Guillen feels betrayed by McGwire
Ozzie Guillen said he feels betrayed by Mark McGwire's admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs, and the Chicago White Sox manager isn't buying the slugger's contention that they didn't help him hit home runs at a record pace.
"That bothered me," Guillen told ESPNChicago.com columnist Melissa Isaacson on Thursday. "First of all, we competed against [McGwire's Oakland teams] in the '90s, and when I saw that, I was like, wow, I could have been in more playoffs, maybe I'd have had the chance to be in the World Series because we had a pretty good ballclub.
ESPNChicago.com baseball blog
The latest news from baseball beat reporter Bruce Levine. Blog
"When people say, 'I don't know what happened,' we're lying to ourselves. I didn't see anyone doing it, but I know something happened. I saw these people growing bigger. The only time I felt betrayed is when Mark said, 'I did it, then Jose did it,' and we competed against them. Besides that, I don't even care. But I think Jerry Reinsdorf should have more division championship [banners] hanging around this ballpark than we have because we competed against them pretty good, and when you see the two best hitters they have that were on the juice, you feel betrayed."
Guillen credits McGwire for coming forward and admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs, but he's not sure the former St. Louis Cardinals slugger is being completely honest about the effects they had on his record-breaking power numbers.
"Personally, I hope he's right and I'm wrong, but I don't believe that didn't help him to hit the 60, 70 home runs," Guillen said. "I know God gave him a lot of talent because I saw the guy hit 50 his first year in the big leagues and that didn't come from [steroids]. But you can hit 50 home runs 390 feet and [that's different than hitting] 70 home runs 700 feet.
"But people can think whatever they want to think. Only he knows what's going on."
Guillen joined former White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk in criticizing McGwire, but Hall of Famer Robin Yount wonders if he could have said no to PEDs if he had played in the steroid era.
"I'll be very honest," Yount said in Friday's edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "In the fact that there was no testing and if there were benefits from it, it would have been very difficult.
"Without testing in place, you would've almost been forced to do it to keep up."
Yount, who played with the Milwaukee Brewers from 1974-93, said he won't criticize players who took steroids before testing was put in place by Major League Baseball.
"As competitive people and doing it for a living like we did, it's easy to [criticize] and not having to make those decisions," Yount said. "Those guys didn't get to that level of athletic expertise without being very competitive. I'm sure there's some out there who wouldn't do it, but it would've been very difficult if there were no rules against it to honestly say you wouldn't have done it."
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
MARK MCGWIRE COMES CLEAN
Mark McGwire admitted Jan. 11 that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade, including during the 1998 season when he broke the then single-season home run record.