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HOW IT'S PLAYING: MCGWIRE'S ANDRO USE RAISES IRE OF MEDIA
Published August 28, 1998
Media reaction continues to Cardinals 1B Mark McGwire's admission to using nutritional supplements, including androstenedione, after the AP broke the story last week. Many contend that McGwire's use of the products has tarnished his historic bid to break Roger Maris' single- season HR record. A national sampling follows: A TAINTED RUN? In Sacramento, R.E. Graswich wrote that McGwire's record "will be -- must be -- tainted if he hits 62 homers. He has no one to blame but himself" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/25). In Detroit, Bob Wojnowski called McGwire's product use "troubling, and fans' flippant dismissals of the controversy are just as unsavory. Sorry, but McGwire's use of Andro taints his accomplishments" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/27). In Tampa, David Whitley: "Whatever the truth, this chase doesn't taste nearly as good as it used to" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 8/27). In San Diego, Nick Canepa: "If Mark McGwire's cheating anybody, he's cheating himself" (SAN DIEGO UNION- TRIBUNE, 8/25). In L.A., Karen Crouse wrote that McGwire once said of Maris' record, "'I'm not sure I even want it.'" Crouse: "Truth to tell, we're not sure we want you to have it" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 8/25). In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs wondered: "Is andro the reason why McGwire seems so cranky much of the time?" (HARTFORD COURANT, 8/27). A MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL editorial called McGwire "a credit to the game. His patience with the media and fans is admirable. But, legal or not, this drug builds more than McGwire's muscles: It builds doubt" (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/27). A N.Y. TIMES editorial stated, "A first prudent step would be to ask McGwire, and other players who use [androstenedione], to take it off their shelves immediately" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/27). WHAT IS THE MESSAGE TO KIDS: In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote that MLB must "wake up and implement a sophisticated drug policy. ... McGwire needs to send a message, too. He should make it clear that there are uncertainties surrounding his supplement of choice" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/27). In S.F., C.W. Nevius wrote, "Up until now baseball's muscle-building drug policy was simple: don't ask, don't tell. Baseball should change its performance drug policy. But remember, if it does, the days of the easy answers are finished" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/27). In Philadelphia, Bob Ford worried about the "young athletes who will follow his lead. ... Kids are going to get hurt, a lot of them. And this supposedly enthralling home-run race will be a large part of the reason" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/26). SIGN OF THE TIMES? In Chicago, Carol Slezak wrote: "No, we're not out to get McGwire. We're just struggling with where to draw the line when it comes to performance supplementation. ... So has McGwire cheated? Only himself" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/26). In Philadelphia, Rich Hofman wrote McGwire "is not some kind of freak who's ingesting all manner of illegal substances. He is nothing more than a product of the current era of professional sports" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 8/27). In Milwaukee, Dale Hofmann wrote, "When the most cherished record in baseball falls to a laboratory, sports fans the world over will have taken another giant step toward total cynicism" (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/25). NO BLEMISH: In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy: "McGwire's been a good citizen, never one to disgrace the uniform. ... And now he's got to read that he's a bad example to young athletes? Please" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/26). In NJ, Bob Klapisch wrote, "How absurd. How small-minded, to diminish McGwire's obvious skills, just because he's on the cutting edge of nutritional and strength-training breakthroughs" (Bergen RECORD, 8/26). In Miami, Dan LeBatard: "What McGwire chooses to put in his body, as long as it's legal, is only his business" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/26).