The following are quotes from Mark McGwire’s emotional television interview with MLB Network’s Bob Costas that took place live today at 7:00 p.m. ET about McGwire’s admission of using performance enhancing drugs during his career. The exclusive interview was the first television interview granted by McGwire since he admitted using PEDs in a statement earlier today.
Highlights of the interview are below:
ON WHEN EXACTLY HE USED STEROIDS:
“I believe it was the winter of 1989 into 1990. I was given a couple of week’s worth, tried it, never thought anything of it. I just moved on from it. But as far as using it on a consistent basis, it was the winter of 1993 into 1994.”
ON WHETHER HE THINKS HE WOULD STILL HAVE PERFORMED AS WELL WITHOUT STEROIDS:
“I truly believe so. I believe I was given this gift. The only reason I took steroids was for my health purposes. I did not take steroids to get any gain for any strength purposes… I’ve always had bat speed. I just learned how to shorten my bat speed. I learned how to be a better hitter. There’s not a pill or an injection that is going to give me -- or any athlete -- the hand-eye coordination to hit a baseball. A pill or an injection will not hit a baseball.”
ON EXACTLY WHAT PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS HE TOOK:
“The names I don’t remember. But I did injectables. I preferred the orals. The steroids I did were on a very low dosage. I didn’t want to take a lot of it. I took very, very low dosages, just because I wanted my body to feel normal. The wear and tear of 162 ballgames and the status of where I was at, and the pressures that I had to perform, and what I had to go through to try and get through all these injuries, it’s a very, very regrettable thing.”
ON REGRETTING HIS STEROID USE:
“I wish it never came into my life. But we’re sitting here talking about it. I’m so sorry that I have to. I apologize to everybody at Major League Baseball, my family, the Marises, Bud Selig… Today was the hardest day of my life.”
ON CALLING ROGER MARIS’ WIDOW THIS MORNING:
“Well, I think she was shocked that I called her. I felt good…I felt that it was…that I needed to do that. They’ve been great supporters of mine. She was disappointed. She has every right to be. And I couldn’t tell her how so sorry I was.”
ON THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE 2005 CONGRESSIONAL HEARING:
“So, 2005…Flying back there…I was ready, willing, and prepared to talk about this. I wanted to talk about this. I wanted to get this off my chest… My lawyers, Mark Bierbower and Marty Steinberg -- I meet them back there. We talked about the situation. Marty, a former federal prosecutor, laid out a couple of scenarios. ‘If you go out there, and talk about this without protection, there’s a very good chance of a possible prosecution, or grand jury testimonies.’ So, we talk to – we were in meetings downstairs with Congressman Waxman, and… Congressman Davis… my lawyers were downstairs trying to get immunity for me. I wanted to talk. I kept telling myself, ‘I want to get this off my chest.’ Well, we didn’t get immunity. So here I am in a situation where I have two scenarios, where a possible prosecution or possible grand jury testimonies. Well you know what happens when there’s a prosecution? You bring in your whole family, you bring in your whole friends, you bring in ex-teammates, coaches, anybody that’s surrounding you. How the heck am I gonna to bring those people in for some stupid act that I did? So you know what I did? We agreed to not talk about the past. And it was not enjoyable to do that, Bob.
ON HIS TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS IN 2005:
“I’m gonna tell you right now, standing up there – or sitting up there, listening, the Hooten family or the other families behind me that lost their loved ones… And every time that I kept on saying “I’m not talking about the past,” I hear these moans. It was killing me. I was not gonna lie. I was not going to lie. I wanted to tell the truth, but because of the position I was in; to protect my family, to protect me, I decided that I would take the hits. I think anybody’s going to take the hits. I’ve been taking hits for five years…doesn’t feel very good.”
ON THE HALL OF FAME:
“I’m not here doing this for the Hall of Fame. I’m doing this for me, to get this off my chest. I played this game of baseball because I was given the ability to play. If I’m lucky enough to get in there, that’s just icing on the cake. But I played this game because I loved it.”
ON WHAT HE’D TELL CARDINALS PLAYERS ABOUT STEROIDS:
“It was the stupidest thing I ever did. There’s no reason to even go down that road. It’s an illusion. And look what I have to do. I‘m sitting here by a stupid mistake.”
ON POTENTIALLY BEING FORGIVEN BY FANS AND OTHERS:
“Well, I’m asking for a second chance. I hope they give it to me. Because you know, I have a lot to offer. I have a whole rolodex of things that I love to teach hitters, and I can’t wait to get to spring training. I can’t wait to teach, and it’s just, it’s always been a passion of mine so it just came to a head this last October when Tony sent me a text to see if I’d consider being a hitting coach.”
Source: MLB Network
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