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The Lake News Online
  • McGwire's homecoming marred by drug penalties

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  • ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mark McGwire's first trip to Busch Stadium in a visitor's uniform was focused more on his past instead of the homecoming.
    The Los Angeles Dodgers hitting coach and former Cardinals home run king said Monday that his opinion about the penalties Major League Baseball handed down for performance-enhancing drugs is not as important than those of current players.
    "You know, it really doesn't matter what I think," McGwire said. "I think what matters is what the players think and from what I hear every day in the clubhouse, they're just happy it's coming to an end."
    Dodgers pitcher Chris Capuano and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez both said new testing procedures are paying off and making it tougher to cheat.
    "Players have been vocal for some time now about wanting to clean up the game," Capuano said.
    "Guys are just I think incredulous given how often we're tested, how sophisticated our testing is, that there are guys still trying to get around the system and take stuff and cheat. Guys are angry, guys want these guys punished."
    McGwire admitted in 2010 that used steroids during his career. That announcement came a few months after the Cardinals hired him as hitting coach.
    McGwire said it was a "tough question" whether he could be considered a trailblazer for PEDs in baseball and he has told players it's not worth it. He hit 70 homers in 1998 to shatter Roger Maris' record of 61 in 1961.
    Though he's 10th on the career list with 583 homers, McGwire believes it's highly unlikely he'll be voted into the Hall of Fame.
    A large part of the Baseball Writers of Association has taken a zero tolerance stance and he received just 16.9 percent of the vote last year.
    "Unfortunately, I don't believe there will be a day that I'll be in and that's OK," McGwire said. "That's the way things are, I've dealt with it, I'm OK with it."

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