Ferguson Jenkins says Mark McGwire owes an apology to all those pitchers who gave up his home runs.
The Hall of Fame ace sent an open letter to The Associated Press this week, telling the former home-run king: “You have not even begun to apologize to those you have harmed.”
“How many pitchers do you think he ended their careers by hitting numbers of home runs off them?” Jenkins said via telephone on Wednesday.
Jenkins also maintained he would have known how to handle the bulked-up McGwire, who hit a then-record 70 homers in 1998 and 65 the next year.
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“It’s tough to hit a home run off your back,” Jenkins said.
Thirty years ago, Jenkins was one of the first players caught up in baseball’s struggles with drug discipline. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended Jenkins after the pitcher’s arrest in Canada on charges of cocaine possession, but the penalty was overturned by an arbitrator and a judge gave Jenkins an absolute discharge.
Hired as hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, McGwire last week admitted he used steroids for a decade. Jenkins is one of several Hall of Famers to criticize McGwire, a group that includes Goose Gossage and Carlton Fisk. Hank Aaron says he’s willing to forgive McGwire.
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has spent three months in a treatment program for alcoholism following a much-publicized drinking binge on the final weekend of the regular season. Cabrera says he hasn’t had a drink since he was taken into custody by police after a domestic-abuse complaint was filed by his wife on Oct. 3. … The Cubs will retain their spring training home in Arizona, under a tentative agreement reached for a state-of-the-art $84 million facility in East Mesa. … Right-hander Joe Blanton and the Phillies agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. … Right-hander Vicente Padilla decided to stay with the Dodgers, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $5,025,000. …
Octavio Dotel agreed to a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Pirates to be the team’s closer. … Right-hander Josh Johnson and the Marlins finalized their $39 million, four-year contract, and the team said it will not trade recently signed second baseman Dan Uggla. … Right-hander Todd Coffey and the Brewers came to terms on a $2,025,002, one-year contract. … Infielder Khalil Greene and the Rangers finalized a $750,000, one-year deal.