It seems like everyone is lining up to take their turn bashing Mark McGwire. The latest is Fergie Jenkins. It seems he wants Big Mac to apologize to the pitchers McGwire faced en route to his then record-breaking 70 HRs.
Fergie is quoted as saying “You have yet to apologize to all the pitchers you faced while juiced. You altered pitchers’ lives. You may have shortened pitchers careers because of the advantage you forced over them while juiced. Have you thought about what happened when they couldn’t get you out and lost the confidence of their managers and general managers? You even managed to alter the place some athletes have achieved in record books by making your steroid-fueled run to the season home run record.”
Is he serious? Surely he can’t think that McGwire and the select group of sluggers that have been exposed were the only ones using steroids. Surely he must know that a large portion of those pitchers he feels were victimized were using as well. The problem with this witch hunt is the blame that’s being distributed to such a small percentage of the guilty parties.
While the steroid era is a black eye for the sport, it’s not the only time players used illegal substances to gain an edge. For years amphetamines have ran rampant in MLB clubhouses. These greenies were taken as a pick-me-up to help endure the marathon season that baseball is.
Now I don’t like some of McGwire’s responses, especially when he said he wished he never played in the steroid era. Not exactly taking responsibility. However, if you read between the lines, he’s subtly letting on just how big of a problem this was. You just don’t know who used and who didn’t. So please spare us with the notion that Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr., and whoever else had a squeaky clean image never used because you just don’t know. Once upon a time they said the same thing about A-Rod.