I don't know who Mark McGwire's legal advisors are, but he should seriously consider not paying them. They didn't do him any good at the steroid hearings in Washington.
If it was their idea that he not say anything about his past, they screwed up. If it was McGwire's idea that he not say anything about his past, they still screwed up. They should have told him to say one thing about his past...and one thing only. Just like Rafael Palmeiro...he should have looked straight at somebody and said...
"I HAVE NEVER USED STEROIDS.....PERIOD".
Whether it was the truth, or not, for the sake of any legacy he has left, he should have said it. By not saying it...and not saying it...and not saying it again...I think in most people's minds he came off as an admitted 'roid user anyway. Was he that concerned about perjuring himself before Congress?? I doubt it. If somebody comes along later and wants to try to prove such a statement to be false, so be it. Someone likely will be trying to do that anyway. But his millions of fans...particularly the Cardinal fans who were thrilled by, and paid dearly to see, the homers in the late '90's... were yearning for him to claim some form of innocence.
Congressman Clay...of St. Louis...gave him the perfect opportunity. Clay's question to Mac didn't even directly ask about steroids. If I heard it correctly, he asked..."Can you say that you are honest, and your records were honestly achieved??" He was specifically asking about honesty. We know what he was referring to. But he didn't ask specifically about steroids! McGwire could honestly say he was an honest person...without admitting anything else. For instance, he could have done a Bill Clinton and asked..."What is your definition of honesty"? And then he could have said..."I believe I am an honest person". But we didn't even get that. Where were his attorneys when he had the chance to seize that opportunity? The old.."I'm here to talk about the future...not the past. I'm a retired player. Anything to help the kids" routine got old, evasive and disingenous after the first five minutes.
I know one thing. I will never have the same reverence for Big Mac and his achievements that I once did. I'll wager I'm not alone there. I'm also betting that Congressman Clay introduces a bill soon to "un-name" the Mark McGwire highway on Interstate 70.