Blog Entry

Pepper: McGwire only one to dodge steroid fallout

Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:34 am


By Evan Brunell

DODGING THE BULLET: The steroid era continues to haunt baseball, as Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice charge is far from the end of the saga.

While Bonds is the posterboy for the whole mess, the former face of baseball has somehow survived a Congressional inquiry, years of self-imposed exile, a much-awaited admission and apology and returned to the game as a coach.

No one could have guessed this when Mark McGwire was stumbling over ways to avoid the past in front of Congress, but he's the only star to avoid any lasting damage, unless one counts his failed bids to make the Hall of Fame. It does really seem as if his lawyers gave him the right information all the way back in 2003 as he avoided lying to Congress and then hid away until it benefited him to come clean to avoid prosecution and get back into the game.

Look, there's no defending McGwire, both for his actions juicing up and for waiting until it behooved him best to admit using steroids, but in his second season as Cardinals hitting coach, there is no paparazzi stalking him and no controversy. At this point, McGwire is just another coach with a long history in the game. That's an impressive feat to pull off. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

BASEBALL TODAY: Can Cliff Lee get back on track tonight? Will Phil Hughes lower his ERA? Matt Snyder joins Lauren Shehadi to answer those questions and more.

STRASBURG BEHIND: Stephen Strasburg has yet to throw off a mound in his return from Tommy John surgery. That places him behind Jordan Zimmermann's own schedule last season, but the Nationals have cautioned everyone rehabs at their own pace and there is no rush. Strasburg has a shot to pitch in September for Washington, but given he has yet to step on a mound, that shot has suddenly become a long one. (Washington Post)

MANNY WHO? The Rays have already found a solution for replacing Manny Ramirez's bobblehead night on May 29. In his place, the club will give away a cape dedicated to Sam Fuld, who was a one-man wrecking crew in the abbreviated two-game series against the Red Sox. Click the link to check out the cape, which is pretty cool. (Tampa Tribune)

GOING CRAZY: Well, that didn't take long. Skipper Terry Collins reportedly went "ballistic" after Wednesday's stinker. A player said Collins didn't single anyone out, but made it clear he wasn't happy with how New York was responding to its recent slide, having lost six of seven. (New York Post)

PANIC ALERT: At the outset of the 2011 season, one keeps hearing how it's too early to draw any conclusions from the play of teams or players. But for one certain writer, it's never too early as he encourages you to go right ahead and panic. Something about how it's healthy and fun to panic. Me? I'd prefer to stay even-keeled, thanks. (Sports Illustrated)

SHORTSTOP PAINS: The Brewers are incredibly thin at shortstop, both at the major-league and minor-league level. Luiz Cruz left the organization to sign with the Rangers despite Milwaukee telling him he would be the first option up to the majors if needed. Then, Triple-A third baseman/shortstop Zelous Wheeler got injured, leaving journeyman Anderson Machado as the first line of defense at short. And if your first line of defense is Machado, you've got serious problems. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

TILLMAN BOMBED: Chris Tillman was smacked around by the Yankees on Wednesday, and manager Buck Showalter made it clear after the game that it was unacceptable. "You just can’t let them get away from you and keep the team in the game," he said, also declining to confirm Tillman would make his next start Monday. (Baltimore Sun)

UBALDO RETURNING: Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez had a strong rehab outing Wednesday and should make his return to the majors on Monday. (

BACK TO THE ROTATION? Jeff Samardzija has shuttled back and forth between the rotation and bullpen in his fledgling career and may be settling into a niche as a reliever. However, when the team needs a fifth starter again next week, manager Mike Quade says he'll be forced to consider Samardzija along with a host of other options. (Chicago Sun-Times)

MEETING THE PRESIDENT: A select number of Houston Astros coaches and players had lunch with former president George H.W. Bush, an invitation that occurs once a year. "I was a little star-struck when I saw him," third baseman Chris Johnson said. "You see athletes all the time. That’s totally different. It’s totally on another level." (Houston Chronicle)

HAPPY 70, CHARLIE HUSTLE: Pete Rose turns 70 on Thursday, an unthinkable thought to those who grew up idolozing Rose and the Big Red Machine. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: April 14, 2011 6:11 pm

Pepper: McGwire only one to dodge steroid fallout

my son was 2 years old and sitting in my lap the night mcgwire broke the season single home run record. he smiled and screamed with me as the ball soared over the left field fence. flash forward to present day and my now teenage son reminds me of that night. he reminds me how exciting it was to be part of that magical night. he reminds me of this magical yester-year as i constantly remind him of the dangers and pitfalls of drug use today! thanks for nothing cheaters

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 5:49 pm

Pepper: McGwire only one to dodge steroid fallout

Only thing Barry Bonds is guilty of is being arrogant and surly. He did not knowingly used steroids and the prosecution did not prove that he did. Dragging a litany of people who said they saw Bonds take steroids would like Bonds dragging a litany of other people who said that they never saw him take steroids. You see my point? Just because a whole class of idiots says that the teacher can't teach does not make it true. How do we know that the witnesses for the prosecution were not lying. I remember Steve Hoskins sister had first supported Steve's claim that Bonds used steroids, but then she later recanted because she felt pressure to lie for her brother because "he was a violent man and I did not want tp upset him".
The prosection should have used evidence of positve drug tests to support the theory that Bonds had used steroids. There is no such evidence. As for Kim Bell saying that it was obvious that Bonds used steroids because he was angry all the time and he could not perform sexually...well that's a copout. Because alot of people are angry and cannot perform sexually and they do not use steroids. 

Since: Apr 13, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 5:36 pm

Pepper: McGwire only one to dodge steroid fallout

Barry, please stop justifying yourself, yeah, you forgot the only player with the helmet coming from size 7 1/4 to 10 and back to 7 7/8. Barry Bonds is a shame to baseball just like Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Sammy Sosa, Mark McWire, Roger Clemens, etc.  

Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:58 pm

Pepper: McGwire only one to dodge steroid fallout

stadms - I can see why your profile score is zero. You spoke your peace like a true melonhead.

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:44 pm

Pepper: McGwire only one to dodge steroid fallout

I think it just comes down to the media. For whatever reasons they choose, they simply dont hound McGwire or write about him morning noon and night like the do/did the other steroid users mentioned aboved...

Since: Apr 9, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 3:06 pm

As a Cardinal Fan, I was well aware and...

...disappointed with Mac's steriod use.  And his obvious avoidance of questions during the congressional hearings were embarrassing.  But I think the main reason McGwire has come away better off from a PR point of view than many of his cheating contemporaries is that many of them were arrogant, lying a**holes....and he wasn't.  Bonds, Clemens, Palmiero, Sosa, and A-Rod are pretty much insufferable jerks--with virtually no shame.  McGwire was certainly guilty of using PEDs, but though he never actually admitted it he acted embarrassed and ashamed.  You could just see that the whole thing pained hime and he wanted to hide in a cave when he was exposed.  No, that's not exactly moral courage, but it was a lot different than the arrogant posturing (and, in Bond's case at least, race-baiting) of the other guys.  I think even if I wasn't a Cardinal fan I would have forgiven McGwire (but not voted him in the Hall), but the other guys show not contrition whatsoever.  (Okay, maybe A-Rod, but he's a world class jerk on multiple levels, so I'm still no cutting him any slack.)

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