Posted: Monday March 21, 2005 2:00PM; Updated: Monday March 21, 2005 3:00PM
Readers aren't happy with many of the answers given by players on Capitol Hill last week.
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Welcome back. I wasn't going to dive into these mailbag thingies until the season started. That inbox to wade through. The misspellings to correct. The insults to weather. The references to my mom. It just gets so old sometimes.
But then Mark McGwire had to screw everything up. His act last Thursday in front of a congressional hearing (nominated for Best Unsupportive Actor in Comedy/Drama/Full-Fledged Joke) got a lot of people worked up. So here we go.
Just to reacquaint you with the process, or to acquaint you (for those who don't know how this works): You write and be smart, be funny, be pointed and I'll use the best ones. This is for your feedback. I may throw an extra comment or two in, but that's what I get for all those comments about mom.
First, some rapid-fire comments on Mr. McGwire Goes to Washington ...
You and I and everyone else know [McGwire] has taken steroids. If he admits it, he gets bashed and tarnished. Should he have lied like Sammy Sosa did? I guess that is the lesson learned. Lie, Mark, Lie. -- Marty, St. Louis
How hard is it to state if you used steroids or not? This is a sad, sad time for baseball and unfortunately Mark McGwire has not only hurt himself but he has undoubtedly hurt everyone who has played the game and the many fans who have loved and cherished it. -- Ian, Yuma, Ariz.
I am a disabled soldier. I believe in the American pastime but have lost faith in the baseball system and particularly McGwire. He should be ashamed of himself. I don't want to live in the past either, but if we don't learn from the past it will surely come back to haunt us. Perhaps he should get a Webster's dictionary and look up the words "honor" and "integrity," then look in a mirror. -- Dave Epstein, Standish, Maine
I watched a small clip of Mark McGwire refusing to answer the questions ... it was so sickening I literally felt like throwing up. These guys are an utter joke and a shame to baseball. If they had nothing to hide they'd have nothing to fear about answering questions. All of their records should be subject to erasure and their eligibility for the Hall of Fame revoked for the embarrassing lack of cooperation in solving a problem for a game that provided them riches and fame beyond most people's imagination. -- Robert J. Cella, Thunder Bay, Ontario
I was a little surprised that Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) would call for all the records set by known steroids users to be wiped out. I understand his feelings. But really, it can't be done. There's no way of saying what was done because of performance-enhancing drugs and what was not. Sorry, Senator. Sorry, Robert.
If McGwire wanted to send a positive message to the kids, "Steroids are bad, don't use 'em," just didn't cut it. A much more powerful message would have been something like, "Yes, I used steroids. And now, after the fact, I look at myself as a sham. Achieving success in sports is about earning a sense of personal accomplishment. By my own fault, through my use of drugs, I have deprived myself of any real sense of accomplishment. Cheaters never, ever win." -- Josh, Brookfield, Wisc.
Would have been nice, Josh. Unfortunately, it seems like some of these cheaters may, in fact, win. That's the shame of this whole thing.