In case you haven’t heard, more excerpts from the new proposed Jay McGwire book deal are out. Of the noteworthy:
-We were living in Southern California, so it was an hour flight to go to Northern California. When I went to see Mark in the summer of 1987, his rookie season with the Oakland A’s, I hung around the clubhouse and met all the players, including Jose Canseco, who never did get the story straight about Mark. That’s just part of what I’m here to tell you. Jose was different than my brother, obviously. I thought he was funny. He always had something to say about everything. Jose’s the kind of guy who dresses in the nice clothes. Mark dressed in jeans and plain button-down shirts—simple, conservative. Jose’s a more flamboyant guy with an outgoing personality. I never had a problem with him, but I know Mark never really cared for him that much or hung out with him. I think a natural rivalry, complete with jealousy on both sides, existed. Given their ages and talents, it was inevitable. Neither knew at the time which one of them would be the best of the Bash Brothers.
-Steroids promote muscle growth and healing, just what Mark needed. So I began selling the idea to Mark that steroids would boost his career. Major League Baseball did not have testing back then, and using the right combination of drugs would add muscle and aid his recovery power from the many dings and bruises of being a professional athlete. Clearly the use of steroids would allow him to avoid the injuries while adding the right amount of strength. I went to him and I said, “Mark, you have to do something about this.” I wasn’t thinking about altering baseball history; I only wanted to help my brother. I told him, “Mark, it’s no problem to get the stuff. All you need is some cash and I’ll get it for you.” He definitely wanted to look into it.
-However, Mark did gain the confidence you get from using steroids. There’s an invincibility factor that comes into play—nobody talks about that; they just talk about the physical results. But let me tell you: when you’re using, you feel indestructible, which is a great attitude to have when you step into a batter’s box and prepare to look at 90 mph fastballs. Steroids did that for Mark. When you get stronger and you put on muscle, you feel good about yourself. You feel good physically and emotionally. That applied to Mark’s swing. He literally grew into his status as a home run hero, which I don’t think would have happened had he not gained that confidence.
It’s becoming more clear that the guy is telling the truth. It’s also becoming clear that McGwire isn’t going to come out and refute any of this. McGwire seems happy just to sit back in the shadows and allow people to think what they want.
ESPN’s Around the Horn said something that made us think a bit: no one has even seen McGwire in years. No one knows what he looks like anymore. Odd to think about a guy who was baseball’s symbol a decade ago now isn’t even heard from or seen at all. What someone could make for an interview with this guy (if they could pull it off) could be very lucrative. We wish we were McGwire’s neighbor right about now. It would be like winning the lotto. If we could get him to talk.