Lesson Learned: Apologizing Isn’t So Bad
by Gus Jarvis
Nov 04, 2009 | 1357 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pitching on three day’s rest, who’s covering third, and Cliff Lee’s nasty cutter have been all been the conversation of this year’s World Series, an unusual notion for pro sports has also been brought to the surface: The power of the apology.

So we all know that just about everybody in professional baseball and their moms used performance enhancing drugs in the 90s, and even in the past few years. Now those that were actually caught and fingered for using the drugs had two directions to go in. There were those like the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte who admitted to their use and immediately apologized. Then, there are those like ol’ Roger Clemens and the oversized Mark McGwire who remain stupidly silent on their past use, never admitting anything.

Now I have always been a person that lives by the mantra “deny ’till you die.” If nobody can prove you did something wrong, deny, deny, deny. Deny no matter how bad your denial makes you look. Make those who are pointing the finger at you prove that you did something wrong. It’s kind of the American way right?

I still mostly subscribe to this belief, but this World Series has proven to me that simply confessing to what you did, apologizing for it and moving on, is also a way to save your face. Who knew? I mean really?

Both Rodriguez and Pettitte apologized for their past PHD usage and are now in the spotlight as being good players in a great World Series. Inflicting fear at the plate, Rodriguez’s good play in the post season turned him into a baseball great once again. Honestly, when I see him come up to bat I don’t see him as a cheater any more. He is a great baseball player. (And this pains me because I really do hate the Yankees.) Yes, he used drugs along with everybody else, but he was man enough to fess up to it. More importantly, this big time baseball star showed that he is human – humans make mistakes and pay for their mistakes. A-Rod can now move on – and he has. He is cleared by Major League Baseball and, more importantly, his fans (and non-fans, too).

So back into the spotlight comes Mark McGwire after an eight-year hiatus from the big leagues. St. Louis Manager Tony La Russa has decided to put his reputation on the line by hiring McGwire as the Cardinals’ new hitting coach. What gets me about players like McGwire (and Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa) is that they treat us all like idiots by their constant denial or button-lip approach to allegations of drug use. OK guys, we aren’t that stupid. Nobody gets that big and then jacks that many homeruns without the juice. We know this.

When McGwire and Sosa went before a congressional committee in 2005, they treated them like a bunch of idiots too. This constant denial when we know they used just makes the players look dumb and stubborn. Yeah, I understand that you are innocent until proven guilty in this country. I get that. But really, these boys have been proven guilty already. Let me be the judge on this one. I am not an idiot.

Anyway, back to McGwire’s return to the game. Last Monday, La Russa said if the McGwire hire turns out to be a terrible idea that he would take the blame. He will take the blame if a liar hire turns out to be a turkey. Is he crazy for hiring this guy as his hitting coach? I mean, McGwire was always a good hitter but never a great hitter unless he was juicing. What is he going to teach is players? The proper steroid cycles? How to clear a urine test? Give me a break.

Maybe this new job will be an opportunity for McGwire to come clean so he can change his tainted baseball legacy. La Russa said that McGwire will address the media soon about his past. Will this be the time when McGwire says, “Yes. Yes, I did steroids?” I don’t believe he will, but who knows. Maybe he is going to take a page out of A-Rod’s book and move on. For now, though, McGwire will always be the jacked up white guy who juiced his way to a homerun title and never had the courage to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness after he was (basically) busted. Macho stupidity is what I would call it. What a legacy to have.
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