I guess it’s best to start with the positive (no plural). At least disgraced baseball slugger Mark McGwire had the courage to own up to his steroid abuse–partially anyway.
In admitting yesterday that he had used steroids (whose names he conveniently couldn’t remember), McGwire fell back on what has now become the number-one
cop-out defense of their use. He used them for medicinal purposes.
He was okay up until that point, had he just gone on and said he didn’t realize he’d get hooked when he saw what they did for his performance on the field. Instead, during an hourlong interview with Bob Costas, he repeatedly denied that using steroids gave him any performance boost. He instead thanked "The Man Up Above" for his power to whack 70 home runs at an age (34) when most baseball players are fading fast.
Those who have been exposed as steroid users have now fallen on three standard defenses: complete and utter denial (Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds), "I didn’t know I was taking them because they were in a vitamin a teammate gave me" (Rafael Palmiero), and medicinal use (McGwire, Andy Pettitte).
Another approach is MLB-sanctioned and team-complicit silence (Manny Ramirez), but one should expect nothing less from a sleazeball organization like the L.A. Dodgers.
Anyway, call McGwire’s defense "The Super Acetaminophine Explanation": Using steroids in "low doses" healed my body without giving me any additional strength or endurance, so it was all okay.
Then if it were all okay, why the hell did you break down and cry on TV and make the rounds of apologizing to everyone, including the Roger Maris family? Remember, Mark, they were just pain killers and body healers, not performance enhancers. No need to apologize for that, now is there?