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Bryant Gumbel accuses Bagwell, Nomar and Pudge of using steroids

Jan 21, 2010, 1:24 PM EDT

Gumbel.jpgI don’t have HBO so I missed this, but apparently on Tuesday night Bryant Gumbel ended his “Real Sports” show by reading an open letter* to Mark McGwire, taking him to task over his apology.  While it was silly because it (a) was premised on the notion that anyone should care what Mark McGwire thinks steroids did for him; and (b) assumes that, while he was a private citizen in California this past decade he had any obligation to explain to anyone what he did or did not take in his career, the criticism was nothing new. 

What was new, however, were the names Gumbel named at the end of the letter:

“In closing, guys, please feel free to share this letter with Bagwell,
Nomar, Pudge
and all those others who went from hitting homers to power
outages overnight. Tell ’em fans are ready to accept what happened.
Tell ’em we’re ready to move on. Tell ’em that most of us get it…even
if they, like you, still don’t.”

So there you have it. Gumbel is now the first person to publicly accuse Jeff Bagwell and Nomar Garciaparra and Pudge Rodriguez of steroid use (correction: Pudge was named by Canseco in “Juiced”).  Would it shock me if any of them have taken steroids? No. But unless Gumbel is prepared to actually explain (1) how he knows they did; and (2) why, if he does know, he’s just now coming out with their names, I do hope he’ll spare us the sanctimony over people like McGwire waiting so long to “come clean.”  In other words, put up or shut up Gumbel.

In other news, I am waiting for comments from all of the writers who took the blogger Jerod Morris to the woodshed last year for writing that it was possible, based on a statistical pattern, that
Raul Ibanez had used PEDs.  Gumbel is just accusing without any evidence, so he’s even worse, right?  And if your answer is “well, we know Bagwell, Pudge and Nomar took ‘roids, so this isn’t so bad,” why the hell haven’t you reported it yet?

*If I were made dictator of the planet, one of the first things I’d do is to make the practice of “open letters” punishable by death.  You wanna say something to someone, write them a letter. You want to tell your readers or viewers what you think of someone else, tell them what you think.  Open letters are lazy-ass gimmicks with allow the writer to smugly pretend that they’re giving someone advice when he’s really being a passive-aggressive condescending prick. They’re the literary equivalent of “hey, I’m just sayin.'”  How about this: just say it.    

102 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. BC - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Look at this and tell me with a straight face that he wasn’t juicing.

  2. DugoutNut - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    I think the evidence will come out when some of these cheaters come down with Lyle Alzado’s problems and other similar ailments in a number to large to be statistically likely in a random sample.
    Remember, he came clean at the end, said it was not worth it and blamed the steroids.

  3. Nick C - Jan 21, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Please keep up the good work Craig. Someone needs to hold the hypocrites accountable. Seems to me that all the writers are out for is the “gotcha” moment. Also, I hope that Gumbel gets the Jerrod Morris treatment but I suspect that it will not happen.

  4. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Not classy, Mr. Classy and Self-Righteous. Jay suffers from mandibular prognathism, which may also account for his minor speech impediment as well. Super-classy. Do you go up to people in wheelchairs and make fun of them? Classy. I just hate that word, and now I hate you. I can’t even hear it without thinking of the words “broad” as in “she was a classy broad” or Chassy. As in – classy chassy can’t hold the transmission.

  5. willmose - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Has Bryant Gumbel stopped beating his wife?

  6. scatterbrian - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    “He’s deluded if he thinks that steroids had no effect on his hitting…”
    I don’t understand why people insist on hearing McGwire say, “Yes, they helped me hit more home runs.” Isn’t it better this way? Maybe I’m naive, but at it’s least more of a deterrent for potential users to say they did not help. If McGwire is saying they didn’t help him hit–and in turn help him make a buttload of money–maybe kids will think twice about using them. But if he says they did help, what kind of message is he sending? “I used steroids and they did indeed help me hit homers. But even though they make you great and will help you earn millions of dollars, you probably won’t be elected to the Hall of Fame. So you shouldn’t use them.”

  7. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    I have McGwire’s messages right here:
    – My #’s are legit please let me in the HOF, please
    – I’m only standing here today because they made me they said I had to if I wanted to be a coach
    – I’m not here to talk about the past

  8. Moses Green - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    I personally love that Gumbel did this. If he’s right, they can’t really do anything about it – it ain’t libel or slander if it’s true. I wish more journalists would nut up and take their shots.

  9. Charles Gates - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    …and to hell with journalistic standards.

  10. Steve - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Does anyone else besides me think that Cal Ripkens record could be tainted? I never thought that one would be broken.

  11. Carlos - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    If you are going to hold all the “steriod-era” players in contempt, and hold them to a “guilty until proven innocent” standard, what about ALL the other “cheaters” in the game that are allowed to “skate” by because they are considered “hallowed.” Didn’t Gaylord Perry “juice” the ball? What about Joe Neikro and the nail file in his back pocket? Perry was inducted into the hall and Neikro was considered one of the best pitchers in the game. The writers (and Gumbal) want to have their cake and eat it too.

  12. jeff - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    two words Brady Anderson

  13. peter - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    Just off the top of my head, Maris was not a one year wonder in 1961-he was the mvp the year prior as well. And were steroids even available 30,40,50 years ago? I would tend to doubt it!

  14. Ed - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    That analogy is to analagous! As for steroids – whatever. They all cheat. It’s just like the real world in that respect. And when is it new for journalists to have a 2 faced personality? They have always been wanting it both ways.

  15. Walter J - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    I remember a few years ago when Brian Gumbal was at the top of his game,since then his exposure has dropped off. Think he used steroids. eh…..

  16. JasonC23 - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    All we need to do is see which of these sluggers has bacne. There’s your proof!

  17. I am The Rosa - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    From what I am reading the point the author is trying to make is not who used and who didn’t, but rather you can’t plug your ears and yell LA LA LA LA LA and then the next minute start throwing people under the bus with no evidence at all. You either investigate and produce evidence or you do the usual bland reporting that everyone else does.
    My response to that (and that only) is that any news media outlet, including those that cover sports, has LONG since abandoned digging for facts and unconvering a story and is much more about creating a story and hoping random facts show up or that the fanciful story gets enough people to look that someone else works on the facts.

  18. talex - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    It’s an open secret in beantown that Garciaparra was on the juice, along with Kapler, Manny, Big Papi and a few others! Old news in New England. Go around to the Gold’s Gyms in Boston and ask around!
    And people who start to throw Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron, and Roger Maris into a steriod conversation are idiots! If you want to throw a modern player from the 80’s on then that’s fair game, but spare us the mention of steriods when we’re talking about the 19th Century and Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron and Reggie Jackson and George Foster. You sound like an ignorant monkey when mentioning steriods with these players who didn’t even know how to spell the word steriod.

  19. (Not That) Tom - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:48 PM
    Search the internet for stuff…like this:

  20. lyle alzado - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Carlton still has a show? C’mon this guy is so boring as a sports reporter it is ridiculous. It’s the same old crap just repackaged by someone else trying for another 15 minutes of fame. If you want to know who ‘juiced’ wait 10 or so more years and these guys will start dropping like flies.

  21. kevin - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    Gumball is delusional. Bagwell played the early part of his career in a cavern calleed the Astrodome; thirty home runs a year there was quite a feat. However, if steroids are performance enhancing, maybe Gumball better roid up! It might help him as he’s fallen into the afterthought category of reputable reporters.

  22. Alex K - Jan 21, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Steroids were around over a hundred years ago…..

  23. scatterbrian - Jan 21, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Yep. Anabolic steroid research began as early as the 1930s.

  24. Charles Gates - Jan 21, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    Yes, so our choices are, basically, to stand idly by and accept it or to hold people accountable.

  25. Rick - Jan 21, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Not the same thing Carlos.

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