Lots of people have leveled lots of charges at Mark McGwire over the last few years, but I'm not sure if any of them top the Fergie Jenkins theory that says McGwire ended pitchers' careers by taking them deep.
Old Man Jenkins—who is not a crackpot—wrote an open letter to the Associated Press demanding that Mark McGwire apologize to his own family for committing suicide by steroids and also insisting that Big Mac seek the forgiveness of every pitcher he ever hit a home run off of. You see, giving up a tater to a Mark McGwire is a soul-crushing experience that destroys the spirit and probably makes men impotent. Emphasis added! (By steroids.)
You have yet to apologize to all the pitchers you faced while juiced," Jenkins wrote. "You altered pitchers' lives. You may have shortened pitchers careers because of the advantage you forced over them while juiced. Have you thought about what happened when they couldn't get you out and lost the confidence of their managers and general managers?
I know exactly what he's talking about. One time, I saw McGwire hit two home runs into the upper deck at the old Tiger Stadium and ended up going home and eating an entire can of cake frosting. And I didn't even throw the pitch!
The AP ominously points out that 51 pitchers gave up home runs to Mark McGwire in their final season, including notable under-confident youths like Bert Blyleven, Orel Hershiser, Dennis Martinez, and Charlie Leibrandt. Oh, and Donnie Moore. Jenkins also claims that the pitchers of his era would have simply plunked McGwire, thereby preventing him from ending more careers. No word on if Fergie is sorry about all the players he struck out and/or injured with fastballs to the face.
So to sum up: Jenkins joins Carlton Fisk on the list of grumpy old men who don't want their pictures on the same wall as steroids users and Mark McGwire killed Donnie Moore. The end.
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That's it for me. Barry will rock you for a little while and serenade you to sleep. Enjoy the evening.