Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thoughts on Mark McGwire

Finally, Mark McGwire comes clean, and suddenly he appears human again. His confession has unleashed a forceful deluge of questions and comments from the baseball peanut gallery. So much to talk about and so little time, assuming this story lasts about, oh, a week or so.

First up, isn't it absolutely amazing that Jose Canseco is coming out of this smelling of roses? Remember, it was Canseco who claimed years ago that he actually injected McGwire in the ass-cheek with a steroid, something which most of the pundits scoffed at and rejected out of hand. Hey, it turns out Canseco was telling the truth all along, who knew? The voice of truth and reason, Jose Canseco!!

Secondly, a worrying potential fallout from this could be a massive increase in google searches containing variations on the phrase 'What steroids did Mark McGwire use and how do I get my sweaty little palms on them?'

McGwire - happier times!

Let’s face it, there are plenty of young, greedy, money hungry idiots out there who will see McGwire's confession as nothing more than solid evidence that steroids work. Big Mac's transformation was shocking. Already a pretty decent slugger, he broke out in 1995 with 39 home runs in 317 at-bats, a mind boggling rate of one homer for every 8.1 at-bats. The following year he launched 52 homers in 423 at-bats, a rate of 1 every 7.1 at-bats. That was the start of a four-year run in which he hit 245 home runs in 1,993 at-bats, an average of 1 every 8.1 at-bats. Stunning statistics.

Do you really think everybody is going to be able to ignore the temptation to try what McGwire did in an effort to sneak in the backdoor? The only answer? Increased steroid testing in Minor League Baseball. Hopefully somebody in the association is thinking along these lines. Otherwise, the danger is that a wave of young players will try the McGwire 'method' and make it through the lower stages, Single-A, Double-A all the way up to the Majors, where thanks to more stringent testing measures they will have to give up the 'roids and subsequently become mere mortals.

The knock on effect? Billions of dollars wasted on high draft picks that look absolutely incredible, until they reach the Majors and someone sticks a pin in their balloon in the form of superior steroid testing measures.

Just be prepared for the stream of effectively useless, million dollar draft picks in 5-6 years time unless Major League Baseball comes out strong on this one.


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports


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