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Is Mark McGwire being treated differently than other PED confessors?

Jan 18, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

As Mark McGwire continues to be called a liar and a fraud for his claim that he took steroids because he was injured and not because he thought they’d enhance performance, it’s probably worth remembering another player’s comments about his PED use:

“I was injured . . . I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as
possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I
tried human growth hormone . . . This is it — two days out of my life; two days out of my
entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list. I wasn’t looking for an edge. I was looking to heal. If I
have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope
that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days
of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and

I just wanted to heal? I only took it for two days?  If anything, this player was even more cavalier about it than McGwire. And that wasn’t a personal statement by the way. It was a written statement released through his agent. Anyone know who it was?

Why, it was Andy Pettitte, and that was his statement after being outed in the Mitchell Report two years ago.

And I’m just as fine with Andy Pettitte’s statement as I am with McGwire’s. Credible? No. But I don’t believe that they owe me apologies or explanations. I do believe, however, that anyone who is currently taking Mark McGwire to the woodshed for claiming that PEDs didn’t help him is obligated to conform those opinions to something close to what they said about Andy Pettitte two years ago.

I’ve searched a bit, and so far the only one I can find who slammed both of them is Mike Lupica, who in 2007 accused Pettitte of “crocodile tears” and yesterday compared McGwire to Bill Clinton and Marion Jones.  I disagree with him in both instances, but good for him for consistency at least.  Most other writers praised Pettitte — often quite effusively — for his candor, despite the fact that just over a year before he was on the record lying about it. The issue certainly doesn’t continue to dog him.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly people jump off the “McGwire is still lying” train and start to treat him like a normal everyday hitting coach the way they treat Pettitte like a normal, everyday starting pitcher.

  1. cheaters justice - Jan 18, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    Oh I definately would include the use of greenies especially after being made ILLEGAL. That was bad enough and that’s probablby where the drug culture of MLB started. Alot of coaches and staff were from that era and probably blew off the PEDs and just another ‘pill’. If a long hair kid got caught with greenies on the street they would’ve arrested and labled a hippie.
    That’s the whole thing, these guys think they can away with anything while in the confines of the sport which is still in the confines of civilian and criminal law.
    And that’s another reason why I don’t give a rats butt if Pete Rose never gets reinstated. There’s a good chance being from that era he got his ‘hustle’ from greenies. And his gambling-puhlease-that’s just more dealings with the CRIMINAL element. Isn’t that why the shoeless Joe Jackson got banned because of scandals involving CRIME/CRIMINALs.

  2. RedsGhost - Jan 18, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    May I ask, seriously, WHY McGwire hasn’t been charged with grand jury/congressional committee perjury?? Didn’t he stand in front of Congress, take an oath and proceed to blantantly LIE to members of Congress?
    Where’s Arlen Specter when you need him most?

  3. Rays fan - Jan 18, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Actually, no he did not lie–he evaded the question with “I’m not here to talk about the past.” If he had been pressed, he would have pleaded the 5th. However, he wasn’t pressed–something I’d wondered about until last week when (former) Rep Tom Davis (VA) stated in an interview that McGwire did confess behind closed doors but that he could not admit it openly on advice of his lawyers.

  4. Damien Thorne - Jan 20, 2010 at 1:35 AM

    I love how there is a double standard when a persons perception of race being at play in a particular issue. White people seem to automatically think that race is not in play when a Black person feels it is. I will be fair and say that in every case a Black person claims racism, its probably not the case, but at the same time its pretty presumptuous of white people to claim to know a black persons reality better than they do. To automatically be so dismissive in actually an insult. We really don’t have no way to be 100% sure either way. But to say the difference in how McGuire has been dealt with in relation to Bonds is ONLY because Bonds is a jerk is saying you can read minds. You have no way or knowing what is in the heart of certain sports writers or prosecutors who have helped to shape the public perception of Bonds. How do you know if some of those people hate Bonds because he doesn’t know his place if you get my drift. If Bonds had refused to answer any questions as McGuire did at the congressional hearing in 2005 some of your heads would have exploded, but you give McGuire a pass.
    I feel all a player owes fans and teammates is to perform on the field. To think that a player owes fans or teammates to be the nice guy is contributing to what I call the pussification of America. Who cares if he is nice? Are you that insecure that you need your hero to smile or be nice? Lets be honest in Barry Bonds case. If he had acted like a Steppin Fetchit type character because white people are more comfortable with that we wouldn’t hate him as much. Some black people us the race card and some white people use the Jerk card. Its just the easy way for a white person to not like the uppity defiant angry negro and voice it in public.

  5. Damien Thorne - Jan 20, 2010 at 1:46 AM

    Lets be clear. If the previous administration had screwed up so many issues, the bottom had not dropped out of the economy during the election cycle and John McCain had not picked the neighborhood Avon Lady as his Vice Presidential running mate Barack Obama would NEVER have been elected POTUS. So don’t give me the Kumbaya Racism is over and irrelevant crap. It had less to do with white people not being racist and more to do with not being stupid and voting based on their bank account.

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