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Deep Thoughts: PED-using coaches edition

Jan 28, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

Several readers suggested this one:  If it’s such a big deal that the Cardinals have hired a coach who took PEDs — if he’s toxic, if he’s a distraction — then why does no one care that Glenallen Hill coaches for the Colorado Rockies?

And don’t tell me that it’s because Hill, unlike McGwire, truly “came clean.” His story to George Mitchell was that he bought HGH but never used it. That standing alone doesn’t pass the smell test any better than McGwire’s “I took it for health purposes.” It’s the PED-equivalent of “I didn’t inhale.”  It was also contradicted directly by (a) his dealer, Kirk Radomski, who claimed that Hill did indeed take the drugs he was sold and even told Radomski about their effects; and (b) Jason Grimsley, who swore out an affidavit stating that Hill used steroids.  Unlike Hill, both Radomski and Grimsley were under legal compulsion to provide their information.

So, in Glenallen Hill and Mark McGwire we have two PED-using coaches who haven’t come clean according to the standards of people like Ken Rosenthal and Howard Bryant.  In light of that, if anyone can tell me why the former is allowed to go about his business and the latter is currently the subject of a full court media press trying to oust him from his job before he can even start it, please let me know, because I really don’t get it.

  1. (Not That) Tom - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    “then why does no one care that Glenallen Hill coaches for the Colorado Rockies?”
    Because, Craig, Hill didn’t disgrace the Maris Family by hitting DINGERS! Or at least enough of them.

  2. Jonny5 - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    The sound of me clapping. Good post Craig.

  3. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:24 AM

    You and your sound, reasonable logic.

  4. RobRob - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:37 AM

    I’ve said for a long time that the level of vitriol against Bonds (and now McGwire) is because of the home run record. If these guys had broken the hits record, or the walks record, or the RBI record, no one would really care. No one cares about the NFL players on steroids because no one cares about the NFL record book.

    This attention on McGwire is because of his home runs. The fact that sportswriters have beatified home run hitters for decades and treated their records as the one sacred and pure element in all of sport really leaves them no other choice but to tear down anyone who they deem as being unworthy of that stature. The cognitive dissonance is too much for them.

    In truth, McGwire hasn’t done anything different in his apologies than anyone else who was caught. The only difference is that he hit those 70 home runs.

  5. smsetnor - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    It’s because the media is racist. They treat the McGwires and Clemenses like trash and the Hills and the Bondses like they don’t exist… Oh wait.

  6. sjp - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    This always has been the pattern….the media only cares about players that used PEDs there were actually good. Clearly, they don’t care about “cheating”, if they did, they would be against all forms of cheating by everyone regardless of accomplishments.
    The baseball media regularly show their bias. Ortiz and Petite suffered little comparative backlash because they are viewed as good guys. Petite and Ortiz each clearly lied in the admissions as each could not keep his story straight, but those details were ignored. Even ARod didn’t have people calling for him to quit despite obvious fabrications in his story.
    It is sad that the media (including such as Gammons) have so little perspective, consistency, or understanding of context.

  7. RickyB - Jan 28, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Simple double standard, much like why the NFL has gotten mostly a free pass on its steroid troubles and MLB has not. McGwire was a star, Hill was not. Stars and idols are simply held to a higher standard, particularly by reporters. And when the heroes’ flaws are exposed, reporters become the woman scorned, like which fury Hell hath no.

  8. Levi Stahl - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    Sensitivity about arachnophobics?
    Sorry: it’s just that no article about Hill can be allowed, legally, to pass without a reference to arachnophobia.
    {Side note: one of my favorite moments as a radio listener came in the late ’90s, when Hill was a Cub and I heard someone–Harry Caray?–describe him as “the versatile Glenallen Hill.”}

  9. Joe Tetreault - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Paraphrasing a wit:
    You’ve just constructed a rational argument that’s well thought out and uses nearly impeccable logic. I want you desk cleaned out by sunset.
    Good stuff

  10. Jonny5 - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Well it was worth noting coming from Craig…..
    I may be in the minority, maybe it’s due to having a son who loves the game??? But I say the steroid users (all of them) Should be castigated by sports writers, Fans, and baseball alike. We should not now, nor ever make it seem even remotely acceptable to use these drugs. With guys like this who were caught being let off the hook and allowed to stay in the game what does it say to youth? I think it says “Do it, but don’t get caught, if you do get caught though,,,,, You still get to continue your stardom as it was, just don’t caught again”. That’s not a banned substance imo.

  11. gumbercules - Jan 28, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    What is with this new font? Anyway, yeah, it’s because McGwire is white and Hill is not. You know how persecuted whitey is. No, wait…that’s not it. Yeah, I’ll go with the star vs. non-star theory posited above. Nobody give a hoot about Glenallen Hill (except for imaginary spiders), but McGwire broke The Record which stood for THREE WHOLE YEARS afterward.

  12. ecp - Jan 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    We don’t have to wonder why no one cares about Glenallen Hill. It’s not just McGwire breaking the Maris record. It’s because nobody’s arguing about whether or not Hill should be voted into the Hall of Fame.

  13. Jason Rosenberg - Jan 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Let me offer a dissent, of a sort. We have to separate the “size of the infraction” from “the size of the distraction.” Wherever you fall on the “steroids are evil” spectrum (I’m much closer to the “who really cares” end), the fact is that McGuire and his PED use is a much bigger media circus than Glenallen Hill’s. We can speculate endlessly as to WHY people care about McGuire more than Hill (the records he broke, racism, whatever), but the fact remains that, if Glenallen Hill shows up in your camp, no one cares. If McGuire does, then you get a million reporters asking questions. So, McGuire is a distraction, while Hill isn’t.
    Of course, the irony/hypocrisy of the reporters predicting a distraction, when it’s really THEY who will be the distraction…

  14. Moses Green - Jan 28, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    All of the “reporters” who bought in hook line and sinker that Hulk Hogan, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were just taking their vitamins and saying their prayers and working out hard (The Hulkster’s stated method) are just angry at having been made to look stupid. The fact that they actually were stupid doesn’t affect their blind stupid rage at all.

  15. motherscratcher - Jan 28, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    You think the uproar is bad about McGwire…just think if Paul Byrd caught on somewhere as a pitching coach. All hell would break loose. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria.

  16. scatterbrian - Jan 28, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    It’s really just sour grapes at this point. The amount of disgust from the media for a given player today is proportional to the amount of praise they hoisted onto a player during his career. It’s almost as though they want to even out the word count. “For every word of praise I wrote about McGwire I will now reciprocate with scathing commentary.”

  17. Rays fan - Jan 28, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    I was going to weigh in, but then I saw your post. Instead I’ll just applaud and say “ditto.”

  18. Michael - Jan 28, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    What I want to know is why we haven’t heard more about Glenallen Hill breaking Maris’ record.
    I mean, steroids make that happen, right?
    If you’re going to get on McGwire because steroids “obviously” were what made the difference, why didn’t it make the difference for most guys?

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