Shanoff's WUC: What Mark McGwire Didn't Say

Today's Calls: Mark McGwire vs. Himself, Pete Carroll vs. Tony Dungy, Matt Hasselbeck vs. Matt Leinart, Jack Del Rio vs. Jim Harbaugh, Kentucky vs. Florida, Celtics vs. Hawks and More ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Mark McGwire finally talked about the past. ↵

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↵Let's start with the things he did right: ↵

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↵• He apologized, via multiple outlets. ↵

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↵• He was (relatively) up-front about his use of PEDs. ↵

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↵• He said he apologized to the Maris family. ↵

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↵• He explained his debacle in front of Congress. ↵

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↵• He visibly displayed remorse. ↵

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↵Here is what he did wrong, and it's a biggie: ↵

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↵• He refused to acknowledge that the PEDs boosted his performance, sticking to spin of doing it "to get healthy." That might be true, in part, but it's not the whole story. Either McGwire is being disingenuous or he is in denial. ↵

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↵Whatever it was, it undermined his credibility. It was too tightly framed. And McGwire doesn't get to dictate a small strike zone. Here's how Mark McGwire's confession should have gone: ↵

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↵"If not for the drugs I took, I would not have been healthy enough to play the game. If not for the drugs, I would not have been nearly as productive. If not for the drugs, my god-given hand-eye coordination would have been irrelevant. ↵

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↵"If not for the drugs, I would not have been a national hero. I would not have 'saved' baseball. I would not be in the conversation about the Hall of Fame. ↵

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↵"'If not for the drugs ...' is the very definition of 'peformance-enhancing.'" ↵

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↵His apology is appreciated. His defiance is lamentable. ↵

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↵Do I "forgive" McGwire? I think fans need to decide for themselves how they feel about McGwire. Personally, I was glad he finally 'fessed up but found the way he framed his admission to be frustrating. I think he is Hall of Fame-worthy, but I will retain a lingering resentment over the way he demanded our adulation in 1998, even though he knew he was a cheat. ↵

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↵What next for McGwire? (1) He needs to walk back the "only helped me get healthy" line and start to take responsibility that PEDs helped his performance. (2) He needs to keep doing interviews until the media is saturated. (3) He needs to prepare himself to be a distraction for his team. ↵

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↵For me, the biggest disconnect remains that this confessed cheater does not just work for a Major League team, but he is the hitting coach. ↵

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↵Pete Carroll leaves USC for NFL: There may have been plenty of good reasons for Carroll to leave USC, but there are also plenty of good reasons for him to take this Seahawks job, in particular -- why he calls it "THE opportunity": ↵

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↵• He will make a ton of money. ↵

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↵• He will have ”operational control”. ↵

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↵• He can be successful there. ↵

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↵And so the better question is why wouldn't he leave USC for Seattle? ↵

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↵The future for USC may or may not be problematic. Yes, the team has an existing recruiting pipeline and plenty of talent on the roster. The worst thing they can do is hire an NFL coach with no experience in big-time college football. My choice would be Jim Harbaugh. If you can't beat 'em ... ↵

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↵I agree with Matt Hayes: The logical follow-up question is which college program Carroll will inevitably come back to, after his dalliance with the NFL proves unsatisfying. Miami is an inspired choice. ↵

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↵Wonder how Carroll feels about Tony Dungy being the team's first choice of president? I'm sure it's no biggie -- a reported $7M a year for 5 years soothes all egos. ↵

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↵NFL Divisional Good Read: Clifton Brown offers reasons to like both teams in all four matchups. ↵

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↵CBB Mania: Texas is No. 1, after the weekend's upheaval. But Kentucky is looming at No. 2. Kentucky's game tonight in Gainesville should be an Upset Watch, but the Gators have played so inconsistently this season that it sizes up as a rout. ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: Just when you think the Hawks are reeling they go and beat the Celtics -- in Boston, no less -- for the 3rd time this season. ↵

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↵NFL Coaching Carousel: Are the Bills interested in hiring Jets OC Brian Schottenheimer? Meanwhile, everyone expects that Tom Cable's days are numbered in Oakland. (Yeesh: Who would want THAT job?) ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Does Jim Leavitt actually think he can get his South Florida job back? That's crazy. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era." -- Mark McGwire ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵ ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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