As we all know, Mark Mcgwire came clean several days ago about his steroid and PED use throughout the 90’s, including his record-breaking 1998 season. Some have applauded him for “voluntarily” coming forward with this information and others are left feeling a little suspicious. Here’s my take:
First thing is first, this was not by any means voluntary. Mcgwire was recently hired to be the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and going into this season every person in the Cardinals organization knew this situation was going to have to be addressed before the season started, or this would be a severe distraction to the team during the season. It just so happens, they decided to get this out of the way in January and clear the air.
Secondly, Mcgwire claimed that “steroids didn’t help his statistics” because he was only using the drugs for health purposes. The fact that for most of his career without steroids, he could rarely stay on the field, it is pretty evident that by taking steroids, it enabled him to remain healthy and stay on the field to accumulate more homeruns, RBIs, and hits. This would unfairly aide his case for the Hall of Fame and would unfairly give him advantages for more lucrative contracts than his fellow “clean” MLB players.
Another popular question asked by several media outlets is “If you were only using steroids for health purposes, why did you continue using them even while you were healthy?” If you were an athlete who struggled to stay healthy for the majority of his career and you suddenly began taking a drug that made your body feel stronger and healthier, would you ever stop taking the drug just because you weren’t injured anymore? I know I certainly wouldn’t. Why take the risk that coming off the drug will negatively affect your health again? Why fix it if it ain’t broken? These hypothetical questions are all assuming you made the decisions to use steroids in the first place, which I am not an advocate of.
In closing, no one knows specifically how much these steroids and PEDs are assisting players and how much strength and muscle mass they are gaining with the drugs. It is extremely hard to quantify how many homeruns Mcgwire would have hit in his career if he never touched a drug. Mcgwire says that he believes he would have broken the homerun record if he was off of steroids, and I can’t say I’m 100% sure he is wrong. There are a lot of question marks regarding the now “steroid era”, but one thing I do know, is that guys like Clemens, A-rod, Mcgwire and Bonds thoroughly dominated their era of baseball when steroids are believed to be so prevalent that no one is safe from accusation. That’s what the Hall of Fame is really all about, dominating your era. As much doubt as many will want to cast over the records of Bonds and Mcgwire, consider the fact that the pitchers they were facing to break these records, were most likely using some type of PED also. If I had a vote for the HOF, I would have to cast my vote for Mcgwire, A-rod, Clemens, and Bonds.
Would you vote for Mcgwire for the Hall of Fame?
Tags: assu, Baseball, hall of fame, health purposes, hitting coach, hypothetical questions, Juice, lucrative contracts, mark mcgwire, Mark Mcqwire, mlb players, Opinion, rbis, st louis cardinals, Steroids