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Mark Mcgwire: Great or Guilty?


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McGwire Refuses to Say if He Used Steroids

20 minutes ago

By HOWARD FENDRICH and RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writers

WASHINGTON - Lined up shoulder to shoulder, some of baseball's biggest stars told Congress Thursday that steroids are a problem for the sport but denied there is widespread use. Mark McGwire, choking back tears at times, repeatedly refused to say if he took the drugs when he was helping fuel a surge in the sport's popularity with his prodigious home runs.

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On a day of extraordinary theater, House Government Reform Committee (news - web sites) members professed their love of baseball before attacking the sport's new drug policy and warning Congress could get involved if stronger steps aren't taken. Except for admitted steroid user Jose Canseco, the five players repeatedly ducked pointed questions. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig watched from a few feet away, waiting more than eight hours for his chance to respond.

Canseco

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Guest ranster627

I am not a baseball fan by any stretch, but I did watch the hearings on CNN. It was torturous to say the least to see a hero fall ... he would have been better to have said nothing at all rather than to keep using the line "I'm not here to talk about the past ..."

I did not think much more about the author guy either who is just trying to make a buck rather than being a do-gooder.

Sammy Sosa struck me as honest though ...

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It was a pretty disgusting display. Not so much the players as I felt bad that Mark McGwire had to make himself look like a total ass while congressmen banter him to admit that he uses steroids. We all can guess the truth and he testified as everyone expected he would (evasive). However what pissed me off was the arrogance of Bud Selig and his band of cronnies. They looked and acted like the thug mobsters of the golden era of the Teamsters Union leaders. I say revoke baseball's antitrust exemption and get that Sherman Act and apply it to the sport and all those idiots that run it.

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Ok, I admit that I don't know much about what is going on with this sport... grew up and lived in St. Louis most of my life so of course I'm a huge fan of McGuire's.

But, I thought that the supplements that McGuire, Sousa, etc. used back then were legal. (Or at least not banned by the baseball commission, isn't that true?) If that's the case then WHY is this such a big deal for them to admit it they took them? I can see that there is a feeding frenzy now and they're possible afraid of losing The Basesball Hall of Fame status.

I don't know, I guess what I'm saying is that with all the "drugs" out there being prescribed by doctor's, supplements, enhancers, vitamins, etc. Does it really matter? Seems to me that if the baseball commision really wants to get to the bottem of the "use" of drugs in the sport then and now, AND they seriously want to make a change (them playing dumb about this stuff PO's me) then just give these guys immunity and an opportunity to truely open up and say what HAS been done, what's being done NOW and allow them to suggest ways to make it better. Otherwise it's just a way to take the heat a way from ALL at the expense of a few. IMO

I'm sure I'm waaay off here but, I welcome anyone that wants to explain to me what is REALLY going on here... something just seems "off" at how this is all going down. I don't know, I guess I just see this mob mentality and people gunning for these guys, I just hate when people ban together to "hate" on someone just so the focus isn't on themselves.

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Guest ranster627

While it is true that "supplements, performance enhancing drugs or steroids" were not considered illegal for the sport of baseball in particular, I think the fuss comes over the fact that what was accomplished was with help ... the easy way ... and not the TRUE measure of the men ...

It has been proven that ingesting these substances can kill, or maim, and now that the "cat is out of the bag", they need to protect young people, and in fact everyone from thinking that the only way to succeed in any sport is to give in and get a short term gain for long-term pain.

I agree with you about immunity, but from the performance I saw, crocodile tears and all, I do not think MacGwire has it in him to admit what he has done ... maybe even to himself. He kind of reminds me of Pete Rose.

Regardless of what he has done, he has to come clean quickly to salvage his "rep". He really could be a source of knowledge in my opinion as an example of what not to do ... but I think the guts aren't there for that ...

Frankly this open secret should have been dealt with years ago, but that is the past. My concern related to all of this goes to Arnold Schwarzennager saying he used steroids and that it is okay under doctors guidance. Creates a real Catch 22 and cionfusion for the message????

I think MacGwire is more concerned over that record ... not legit in my eyes, than doing any good.

Maybe they need a steroid league and a "clean" league??? :roll:

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Guest ranster627
IMHO, I think that Mark admitted guilt by not denying steroid use when he had ample opportunity to do so.

I totally agree ... if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck!

He would have been quite respected IMO if he did an "I have sinned" moment, OUT LOUD!

The evasion has not earned him any brownie points!

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Guest conniejoe

I have to agree w/ you, Ranster.

But I couldn't stand the Congressional Hearing on this issue, or on most issues for that matter. Politicians wagging their collective finger is just a publicity stunt for their constituents. How high and mighty they look!

Why drag the players into it? It wasn't illegal. Putting them on the spot does nothing to solve the problem. But Congress wanted the players there because they knew the public would tune in to see their favorite players. Like I said, it was a publicity stunt so these sleazy politicians could get airtime and sound bites from the hearing. The only ppl that should have been there IMO is Bud Selig & Co.

If they want to ban the use of these drugs, fine. Do it. And then let the players have an opportunity to clean up their act. You can't punish them for juicing up in the past.

I hate Bud Selig. He's known about this for a long time and has turned a blind eye to it. As long as these juiced up jocks were breaking records and raking money in for club owners, he chose to keep his mouth shut.

And I loved your reference to Pete Rose, Ranster. Let me see if I can put this into perspective. Bud Selig hanged Pete out to dry for betting on baseball and not owning up to it. Even after Pete admitted to it though, Selig hasn't welcomed the Hitking back into the fold.

But now you have guys who juiced up, won't admit it and indirectly because of their actions, some kids who wanted to follow in their footsteps have died from steriod use. (I could be wrong, but I haven't seen any documentation that kids died from following Pete's lead and bet on baseball.) Butthole...er, I mean, Bud Selig sure has some warped priorities. He needs to go!!!!

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Guest ranster627
I have to agree w/ you, Ranster.

But I couldn't stand the Congressional Hearing on this issue, or on most issues for that matter. Politicians wagging their collective finger is just a publicity stunt for their constituents. How high and mighty they look!

Why drag the players into it? It wasn't illegal. Putting them on the spot does nothing to solve the problem. But Congress wanted the players there because they knew the public would tune in to see their favorite players. Like I said, it was a publicity stunt so these sleazy politicians could get airtime and sound bites from the hearing. The only ppl that should have been there IMO is Bud Selig & Co.

If they want to ban the use of these drugs, fine. Do it. And then let the players have an opportunity to clean up their act. You can't punish them for juicing up in the past.

I hate Bud Selig. He's known about this for a long time and has turned a blind eye to it. As long as these juiced up jocks were breaking records and raking money in for club owners, he chose to keep his mouth shut.

And I loved your reference to Pete Rose, Ranster. Let me see if I can put this into perspective. Bud Selig hanged Pete out to dry for betting on baseball and not owning up to it. Even after Pete admitted to it though, Selig hasn't welcomed the Hitking back into the fold.

But now you have guys who juiced up, won't admit it and indirectly because of their actions, some kids who wanted to follow in their footsteps have died from steriod use. (I could be wrong, but I haven't seen any documentation that kids died from following Pete's lead and bet on baseball.) Butthole...er, I mean, Bud Selig sure has some warped priorities. He needs to go!!!!

:idea: I have a feeling it may have been illegal after all, because why else would they all need lawyers and be so evasive???

As for Pete Rose ... he would have been forgiven by now if the lies hadn't lasted for soooooo long. He will have his day! I am just wondering now whether he "used" too? The linkages should start for everyone soon.

The players are high profile yes, but I thought this was the American National passtime? If I'm wrong there hit me with a wet noodle because I am just the neighbour (Canadian eh)! In this case, you never taint a National passtime ... we know of what we speak when we consider the many hockey scandals up here!

I will sign off here as I could never hope to match your organization conniejoe in what I considered a well executed post by you!

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Guest GaYToR

Kudos to everyone of you who has expressed an opinion on this whole mess. I can't believe Congress felt the need to get this involved and turn this into a modern day "Salem Witch Hunt" when the Commissioner and team owners of MLB are at least a great part of the group of people who should be held accountable.

I have had my own experience with steroids, under strict doctor supervisoun after major back surgery. I was in such pain upon going home too early I couldn't move. I was given a Medrol Dose-Pak and during the first dose of a 5 day perscription, I was amazed at the things I could do. As soon as the 5th day was up I was back in the same shape as before and given one more round. Pain went away immediately so I do know how easy it would be to want more. Fortunately my wise Dr wouldn't let me have another round. But that is getting off topic, so here I go trying to bring it back to the subject at hand.

I missed most of the testimony, but have heard the sound bytes on CNN, etc. I may be way off base here but I can't help but wonder how much of the recently transpired events were due to the recently published book by Jose Canseco. I almost wonder if he had an in with his Congressman to increase his sales. Yes, I know that is a conspiracy theory that is way out in left field, but I love conspiracy theories.

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Guest conniejoe
I will sign off here as I could never hope to match your organization conniejoe in what I considered a well executed post by you!

:shock: Really? Why, thank you, Ranster! Sometimes I don't feel that way, myself. I think I tend to ramble on.

Point taken about not tainting America's National Pasttime. I think that's what has everyone upset more than anything. What's the saying?.... the USA is baseball and apple pie, or something like that.

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Wow... thanks everyone. You all helped me understand a bit more about what has been going on past, present and future of baseball.

Thank you ranster for pointing out about the children. I meant to mention that in my post too. I have heard many stories of the dangers of these drugs and for some of our sports hero's to be taking them only leads to our children partaking of them (at younger and younger ages) to even have a chance at competing professionally in the future.

I also agree that the sport should be "pure." Isn't that what professional sports are supposed to be about ... the best of the best competing? Without some having been "suped up" and some not.

conniejoe, you're post was right on target. I was trying to say those things but, didn't fully understand enough to put it all together... thank you for helping me to get those thoughts processed.

All of you helped put the pieces together and by george I think I understand now... woo hoo

Gaytor, thank you for your testimonial... and I'm glad you have a wise Dr. because it sounds like the wrong Dr. + steroids = a "hooked" person.

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Guest ranster627
Kudos to everyone of you who has expressed an opinion on this whole mess. I can't believe Congress felt the need to get this involved and turn this into a modern day "Salem Witch Hunt" when the Commissioner and team owners of MLB are at least a great part of the group of people who should be held accountable.

I have had my own experience with steroids, under strict doctor supervisoun after major back surgery. I was in such pain upon going home too early I couldn't move. I was given a Medrol Dose-Pak and during the first dose of a 5 day perscription, I was amazed at the things I could do. As soon as the 5th day was up I was back in the same shape as before and given one more round. Pain went away immediately so I do know how easy it would be to want more. Fortunately my wise Dr wouldn't let me have another round. But that is getting off topic, so here I go trying to bring it back to the subject at hand.

I missed most of the testimony, but have heard the sound bytes on CNN, etc. I may be way off base here but I can't help but wonder how much of the recently transpired events were due to the recently published book by Jose Canseco. I almost wonder if he had an in with his Congressman to increase his sales. Yes, I know that is a conspiracy theory that is way out in left field, but I love conspiracy theories.

As an X-Files junkie (pardon the pun) :twisted: I will say that I think the conspiracy theory is a good one. The conspiracy is one of politicians wanting their day in the limelight though IMO.

As an aside but in response to your testimonial GaYTor, I do believe there can be good in steroid use for medicinal purposes as a last resort, and wouldn't want them not to be available for compassionate purposes. I am fully against their elective use however! I too will take a second to share why I am so vehement. I am a thalidomide baby, born disabled because my mom was prescribed medication during pregnancy ... she only took teaspoonfuls and as a result I have feet where your kneecaps are and a host of other disabilities. I say this not to evoke sympathy (which I hate), but to clarify my strong feelings about drugs. This is not to say I haven't been known to slip :twisted: lol

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Conniejoe First I want to say that it was not Bud Selig that banned Pete Rose from baseball, it was Bart Giamatti who was the commisioner when Pete Rose was caught Gambling. My point about all this is just that baseball has proved that it can't police itself. Steroidds have been banned since 1991. The legal one that Mguire took was called Andro and was immediately banned the following year after his recording setting homerun season. I feel, as I have stated before, that baseball needs to have its anti trust exemption revoked and policed its drug use by an outside organization that has nothing to do with the league. I think as as as the players go, what has happened is too late to go back and fix (gulity or not) its just time to fix the existing problem and move foward.

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Guest conniejoe

I stand corrected. Thanks Stephen for reminding me of Bart Giamatti. It's been such a long time since my man, Pete, was banned. (I tried to access that part of my brain, but all I heard were crickets chirping. It must have been one of my medicated years.)

And it just seems that Selig's been here forever anyway. I just can't stand that man. He's so high and mighty w/ Pete, but then plays dumb about the steroid scandal. Did I mention I hate Bud Selig?

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One reputation is in tatters, another could be

Jason Stark,Senior writer ESPN

Once, he was compared to Babe Ruth. Thursday, he was compared to Enron.

That's not what you call a great day on Capitol Hill. But that's the kind of day it was for a fallen living legend named Mark McGwire. People are never going to look at him the same now. Not after a day of dodging questions the way he once dodged fastballs steaming toward his eyebrows.

Legally, of course, McGwire didn't have to answer those questions. Remember that. The men who wrote the Constitution handed him that right. So in a way, all he did was exercise his fundamental right to avoid ensconcing himself in a whole mess of trouble. But a lot of good that will do Not So Big Mac with millions of people who once loved him, cheered him, froze their existences those four times a night when he walked toward home plate.

It was way too clear what he didn't want to talk about and why he didn't want to talk about it. Now he has to know, just as we know, what that means. It means he drove his reputation off a cliff Thursday, and left his legacy irreparably splattered. Very possibly beyond repair. He didn't want to talk about the past. That's what he said. But now, that part he didn't want to talk about is all anyone else will ever want to talk about. And that ain't good.

Once, we could reminisce for hours about that 70-homer magic-carpet ride seven years deep in his past. Witnessing that was the thrill of a lifetime -- at the time. Now, that's the portion of his past we won't want to talk about anymore. That was one fairy tale that won't be ending happily ever after now.

amcgwireil2ae.th.jpg

"There's a simple way to solve this," Rep. Mark Souder lectured him Thursday, "(by saying), 'I am clean.'

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Guest ranster627

No sympathy from me, if he was asserting his priviledge then he should have stuck with just that ... you can't have it both ways and pick and choose what you want to say ...

You reap what you sew!

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  • 1 month later...

Sports Steroid Law Planned Next Week

[ap]May19,2005 Despite what he called an "abrupt about-face" by Major League Baseball, the head of a congressional panel opened a hearing on steroids in the NBA on Thursday by saying he'll propose a law next week to create a uniform testing standard for the four major U.S. professional sports leagues.

House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., promised that the legislation he's drafting with ranking Democrat Henry Waxman of California and Sen. John McCain, "will have more teeth than other bills introduced." Davis didn't go into detail, but Waxman said their legislation would follow the Olympic model and would call for a two-year ban for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second offense.

Those are the same penalties in the Drug Free Sports Act introduced last month by Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee conducting a separate inquiry into steroids. Stearns' panel is holding hearings to discuss his proposed legislation, with NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw appearing Thursday.

Referring to the proposed bill, Tagliabue said he "would respectfully urge that it not be enacted into law in its present form." "The drug testing program in the NFL is not a 'problem' that needs federal legislation in order to be 'fixed,'" Tagliabue added in his written testimony.

About 100 yards away, in another wood-paneled hearing room, Davis' committee was hearing Thursday from NBA commissioner David Stern, NBA union leader Billy Hunter, Washington Wizards guard Juan Dixon and Houston Rockets trainer Keith Jones. The lawmakers held hearings on baseball in March and football in April. "Certainly, the NBA is not suffering under the same cloud of steroid use suspicion that has been hovering over other professional sports," Davis said.

But, he continued, "How do we know for sure there's no steroid problem in the NBA if its testing policies are so weak? If there's little or no upside to using steroids in basketball, why doesn't the NBA have the strongest policy in all of sports?" Waxman called the NBA's policy "simply inadequate. Of the professional sports policies this committee has reviewed, the NBA policy appears to be the weakest."

Stern repeated what he told Stearns' subcommittee on Wednesday: He has told Hunter that he wants to add more in-season tests, double the penalty for a first offense to 10 games and kick players out of the league for a third positive test. "The union supports some changes," Hunter said Thursday. Davis said his bill would cover the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NHL. "Our investigation already has spawned results, evidenced most profoundly by Major League Baseball's abrupt about-face on the need for more stringent testing," Davis said.

When baseball commissioner Bud Selig testified before Davis' panel in March, he defended his sport's steroids policy against withering criticism, calling it "as good as any in professional sports." He also said he had agreed to shorter penalties "on the theory that behavior modification should be the most important goal."

When he returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to testify before Stearns' subcommittee along with the commissioners and union chiefs from the NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer, Selig articulated other goals: wiping out steroids in baseball and restoring the game's reputation.

"I'm proud of this sport, and I've been saddened by what I've read, what I've heard. Do I think a lot of it has been unfair? I do. But it's up to us to take the next step and that is to remove any doubt. There should be no equivocation about what this sport wants, what it did about it and how it cleaned it up," Selig said.

On Wednesday, several lawmakers lauding the commissioner for his recent attempts to strengthen baseball's drug program. He testified about the details of his proposals. "We need to do this as soon as possible," Selig said. "We just need to keep the intensity and get it done. So we can quit talking about it."

Baseball banned steroids in September 2002 and instituted mandatory 10-day suspensions this season. In a letter to union head Donald Fehr last month, Selig suggested that starting in 2006, major league players be given 50-game suspensions for a first positive test for steroids, 100-game penalties for a second positive test and lifetime bans for a third. There are 162 games in a season.

Selig also wants to ban amphetamines. "Mr. Selig, you've come a long way," said Rep. Fred Upton.

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I wish I could have seen this because I would like to have heard more from the parents.

My gut reaction is that I really don't give a flying fig what these "professionals" do, its our kids that I worry about. But that isn't entirely true because the fact of the matter is OUR kids look up to these guys. I remember when MrGwire and Sosa were going for Maris record, the boys on every team we associated with were so pumped, hanging on every pitch in every game to see what would happen. It was contagious, before long I couldn't tear myself away from the TV when there was a game on. The kids have dreams of being like these men and sadly but so true, the parents push them. Sometimes I think the parents dream becomes the childs dream. From the time these kids are old enough to hit a ball off a tee, they are lead to believe they will be the next super star. They are pushed and pushed and pushed by over zealous parents to excel in sports. 90% of the talk you hear from parents at games is what school or what big league team is scouting their kid. The pressure on these kids is unreal. If you believe what you hear from these parents, every kid who picks up a bat or a football or a basketball in high school is going to get a full ride to some college based on their athletic performance and the supreme few will go straight to the pros. In the end, this doesn't happen. Those college scholarships are minimal at best. Very few schools end up giving athletic scholarships, certainly not the smaller schools, they aren't allowed. So what we end up with are disillusioned young men who will go to any lengths to live out mom and dad's dream. It happens every day in every school around the country. I don't know of one school where I live that tests for steroids, kids dont do it, theres no reason to, WRONG. They do and they are. Many of them with their parents blessing, many behind their parents back. I know of one family who actually had surgery performed on their son's legs so he could run faster. Steroid use is easy to pick up if we as parents would open our eyes. Junior doesnt go from being a gangly adolescent to looking like Hulk Hogan just by hanging out a the gym a few days a week with his friends.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that we as parents should crucify these men for what they are doing or have done, just like a everything else, there was a time that what they did was accepted. What we as parents do need to do is be realistic in our expectations Whatever McGwire and the rest of them choose to do in terms of admitting or denying, they are going to lose. They will be criticized for using steroids if they do, criticized if they don't. And either way, impressionable young men are going to look up to them.

What I would have liked to have heard from the parents and maybe they discussed this, was did they know their son's were using steroids? Did their coaches know? Even though steroids are banned at the high school level, there are unethical coaches who will look the other way if they have a potential slugger on their hands. Where did the kids get them? Most but not all supplements in health food stores are within the realm of whats acceptable, that wasnt always the case though. Also, this stuff isn't cheap, where does a kid get that kind of money? I'm facing a real dilemma right now. One of my boys came home and told me a friend of his is using steroids. He made me swear not to tell his folks. I did a Mark McGwire on him, I was non-commital. Part of me thinks they know and are encouraging it. These are parents who refinanced their home to build and $100,000 plus gym on their property. Dad sells "safe" supplements to the kids who come there to work out. And their dream is nothing more than to have one of their sons make the big leagues. Should I come down off my high horse and say something? I just don't know.

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Guest ranster627

well stated ... and that seems to be the point here Art ... seems to me it isn't really achievement if it is enhanced! :wink:

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