Posted By Jeff Fletcher on January 15, 2009 10:22 am
Gwen Knapp suggests today in the Chronicle that Mark McGwire ought to just finally admit he used steroids and let the nation forgive him. While there is no doubt that he should do that, because honesty is always the best policy (or so I’m told), I wonder how much it would really help him.
Would teams be willing to hire him as a hitting coach? Would he start making rounds on the speaking circuit? (“Come hear Mark McGwire tell how you can be successful at your job with nothing but hard work … and the occasional needle in the ass.”)
And the big question: Would he get into the Hall of Fame?
I think it would depend on just how he went about his confession. If it was a Pete Rose type thing, where the confession was sprinkled with excuses and justifications for his actions, then it probably wouldn’t help much. (Ol’ Pete is still going to have to settle for selling autographed coffee mugs on the streets of Cooperstown.)
If McGwire really takes responsibility and admits that he made mistakes, he’s got a chance to rehab his image and crawl back into the public’s good graces.
The Hall of Fame is another issue, though. I think most of the writers who aren’t voting for him now are doing so because they think he used steroids, not because he lied about it. There are a lot of liars in the Hall of Fame, I’m sure. To those voters, telling the truth would make him more honorable, but he’d still be a cheater.
(As you know from reading my blog, I am in the minority on McGwire. I vote for him already. I don’t care if he cheated, because I think they all cheated and major league baseball practically encouraged them to do it.)