When Mark McGwire made an appearance earlier this week in St. Louis, he was greeted with cheers and a standing ovation.
In an "open letter" to the Associated Press just a few days later, Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins had some harsh words for the slugger.
Jenkins suggests that "Big Mac" may have shortened some pitchers careers because of his steroid use, claims that he would have "knocked him on his butt" and demands more apologies.
"You have not even begun to apologize to those you have harmed," Jenkins told the former home run king McGwire. "You need to apologize to your family for depriving them of your presence as time goes on because you are likely going to die earlier than if you had never relied on andro to carry you to all your successes."
Yikes. Something tells me that the two won't be exchanging any Christmas cards anytime soon.
This past May, I had a chance to talk to Jenkins and his fellow Hall member Rollie Fingers and the subject of steroids came up. Suffice it to say...they had some choice words for those Major Leaguers who took (and are suspected of taking) performance enhancing drugs.
HOVG: With the talk of steroids all over the sports channels and what not…what are your feelings going to be when a player who has admitted use, and it’s bound to happen, gets elected to join you in Cooperstown?
FERGIE: I don’t think (it’s bound to happen). Whoever has the vote, the Hall of Fame committee…the 500 plus reporters, they’re not going to vote for them. Guys like (Sammy) Sosa might not make it. Neither will (Barry) Bonds or (Mark) McGwire. A-Rod might not make it.
ROLLIE: I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. The sportswriters are pretty sticky about that. It’s pretty obvious with the numbers that Mark McGwire has gotten. If you’re known to use or if they figure you’ve been using, I don’t see that person getting voted in.
FERGIE: Once you get that particular black mark on your record, they are not going to give you the required amount of votes. You have to get 75 percent. McGwire only got 22 percent (in 2009). He’s not even close.
HOVG: If someone that is suspected of steroids makes it in, like Roger Clemens, are you on that stage when they're inducted?
FERGIE: I don't know, I'd have to wait and see. I know Bob Feller voiced his opinion already. There's a few guys who voiced their opinion and said they wouldn't go. (Al) Kaline probably wouldn't go. Some of the guys who are staunch advocates of playing the game clean...they probably wouldn't show.
ROLLIE: Yes…simply because the sportswriters voted him in. If they felt as though he warranted going into the Hall of Fame, I am not going to shun him. I would stay on the stage. But like I said before, I don’t think that it’s going to happen. Roger Clemens says he doesn’t care, but I guarantee you…Roger Clemens cares.
HOVG: We can all blame Jose Canseco.
ROLLIE: (Laughs) I tell you what…everyone gets on Jose Canseco, but you don’t see too many people suing him. If he hadn’t have written the book, who knows where we’d be at today with steroids and the number of guys using them. It would probably be out of hand. At least right now, they’re taking care of the problem. The worst thing you can do is to let kids see that it is okay to use this stuff and get by. You have to show kids that this is not the right way to go and clean it up.
Feel free to check out my full interview with Fergie Jenkins HERE and Rollie Fingers HERE.