THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Yawn: McGwire interview a real snoozer

He got a lot more than milk.

When I saw Mark McGwire allegedly confessing to Bob Costas on the MLB Network, my first thought was not, "Steroids and Mark McGwire? Who knew?"

 No. "My first thought was plastic surgery and Mark McGwire? Who knew?" The only athlete tighter around the eyes is Bruce Jenner. Guessing how many Botox injections McGwire had before his otherwise pathetic and tiresome television interview was the only thing that lent interest to his confession.

I wish we didn't even have to go down this road. It's no fun holding someone's hand while he's spewing lies, especially when the lying is so formulaic and tedious. Considering McGwire has been holed up for so many years (nine, actually; he retired from baseball and any sort of public life in 2001) stewing over his use of steroids and HGH, one would think he could come up with a better cock-and-bull story than the one he prattled last week. 

"I did this for health purposes. There's no way I did this for any type of strength use," McGwire told the Associated Press last Monday.

Yawn. I would rather sit through a marathon of the BBC series Dr. Who than listen to that old song and dance again. (Those of you who have caught even a minute of the show understand the gravity of that statement.) Honestly, athletes who dumped all over their fans once by cheating and lying at least owe us the courtesy of coming up with a captivating excuse for it, right?

Looking closely, we can find a few less-than-soporific moments in McGwire's confession– for instance, his statement, "After all this time, I want to come clean. I was not in a position to do that five years ago in my Congressional testimony." 

Pardonnez-moi, but how might one not be in a position to tell the truth to a Congressional committee? Call me an American, but I was under the impression that honesty was compulsory when being questioned by Congress. Oh, wait. Alberto Gonzales. Right.

So, interesting fact number one gleaned from McGwire's confession: when it comes to Congressional testimony, retired baseball players get the same pass as the U. S. Attorney General. I didn't know that, but I suppose that would explain why McGwire is headed to Busch Stadium and not Leavenworth. 

Interesting fact number two: God's gift is not enough. This one really surprised me. Who knew baseball was so Biblical? When Costas asked McGwire if he could have hit 70 home runs without steroids, McGwire's answer was emphatic: "Absolutely, I was given this gift by the man upstairs." 

So McGwire's facing the Brewers was like Moses against the Amalekites, requiring not Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms, but steroids and HGH? Wow. Fascinating.

What about McGwire's claim that Tony La Russa knew nothing about the steroids at all? Now, his covering up for his former coach may be slightly interesting. Even if McGwire weren't bound by the MLB's unwritten brotherhood's secret-handshake code, he couldn't risk placing blame on La Russa's doorstep. 

When a retired home-run record-setting baseball player is hired as a hitting coach for his former team, then subsequently admits taking performance-enhancing drugs and is not immediately fired, something really smells. Shouldn't La Russa be appalled at McGwire's admission? Shouldn't he fall all over himself to get McGwire out of his locker room? 

Any coach with a shred of honor would, but not Tony La Russa. The devilish pact he made with McGwire all those years ago still seems to hold. Don't tell on me, and I won't tell on you.

There aren't any other interesting tidbits in McGwire's interview with Costas or his statement to the Associated Press. How many times can we hear "I did it. I regret it. Let's move on," without wanting to stick pencils in our ears? 

Honestly, Mark McGwire, for someone who supposedly saved baseball, you're one boring specimen of sportsmanship.


Juanita Giles lives in Keysville where she makes videos and updates her Sports Doctor site.