MLB Senate Hearings with Darren Rovell
Darren blogs on ESPN Insider, has a weekly podcast available on Apple.com and is the author of the upcoming book, First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat Into A Cultural Phenomenon.
Hearings, deals, endorsements, agents, contracts -- Darren's knows all the dirt! Send in your questions now, join him for the answers on Thursday at noon ET!
The ShowGirl (11:41 AM)
Welcome to The Show! Darren will be here on Thursday to discuss the MLB Senate Hearings. Send in your questions now, and be sure to check out Darren's latest story ...
The ShowGirl (11:42 AM)
Six months after volunteering on Capitol Hill to become a spokesperson to educate America's youth against the perils of performance-enhancing drugs, Mark McGwire is nowhere to be found ...
Darren Rovell (12:03 PM)
Hello everyone. Let's talk about anything sports business, especially the hearings if you want to talk about yesterday on Capitol Hill.
Darren, why does it seem as if most baseball fans could care less about the steroid issue? The most prestigious record in the history of sports is about to be eclipsed by the "face" of steroids and yet there is no uproar by the fans? Why do you think this is?
Darren Rovell (12:05 PM)
John, I think baseball fans care about what was done in the past. They get angry. But they don't let that stop them from watching games now or going to the ballpark -- it will be another record year for baseball. It's funny. When all this started coming out, so many people were saying this would tarnish baseball. Well, maybe it did. But we're not seeing that at the box office or in the TV ratings.
Bobby (Tulsa, OK)
Just reading your article now...doesn't surprise me about Big Mac. Do you think he simply got bad advice from counsel not to go ahead and admit he used enhancers or was it pride? Thanks
Darren Rovell (12:06 PM)
We obviously don't know for sure about anything. I think he could have avoided the questions. He just could have done it a little bit better. He said the same thing over and over again. Maybe if he varied his answers and had someone coach him, he would not have come out as bad.
R.Keane (Old Southington, CT)
Somehow, as human beings, we seem to despise folks who contradict themselves. Even more so, when we think we really know that someone is guilty of something and they are not admitting it. It irks us the wrong way. Rafael Palmiero is enemy number one. Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa are right up there. The Jason Giambi's, Jose Canseco's are not in the same category as they have come forward and admitted their guilt. Reputations ruined to some degree, but it's the honesty that set them free.
Darren Rovell (12:08 PM)
Very interesting point. Giambi never came out in public remember. He just admitted to the grand jury according to reports. But he is in a different category as the others. I think Palmeiro is definitely ahead of McGwire now in terms of negative feeling. There's the sentiment that Palmeiro tried to put one over on us and people don't forget that. It might cost him the Hall of Fame despite his numbers.
mike ((Oxnard, CA))
Is baseball just viewed differently, not only for dragging it's feet in the steroid issue, but for having an owner as it's commissioner...as opposed to Stern, Tagliabue, and Bettman?
Darren Rovell (12:12 PM)
I don't think Selig being an owner has anything to do with it. He's not an owner now of course. I think it more has to do with baseball being the sport where there was likely the most free use and little was done about it. It was only a year and a half ago, when union no. 2 Gene Orza told me that he believed that cigarettes were worse than steroids for the players -- the representatives haven't appreciated the union's cry of privacy in the wake of their very public business enterprise. Stern was grilled yesterday, but he got off in saying that he didn't think the league had a big problem with it. Bettman said the same thing. The NFL obviously has suspensions where on first offense you miss 1/4 of the season.
Donald Fehr - unlikeable scumbag or effective union boss? Or both?
Darren Rovell (12:14 PM)
I think Don Fehr has been very good for the players on some things. This is not one of them. He and others have tried to uphold the union ideal when I'm not exactly sure that the players really did believe it was a privacy issue at any time.
Tim Dunbar Limington Maine
I think it would be a huge mistake to use any professional athlete to be a spokeperson for anti-drug abuse.These guys are so out of touch with reality it is almost scary.
Darren Rovell (12:17 PM)
Tim, it was McGwire who said he would be willing to be a spokesperson. Now he'd be an awful spokesperson because he hasn't said whether he used steroids or not. You are much more effective as a role model if you can say you did something and you made a mistake. I think you might be right in that athletes might not be ideal, but either is a flaking away roman statue. The current ad with baseball and the Partnership for Drug Free America doesn't really work for me. I don't think it connects to America's youth.
Ken Peterson (San Diego, CA)
Do you think after all he has taken from the game: the money, the years of fame and idolation, the trophy wife - that Mark McGwire has turned his back on baseball and it's fans?
Darren Rovell (12:19 PM)
No. He'll be at Busch Stadium this weekend to commemorate the stadium's last few games. Let's see how he embraces the fans and how they embrace him. If it's mixed in that stadium, McGwire's future is in trouble.
Why should McGwire have to do anything? I'm sure he meant what he said at the hearings and would have agreed to be helpful; however, that was before he was publicly "tarred and feathered" by the media. For a person who does not seek public attention, the negative response to his VOLUNTARY statements must have been difficult. In my opinion, he should fight back and attack the media for its cover-up of steroid use in professional AND amateur sports.
Darren Rovell (12:22 PM)
I love these conspiracy theories. Trust me, the media wasn't in on the act. I wish McGwire would fight back and get out there and just say something. From a PR standpoint not making any statements is the worst thing he could do. Ask image consultants -- opinion of you doesn't improve over time if you do nothing to correct negative perception.
Chris (Tulsa OK)
How can you outright claim that the young Mr. Hooton commited suicide due to "steroid induced depression"? Did the autopsy show this? Or is it more Lyle Alzado-esque fear mongering about drugs with obvious benefits but only vague stories about the negatives?
Darren Rovell (12:25 PM)
That's what they concluded, I didn't. I've received many emails on that today. How can they be so sure? Isn't it the parents fault that they didn't see this?
steve (princeton, nj)
whom do you feel is more to blame; the fans lust for power or the media's monetary desire from exploiting the home run frenzy? don't you think this is a recurring problem within our american society?
Darren Rovell (12:26 PM)
I think everyone is culpable, including baseball and the players association.
Cory, New York
Do you think he is ready to make a statement in response to Jose Canseco's allegations? What would your suggestion be to Mark on how he should have handled this whole situation?
Darren Rovell (12:29 PM)
It's tough. If you deny that you used steroids, you issue a press release the day after the allegations come out saying that you deny it. McGwire never did that. If you did use steroids and you are willing to tell the world you have to figure out the right forum and the right audience to convey that message. It's not only about what you say, it's where and when and in what context.
Why is our Goverment wasting my tax dollars on these hearings that have nothing to do with goverment. Can't you people see these are weapons of mass distraction to get your attention off the president and all of his failed policies and the longest presidential vacation in US history.
Darren Rovell (12:30 PM)
I have no idea how these guys have the time. It's scary.
Clay (OKC, OK)
I think baseball fans may learn to hate McGuire and Palmeiro less when they find out the multiple other cases that will come into effect in the next couple of years.
Darren Rovell (12:31 PM)
That could be true. It's all a matter of perspective.
Darren Rovell (12:31 PM)
My time is up. If you have any more questions, you can try me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.