Mark McGwire's Steroid Admission Express rolled on Monday night, when the slugger sat down with Bob Costas for an interview on MLB Network. In the first interview since his admission, McGwire discussed, among other topics during the hour-long talk, when he first began using steroids, how they may (or may not have) affected his performance and what it was like to call the Maris family Monday morning.
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."
And the steroid-fed elephant in the room was addressed, when Costas asked McGwire if he belonged in 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."