Coming Out: Why Mark McGwire and Pete Rose Are Two Peas in a Pod

Ryan CardarellaCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2010

9 Oct 2001:  Mark McGwire #25 of the St. Louis Cardinals swings at a pitch during game one of the National League West Divisional Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks win 1-0 over the Cardinals. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

In the aftermath of the steroid era, contrition has been the gateway to baseball salvation.

Andy Pettite fessed up to using PED's and was forgiven and largely forgotten as a steroid user.

Alex Rodriguez admitted he knew he wasn't taking Tic-Tacs, and the added weight off of his shoulders seemed to relax him as he drove the New York Yankees to a World Series victory.

But after Mark McGwire told the world what most fans and people around the game already knew, his admission felt more like another well-documented confession made with more than a hint of a hidden agenda:

Pete Rose's.

While McGwire isn't shilling a book detailing his exploits for profit like the shady Rose, the timing of his steroid coming out party does raise a few questions.

Less than a week after he received less than 25 percent of the Hall of Fame vote in his fourth year of eligibility, it's highly likely that McGwire realizes he has no shot at Cooperstown without admitting to his steroid use.

Coming out now will make McGwire look more honorable as the years go by, ahead of the likes of Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, and others whose eligibility is approaching.

Admitting his usage ahead of most of the steroid-era stars should serve him well as time goes by, and pave the way for that percentage to climb in later years.

His ambitions within the game also caused him to come forward.

The steroid news was simply a matter of time after St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa named him the hitting coach last month, and his offseason admission should take a bit of the heat off of McGwire by the time the season starts.

The thought seems to be that Big Mac being back around baseball writers (HOF voters) and personnel people on a daily basis will slowly erase the stink of McGwire erasing Roger Maris from the record books.

He'll slowly appear to be a baseball-loving guy that got caught up in the era and came forward before most of his peers to tearfully apologize for his actions.

He took steroids to stay on the field. Because he loved the game.

And over time, hopefully we (especially HOF voters) will eat it up.

McGwire also likely wants to become a manager at some point and is banking on his contrition to earn him the goodwill necessary to return to the game in such an impactful fashion.

Just like Rose, who finally admitted to betting on games because he both thought it would gain him induction into the Hall of Fame, and more delusionally, get him back into the managing ranks. 

Rose clearly handled the situation with the delicacy of a wrecking ball, while McGwire appeared to actually feel remorse for his actions, but the motives are relatively the same.

Ultimately McGwire, like any man admitting to a mistake, deserves forgiveness.

Using steroids is far from a damning offense in the grand scheme of society, and the man deserves to move on with his life.

Just don't mistake his contrition for a lack of ulterior motives.