Skip to content

Mark McGwire’s advice to young players about PEDs: “Yeah, don’t do it”

Nov 8, 2012, 3:34 PM EDT

mcgwire--mark-120108.standard[1]

New Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire gave an interview to Fox Sports Radio on the art of hitting, his new gig with the Dodgers and, or course, his history with PEDs.

McGwire was asked about what he would tell today’s players who ask him about PEDs:

“Yeah, don’t do it. Use your head. It’s a mistake that I have to live with for the rest of my life. I have to deal with never, ever getting into the Hall-of-Fame. I totally understand and totally respect their opinion and I will never, ever push it. That is the way it’s going to be and I can live with that. One of the hardest things I had to do this year was sit down with my nine and ten year old boys and tell them what dad did. That was a really hard thing to do but I did it. They understood as much as a nine or ten year old could. It’s just something, if any ball player ever came up to me, run away from it. It’s not good. Run away from it.”

That’s the no-brainer advice now that there is a testing and penalty program in place that — if you believe the groundswell about the penalties not being big enough — will only get tougher and could drum you right out of the game quickly.

I’d be curious, however, as his boys get older, if McGwire will explain the cost-benefit analysis that existed pre-2004. When there was no testing and, if anything, defacto encouragement from fans, the league, the advertisers and even the media for players to juice up.

Because say what you want about the ethics of what McGwire did, and say what you want about how they have ruined his legacy as a baseball player, but the fact remains that McGwire sat down in a much larger, more expensive house to tell his boys about what he did than he would have been able to if he had been forced out of the game due to injury and ineffectiveness in the early-to-mid 90s, as it appeared he might have been had he not suddenly become a much stronger, healthier and bigger player after that.

To be clear, this is not an endorsement of PED use. It’s just a statement of fact based on the incentive structure in place prior to 2004. And its an incentive structure that can’t be ignored when we cast judgment on those players who used PEDs in that time frame.

Latest Posts
  1. Rays designate Grant Balfour for assignment

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:26 PM EDT

    Grant Balfour Grant Balfour

    Grant Balfour was designated for assignment following a disastrous Saturday night against the Yankees.

  2. Joe Nathan throws off a mound for the first time since suffering an elbow injury

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Joe Nathan Joe Nathan

    Joe Nathan could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Wednesday.

  3. A fun story involving Terry Francona and his dad Tito

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Terry Francona Terry Francona

    If you’re in the mood for a laugh, you’ll want to read this story involving Indians manager Terry Francona and his dad Tito.

  4. Video: Watch Kris Bryant get his first major league hit and RBI

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    Kris Bryant Kris Bryant

    Kris Bryant, one of baseball’s top prospects, earned his first major league hit and RBI on Saturday afternoon against the Padres.

  5. Yordano Ventura ejected for hitting Brett Lawrie with a pitch

    Apr 18, 2015, 8:16 PM EDT

    Yordano Ventura Yordano Ventura

    More drama involving the Athletics and Royals.

  6. There’s some drama about Brett Lawrie apologizing to Alcides Escobar

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Brett Lawrie Brett Lawrie

    Did Brett Lawrie apologize to Alcides Escobar for his hard slide in Friday’s game between the Athletics and Royals? We’re not sure.

  7. Ryan Braun is batting leadoff for the first time in his career

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Ryan Braun Getty Images

    Ryan Braun will lead off for the first time in his career in Saturday’s game against the Pirates.

  8. Giants place Jake Peavy on the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Jake Peavy Jake Peavy

    Jake Peavy is dealing with lower back issues.

  9. UPDATE: Billy Hamilton is day-to-day with right groin soreness

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTc5MTIzY2UzNzg2NGNhZTI2ODExODRkZDlmOWViMmVm Getty Images

    Hamilton suffered the injury beating out an infield single in the eighth inning.

  10. Justin Verlander has throwing session pushed back due to lingering soreness in throwing arm

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander Justin Verlander

    Justin Verlander’s return to the Tigers doesn’t appear imminent.

  11. Josh Hamilton filed for a divorce from his wife in February

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:20 PM EDT

    Los Angels Angels newly acquired outfielder Hamilton talks with reporters as his wife, Katie, looks on during a news conference in Anaheim Reuters

    Hamilton filed for divorce in late February, which is right around the time when word leaked about his offseason drug relapse.

  12. Pete Rose joins FOX as a baseball analyst

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:19 PM EDT

    pete rose getty Getty Images

    You’ll be seeing MLB’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose in FOX’s coverage of baseball this season.

  13. VIDEO: Bryce Harper hit a mammoth home run today vs. the Phillies

    Apr 18, 2015, 4:12 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper AP

    The home run traveled at a distance of 461 feet. My goodness.

  14. Home plate umpire Brian Knight leaves game after being hit in mask by pitch

    Apr 18, 2015, 3:58 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

    Scary moment in today’s Phillies-Nationals game, as home plate umpire Brian Knight was forced to exit after he was hit in the facemask by a pitch in the top of the ninth inning.

  15. Royals closer Greg Holland placed on disabled list with pectoral strain

    Apr 18, 2015, 3:47 PM EDT

    Greg Holland AP

    Greg Holland has been one of the game’s best relievers dating back to 2011, but the Royals will have to make due without him for a little while.

  16. Matt Holliday exits game with back tightness

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:56 PM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

    The Cardinals are calling Holliday’s exit “precautionary,” so it’s probably safe to consider him day-to-day.

  17. Marlins claim left-hander Matt Tracy off waivers from Yankees

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:27 PM EDT

    Matt Tracy AP

    Tracy, 26, was designated for assignment by the Yankees last Sunday.

  18. Yunel Escobar to undergo MRI for groin injury

    Apr 18, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

    The Nats’ infield depth is being tested in the early part of the season.

  19. Jonathan Schoop diagnosed with PCL tear and MCL sprain in right knee

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT

    poses on photo day at Ed Smith Stadium on March 1, 2015 in Sarasota, Florida. Getty Images

    Schoop was off to a nice start so far this season, batting .259 (7-for-27) with three home runs and a .940 OPS over nine games.

  20. Reds activate Homer Bailey from disabled list to make season debut

    Apr 18, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT

    Homer Bailey AP

    Reds right-hander Homer Bailey landed on the disabled list at the end of spring training while he completed his rehab from surgery to repair a tear of the flexor tendon in his elbow, but he has been activated to make his season debut this afternoon against the Cardinals.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (4249)
  2. D. Salazar (3529)
  3. D. Span (3363)
  4. A. Rodriguez (3333)
  5. A. Ottavino (3326)
  1. B. Gardner (3274)
  2. M. Brantley (3262)
  3. D. Mesoraco (3198)
  4. A. Guerrero (3178)
  5. C. Gomez (3131)