SBD/28/Sports Society

HOW IT'S PLAYING: MCGWIRE'S ANDRO USE RAISES IRE OF MEDIA

          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).  

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