Monday, January 11, 2010

Jay Mariotti overreacts to Mark McGwire

It didn't take long for the Snotty Sports Writers of America to come down on Mark McGwire. It probably took even less time for Jay Mariotti, the King of All Snotty Sports Writers to ring in with his overblown condemnation.
So what should we do now, people? Forgive him, embrace him with a collective hug and point him directly to the Hall of Fame? What Mark McGwire admitted Monday should have been said with no filters and all exclamation points back in March 2005, inside Room 2154 of the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill, where he had an opportunity to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth at a monumental Congressional hearing.

Instead, he just perpetuated his long-running lie about steroids and lost his reputation and credibility forever.

Forever? Forever ever? In a country where Watergate bungler burglar G. Gordon Liddy has his own radio talk show? Where Brittney Spears has the mother of all meltdowns, and comes back with two number one singles, a successful tour, and an Elle magazine cover with her kids? Where Bobby Knight goes from chock-happy college basketball coach to lovable ESPN college basketball analyst? Where Charles Barkley goes from getting pulled over for a DUI to hosting Saturday Night Live? Where Madonna...well, what hasn't Madonna done?
Heck, Oprah Winfrey forgave James Frey and apologised about how she treated him, for crying out loud.
Of course Mariotti has to go further and announce he'll never vote McGwire into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Never. Never ever ever.
As a Hall of Fame voter, I won't check the name of anyone linked to performance-enhancing drugs. That goes for McGwire, Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and all the rest. The only one who has a chance to redeem himself is Rodriguez because of his relative youth, the length of his contract and the chance -- and I say this with great hesitation -- that he'll be steroids-free for the final eight years of his career while eventually owning the all-time home-run record. No matter what he did before that day in Washington, no matter how he fares as a batting coach in St. Louis, the McGwire moment imbued in the American consciousness is taking the oath and saying absolutely nothing.

Then again, judging from some of Mariotti's other denouncements, he may never vote anybody into the Hall of Fame again. Hardball Collective suggested Mariotti's vote should be taken away, and it's hard to disagree with that logic.

McGwire did roids. He's not a saint. Neither is Mariotti. There's a reason he's a frequent target of Deadspin. But that's neither here nor there.
The commentators still wanting to throw rocks at McGwire are as much as the problem as performance enhancing drugs are in the first place. If Mariotti and all parties involved who claim they are concerned about the problem (MLB, the Feds, the media, etc.) were more concerned about cleaning up the sport than going after tarnished players like they were trophy bucks on Realtree Road Trips, maybe baseball could actually get cleaned up.

(via Fanhouse, Hardball Collective)

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