Mark McGwire Saddened by Brother’s Book on Steroids


February 25, 2010

JUPITER, Fla. — Mark McGwire was saddened to learn his estranged brother was writing a book that chronicled their use of performance-enhancing drugs.

He was so upset by the breach of trust that he thinks reconciliation is out of the question.

"I don't plan on ever seeing him again," Big Mac said Thursday.

The youngest of the five McGwire brothers and Mark's junior by more than six years, Jay McGwire lived with Mark and was a frequent clubhouse visitor during McGwire's time in Oakland. His book, Mark and Me: Mark McGwire and the Truth Behind Baseball's Worst-Kept Secret, is scheduled for publication Monday by TriumphBooks.

"You try to be a good person, you try to take care of somebody, be a good brother," said McGwire, trailing off. "It's sort of sad. It's a sad day for my family. I don't know how a family member could do something like that."

McGwire used the word "sad" seven times to describe the book in his eight-minute question and answer session with the media on Thursday.

Last month, McGwire, the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach, admitted taking steroids and human growth hormone during the 1990s, but said he only did so to recover from injuries — not to improve his performance.

The book supports McGwire's claim but also says Mark delved deeper into the steroid culture once he saw the performance effects they were providing on the baseball field.

"He had to do something to try to sell a book," Mark said. "I know the reason why I did it. I know it from the heart and I told you guys that already back in January."

Jay McGwire says in the book that he persuaded his brother to start using steroids regularly in 1994 and set him up with a supplier. He says Mark regularly used an array of drugs through 1996 that included Deca-Durabolin, human growth hormone, Dianabol, Winstrol and Primobolan. McGwire later used androstenedione, a steroid precursor that wasn't banned by baseball until 2004, when it became a controlled substance.

"I've already come out and said what I've done and apologized," Mark said. "As far as I'm concerned there's really nothing new. It's kind of sad as a brother what he's done, but I've moved on from it."

Jay McGwire, a former bodybuilder who turns 40 on May 5, said he was introduced to steroids by friends in 1989, beginning with pills of Anavar. He says his brother only gave in to using steroids after an injury-filled 1993 season.

McGwire hit 70 homers for the Cardinals in 1998, shattering Roger Maris' record of 61 set in 1961.

The brothers haven't spoken since 2002. They fell out after Jay McGwire's stepson, Eric, tickled Mark and caused Mark to spill coffee on himself. Mark then swatted Eric on the backside. Jay's wife, Francine, then refused to attend Mark's wedding.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa received an advanced scouting report of the book and didn't expect the release to disrupt the Cardinals' camp.

"Somebody I knew read an advanced copy," La Russa said prior to morning workouts. "He said that [Jay] said some stuff — it wasn't really first-page-to-last-page damning stuff about Mark."

Neither Mark McGwire nor La Russa plan to read the book.

"What's the point?" La Russa said. "It's stuff that's already been gone over a bunch of times. I don't know what it's going to change."

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