I admit that title isn't the king's english but you'll get the point when I'm done. Big Mac's tearful "confession" was about as sincere as when men lie to their wives about being fat. And you thought there was no crying in baseball? Apparently lying is in baseball. Scandal is also in baseball too. Most hardcore baseball fans know about the eight players that were banned for life for intentionally throwing games in the 1919 world series.
Ask a baseball fan about how some pitchers used what was known as the spitball. Officially banned after the 1920 season, pitchers could use substances to help with the drop speed of their pitches. As late as 1959, Bob Gibson once said that pitchers would always use spitballs. The tears of a clown were more believable than McGuire's public display of emotion during his interview with Bob Costas.
Jose Canseco is a hero and very few media pundits ever give him any props. Call him what you want but the guy has been spot on. McGuire apologist love to trash Canseco as an opportunistic ambulance chaser that made a few bucks for snitching. Canseco is more of a prophet than a whistle blower. Remember when the media jumped all over the stop snitching campaign associated with Carmello Anthony? Where were these guys when the Androstenedione was found in McGuire's locker in 1998 by an obscure Associated Press reporter.
The baseball media of 1998 were hell bent on helping baseball recover from the 1994 strike. The fans desperately wanted to fall in love with the game again at the expense of one of baseball's most hallowed records. When people questioned whether or not Big Mac was a cheat after the news surfaced about McGuire's Andro usage, his defenders said that the substance was legal because baseball didn't have a steroid policy. The medical community knew that "Andro" was a precursor to steroids. Baseball insiders were aware of this to. The game was hot again so everyone turned a blind eye.
How's does this relate to Bonds? I'm glad you asked! Bonds like any competitor wanted the notoriety that Sosa and McGuire were receiving. Plus he was probably privy to the underground culture of steroids. Childhood friend Greg Anderson and Victor Conte, founder of Balco were God sends to an ultra competitive guy like Bonds who relished the role of anti-hero. Bonds had an accomplished career before he started to juice. Cheating for him was like being able to add more horsepower to a sports car. McGuire's juicing mad a mediocre guy more consistent.
What other factor besides glory sparked the players to cheat? Could it be that it was apart the climate of the game and its unspoken pressure to produce superhuman statistics season after season? What about the pressure to be included in the conversation when the baseball writers discuss those meaningless records that baseball nerds spew in their beer fueled arguments about who should be inducted into the hall of fame?
It's estimated that over 70 percent of the league were card carrying members of the cheaters club that existed at the height of the steroid era. Another untapped culprit in this probe is the players at high school, minor league and college levels. What was their culture like? Its believed that many of these younger players have been taking steroids for their shot at getting into the professional and major college ranks. One could only imagine.
Barry's defiance is correct because it sticks to the code. McGuire wants back into baseball and he wants a punchers chance to get in the hall of fame. His ill fated confession was worse than his congressional testimony. Bonds reminded us that we all had skeletons during a press conference during the summer of 2003. He dared us to clean our own closets before we demanded he clean his. Point well taken Barry. Its no crime for being a jerk and being right. Its also no crime to plead the fifth either. No court in America can convict him for being a malcontent.
What baseball would have the fans to believe is that the Mitchell Report sums up the extent of the so called "steroid era". Especially since their original patsy (Bonds) eluded them. A few big names were released as sacrificial lambs to extinguish the interest of the public. Never mind that over 100 names of guilty players are still concealed from public knowledge. The strategy of gradual disclosure has worked like a charm. After the congressional hearings, McGuire disappeared into the night, Sosa bleached his skin and took a few English courses. Barry Bonds avoided jail with the help of Anderson and has been ostracized from playing the game.
A tell all book was written entitled "Game of Shadows" about Bonds. The baseball writers poked and prodded Bonds for a confession, only to get the same cold stare of defiance coupled with 762 home runs. This book was meant to assist major league baseball in its attempt to make Barry the lone gunman of the steroid era. Barry, in classic James Dean (Gangsta) fashion went on playing the game at a high level en route to surpassing Babe Ruth and the classy Henry Aaron.
Bonds knew that his hall of fame worthy career would be defined in a variety of ways. McGuire on the other hand is only a slugger with a great smile. By all accounts McGuire was a model teammate while Bonds never was accepted as one of the guys. (most of that was his choice)
McGuire's "confession" isn't about telling baseball fans the truth.(He'll leave that to Canseco) Its about taking a page from Pete Rose, accept he's not going to wait 25 years to tell us what really happened . Instead he's waited five to continue to lie as he did during the congressional hearings. This new lie disguised as a confession, is a public relations ploy to satisfy his an old employer. Who else would touch McGuire right now? He's trying to keep the code while getting back in the good graces of baseball. Several players have gone on record to refute McGuire's claims of steroids not inducing player performance.
The Cardinals and McGuire would have the public to believe that the performance enhancing drugs didn't help him hit 70 home runs. If they didn't help him then why call the Maris family to apologize? Did Rodger Maris use steroids? Did the Maris family befriend him first or did he sell them on his good guy image for publicity? See the pattern? That's what those tears were really about.
Those tears were meant to misdirect us from an ugly truth that we already know. Baseball is a game full of cheaters. Its a rogue league with a history of deceitful practices that would make old west gamblers step their cheating game up.
Those tears were about appealing to the public memory of how great a guy he is and how great baseball really is wink wink. Its about selling us on why McGuire should reenter baseball. He's set the bar pretty high for other legends who've been linked to steroids. No tears, no job!!! Barry Bonds will never do this because he knows he's guilty.
He knows that he isn't interested in rekindling a relationship with a game that tried to use him as the scapegoat. His attempt to play again was about putting his record out of the reach of A-Roid. By all accounts of Barry Bonds insiders, that theory is the most credible reason why Bonds wouldn't want to share any of his knowledge of the game as a coach. His hitting secrets are uniquely his. He'd tell you to #$% off and do it on your own.
Bud Selig and his cronies haven't stood up to the criticism of the public so why should the players. The baseball media doesn't have a leg to stand on because they drank the kool aid too. The Yankees were won their 27th world title last fall led by another scandal hound (Alex Rodriguez) but the story wasn't about his dicey history. The story was how he finally produced in the playoffs. Confession isn't good for the soul. Its good for business......