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A refreshing mea culpa from Ken Rosenthal

Apr 16, 2010, 1:14 PM EDT

Rosenthal.jpgYou may recall that I took Ken Rosenthal to task for calling Mark McGwire a “distraction” and demanding that he resign back in January.  Rosenthal, however, unlike the majority of big time baseball writers out there, will admit when he’s wrong. He does that today:

In late January, when the furor over Mark McGwire was raging, I wrote,
“Unless McGwire moves to change the conversation, the noise is not going
to subside, distracting the team in spring training and beyond.”

I whiffed on that one.

McGwire did not move to change the
conversation, yet the noise did subside. He was not a distraction to the
team in spring training. He is not a distraction now.

Good for Ken.

Even better for Ken is that later in today’s column he questions just how long we should hold grudges against PED-implicated players. He doesn’t ask that we condone their acts — and no one should condone them — but he appreciates that the choices facing these guys during that time were not black and white. Indeed, Rosenthal eben uses the phrase “black and white,” which pretty much sums up my views on the matter (i.e. it’s not one of those colors).  If he weren’t in St. Louis getting ready to cover tomorrow’s Cards-Dodgers Cards-Mets game, I’d kiss him.

Um, OK, maybe not.  But good for him for displaying some refreshing thought and consideration on a subject that so rarely lends itself to such a thing.

Gee, between the Ron Washington thing and now this, one almost gets the sense that the things that get everyone all worked up in the offseason really don’t matter as much as we like to pretend that they do.

  1. ditmars1929 - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Well, the apology is nice and refreshing. But I still think he’s a creepy little troll. As for holding grudges against PED users, I say forever.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Well, this is refreshing. Let’s live and let live et al.We were really busy during the off-season making ourselves “productive” when it was all mental mas……..
    Now the season is getting into first gear, let’s hear it for Ron Washington and the Rangers (but wait til Monday) and Mark McGwire and the simple Yankees fans who don’t want to hear anything and even the Braves with the Tigers thrown in.
    If anyone thinks that fans of the Universe are taciturn, remember most of us are stuck in New Jersey so suffering sometimes shows through.

  3. sjp - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    Good luck to Ken in his unique assignment tomorrow.

  4. kjb - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Is Cards-Dodgers a split squad game?

  5. Ryan - Apr 16, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Now try to rip that same type of thing From Mrs. Scott Boras. Sorry, I mean Jon Heyman.

  6. Evan - Apr 16, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    I have no problem with former cheaters getting into coaching. If McGwire can teach ballplayers a thing or two about hitting, let him be a batting coach.
    However, I completely disagree with your logic and perhaps Ken’s logic when it comes to the choices facing these players. It’s VERY black and white. You either take steroids or you don’t. You either cheat or you don’t. There’s nothing more black and white than that.

  7. billy ray - Apr 16, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Steroids were not legal when they were being used by mcqwire. Being punished for something that occured before it was considered wrong is ridiculous. Tim tebow should be punished for wearing eyeblack with messages on it now that its illegal

  8. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 16, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    [note: do not bring the law into this, it’s stupid and has no place in the discussion]
    However is it still cheating if it’s not against the rules of baseball? Is what AJ Pierzinski did the other day considering cheated if there’s no rule against it? Steroids are currently against the rules of baseball, but during McGwire’s time people still argue over whether it was technically against the rules or not.

  9. willmose - Apr 16, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    Isn’t this the same guy that called the Matt Holliday signing the one of the worst in the history of baseball?

  10. JD - Apr 16, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    How about we hold a grudge against McGwire until he stops being a lying piece of garbage? Yeah, he admitted to using, but he’s still being disingenuous, he’s still not facing what he did, he’s still lying.
    And nobody with a brain argues if steroids were permitted during McGwire’s day. They weren’t. There were CLEAR rules against it. There was just no testing. Why else would McGwire throw up the andro red herring when the whispers of his use got a little too loud for his liking?

  11. TimberLee - Apr 16, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    I’d like to repeat a comment someone made some time ago re the steroid controversy. It was said that Babe Ruth didn’t use steroids; he just used beer and hot dogs. The joke is that steroids were not illegal during much of the time they were used in MLB, while beer was illegal during the prohibition years which includes some of Ruth’s career.

  12. Rays fan - Apr 16, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    I’m glad Rosenthal has given his mea culpa. In December, when he wrote about his Hall of Fame votes, he had specifically stated McGwire’s (at the time presumed, now confirmed) PED usage was not the reason for his not voting for him–it was because he was, in Rosenthal’s opinion, a one-trick pony. I was fine with that until his tirade about the content of McGwire’s confession and apology–because it showed that his earlier declaration about the reasoning for his HoF vote was itself disingenuous.
    As for the commenters who are still mad about McGwire’s confession: (1) What he said was not markedly different from what many others have said when outed for their own PED use without getting hammered nearly as hard for it [Pettite and A-Rod come to mind]. (2) As Craig’s written several times, who cares why he took them? (3) It’s not a lie if he genuinely believes it. it’s only my opinion, but I believe McGwire thinks the PEDs didn’t help his performance–he’s not lying, he’s delusional. In the words of Mr T “I pity da fool.”

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