Though I was a little surprised at Mark McGwire's announcement when he admitted to his steroid use during the bulk of his bulked up career, in context it makes sense.
McGwire's confession came on the heels of his getting a mere 23% of the writer's votes for HOF consideration, and that, for a guy with the career basics (.263-583-1414) Big Mac assembled, is not very good. For if 400 homers used to be the barometer of excellence, 500 generally guaranteed first ballot entry to Cooperstown.
But McGwire's denial, not just of the use of enhancers before congress, and what looked like his indignance at even being asked about it in the first place did a lot to seal his own fate.
Not that the BBWA is beyond reproach or sniping or self righteousness or any number of judgemental attitudes themselves. But, well, the players are accountable to not only the writers for that all important HOF vote, among others, but the players, for better or worse, are accountable to the public in a way the press will never be.
Well, now, as Dear Abby would say, McGwire has had to "wake up and smell the coffee," as he sees there is little chance he will make the Hall, and as he tries to re-enter the majors as the batting coach for the Cardinals.
Unfortunately for McGwire, to teach one needs credibility, just like one needs credibility to be nominated and voted into just about anything.
And, well, McGwire does not have any of that.
Worse, part of McGwire's confession included the line that the slugger "wished he had not played in the era of steroids." And, well, that is just as much crap (think of the title here, and possible meanings of the acronym "B.M"). Because one of the challenges of life is making decisions that are moral. That is what free will is about at its core.
Not that I don't have more than empathy with us making mistakes. I certainly know I have made more than my share on this path of life I have tried to follow. But, I always try to own up to mine sooner, rather than later.
I do hope the confession is a relief to McGwire's conscience, and if he wants to coach or manage in the majors that is ok with me. And I wish him success.
But, as far as the Hall, too little, too late.
By the way, we have had a nice discussion on this year's HOF voting (amazingly, McGwire's name did not come up) on the Mastersball Forum. Feel free to log in a voice a view.