Up steps Mark McGwire to take his place in this week's media contrition event. He needs his job, he needs his salary, a few tears should do the trick.
McGwire admitted in 1998 that he was using androstenedione, a steroid precursor that turns into testosterone in men. This performance enhancing drug was perfectly legal back then and didn't become a controlled substance till 2004. However, it was already banned by the NFL and the IOC so the dragnet was already closing in. So who cares? Obviously some puritans in the baseball industry are jealous that the drug may have worked too well and assisted McGwire in hitting a record home runs - not quite cricket (or baseball)!
So much so that McGwire has been black-balled from the Hall of Fame no less than four times. After crawling under a rock for a few years he is due back as the hitting coach for the Cardinals. Hence the admissions of mea culpa and an interview with AP where he recounted breaking the news to his son, who is now 22.
"He's very, very understandable [understanding]. So are my parents," McGwire said. "The biggest thing that they said is they're very proud of me, that I'm doing this. They all believe it's for the better. And then I just hope we can move on from this and start my new career as a coach." [HP]
The drug was not illegal at the time, so what's the real reason behind this cry-and-tell? Well, Bic Mac had been rather economical with the truth back at a congressional hearing on disinfecting the baseball industry.
"He knows he owes the baseball world an explanation," said former Rep. Tom Davis, the Virginia Republican who chaired the congressional hearing in 2005. "I think we all knew this. I don't think anybody's surprised by this. He was one of hundreds of players who used steroids during this time. ... This was so widespread. Had we not held these hearings and put the fear of God into baseball, it would still be going on."
So Little Mac gets to be contrite and perhaps avoid the charge of perjury, all for the sake of a game. And history can be rewritten for the Minstry of Baseball and everyone can go back to counting their money.
In 2002 Mark McGwire married Stephanie Slemer, a former pharmaceutical sales representative.