I am advised by the impeccable Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the stretch of asphalt to be de-named after Big Mac (see lengthy tedious post below) and rechristened in honor of Mark Twain, had, long before Mac, been part of the Twain Expressway. So the great writer has not somehow been overlooked by Missouris Department of Transportation. Of course, this does mean that the DOT has gone back from McGwire to Clemens.
A full week of exhibition games in, and Mark McGwire is clearly not on his way to setting a single-season record for confrontational interviews. Not even TMZ-style ambush.
“There is a lot of negativity and failure in baseball. It’s nice to talk about how positive it can be. I’m a positive person,” McGwire said.
Mr. Simmons tweets:
I’m furious that my Tiger column distracted America from a detailed and only mildly creepy case for Johnny Orsino’s Hall of Fame candidacy.
This is pretty standard stuff for Mr. Simmons. Make a fool of yourself comparing Tiger Woods (loss of advertisers) to Muhammad Ali (loss of income, threatened loss of freedom), so change the topic – to an admittedly trivial column about a trivial moment from a marginal catcher named John Orsino.
KO, please know the feeling is mutual. You’re my worst case scenario for my career in 12 yrs: a pious, unlikable blowhard who lives alone.
This assumes that Mr. Simmons’ career now is where mine was twelve years ago (anchoring SportsCenter, then my own MSNBC political show, anchoring NBC Weekend Nightly News, writing a best-selling sports book, etc). In fact, this assumes that this is Mr. Simmons’ career, which is remarkable. Also, anybody who could write as many words without saying anything of consequence really should throw around the word “blowhard” as frequently as he would a street sewer cover.
I feel bad about saying Olbermann lives alone. I forgot about his cats.
In a second chance to make a first impression, MLB is set to implement blood testing for Human Growth Hormone in the minors later this year – according to sources quoted by the estimable Michael Schmidt of The New York Times.
Mark McGwire’s excuse has indeed resonated in some quarters, and I’ve already seen some claims that “Sandy Koufax took steroids – and for the same reason – for his health!”
I was able to get in touch with Jane Leavy to clarify. I asked Ms. Leavy if she meant corticosteroids or if Koufax, a player of the same era that we know steroids and HGH made some small inroads into the game, now had to be lumped in with the “juicers.” Leavy states she meant corticosteroids, the same type of “cortisone injection” that we see performed so often in baseball to this day.
In The New York Times, my friend Rich Sandomir has an extraordinary piece on the arranging of the Costas/McGwire interview, and the rest of yesterday’s ‘limited hang-out,’ as a component of the Mark McGwire Contrition Tour.
The question from Bob Costas, paraphrased: Could you have had those homer-to-at bats ratios, and could you have hit 70 homers in 1998, without steroids:
tte from an odd MLB Network choice for one of its “All-Time Games” is fascinating – to a few, anyway. It’s a black-and-white video of the Montreal Expos outlasting the Pittsburgh Pirates at Jarry Park in Montreal on September 2, 1970. And at mid-game, rookie announcer Don Drysdale starts commenting to his partner Hal Kelly about the odd spectacle he’s seeing in the visitors’ bullpen.
So the last time we saw Mark McGwire he was giving the worst possible answer to questions from Congress about steroids. And then he vanished without a trace, and the location of his supporters and defenders shrank to one area code in Missouri, and every day somebody hoped he’d figure it out: his reputation was shot anyway, he wasn’t going to the Hall of Fame, he had been given by fate a license to tell kids not to get involved with performance-enhancers and thus redeem much of his own unacceptable but easily forgiven perfidy.
When I think of Lou Gehrig, I see him in a hotel room somewhere in the summer of 1938. It is the middle of the night, nearly silent, sweltering in Cleveland or St. Louis or Washington. If there is any air conditioning it is feeble and no match for humidity sitting like a giant sweater on the city.