The tearful admissions continue to flow from the McGwire Family. Hours after big brother Mark McGwire admitted to extensive steroids use during his record-setting 16-year major league baseball career, younger brother Dan McGwire admitted to extensive non-use of steroids during his failed 5-year NFL career.
McGwire, the 16th overall pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1991 NFL Draft, threw two touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 career games with Seattle and Miami.
The bust released this statement to the media:
"It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I did not use steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I wish I had used steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake not to. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had participated in the steroid era."
"I'm sure people will wonder if I could have not thrown all those terrible passes had I taken steroids. I had bad years when I didn't take any steroids and worse years when I didn't take any steroids. But no matter what, I should have done it and I'm truly sorry."
McGwire followed that statement with a tearful interview on the NFL Network in which he apologized to former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former Seahawks head coaches Chuck Knox and Tom Flores, and Seahawks fans.
"It's very emotional, it's telling family members, friends and coaches, you know, it's former teammates to try to get ahold of, you know, that I'm coming clean and being honest," he said.
While McGwire's admission is not expected to help his Hall of Fame chances, he is reportedly in the running to become the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns.
Mark McGwire has admitted taking steroids in 1998 when he broke Roger Maris' home run record.
"I wish I had never touched steroids," McGwire said in a statement. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. But I am a stronger person now and it's all thanks to steroids."
The former slugger and current St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach said he wishes he had the strength to avoid taking steroids when he was younger.
"We all have our weaknesses," said McGwire. "Mine was weakness. So I took steroids. I guess you could say I didn't have a choice other than to give into my weakness. So steroids saved me. And also destroyed me. But definitely saved me. You could say it's a wash, I guess."
McGwire claims he no longer uses steroids for muscle growth. But he did use steroids to find the emotional and spiritual strength to admit to using steroids.
"I injected directly into my brain," he said. "At first it was because I had used up all of my good veins. But then it turned out they made me a stronger person on the inside. Or at least they seemed to. I blacked out a lot. Drinking the cream and the clear did wonders, too. Someday soon I hope to be able to bend a steel bar with MY MIND. But for now I'll just do it with my pinkie and thumb, thanks to my massive, steroids-grown muscles."
As you have probably seen by now, I did not get elected into the baseball Hall of Fame. You need 75-percent of the vote to get in. What did I get? 21.5 percent. 21.5 fking percent. So only 53.5 percent off! D'oh! So close!
Hey, but guess who did get in?! Andre Dawson! Are you familiar with Andre Dawson? Here are his career numbers over 21 seasons: 438 home runs, .279 batting average, .806 OPS.
Guess who trumped all those numbers in just 19 seasons? Me! ME, you prick! I had 493 home runs, a .284 batting average and a .886 OPS.
Hmmm so why is it that Dawson's career is so much more highly-regarded than mine?
Oh, I don't know let me think. Ooh! I know! Let's play a little word association. I'll go first: Andre Dawson.
What did you think of? Baseball, right? Of course. That is all Andre is associated with.
Here's another one for you: Fred McGriff.
Did you think of a foam-hat wearing shill in a horribly-produced series of baseball training commercials???
DING! DING! DING! You win! And so I lose. Dawson's a Hall of Famer, I'm a punchline.
You dick, Emanski. You dick. I agree to shoot a video to help out your little baseball academy for a few hundred bucks. You slap a foam hat on me and screw me over with fine print saying the commercial will run for eternity without ever changing spokesman or updating the production quality.
It would be one thing if you helped me get better at baseball.
But did I win back-to-back-to-back titles? No! I did not! I won one World Series with the Braves. But we lost a whole bunch of championships back-to-back-to-back. You don't mention that in the ad.
Building block approach? More like stacked piles of feces.
Oh, right. I almost forgot. Thanks to you I can throw a baseball into an overturned trash can from the outfield. Here I come, Hall of Fame!
I hate you, Emanski. DIE!
P.S. I saw how you touched that AAU shortstop back in '91. I can take you DOWN, Emanski!
It doesn't always have to be jokes around here. Now that Randy Johnson is retired, it's time to pay tribute to a baseball legend.
(Note: He also probably did some other stuff.)
According to reports from thousands of eyewitnesses around the country, as well as the boasts of the athletes themselves, every professional athlete in the United States is currently wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt.
"Is it embarrassing that we're all dressed the same?" asked San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman. "You tell me what's embarrassing about looking awesome, brah?"
While it can't be confirmed that absolutely every pro athlete is currently wearing an Ed Hardy t-shirt, Christian Audigier, the designer on the line, says that is very likely.
"Of the 14 million Ed Hardy shirts we sold last year, 6.9 million of them were sold to professional athletes in the four major American sports," he said. "In fact, it's probably quite rare that there is a moment when an athlete is NOT wearing Ed Hardy, or drinking Ed Hardy water or Ed Hardy wine. No, I am not shitting you. There is Ed Hardy wine."
Sales figures say another 6.9 million were sold to boy band members, fading rockers and desperate actors, leaving only 200,000 shirts sold to the general public.
"We refer to those 200,000 as 'aspirers' in our sales material," said Ed Hardy brand manager Jeff Cartige. "But internally we call them douchebags."
With the athlete demographic locked down, Ed Hardy is close to finalizing several deals that will expand the line further into sports.
"Team USA approached us about doing all of the national team uniforms for the Olympics and every international competition," said Audigier. "They said having us design the uniforms was the only way to get the pros interested in participating."
Audigier's initial design has "United States" written in script diagonally across the front of the jersey atop a sketched American flag holding the skull of George Washington.
"It's crazy fresh," said Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. "I can't wait to style for my country."
In one of the most complex trades in MLB history, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has been dealt to the Seattle Mariners for Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay and a collection of prospects. Amaro, who became Phillies GM in 2008, initiated the deal by sending Cliff Lee to the Mariners, but three days and six teams later, Amaro has found himself in Seattle.
“I…don’t know what happened,” Amaro said, calling from what presumes is now his house in the suburbs of Seattle. “I called the Mariners to offer them Cliff Lee for some prospects, which I planned to spin over to Toronto for Roy Halladay, then somehow the Angels got involved, then the Dodgers, then the Oakland A’s, and a few whirlwind days later…here I am. I guess I kind of traded myself to Seattle, if that’s possible. Or not. I really don’t know what the hell just happened. Can somebody please call Pat Gillick?”
According to FoxSports.com, the details of the trade are as follows: Cliff Lee to the Mariners for prospects Phillipe Aumont and Juan Ramirez; Phillies farmhands Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor and possibly J.A. Happ to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and maybe some cash; Aumont and Ramirez to the Dodgers for outfielder Matt Kemp, who was then sent to Oakland for Brett Wallace, who was flipped back to the Phillies for Amaro.
“Somehow, in all the confusion, in all the phone calls between GMs and assistant GMs, my name ended up in the mix,” said Amaro. “It’s going to take a lot of untangling to figure out where this all went wrong. Hopefully we can reverse the deal and send me back where I belong, but that’s going to be difficult. One piece gets pulled out of this deal and the whole thing falls through. It’s possible that I may just have to stay in Seattle. It’s not bad, I guess. Puget Sound is pretty.”
When questioned, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said he had “no idea” how Amaro ended up on the team’s roster and, in fact, wasn’t sure exactly who the team had acquired in the bizarre, tangled transaction.
“I wish I had a good answer for you,” Zduriencik told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. “I don’t even really know who we got and who we got rid of in this thing yet, to tell you the truth. I was kind of hoping you would tell me. All I know is that we got Cliff Lee. Wait, we did, right? Because if we didn’t we might have to ship Ruben back to Philly to get him.”
The Commissioner’s office has yet to comment on the transaction, but rules state that a general manager cannot be part of such a transaction. However, Rosenthal reports that until the final details of the deal are fully understood, the league probably won’t get involved.
“It’s kind of hard for the league or the union to get involved here since the details of the trade are so hazy,” said Rosenthal. "I will say this: the Mariners got a heck of a personnel man in Ruben Amaro, Jr. He’s one of the sharpest young minds in the game. Also, just as an aside: I broke this story. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. I don’t know what the damn story is quite yet, but I broke it. Kiss my ass, Jon Heyman.”
The New York Yankees announced today that they have signed the legacy of Cal Ripken, Jr. to a contract that will see the Hall of Fame shortstop receive $10 million in back pay for each of the 20 seasons he played with the Baltimore Orioles. The move ensures that Ripken, a 19-time All-Star and the holder of the Major League record for most consecutive games played, will be forever remembered asa Yankee.
"As an organization,we pride ourselves on beingthe professional embodiment ofclass, grit and playing the game the right way," said Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman at a press conference announcing the signing. "And few players in the history of baseball have exemplified those qualities more than Cal Ripken, Jr. We are thrilled to welcome both Cal, and hisoverwhelming historicalachievements, into the Yankee family."
Pursuant to the deal, over 11,000 hours of archived Ripken footage in Major League Baseball's video library will be digitally altered to replace his Orioles' uniform with Yankee pinstripes. This includes the Orioles' celebration of their 1983 World Series Championship, Ripken's MVP performance at the 1991 All-Star Game in Toronto, and his famed run around Camden Yards afterbreaking Lou Gehrig's streak for consecutive games played on September 6, 1995. The Baltimore cap worn by Ripken on hisplaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, will also be changed to that of the Yankees.
"I'm thrilled, obviously," Ripken said at the press conference. "Don't get me wrong, I love Baltimore. Heck, I spent my entire actual career there. Butthe thought of all future generations associating me with the greatest franchise in baseball history? It's something that every ballplayer dreams of."
Ripken claimed that the deal was about more than just the money: "Obviously, I'd be a fool to turn my nose up at $200 million for something that, in essence, requires me to do nothing. But at this stage in my life, the most important thing to me, besides my family, is my legacy. And to see my number 8 sitting there in Monument Park, right next to Yogi [Berra] and [Bill] Ol' Dickface [Dickey] I mean, what more could you ask for?"
Orioles fans reacted to the news with a mixture of disappointment and resignation. "Obviously it sucks, but whaddya gonna do?" said Graham Rind, 36, of Baltimore. "It's going to take some adjusting to not immediately associate Ripken with our team, because hewasthe Orioles for so long. But it's not like we didn't expect this. Everyone knew it was just a matter of time."
Nikki Sobotka, 31, shared a similar sentiment: "In baseball, there'sNew Yorkand then there's everybody else. Always has been that way, and it always will be. We had Cal for 20 years, and those of us who got to see him play will treasure those memories forever."
"It just sucks that the tangible evidence of those memories are going to be completely eradicated from existence."
While Cashman would not get into specifics, he strongly hinted that the Yankees were far from done. "There's some other former players we are keeping our eye on. And, should an opportunity present itself in a way that makes sense for our ballclub, we'll approach those players or their respective estates at that time. But for now, we're just absolutely thrilled to be able to bring Cal's career into the fold."
Despite Cashman's vagueness, speculation on the rumor mill has been rampant. Numeroussources say New York has already expressed interest inthe legacies of theKansas CityRoyals' George Brett, the Houston Astros' Craig Biggio, and the Milwaukee Brewers' Robin Yount.They are also purported to be in talks regarding the achievements of the late KirbyPuckettof the Minnesota Twins, but negotiations are said to have stalled on his family's insistence that New York also take "the part where [Puckett] got all fat and rapey."
December 11, 2009 Column
Tweet of the Week
Tweet of the Week
From @73_MC AKA Milwaukee Brewers reliever Seth McClung
With baseball's annual winter meetings underway and teams throughout the league working to improve their rosters, the Yankees are hurrying to stay ahead of the rest of the league, going as far as to engage in bidding wars for numerous free agents they have no interest in or can't even identify by name.
"This is standard operating procedure for us," said general manager Brian Cashman. "Mr. Steinbrenner has always made it clear, if a free agent is being offered a contract by a competitor, we submit a much more lucrative counteroffer. Doesn't matter who it is."
Cashman says that specific scenario is currently being played out with nearly a hundred different free agents.
"We just offered some guy I think he's a shortstop or maybe a reliever on the Padres, or is it the Mariners? anyway, we offered him six years, $90 million because we heard rumors that the Mets, Red Sox and Angels were interested in possibly signing him to a minor league contract," said Cashman. "We're committed to not letting him slip away to our rivals, whoever he is."
The architect of the Yankees' big-spending philosophy, long-time team owner George Steinbrenner, has passed that approach onto his sons, mandating a standard response if the team is contacted by an available player's agent.
"I've reminded Brian and all the guys that nothing has changed," says Hank Steinbrenner. "If some agent tells us he has an offer on the table from another team, just say: 'We'll triple the dollar amount and double the years. Think it over and get back to us.' That approach usually lets us get our man in the end."
Such an aggressive style has enabled the Yankees to land some of the biggest free agents over the years, but has also stuck the franchise with some stinkers.
"Granted, it backfires from time to time," said Cashman. "Tony Womack, for example. We gave him two years, $4 million after I got an anonymous call that Boston was about to sign him. Turned out it was just a prank call from Theo Epstein."
In addition to the bidding war over the shortstop or possibly reliever from the Padres or Mariners, the Yankees have multiyear, ten-figure offers on the table to according to Cashman "this one starter who used to pitch for the Pirates," "a Dominican outfielder from an NL West club, or at least I hope he's Dominican," "a few Royals players," "and an infielder named Jack or Jay or something, something with a J," among others.
Cashman says the Yankees are specifically focused on the Jack or Jim guy.
"I don't want us to be kicking ourselves come next September because what's-his-name with the J is making a name for himself starring for the Red Sox," he said.
Even agent Scott Boras couldn’t believe what he heard leaving his mouth on Monday at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings.
“I’ve been in this game a long time,” Boras said while reflecting at the end of the day. “I’ve made my share of ridiculous claims. Remember, I’m the guy who compared Oliver Perez to Sandy Koufax last winter. Some of the stuff I said today, though…wow.”
Boras said he first realized he was in rare form while touting the virtues of free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre to a small group of general managers during a morning coffee break.
“The great thing about statistics is that most of these guys forget to go back and verify what I say. So sometimes you can fudge the numbers a little to support a player,” Boras explained.
Philadelphia Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. was one of the executives who heard Boras’ pitch, and he left impressed.
“Never in a million years would I have thought that Beltre’s career through age 30 was actually superior to what Mike Schmidt had done at the same age. Somehow Scott had the numbers to back it up, though,” Amaro said.
GMs found Boras’ claim that in 2009 Beltre had the highest VRGO ever for a third baseman particularly compelling. If any of them realized that VRGO was a statistic Boras had only made up a few minutes earlier they didn’t appear to care.
“Can you believe that?” Boras crowed. “I don’t even know what VRGO could possibly stand for, but it sounds like a real statistic, doesn’t it? That probably made Adrian an extra five mil.”
Boras was further shocked by some of the things he said in support of his recently unemployed clients.
“It’s one thing to say that Johnny Damon projects to still have 20-homer power in four years, but it’s quite another to say Rodrigo Lopez still has the stuff to be a #2 starter for a contender,” Boras admitted.
“God, did I really say that with a straight face?” Boras wondered aloud.
Although Boras may amaze even himself at times with his utter lack of shame when discussing his clients, the players love him for it.
“Does Scott inflate his clients’ performance a bit? Sure, but that’s just what makes him the best,” said free-agent reliever Scott Schoeneweis, who Boras compared to a left-handed Mariano Rivera, the second coming of Goose Gossage, and “Jesus Christ, only with a better slider” at various points throughout the afternoon.
Boras was particularly incredulous about some of the claims he made in the infamous three-ring binders of statistics he gives teams detailing his clients’ performances and values.
“This is sort of embarrassing, but I forgot to make a binder for (free agent infielder) Felipe Lopez,” Boras confided. “I didn’t realize it until I got to the winter meetings this morning, though, and by then I didn’t have time to write one.”
At this point, Boras said he knew he had to get creative.
“Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s not really a lie if it’s printed on three-hole-punch paper, so I found A-Rod’s old binder and changed the words ‘Alex Rodriguez’ to ‘Felipe Lopez’ throughout the entire document. I figured I was just buying myself some time, but then [Royals GM] Dayton Moore told me he hadn’t even known Lopez was such a threat to break the all-time home run record. He asked if we’d be interested in a deal in the six-year, $90 million range.”
“His exact words were ‘This is someone I could see benching Yuniesky Betancourt for,’” the dumbfounded Boras said. “I can’t believe it. I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to look my kids in the eye after that one.”