On Sunday afternoon in the Hyatt Regency ballroom, 2,500 fans took their turn to join the parade of baseball fans willing to celebrate a confirmed baseball cheat, and they did it with a thunderous roar that nearly brought tears to McGwire’s eyes.
Jack Clark, who criticized McGwire’s lame admission that he used steroids to improve his health, was booed at that same event. I assume they would have booed Carlton Fisk, too, after the HOF catcher told it like it is in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.
“That’s a crock,” Fisk said. “It’s just a crock. Look, there’s a reason they call it performance-enhancing drugs. That’s what it does: performance enhancement. You can be good, but it’s going to make you better. You can be average, but it is going to make you good. If you are below average, it is going to make you average. Some guys who went that route got their five-year, $35 million contracts and now are off into the sunset somewhere. Because once they can’t use (steroids) anymore, they can’t play anymore.
“And steroids, during that time, probably did as much to escalate players’ salaries as did free agency, as did arbitration, and all of that stuff. It did more than just put home runs up on the board or money in the guys’ pocket.”
If McGwire had been a Brave, I’d be embarrassed. I certainly wouldn’t be cheering.