[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/01/12/mip.tuesday/story.mark.mcgwire.gi.jpg caption="Former St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire appears at a House hearing on steroid use in March 2005." width=300 height=169]
Special to CNN
Mark McGwire deserves a ban from baseball more than any sympathy.
It is sad to hear his quavery confession of a career filled with steroids, his sorrow over the pain it caused his family and fans, his revelation of a life of lies that burned inside him like a hidden disease and consumed the game he loved.
But for those of us who also love baseball, the damage he did was too deep and his further threat to the integrity of the game is too great to justify his return.
McGwire's entire playing career is indelibly stained and his judgment is not to be trusted. What else are we to make of a man who cheated and didn't come clean for 20 years? Can he be trusted to coach other players who may be using steroids? Is he fit for any job that is also a test of character and personal standards? Baseball should bar him from coaching and never again allow his name on a Hall of Fame ballot.
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, McGwire's longtime apologist, is leading the charge to rehabilitate him in his new role as the Cardinals' batting coach, saying Monday's admission and expression of regret is worthy of respect.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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