La Russa, McGwire better get used to 'roids question
Posted: Monday October 3, 2005 12:55PM; Updated: Monday October 3, 2005 3:54PM
If Mark McGwire wants to show up for photo opps, he better get used to steroid inquiries.
Tony La Russa got a little chesty last Friday with a reporter who had the temerity to ask the Cardinals skipper how he thought fans would react to Mark McGwire, who was making his first public appearance since his General Thomas Jackson impression in front of Congress. According to an Associated Press story, La Russa snapped at the reporter ("I'll see you all later. That question shouldn't even be asked.") before he "slammed his fungo bat on a wall."
I'm not a lawyer like the ol' fungo slammer is. But I've watched enough Law & Order reruns to have at least a cursory knowledge of legal procedure. (I can name almost all of the exceptions to the hearsay rule.) And one thing I know is that if a defense lawyer's question opens a door, the prosecution is free to walk through it and grill away. So, Tony, if you don't want to be peppered with questions about Stonewall McGwire, don't invite him to the park. Don't parade him out there and insult the fans by asking them to blindly and without scrutiny embrace the man who insulted them by extracting goodwill under false pretenses in the Summer of '98 -- and then further insulted them with his Congressional "testimony" by making a mockery of what is a very serious issue.
No, if the Cards want to trot out McGwire, they should have to answer for it. Take the good with the bad. And the same goes for McGwire, who told Congress he wanted to speak out against steroid use but now says he's never even saying the word "steroid" again. "I've moved on from it and I wish the media would," he said. Yeah, we'll move on from it. We'll leave everything about the Summer of '98 in the past -- the andro, the steroid questions, the 70 homers. Sound good?