Add another log to the baseball steroid blaze with the news revealed on deadspin.com that Mark McGwire’s brother Jay is trying to sell a book that details his famous brother’s steroid use and abuse.
Yes it stinks. Yes it is opportunism. Yes Jay McGwire is a bitter man who is estranged from his brother Mark.
When dirty laundry is being aired, you won’t find too many choir boys doing the airing. The most incriminating witnesses at criminal trials are often lowlife criminal themselves.
So let’s dispense with the argument that Jay McGwire isn’t credible because he may have questionable motives. They usually do, but that doesn’t mean they are lying. That defense didn’t fly with the Jose Canseco book, which, while the details may have been in question, the basis for the book — “Juiced” — was not.
No one who has ever been implicated in baseball’s steroid scandal ever looks better with the passage of time. Tell me one player who has been exonerated or cleared as a result of later evidence or information that has come out. Mark McGwire used steroids, and they were banned from baseball when he used them. It may not meet the courtroom version of eliminating reasonable doubt, but no reasonable person can believe that Mark McGwire was clean.
Speaking of reasonable persons, ESPN had to be embarrassed Thursday morning when they asked Peter Gammons, the Baghdad Bob of baseball’s steroid shame, to comment on the Jay McGwire story. He has been one of the game’s apologists and defenders throughout the steroid controversy, and continues to do so, despite grand jury investigations and other information that comes out as time goes by. Gammons called the Mitchell report an “incomplete college paper” — done, of course, by some of the leading federal attorneys in the country, working for one of the most credible figures in America, George Mitchell. He also someone concluded that Canseco’s book has been totally discredited. In the land of Oz, maybe. Then Gammons made the ridiculous prediction that McGwire will someday get in baseball’s Hall of Fame, despite his vote total dropping in this third time in the ballot recently and being more than 55 percent short of the required 75 percent. He claimed that as time passes, wounds will heal.
Not as long as there are bitter family members, ex-wives and friends, and former trainers like Kirk Radomski, the former Mets trainer who is coming out with his own book about his role in the steroid controversy. There will be more to come. None of it will heal any wounds.