Bryant Gumbel gets busy

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On the most recent Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, the famed host closes the show by reciting an open letter to Mark McGwire. It was pretty bland stuff, but capped off by this interesting little wrap-up:

“In closing, guys,” Gumbel said, “please feel free to share this letter with Bagwell, Nomar, Pudge and all those others who went from hitting homers to power outages overnight. Tell ’em fans are ready to accept what happened. Tell ’em we’re ready to move on. Tell ’em that most of us get it … even if they, like you, still don’t.”

Gumbel has already caught much heat for the words, and I … well, I applaud him. The three men he cited are very obvious cases of performance enhancers in action, and I’d willingly bet my entire collection of Dave Fleming rookie cards that the trio didn’t make it on talent alone. I also think Gumbel’s message, while somewhat messy, is important: The best thing these guys can do is come clean, admit what they did and try to move on with life and their careers. Because, while Gumbel was the first to have the guts to say something, I assure you most knowledgeable Hall voters are well aware that something was bubbly in the ol’ tap water.

Hell, I saw Nomar and Bagwell at their beefed-up peaks. I read the article—as ludicrous as any I’ve ever seen—when Pudge reported to camp one year twenty-five pounds lighter, and chalked it up to a need for greater mobility. Is it wrong to make stabs without proof? Yes. But when we take into account the era, and the accomplishments, and the sudden slides, and the complete lack of courage and accountability, well, it’s understandable.

9 thoughts on “Bryant Gumbel gets busy”

  1. Kudos, Mr. Gumbel! I just wish you had mentioned Hank Aaron as well. I know you don’t have any more proof on him than you do Jeff Bagwell, but hey, the home run ‘king’ hit 40 home runs when he was 39. 39! Had to be on something! Anyway, keep up the high journalistic standards!

  2. No one in baseball wants to fess up and hold themselves accountable, so I feel it’s the fans’ and media’s right to make accusations and assumptions for the players until they’re willing to admit who did what.

    And Mark McGwire is still a giant douche.

  3. All right Andy! Glad you and Jeff are on board with using slander for this witch hunt. It is very effective, as proven by Joe McCarthy, one of our greatest Americans.

    I’ll keep the ball rolling: you know how Roger Maris had his hair fall out in 1961 due to the ‘stress’ of breaking Babe Ruth’s record? Yeah right! It was the side effect of a PED! The Maris family needs to call the Ruth family and apologize immediately.

    Also, if you’re wondering why Maris’s numbers slipped after 1961, it’s because he was too busy plotting the Kennedy assasination.

  4. If it was so obvious those three were juicing based on their numbers and appearance, how come you smart sportswriters didn’t write any articles back then on how they were juicing?

  5. Max: that’s easy; if they had written stuff during their careers, they’d get even *more* of the “Slander!” stuff as you see above.

    Anyhow, there have been whispers about Nomar since at least 2001 here in Boston. And anyone who followed Nomar’s career…and how he looked throughout that career..and isn’t suspicious, is blind.

  6. I Cried Myself to Sleep on a Giant Pilla

    I read that Jeff Pearlman was once suspended during high school for cheating on a history test.

    See how easy that is. You’re a complete douchenozzle.

  7. Appalingly irresponsible “journalism”. I don’t know about Nomar and Pudge, but Bagwell destroyed his shoulder and couldn’t even throw a ball. He tried to play anyway, and his numbers went way down. It ended his career. It wasn’t a mysterious power outage, it was a mid-30s player not being able to overcome an injury.

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