In the second inning of the first game of the World Series there would be no mention of McGwire’s 2010 statement about using steroids for nearly a decade. No mention of his 2005 testimony at a congressional hearing when he declined to answer questions about steroid use under oath.
No mention of how the guy who hired him, La Russa, had also managed McGwire and another guy partial to the needle, Jose Canseco, when he ran the Oakland A’s….
Still, if you know going in that the teams are ratings-challenged, the idea is to make sure that you don’t lose any viewers after they enter the tent. There are fans who are not interested in hearing the truth or being returned to the steroids era while watching the World Series.
Is it possible Buck and McCarver were advised to make any discussion of McGwire’s past a low priority? Same holds true with McGwire’s connection to La Russa and the fact that he once managed several steroid abusers but saw no evil.
Yeah, that sounds right. Every time FOX shows Mark McGwire or Tony La Russa, Tim McCarver and Joe Buck should take time to mention their connection to baseball’s heinous Steroid Era. Actually, why stop there? Whenever Ron Washington appears on screen, the FOX broadcast team absolutely must note that he coached for the A’s throughout the Peak Steroid Years.
And hell, Dave Duncan has been the Cardinals’ pitching coach since 1995, a span in which several St. Louis players have been connected to performance-enhancing drug use. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux? He played for the Astros in 2000, when teammates (presumably) entertained themselves by bobbing for hypodermic needles in barrels of Dianabol.
Basically every time anyone who was involved in baseball in any way from roughly 1995-2003 appears on camera, McCarver and Buck are obligated to explain his connection to the rampant steroid abuse that heaped shame upon a once-pure industry. Guys from the 70s are exempt even if they sweated amphetamines through their powder-blue road unis, and no need to even mention if a guy from the 80s got a bloody nose every time he laid down a bunt.
These things are all relative, and speed and coke are puny sparklers compared to the dynamite made of steroids that nearly blew the game apart decades later. Actually, the simplest way to make sure everyone is properly shamed for their actions is to affix a big red S on the jersey of anyone who played or coached anywhere near anyone who ever took steroids.
Ugh. Sorry. I know it’s best to just let columns like this one go and that I shouldn’t even indulge it with a link or a reaction. It’s just that this one is about the most infuriating thing I’ve seen all year.
To attribute any capacity for reason to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver practically stomps on my soul. But could it be — oh my goodness, could it possibly be? — that the FOX team didn’t mention McGwire’s steroid abuse because they know no one really wants to hear about it anymore? Or because it has absolutely nothing to do with the World Series game they’re broadcasting?
No way. Obviously this is a Selig-conceived conspiracy enacted to whitewash the sport of its checkered past and ensure that any World Series viewer who spent the last decade comatose will never learn that professional athletes are not all gallant, principled heroes.
Raissman’s absolutely right that “there are fans who are not interested in… being returned to the steroids era while watching the World Series.” Because in retrospect, the whole thing is really, really sad.
You’re telling me what Jose Canseco is evil? Jose Canseco, this pathetic man now reduced to a constant stream of shameless publicity stunts, who pours his heart out to ex-girlfriends on Twitter?
It was never evil. It’s sad that players wanted so badly to succeed in baseball, and enjoy all the trappings of that success, that they were willing to jeopardize their long-term health. It’s sad that no one really did enough to stop them, neither their coaches nor their families nor the league nor — oh dear me — the media.
And it’s sad that baseball fans who loved the sport in the late-90s now face constant reminders that they were somehow complicit in that widespread wickedness. I was 17 in 1998, and it might have been the best baseball summer of my life.
It didn’t matter that I stunk like fish from working in the lobster farm by day, I had a car to get to ballgames and some money to buy tickets, and I had every night at my buddy’s house watching highlights of McGwire and Sosa smacking 450-foot moonshots.
And we knew!
Maybe my memory is unreliable, but I remember talking about how the players we loved watching were almost certainly on steroids. We never stopped to think about the children because we were the children — teenagers at very low risk of injecting themselves with anything who just thought home runs were awesome.
And they were awesome. And they all happened. Mark McGwire, not his steroids, hit 583 career home runs. All of them, as far as I know, still count toward his team’s records. Why, I wonder, were Larry Bigbie’s steroids so ineffective?
You can point out that it wasn’t fair to the players who didn’t take steroids, even if those guys are likely now enjoying the spoils of longer, healthier lives with larger testicles. But you’re right: It wasn’t fair. I got that. I know.
It happened, it was exposed, and every player associated has by now been thoroughly condemned. Shut up already. Or if you really want to be proactive about it, encourage the Daily News “I-Team” to expose the ways players are cheating in 2011. Undoubtedly it’s still happening somewhere.
Encouraging broadcasters to make their already irksome broadcast intolerable does nothing. Everyone knows Mark McGwire took steroids. Let’s move on.