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Friday, October 30, 2009
Pearlman on McGwireJeff Pearlman brings the Mark McGwire sanctimony:
Worst of all, however, McGwire was a baseball thief. At the very moment his 341-foot home run landed behind the outfield fence, he robbed Roger Maris of the most important record in professional sports. He robbed the Maris family of future income from 61-related merchandising and events. He robbed the Hall of Fame -- which swooped up McGwire memorabilia as if it were free Twinkies -- of its credibility, he robbed those fans who spent hundreds of dollars for a ticket in order to witness history and he robbed thousands upon thousands of kids of a seemingly genuine role model.
Pearlman often writes how disgusted he is with what baseball has become. I can't help but think that if he hadn't had such a ridiculously idealistic notion of what it was in the first place, he never would have crashed so hard to begin with.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:56pm
Having just finished “True Compass” I can state that both Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds are just misunderstood pillars of baseball, just a little misunderstood that 511 pages can easily explain.
Posted 10/30 at 03:19 PM
Matt M said...
Wait, you mean baseball wasn’t more pure when only white guys were allowed to play and gamblers could buy the World Series?
Posted 10/30 at 03:24 PM
“I can’t help but think that if he hadn’t had such a ridiculously idealistic notion of what it was in the first place, he never would have crashed so hard to begin with.” Perfectly said.
The use of the Bible as an analog is indicative of the flawed thinking of people like Pearlman. The Bible was written a long time ago and is basically unchanged after the “sequel” (ignoring for the moment different versions of the text).
The baseball record book is a dynamic entity. If was not set in stone, waiting to be marred by the bad, bad men of the present. The “the past was awesome and must be protected from progress” mindset drives me nuts. Not to mention the “permanent marker marks” left by things like segregation, spitballers in the hall of fame and rampant amphetamine use.
Posted 10/30 at 03:26 PM
Mike H said...
I simply do not understand what all the fuss is over McGwire. At no time, proven or suspected has anyone shown that he did anything illegal.
He hit more home runs in less time than anyone in the history of the game. (my guess not proven).
I paid to watch him play and I’ll pay to watch him coach.
While I will never dismiss the 61 home runs hit by Maris as being less than a grand record of it’s time, the year McGwire and Sosa both went over 60 was an incredible baseball feat. Then to have Bonds do it again shows that the record was meant to be broken.
Posted 10/30 at 03:32 PM
I was at Busch when McGwire hit 60 and then 66 to take the lead back from Sosa. Those were some of the best games I have ever been too.
McGwire did not rob me of anything. The Cardinals were awful that season and yet I had to watch every game because he was entertainment, which is what baseball is all about anyway.
Posted 10/30 at 03:37 PM
Simon DelMonte said...
I have one word: Andro. We knew about the Andro when the great home run chase was going on. And we all pretty much dismissed it. We knew what he was when we loved him. We didn’t care.
Maybe we were all idiots back in ‘98. But McGwire and Sosa and MLB gave us what we wanted: dingers, and lots of ‘em. McGwire took nothing from us that we didn’t give willingly.
Never mind that part of baseball’s problem these days is that the record book is treated like it’s sacred. It’s just a game, Mr. Pearlman.
Posted 10/30 at 03:38 PM
Another problem is that I don’t see the jump from preventing the Maris family from selling “61” coffee mugs to defacing holy texts. I understand hyperbole, but Pearlman is a sloppy writer.
Posted 10/30 at 03:40 PM
Jeff Pearlman’s only regret is that the guy who called Selena Roberts didn’t call him.
Dude makes his living being a mean-spirited ass.
Posted 10/30 at 04:00 PM
It does amaze me how many people who report on baseball really don’t enjoy it at all. I mean, your job is to follow the goings-on of a sport ... and you hate doing it? I mean, not that I’m complaining, but to dislike your job so much as to try publicity suck the joy other people might get out of it is downright deplorable.
Posted 10/30 at 04:05 PM
I can say now that I don’t care what McGwire did while he played, but to be honest when he went in front of congress and made an ass of himself a little piece of my baseball soul died that day. Big Mac (and Canseco) were the reasons I started watching baseball in the first place (I was 7 in ‘89, that World Series is my oldest memory of baseball).
But, to be as old as I am now (or to be Pearlman’s age) and still have this view of the game it tells me that he never really liked baseball all that much to begin with.
Posted 10/30 at 04:08 PM
@ Michael - “Dude makes his living being a mean-spirited ass.”
Posted 10/30 at 04:15 PM
Oh and by the way, i seriously doubt that ANDRO was the only thing McGwire was doing. Big Mac’s brother is (and has been) a personal trainer here in SoCal for 20+ years, and, uh, yeah ANDRO is not the only thing that guys associated with. Mac is still one of my all-time favorite players, but this assumption that all he ever did was ANDRO is extremely naive, if not ignorant.
Posted 10/30 at 04:15 PM
Matt Aux said...
That first line made me immediately imagine McGwire wearing a Hamburgler outfit while laughing hysterically as he raids the Rawlings factory.
Posted 10/30 at 04:28 PM
michael standish said...
Anyone with the slightest shred of decency would alert Jeff Pearlman to the fact that a moronic psychopath has been signing his name to some deeply weird comments.
Posted 10/30 at 04:35 PM
Mike F said...
If we are going to start talking about the sanctity of baseball records, lets call out Misters Ruth, Maris and Aaron for robbing Ned Williams (27 Homeruns in 1884) and Roger Connor (196 from 1880-97) of their records with a league approved! juiced baseball.
I mean if it’s a Holy Bible then any change is evil.
Posted 10/30 at 05:01 PM
i think its pretty obvious that steroids made baseball more exciting. i understand in the long run why you want to remove them from the game but but people like mcgwire et al did not immoral except sacrifice their health to entertain sports fans. oh boo hoo, roger maris’ family doesnt get moeny off the number 61? so what makes roger maris’ family so special? and where does perelman draw the line anyway? what if maris drank, smoked tobacco and cursed and cheated on his wife? is that better or worse than taking HGH?
Posted 10/30 at 05:06 PM
Wait. Can we get together on which broken record was more sacred? I thought it was Aaron’s record, and that Bonds was the defiler. Now I’m hearing that it was Maris’ and McGwire was the ruiner.
Let’s call Cy Young’s wins the most sacred record. That’ll never get broken.
Posted 10/30 at 06:09 PM
When Pearlman decides to, effectively, turn his gorge onto his own fraternity, the writers who have locker room access, see the players’ physiques, pick up some of the buzz, made jokes with players like Piazza about exactly what he was doing, were staring a Woodward-Bernstein class Pulitzer for sports writing in the face, and did NOTHING about it, then he might write something worth reading.
There’s plenty of mud to be slung onto all parties, and one party is still without stain.
I won’t click through to the original column.
Posted 10/30 at 06:10 PM
@Grant: For me, it’s Mark Reynolds’ single-season strikeout record. Curse that Mark Reynolds for breaking it!
Posted 10/30 at 06:19 PM
For Jeff Pearlman:
Posted 10/30 at 09:01 PM