Carlton Fisk, a 24-year-old veteran who played for Boston and Chicago, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, a catcher from back in the days who played the toughest position in the game, put it on these steroid freaks in an interview today with the Chicago Sun-Times.
Unfortunately not enough of these cats are speaking out, probably because they don't want to ruffle any feathers amongst their peers in their exclusive fraternity. But homeboy said Fuck It, and I for one applaud him for it. I won't embellish anything he said-no embellishment is needed.
Here is the majority of the article-
Fisk blasted McGwire, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and other alleged or admitted steroid abusers in baseball, calling McGwire's recent claim that steroids did not help him hit more home runs "a crock."
"(McGwire) says, 'Well, it doesn't help eye-and-hand coordination.' Well, of course it does. It allows you more acuity physically and mentally and optically. You are going to be stronger and you are going to be better," said Fisk, who starred for the Red Sox and White Sox.
"Some of these numbers that are out there are really warped. Should they be considered? You saw how McGwire was viewed in the Hall of Fame voting. If you take the length of time that (steroid abusers) use that stuff and subtract 15 or 20 home runs a year for those guys, where are their numbers then?"
McGwire, the new Cardinals hitting coach, apologized last week for his steroid use as a player but claimed steroids had nothing to do with him hitting 70 homers in 1998.
"That's a crock," Fisk said. "There's a reason they call it performance-enhancing drugs. That's what it does — performance enhancement. You can be good, but it's going to make you better. You can be average, but it is going to make you good. If you are below average, it is going to make you average. Some guys who went that route got their five-year, $35 million contracts and now are off into the sunset somewhere. Because once they can't use (steroids) anymore, they can't play anymore.
"And steroids, during that time, probably did as much to escalate players' salaries as did free agency, as did arbitration, and all of that stuff. It did more than just put home runs up on the board or money in the guys' pocket."
McGwire said the steroids merely helped him stay in the lineup because of injuries he had sustained.
"Try having your knees operated on and catching for 30 years," Fisk said. "Do you think you feel good when you go out there? (McGwire) had to stand around and play first base. So excuuuuuse me."
Fisk also took a shot at accused steroid user Roger Clemens.
"The reason he got let go from the Red Sox was because he was starting to break down," Fisk said. "His last couple of years in Boston just weren't very productive, a la 'The Rocket.' Then all of a sudden he goes to Toronto and he wants to show somebody something. Then he gets two consecutive Cy Young Awards (in '97 and '98). Come on, give me a bucket.
"It's obvious to players. You notice that stuff. You know how hard it is to play the game. You know how hard it is to be productive at any age, but especially at an older age. You see guys who are as productive later on as they were early (in their careers). It offends guys that stayed clean. But (the abusers) set their great, great, great grandchildren up for the rest of their lives.
"Guys are bigger, guys are stronger, granted. Strength and conditioning and all of the knowledge that goes into being a bigger, better and stronger athlete is at everybody's disposal right now. Guys are bigger and stronger. Better? I don't know about that. But there is more stuff available to guys today.
"I think back to when baseball was scuffling to recapture the passion of the American fan after the '94 season. I think baseball and everybody involved in the decision-making at every level just turned their head and said: 'This is good for baseball, look at the prosperity of the game. It's growing and growing and growing.'
"And now it's (in bad shape) because it wasn't addressed back when the rest of us knew. How did that guy (using steroids) outgrow his uniform?"
Good for you, Mr. Fisk. With these words he stood up for every player who did it without performance enhancing drugs. Cynics will point out that amphetamines (otherwise known as "greenies") were an integral part of the game back then, and that in and of itself was cheating. True. I won't dispute that. But anyone who knows anything about steroids knows that in terms of performance enhancement, you just cannot compare the two. They are worlds apart.
This man's words carry weight, and they should. Carlton Fisk has done a lot for the game, and he so happens to be the owner of one of the most exciting home runs ever hit in post season play. So I'll leave you with a photo of that historic night, a home run made all the more special because of the man who hit it, a man who is not afraid to speak out for all of those who did NOT use steroids to get to the top-