Subject: Mark McGwire, aka Steroid Man

Although I love your site and your politics, you're just plain wrong about Mark McGwire.
He is NOT the type of baseball player that any kid or fan should admire.

ha ha
You may have come to the wrong place for that argument.

First off, let's start with the drugs, namely a steroid called Androstenedione.
McGwire openly admits that he uses the drug.

What kind of back-handed accusation is that?
He "openly admits it," as tho he's laughing in our faces about "getting away" with something?

I "openly admit" I drink Coca Cola.
Am I gloating about something?

Now, the fact that it's an over-the-counter, legal steroid means nothing.

It means somethin to the rest of the sports world.
If it was illegal and he was doing it, that'd show bad character and a lack of sportsmanship.
The fact that it's legal means everything.

If McGwire was playing in the NFL, the Olympics, or riding in the Tour de France,
he could not be taking Andro.

True, but if he was in the NFL, he could use a bat, either, so I don't see your point.

Let me offer you the following excerpt from another website:
Androstenedione is a natural chemical found in the body that produces testosterone. This chemical can
also be found naturally in some meat and even some plants. Androstenedione, also called Andro, can
boost testosterone levels when taken orally sometimes making the person stronger. Andro was first seen
in capsule form in the US in the 1990's. Its popularity has grown ever since Mark McGwire, the new
Major League Baseball home run record holder, admitted to taking the supplement. The companies that
are selling Andro are making huge profits off the supplement that claims to increase lean muscle mass 300%.
Even though most people who take the drug don't complain of any side effects at all (according to our survey)
this drug has been reported to carry dangerous side effects. Most Major League sports have banned the
supplement saying it gives athletes a "unfair advantage". The NBA, the MLB, and the NHL in the US have
not ruled this supplement as "unfair".  There are many questions that remain about this supplement such as
the long-term side effects, and how much muscle is gained by taking the drug. This supplement can be
bought over the counter and is not controlled by the FDA, making Andro easy to access. Some drug chains
have taken this drug off the shelf due to fear of long-term side effects. Andro can be found in some local
drug chains and also on the World Wide Web. One person from our poll explains, "Andro's advantages
make up for the side effects."


How closely have you followed McGwire's career? 

Let me ask YOU that question.
It's my understanding he quit using Andro years ago, in 98 or 99, but I've been wrong before.

Have you ever wondered why he is injured so often? 

No, doctor, and how could you possible know the reason why he's injured?

In my opinion, it's linked to his Andro use.

Well, in my opinion, it's the two little birds on the stick on his chest causing his problems.
Seems we each have an unscientific opinion.

That shit messes up his body and makes him prone to injuries.

Assumes facts not in evidence.
He's what, 38?
That's probably more the reason than a legal supplement he quit taking years ago.

His back constantly gives him trouble.
After McGwire admitted his use during the 1999 season when he hit 70 homeruns,
Andro sales jumped tenfold.  Supposedly, he has stated that now he doesn't use
Andro anymore, but I'm not sure I believe him.

You've made your dislike of him very, very clear, but you haven't said why.

McGwire's Andro use, though, is just a portion of the story.  I suggest a quick
comparison of his baseball statistics with Barry Bonds, who you called Mr. Ego.
Do you think that McGwire DOESN'T have a large ego?

If you beat up Babe Ruth and Roger Maris, you gotta have some,
but the real test is, "compared to whom?"

When Ricky Henderson broke the base stealiong record, he said,
"I guess I really am the greatest of all time."
You'll never hear McGwire be that big of a prick.

According to a report on ESPN that I heard tonight, Cardinal manger Tony LaRussa
is complaining that the umps are using too large a strike zone for McGwire and that
Bonds and Piazza are getting preferential treatment with a small strike zone.
Gee, I wonder if McGwire feels the same way?

How can you attack McGwire with that when he hasn't said a word?

Plus, baseball, more than any other sport, is inconsistent with their rules.
Every park is a different size, with walls of different heights.
In Boston, they have "the big green monster," which was installed to prevent right-handed
batters from getting home runs, but Carl Yazstremski batted left, so he hit hundreds of
cheap home runs over that four foot fence in right.  Same for Bonds. He's getting a lot of
cheap home runs, but, that's baseball. Another thing, when Mark hit 70, he was getting walked
once or twice a game because he didn't have Edmonds following him, like he does now.
Is Bonds getting walked a lot?

On top of that (I've been meaning to say this for years, so thanks) baseball has a rather large
whore factor when it comes to protecting those blind umpires. The announcers have orders to lie
about the umpires and their stupid, stupid wrong calls. When the ump calls a strike on a ball that was
a full nine inches outside, the whore announcers say "it caught the corner."  What a load of horseshit.
They're AFRAID to be honest - to "protect the integrity" of the game.

Except for ESPN, they always have the camera at some cock-eyed angle, so when the pitch
seems a foot outside (and called a strike) the whore announcers say, "It's the angle."

OK, back to the statistics.  Bonds is currently hitting .307, Andro Man .187

As I type this, McGwire has two singles, a double, a walk and a sac fly.
Oh, and four RBIs on the day. That's almost a perfect day, so don't count him out yet.

(which is below his weight - 250); Bonds has played in 113 of 121 games,
Andro 68 of 120 games; Bonds has 76 strikeouts, Andro 88 in 45 fewer games. 
This year is not out of the ordinary.  Consider the following to-date career stats: (Bonds and Andro
broke into the Majors the same year, 1986).  Bonds has 1511 RBI, Andro has 1394; Bonds has 1265
strikeouts in 2255 games, Andro has 1566 Ks in 1845 games; Bonds has played more than 400 more
games than Andro is the same time period; Bond strikes out every 6.2 AB, Andro every 3.9 AB;
Bonds has been intentionally walked more than twice as many times as Andro - 345 vs. 149;
Bonds has stolen 479 bases, Andro a pathetic 12; Bonds has 2268 hits, Andro just 1610;
Bonds has almost a 1000 more total bases - 4527 vs. 3598.  Granted, Andro has more HRs
- 575 vs. 547, at the moment.  But, Bonds is a year younger, plays more games per year,
so he might overtake Andro.

Of all the people in sports, why pick on a legitimately nice guy?

Baseball is more than just hitting, though.  There is also the small matter of fielding.
Bonds has won 8 Gold Gloves in centerfield, McGwire has 1 at firstbase when he
was in Oakland.   Bonds has 3 MVP awards, McGwire has zero.
Of course, there are also the intangibles.  Such as advancing the runner by hitting
to the rightside with a runner on second.  Clutch hitting with two outs and hitting
when the game is on the line.  I cannot find the source of the following, but I recall
that during McGwire's 70 homer season, the Cardinals had a losing record in those
games in which McGwire homered.  In other words, the homers didn't make a difference.
I didn't take the time (it could be done), but I would bet that Bonds RBI per HR ratio
is much larger than McGwire's. 

I have an intangible for you.
Bonds might be respected in San Francisco, but he's not well liked.
Wheras McGwire often gets standing ovations in the opponents ball park.

The bottomline for me is simple.  I pray to Koresh that Bonds hits 71+ homeruns this season
and that he stays in the game long enough to overtake Mark McGwire on the all-time homer list.
Bonds may have an inflated ego (so does McGwire, he's just better at hiding it), a page full of not-well-thought-out statements, that last one may be the ringer.

...but he is also a MUCH better all around baseball player.  Yet, I'm willing to bet
that when the time comes for Hall of Fame voting in a few years, that lovable big
white dude will get more votes.

Naturally, they'll vote for a decent guy before they'll vote for a man who screams,
"Did you go to deaf school?" whenever a sports reporter asks him about the home run record.
McGwire had grace under pressure - Bonds is proving to be less than a gentleman.

Willie Mays, Bond's godfather, says he doesn't know if Barry can survive the pressure.
If he tells that to the press, he must not have much faith in his/your man

Thanx for letting me rant.  Next time, I'm going to go off on the Naderites.
Keep up the fight Bartcop and keep hope alive!
I made it through Reagan, I can make it thru Smirk.

An avid reader,
Carl Olson.

At least you played by the rules - even if I disagree with you.

BTW, what if you have the facts wrong and Mac quit the Andro years ago?
Does that mean you'd have newfound respect for him?
Or would you just change your reasons for hating him?

Last thing, McGwire is also famous for raising millions for kids who were sexually abused.
Bonds is famous for being surly and short-tempered.

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