or illicit act-probably ILLEGAL gambling.
    Forget the cheating part. This is about CRIME in the name of sport.

  25. Andrew Sailer - Jan 29, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Oh jesus you’ll not belief this. Our stupid kitten actually farted on my leg!? I mean what is the matter with that!? I nourish this thing and I get that in exchange. I still can not really belief this. After all, you have got a few important facts there in your article. I knew Google are going to bring me to a few fascinating stuff today :). Alright need to search this creature now! Have a great day you all!

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