Kansas City Royals pitcher Bruce Chen found himself on the wrong end of a crude and racist gesture on Saturday night as teammate and catcher Humberto Quintero approached him during an interview and made the “slanted eyes” action behind his back.
Chen, a native Panamanian of Chinese descent, was just starting to chat with Fox’s Kenny Albert and Tom Verducci in the bottom of the fourth inning in Pittsburgh when Quintero, a native of Venezuela, approached from behind and made the gesture.
Chen told the Kansas City Star on Sunday that he was not offended by Quintero’s move:
Let me get some things out in the open about Mark McGwire before I proceed, I am a St. Louis Cardinal die hard but that doesn’t mean I subscribe to loving everyone that has every put on a Cardinal jersey and he falls into that caterogy. With that said I’m not going to act like I wasn’t not engulfed into his and Chicgao Cubs Sammy Sosa’s every at bat that 1998 season. Even with my dislike for McGwire there is no way I wanted to see a Cub break the single season home run record. Finally I’ve never looked at McGwire’s overall resume and said that is Hall of Fame material, his time in the game was All-Star worthy and he sure could blast but one glod glove, zero MVP’s to show, an average on base percetage outside of 1996 and 1998 and a career .263 batting average doesn’t make you hall worthy in my eyes.
Some might say it’s easy to say this now but if you stood by me in the years he wore a Cardinal uniform you can vouch for such feelings. Speaking on the subject of vouching for me I’ll continue to say that the use of steriods was not against MLB policy prior 2005 but aginst the laws of the street.
But lets move on to his admission, McGwire did release an admission to the Associated Press earlier in the day that got everyone talking but it was MLB Network interview with Bob Costas that stole the show. It was his first televison interview and the following are quotes from the interview about his admission of using performance enhancing drugs during his career on.
ON WHEN EXACTLY HE USED STEROIDS:
“I believe it was the winter of 1989 into 1990. I was given a couple of week’s worth, tried it, never thought anything of it. I just moved on from it. But as far as using it on a consistent basis, it was the winter of 1993 into 1994.”
ON WHETHER HE THINKS HE WOULD STILL HAVE PERFORMED AS WELL WITHOUT STEROIDS:
“I truly believe so. I believe I was given this gift. The only reason I took steroids was for my health purposes. I did not take steroids to get any gain for any strength purposes… I’ve always had bat speed. I just learned how to shorten my bat speed. I learned how to be a better hitter. There’s not a pill or an injection that is going to give me — or any athlete — the hand-eye coordination to hit a baseball. A pill or an injection will not hit a baseball.”
ON EXACTLY WHAT PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS HE TOOK:
“The names I don’t remember. But I did injectables. I preferred the orals. The steroids I did were on a very low dosage. I didn’t want to take a lot of it. I took very, very low dosages, just because I wanted my body to feel normal. The wear and tear of 162 ballgames and the status of where I was at, and the pressures that I had to perform, and what I had to go through to try and get through all these injuries, it’s a very, very regrettable thing.”
ON REGRETTING HIS STEROID USE:
“I wish it never came into my life. But we’re sitting here talking about it. I’m so sorry that I have to. I apologize to everybody at Major League Baseball, my family, the Marises, Bud Selig… Today was the hardest day of my life.”
ON CALLING ROGER MARIS’ WIDOW THIS MORNING:
“Well, I think she was shocked that I called her. I felt good…I felt that it was…that I needed to do that. They’ve been great supporters of mine. She was disappointed. She has every right to be. And I couldn’t tell her how so sorry I was.”
ON THE EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE 2005 CONGRESSIONAL HEARING:
“So, 2005…Flying back there…I was ready, willing, and prepared to talk about this. I wanted to talk about this. I wanted to get this off my chest… My lawyers, Mark Bierbower and Marty Steinberg — I meet them back there. We talked about the situation. Marty, a former federal prosecutor, laid out a couple of scenarios. ‘If you go out there, and talk about this without protection, there’s a very good chance of a possible prosecution, or grand jury testimonies.’ So, we talk to – we were in meetings downstairs with Congressman Waxman, and… Congressman Davis… my lawyers were downstairs trying to get immunity for me. I wanted to talk. I kept telling myself, ‘I want to get this off my chest.’ Well, we didn’t get immunity. So here I am in a situation where I have two scenarios, where a possible prosecution or possible grand jury testimonies. Well you know what happens when there’s a prosecution? You bring in your whole family, you bring in your whole friends, you bring in ex-teammates, coaches, anybody that’s surrounding you. How the heck am I gonna to bring those people in for some stupid act that I did? So you know what I did? We agreed to not talk about the past. And it was not enjoyable to do that, Bob.
ON HIS TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS IN 2005:
“I’m gonna tell you right now, standing up there – or sitting up there, listening, the Hooten family or the other families behind me that lost their loved ones… And every time that I kept on saying “I’m not talking about the past,” I hear these moans. It was killing me. I was not gonna lie. I was not going to lie. I wanted to tell the truth, but because of the position I was in; to protect my family, to protect me, I decided that I would take the hits. I think anybody’s going to take the hits. I’ve been taking hits for five years…doesn’t feel very good.”
ON THE HALL OF FAME:
“I’m not here doing this for the Hall of Fame. I’m doing this for me, to get this off my chest. I played this game of baseball because I was given the ability to play. If I’m lucky enough to get in there, that’s just icing on the cake. But I played this game because I loved it.”
ON WHAT HE’D TELL CARDINALS PLAYERS ABOUT STEROIDS:
“It was the stupidest thing I ever did. There’s no reason to even go down that road. It’s an illusion. And look what I have to do. I‘m sitting here by a stupid mistake.”
ON POTENTIALLY BEING FORGIVEN BY FANS AND OTHERS:
“Well, I’m asking for a second chance. I hope they give it to me. Because you know, I have a lot to offer. I have a whole rolodex of things that I love to teach hitters, and I can’t wait to get to spring training. I can’t wait to teach, and it’s just, it’s always been a passion of mine so it just came to a head this last October when Tony sent me a text to see if I’d consider being a hitting coach.”
Following the exclusive interview, MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian, Mitch Williams, Joe Magrane, Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal, Harold Reynolds and Peter Gammons discussed their reactions to the conversation.
The moment I enjoyed the most was when Costas reminded McGwire of his final at bat and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had to pinch hit for him with Kerry Robinson, a memory I’ve never forgotten and apparently I’m not the only one.
Here’s a list of the top sports books with year-to-date sales, according to Nielsen Bookscan.
- 1. “The Yankee Years,” by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci – 320,000 copies sold
- 2. “Red and Me: My Coach, My Lifelong Friend” by Bill Russell and Alan Steinberg – 30,000 copies sold (read)
- 3. “Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend” by Larry Tye – 28,000 copies sold (read)
- 4. “It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back To Life” by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins -26,000 copies sold (read)
- 5. “A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez” by Selena Roberts – 21,000 copies sold
- 6. “Lance: The Making of the World’s Greatest Champion” by John Wilcockson – 15,000 copies sold
- 7. “Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain” by Marty Appel – 14,000 copies sold
- 8. “Shooting Stars” by LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger – 13,000 copies sold (read)
- 9. “Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee” by Allen Barra – 13,000 copies sold
- 10. “Always by My Side: The Healing Gift of a Father’s Love” by Jim Nantz – 11,000 copies sold
A caller brought the book “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,” by Christopher McDougall to our attention on one of our Saturday shows and I say thank you, that book is in my top 5 of 2009. It sold 78,000 copies.
Four out of 10 of the top 10 books here are about the Yankees. According to Rudy J the Yankees can thank their success to Jay-Z. Roberts thought she had the scoop of the century and she could parlay that into book sales. Someone forgot to tell her that people are steroid out, well maybe everyone except 21,000 people. Disappointment.