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The dump-McGwire campaign intensifies

Jan 26, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

McGwire crying.jpgYesterday Ken Rosenthal gave Mark McGwire an ultimatum: repent or resign.  I had missed the fact that, earlier in the day, Peter Gammons had thrown a log on that same fire, calling McGwire a “distraction,” questioning whether his presence on the Cardinals is sustainable and, as a grand finale, saying “McGwire, La Russa, Mozeliak, DeWitt and Selig had better sit down and
think it through, because less than two weeks into the return of Big
Mac, this has all the feel of Tom Eagleton.”

For you kids who don’t remember the 1972 Presidential campaign, Tom Eagleton was a U.S. Senator from Missouri who was picked to be Democratic nominee George McGovern’s running mate.  He was forced off the ticket, however, when it was revealed that he had been hospitalized for serious mental health difficulties, had suffered from manic depression and suicidal tendencies and had been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.

McGwire = Eagleton?  Really Peter?  A hitting coach who took some PEDs a few years ago inspires a comparison to a man with potentially debilitating mental health problems being a heartbeat away from the presidency?  Sure, why not.  But unlike Rosenthal, I’m willing to give Gammons a greater benefit of the doubt on this sort of thing because his commentary tends not to skew hysterical. To that end I’m assuming that Gammons is referring to the media circus that is developing around McGwire and isn’t making some sort of moral or psychological equivalence.

But of course there will be a media circus when spring training starts. Of course McGwire will be a “distraction,” to use Gammons’ term. But it’s not because there’s anything relevant left to report about Mark McGwire’s steroid use or anything else he should be obligated to add. It’s because everywhere McGwire goes, people like Rosenthal and Gammons will fulfill their own prophesies, jumping up and down, madly pointing and shouting “Look! A distraction!”

  1. Old Gator - Jan 26, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    “I’m sure some of the younger readers cannot imagine how Eagleton could have possibly been selected as a candidate given the kind of media vitriol that is accepted as reporting today.”
    Oh, I dunno. They watched The Candidate Formerly Recognizable as John McCain let his staff go out and pick a pea-witted, ignorant, corrupt, thieving, incompetent retrograde psycho immured in a religiosity so juvenile that she probably made even most creationists cringe – and then they watched those same aides spend the last quarter of the campaign, and months thereafter, lambasting their own selection for every conceivable reason every chance they got. The Eagleton fiasco seems almost professional by comparison.

  2. Jim C - Jan 26, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    @Lost Fan-Pete Rose affected the outcomes of lots of games, as he frequently bet on the Reds to lose. So he clearly was in a position, as manager of the team, to help the team lose. According to John Dowd, who led the investigation, there were two corroborating witnesses who said that Rose bet on the Reds to lose every time Bill Gullickson or Mario Soto pitched. Their records indicate Pete wasn’t all that sharp, but we all knew that already. Dowd was not allowed to put anything in his final report that was not corroborated by three witnesses, so this did not make it into the published report.

  3. The Rabbit - Jan 27, 2010 at 12:42 AM

    I must admit I laughed loudly when I read your response….and tried to think of adjectives that you might have overlooked. I was unsuccessful.
    The “pea-witted, ignorant, corrupt, thieving, incompetent retrograde psycho immured in a religiosity so juvenile that she probably made even most creationists cringe” is now a Fox News commentator. I will add no comment because I know I share your opinion on this subject.
    BTW: If you ever get to the Ozarks, I’ll fix you a horsemeat and velveeta sandwich (Mine are made with finely sliced prime rib, provolone, sauteed onions and peppers and served on homemade Italian rolls.)and we can discuss ways to undermine the lunatic fringe.

  4. stargatebabe - Jan 29, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Judy, I agree with everything you said but I’d like to add that the MEDIA is just as responsible! They are pissed because they were pulled in, just like the rest of us! THEY are the ones who feel they are “owed” something when no one owes them anything!

  5. vter24 - Feb 19, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    Who saved the game after the players strike? McGwire! Who hit 49 home runs his rookie year(before steroid use)? Are Gammons et al. pointing a finger at A-roid? If the media would lay back a bit, sports would improve, salaries would come down, and even politics would get better. Leave big Mac alone and let him coach!

  6. Traffic Ultimatum - Mar 8, 2010 at 4:11 AM

    I love this blog. It’s full of stuff I don’t think I need to know…. but I DO need to know lol!

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