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).