In the wake of Ryan Braun's positive test for ... well, for something, there has been talk that somebody should confiscate his National League MVP award. After all, he won it for his performance, and his performance was allegedly enhanced.
ST. LOUIS -- The surprise courting of hot young general manager Andrew Friedman by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has begun even before Theo Epstein is officially signed, sealed and delivered to the Chicago Cubs. Though Friedman's name hadn't been tied to the Angels until someone tipped @DRaysBay that Friedman had been spotted dining in Tampa with Angels honchos Arte Moreno and John Carpino, it makes perfect sense as baseball owners are increasingly understanding how much more crucial the GM is to a team's success than a manager. Besides, as one AL exec put it, "Teams are copycats.'' Once one got Epstein (or is about to), it's no surprise another wanted the other hot available name.
Sometime in the second half of the 20th century man persuaded himself that the triple is baseball's most exciting play, which is nonsense, for how many Bleacher Bums ever threw a triple back?
Is Mark Teixeira facing a dip in his career? The New York Yankees first baseman turns 31 in April and is coming off a season in which he hit .256 -- 34 points below his lifetime average entering the year (.290). I recently had an interesting discussion with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long about Teixeira's approach and mechanics and how they are due for adjustments. Three areas stand out for a tuneup:
On the greatest day of his baseball life last summer, Andre Dawson stepped to the rostrum in Cooperstown for his induction to the Hall of Fame and went out of his way to make clear that choosing to use steroids was choosing disrepute.
How come you hardly ever talk about or investigate tennis players and doping? We only hear about positive tests when [the ITF] publicize the results. But you hardly ever comment on players that are suddenly looking different, suddenly hitting the ball harder, etc. This is talked about [on one website in particular] but journalists should investigate this! --Ben P., New York
Ken Burns vowed he would never do a sequel but six years ago he encountered a cosmic event so extraordinary that it forced the documentarian to change his mind: The Red Sox won the World Series.
HASLEMERE, England -- News of the cricket scandal broke early Tuesday morning, and by that evening the sport's governing body sent a message: We refuse to stand for this.
You know what sounds easy? Punting on the whole steroids issue. Give 'em all hypodermic needles with their signing bonuses. Let them pop pills. Let them inject pure, unfiltered testosterone. Let them eat uranium yellowcake if they think it will make them bigger, stronger, faster, quicker or better-looking.
Related photo galleries for the August 2, 2010 issue
JUPITER, Fla. -- From time to time, something upsetting or unhappy may come up and Mark McGwire will be have to talk about the past again. It happened just last week, when his estranged bodybuilding younger brother, Jay, came out with a book contradicting his more famous, richer brother's contention that he didn't use steroids to make himself bigger or better. McGwire will look uncomfortable for a little while, as he did in this case, but then go back to working dawn 'til dusk with the Cardinals hitters and generally enhancing their abilities and polishing his own reputation.
Happily, unless I've missed it -- although maybe, as we sharpie teenagers used to say: accidentally on purpose -- no member of the Colts or Saints has yet come forth to guarantee his team's victory in the Super Bowl.
One week after Mark McGwire clumsily asked for unofficial reinstatement to Major League Baseball, under far less controversy, the New York Mets granted absolution to two prodigal sons of another drug culture. The Mets' naming of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry to their Hall of Fame caused barely a ripple of attention, in part because the McGwire fallout kept its momentum but also because the announcement was, if anything, too long coming.
Each week SI.com's Richard Deitsch will report on newsmakers from the world of TV, radio and the Web. There's a two-word answer why MLB Network landed Mark McGwire's first television interview after he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs:
Mark McGwire speaks Sunday in his first public appearance in St. Louis, Missouri, since admitting steroid use.
Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire said Sunday he's glad he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, but faced ongoing questions about why and which drugs he took.
When baseball slugger Mark McGwire admitted he had used steroids in his record-breaking 1998 season, he recalled refusing to talk about the subject in his 2005 testimony to Congress.
Interest in the Roger Maris Museum, located in a hallway between the Spencer Gifts and the Nails Pro in the West Acres mall in Fargo, N.Dak., has this week been unusually strong. "We get a lot of walkers out there, and sometimes they walk by and only glance at it," says Jim McLaughlin, 84, who in 1984 co-founded the museum, which features 72 feet of memorabilia-filled display cases and a video room devoted to the accomplishments of one of his state's most favorite of sons. "The last couple of days, though, they've come in and really looked at what he did. It's been a little hectic."
The truth with Mark McGwire -- and we finally did get some truth from McGwire on Monday -- is that he had no choice but to come clean. (Or at least partially clean, in his case.)
The first thing Mark McGwire said on Tuesday morning was that he felt a whole lot better. The phone call from him was a surprise... I don't know Mark McGwire. I don't believe I had ever talked to him in anything other than a group setting. And he did not say exactly why he was calling. He just did. We talked for a while.
"I still think even today that we labor under the burden of this well-intentioned but incorrect stance where people question or downright deny that these drugs work so well."
Mark McGwire deserves a ban from baseball more than any sympathy.
He called the widow of Roger Maris a few days ago, a surprisingly bold move that surely resulted in one of the most awkward phone conversations this side of Bobby Kennedy-George Wallace.
Every so often, I will watch something -- say a presidential debate -- and then I'll watch and read the reactions and realize that I saw the debate all wrong. I thought this candidate won when, apparently, the other one did. I thought this was a good point when, apparently, it did not play well with senior citizens in Minnesota. I thought this was an interesting exchange of ideas when, apparently, it was self-serving and politics as usual.
Not only has Mark McGwire been in hiding for years, he was apparently locked in a time capsule. One that was sealed up before the last eight seasons of baseball or BALCO ever happened.
I'm so fired up about the way things came out and I took a lot of things off my chest. For me, since that press conference, I feel like a new man.
Now that I have become the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, I have the chance to do something that I wish I was able to do five years ago.
The man who refused to talk about the past finally did. Mark McGwire confirmed on Monday what anyone who has followed baseball over the past five years already knew. He took steroids, not once or twice as so many of his peers have claimed, but on and off throughout the decade that made him famous. "Looking back," McGwire said, "I wish I had never played in the steroid era."
Mark McGwire Soon after he raised his right hand and testified before Congress at a hearing on baseball and steroids in 2005, McGwire said, "I'm not here to talk about the past" -- probably his most public and famous denial in a decade of them.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Nine years after he last wore a major league uniform and four years after the embarrassment of a congressional hearing sent him to his own fairway-lined Elba, Mark McGwire believes it is safe to return to baseball. His return is an encouraging sign that the emotion and vituperation of The Steroid Era has waned, though the disappointment shall always remain.
Mark McGwire showed up in my mailbox last week. There he is, on my Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, for the fourth year in a row.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Roberto Alomar is among 15 first-time candidates of this year's Hall of Fame ballot, joining holdovers Mark McGwire, Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven.
Hall of Fame time already? Well, no. But to beat the rush, here are a few thoughts about four interesting new candidates ...
When most people think of Mark McGwire, one of three things enters their minds:
Patrick McHenry (R-NC): And so I have a simple question, and you can answer yes or no or choose to not answer. That is certainly your right. Is using steroids -- the use of steroids -- is that cheating? Curt Schilling: Yes. Rafael Palmeiro: I believe it is. Mark McGwire: Not for me to determine. McHenry: For you, is it cheating, yes or no? McGwire: It's not for me to determine.
You probably know about baseball's Hall of Fame clause. It's included in the letter sent off to every Hall of Fame voter. It says:
Someone who knows Alex Rodriguez pretty well once told me that the key to understanding A-Rod is to simply remember, at all times, that the guy wants to be loved. Maybe that's obvious. Maybe that's the thing that drives most (all?) successful people. Maybe that's why Bruce Springsteen plays the Super Bowl. Maybe that's why Brett Favre comes back for one more year. There's that classic exchange from Citizen Kane between Mr. Thompson, the guy trying to chase down what Rosebud meant, and Jedediah Leland, Charlie Kane's old friend.
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Dec. 2. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer. For more essays, click here.
Ten years ago this weekend, Mark McGwire hit his 70th home run of the magical 1998 season. At the time, it seemed both the record and McGwire's exalted place in the baseball pantheon would live forever.
Dog-eared and dirty, the poster's still there. Seventy stars stuck on a board, with the boast, "Nobody does it better than our hometown hero."
When Bill Clinton first ran for president in 1992, his campaign posted the now-famous slogan "It's the economy, stupid!" in its headquarters to keep the candidate and everyone around him on point about what the electorate truly cared about. And it worked.
Overlooked somewhat in the announcement of Rich Gossage's election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the debates it triggered over Class of 2008 runners-up such as Jim Rice and Andre Dawson, was the fact that Mark McGwire received precisely 128 votes -- identical to his 2007 total.
Tim Raines headlines the group of 11 first-year candidates on this year's Hall of Fame ballot. Goose Gossage, Andre Dawson, Mark McGwire and Jim Rice are among the 14 holdover candidates. Who do you think is worthy of enshrinement? Vote now!
Todd McFarlane owns many of history's home run balls. He's friends with Bonds, but won't overpay for the record breaker
One St. Louis sporting icon, baseball's Mark McGwire, likely won't get into his sport's Hall of Fame because he's widely regarded as a cheater.
For every memorable home run ever hit, there's some poor sap who threw the pitch. For every Bobby Thomson there's a Ralph Branca. For every 61 or 62 or 71 or 715, there has been a Tracy Stallard, a Steve Trachsel, a Chan Ho Park and an Al Downing.
Here's the very difficult choice that many baseball executives face these days: Pay a lot for the up-and-comers and soon-to-be free agents in their organization now, or pay more for somebody else's stars later. That is, fork out huge money for a known quantity maybe a little earlier than you'd like to, or need to, or be prepared to shell out just as much -- and, yeah, very possibly more -- for a free agent you don't know nearly as well.
Sammy Sosa is going to be a tough call for the Hall.
Players, in their wildest fantasies, wouldn't dream about getting in the kind of groove that Alex Rodriguez is in right now. It's nearly unfathomable. The best players in the world would be happy with half of what A-Rod's doing this April.
Every so often, somebody comes out with an idea so intuitive that you kick yourself for not thinking of it first. You know, like going on vacation with Rulon Gardner, or putting the NHL on Versus, or throwing money around a Las Vegas strip club but asking the strippers not to touch the money. OK, bad examples. But the second I opened my advance copy of The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything, I knew that editors Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir were onto something big. I'm talking Barry-Bonds'-head big.
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Mark McGwire is gone, but Sammy Sosa is on his way back.
1. The sports world is still reacting to David Beckham's blockbuster signing with the MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy. Landing such a superstar will surely make soccer a major American pro sport. Personally, I can't wait 'til Beckham and the Galaxy come to New York to play the Cosmos.
Mark McGwire was already on the mind of Rich Maris, one of the kids of Roger Maris, when I phoned him on Tuesday. But that's only because earlier that day McGwire's annual $6,200 check had arrived to Roger's widow, Pat, for the Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament. Unfailingly, McGwire's check arrives every year, made out for the same amount to symbolize the number of homers McGwire hit en route to 70 to take the record from Roger.
The good voters of the Baseball Writers Association of America -- OK, so there are a few screws in there, too -- have spoken in the matter of Mark McGwire and the Hall of Fame. The word has come down from wherever such words come down from, loud and unmistakably clear. The word is, "No."
Wandering past one of the display racks in the children's section of a major bookstore chain Saturday morning, I saw a youth paperback with Ken Griffey, Jr., Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire on the cover.
Dear Mark McGwire,
Seven months before he broke Roger Maris' home run record and seven years before Congress would pursue a similar line of questioning with him, I asked Mark McGwire if he used steroids. We sat in the living room of his well-appointed Orange County, Calif., home. The tiny red light of a tape recorder glowed on the coffee table between us. It was February 1998, a time of both innocence and ignorance in baseball compared to what we now know about that era.
Mark McGwire, a balding, svelter version of his former 70-home-run self, sauntered into a congressional hearing room on St. Patrick's Day wearing a light green tie.
Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire refused to answer questions about steroid use during his playing career at a congressional hearing Thursday, repeatedly telling a House committee he was "not here to talk about the past."
Federal officials announced Thursday a crackdown on the supplement andro, which gained fame after baseball player Mark McGwire used the product in his record-setting 1998 season.
By the time you read this, St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire or Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa may have broken Roger Maris' 1961 record of 61 home runs in a single season. Some critics have scoffed at the du...
Twenty-two-year-old J.D. Drew recently walked into a Double A stadium in Wichita and assumed his dual positions as a centerfielder for the Arkansas Travelers and as the most resented man in basebal...