Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mark McGwire is Back in Baseball...Still Not Talking About the Past

On the fourth year anniversary from when Mark McGwire testified before Congress and refused to "talk about the past", he has finally come out from hiding and is once again participating in baseball. Over the winter, he worked as a hitting instructor to four current ball players: Matt Holliday, Bobby Crosby (both of the Oakland A's) and Chris Duncan and Skip Schumaker (both of the St. Louis Cardinals).

In an interview with The New York Times, McGwire refused to talk about the past invoking specific stipulations in order for the interview to occur. "In this instance, McGwire agreed to an interview with the understanding that it would focus on his work as a hitting tutor, and not on other issues. But at one point, McGwire did address the criticism he has received for being linked to performance-enhancing drugs."

In addressing the PED issue and what others can learn from him by tutoring, McGwire said, "I’m such an easygoing guy. I don’t need to sweep away any bitterness. I believe I have so much knowledge to give and help people improve as baseball players."

According to the article McGwire focused on strengthening their minds which McGwire considered "as the batters’ most powerful and least developed muscle". I wonder if this observation came from personal experience that the mind was Big Mac's least developed muscle back in his day. Did he not have the self confidence or the inner strength that he could perform at the highest level without the assistance of PED's?

Matt Holliday doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about his association with McGwire. "I wouldn’t ever not want to have somebody in my life that could be a good friend or somebody I could really enjoy or learn from based on what other people might think about it,” he said.

Bobby Crosby echoed what the other players' and McGwire felt throughout the experience. "You can definitely tell he loves teaching, and he loves baseball.”

Crosby's quote aside, reading the article, one could feel the passion burning in McGwire while he talked about the game; it jumped off the page. This is why his current situation is so sad. His exile is self-imposed. If he wants to get to the Hall of Fame, get into coaching, he needs to own up to what he did and talk about the past. Only then will the public be able to move on as will Big Mac.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lay off McGwire. He didn't need to do that interview with the Times. His admission of guilt is obvious in how he did not talk about the past. What more are you looking for?