ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – One of the faces of Major League Baseball’s so-called “steroid era” sat in a Busch Stadium dugout Monday, the same day the league issued its harshest punishments yet to players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
The former Cardinal slugger and current hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers sat in the visitors dugout as the Dodgers took on the Redbirds Monday night. After the game, he talked with reporters about the era he helped bring about.
“I wish I was never a part of it,” McGwire said. “Just get rid of it. If it’s better to have bigger suspensions, then they’re going to have to change it.”
McGwire has admitted to using PEDs during his record-setting 1998 season which captured the attention of St. Louis and the country. McGwire hit 70 home runs that year, eclipsing the previous single-season record of 61.
“I wish there were things in place earlier,” he told reporters Monday night. “They were put in in 2003 I think. I just really hope and pray that this is the end of it. Everybody, especially the players, don’t want any more part of it, and I hope this is the end of it. … I wish I was never part of it.”
McGwire was hesitant to say whether the suspensions were harsh enough but added that taking the drugs was not worth it. As for his chances at joining the Hall of Fame, the slugger isn’t holding out much hope.
“Unfortunately, I don’t believe there will be a day that I will be in there,” he said. “That’s OK. That’s the way things are. I’ve dealt with it. I’m OK with it.”