McGwire Clams Up

I know this is only feeding into the spectacle that is the House hearing on major league baseball steroid use but I have to do it. So Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling and Frank Thomas all denied using steroids today when questioned on the hill. Interestingly Jose Canseco, who blew the lid off this steroid scandal with his new gossip book “Juiced,” had a bizarre reaction when questioned. He said that without a guarantee of immunity he could not “be candid with this committee.” Um, but here is a hint congressmen – you can read his book if you want the details.

But none of these guys are why I decided to comment on this story. The only one I care about at this point is McGwire, who in effect took the fifth today by saying that he would not discuss whether he or anyone else used steroids in the past.

“I’ve always been a team player,” Mr. McGwire said, pausing to maintain his composure. “I’ve never been a player who spread rumors or said things about teammates that could hurt them. I do not sit in judgment of other players.”

Mr. McGwire said that his lawyers had informed him that testifying to the committee could “jeopardize my friends, my family and myself.” He added, “I intend to follow their advice.”

I can respect that. The guy doesn’t want to be a rat or in any way contribute to damaging the careers of any of his peers. This is an honorable thing right? Of course he is under oath to tell the truth under the same House rules as someone else who tried to protect the well being of others with his testimony. In any event, I guess what I would like to know is this – do you think that by refusing to say anything Mark McGwire is incriminating himself in the court of public opinion? Should he have to answer all the questions of his congressional interrogators? Ultimately, should the outcome of these hearings force major league baseball to revise McGwire’s home run record to include the dreaded asterisk?

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