Being an avid fan of the greatest game on Earth, you're probably not surprised to know that I've posted in the past about baseball. When the things of God and my favorite game can be brought up in the same discussion, I'm like a dead pig in warm sunshine. :)
Yesterday, perhaps the biggest sports story of the week sent sports writers everywhere into a tailspin. Mark McGwire sat down with Bob Costas and admitted he had used performance enhancing drugs in the past. You can find the link and story here.
McGwire was hired as the hitting coach for his former St. Louis Cardinals. He told Costas he had been struggling with his decision to come "clean" since 2005 (when Major League Baseball began their formal investigation of steroid abuse). His rationale was based on his family, friends, and peers being questioned about his practices in the past. While testifying to a Senate committee, McGwire continued to deny his use of steroids and stated he "wanted to focus on the future and not the past."
After watching the interview, I was a bit dumbfounded. During the first part of the interview, McGwire seems remorseful, apologizes to the commissioner, his teammates, and his family. He also made an effort to call the widow of Roger Maris (who was listed as holding the home run record) and apologize to her. I observed a tearful man who seemed sincere in his apology. Honestly, I was reminded of King David's remorse for sin in Psalm 32:3. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
During the second part of the interview, McGwire was asked if he believed he would have accomplished all that he did without the performance enhancing drugs. He states that he believes he would have and then offers his home run record from Little League, American Legion, high school, and college baseball. In fact, McGwire says "The man upstairs has given him a gift to hit home runs."
The reason for my confusion is two-fold. Again, it sounds as if he's sincere in his apology and then quickly becomes adamant about "not taking the drugs for power but for health." Frankly, I don't care why he took them and never believed him when he denied taking them. He states during the interview "This is the worst day of my life." I wonder why. Does "coming clean" hurt so much? King David writes about consequences and then the peace that eventually comes with integrity restored. It's interesting that many writers say they will never vote for McGwire until he tells the truth. Was this the reason his timing is what it is?
We may never know the reason for his timing. And we may not know the full truth about who took steroids and for how long. I do know however that sin when left alone will destroy a person. I've experienced that in my own life and I read that time and time again in Scripture.
After his confession, King David is restored and is eventually called "a man after God's heart." His motive(s) must have been righteous. McGwire's motives are yet to be determined. However, Mark McGwire is no King David. Nor am I!
Writer Scot McKnight has a short blog on what he believes McGwire should do. Any thoughts?