I wouldn't spend a penny to buy Jay McGwire's tell all book. But, on the day it hit the bookstore shelves, you couldn't help but be bombarded by snipits from it or from sound bites of interviews all over the television and radio waves.
And, while I generally think tattling on your brother to make a buck is four or five times more sleazy that a slimeball like Jose Canseco putting out tattle tale books to try and make up for the fact that he blew the millions he made while playing, I have begun to believe this all may do the elder McGwire a great deal of good in the long run.
In the book, Jay McGwire not only takes blame for introducing Big Mac to steroids, he insists the former slugger was very resistant to his suggestions. Jay McGwire a former body buildier, said he got his ballplayer brother to begin training to try to get healthy after back to back seasons lost to injury. He pushed and pushed the alleged health and healing benefits of roids before Big Mac reluctantly agreed to give them a try.
Now I am not trying to say what Mark McGwire did wasn't wrong. But I, as a person who has never done drugs in my whole life, have to wonder if I would be able to say no to sterioids when they were effectively the difference between Big Mac getting back on the field and making millions to sock a baseball or getting his walking papers and selling insurance or used cars. Jay McGwire's contentions seem to back up his older brother's originally steriods admission when he said he took them to get on the field, not for more power, even though the tell all book states that Jay McGwire was trying to sculpt his brother into the ultimate power hitting machine.
Something else the book makes clear, although maybe not intentionally, is that Mark McGwire took a ton of hits to try to protect his brother.
When Big Mac sat in front of Congress and received a heaping helping of egg on his face by saying he wasn't there to talk about the past, he did it (at least in part) because he knew that if he told the truth his little brother was probably going to jail for a long, long time. Back then, the statute of limitations had not run its course and Jay McGwire could have been arrested and prosecuted for distributing illegal drugs.
So McGwire made some bad choices. But maybe he isn't the egomaniac bent on padding his personal numbers that so many have made him out to be. He's paid a huge price in public humiliation and the fact that he will probably never be elected to the Hall of Fame. And he deserves it for cheating.
But can we finally put this behind us.