Torii Hunter discusses Mark McGwire's steroids admission; recovery from surgery
Many were skeptical of Mark McGwire's claims that he took steroids only in an effort to recover from the numerous injuries he suffered during his 16-year career. "I did this for health purposes," McGwire said Monday. "There's no way I did this for any type of strength use."
"I think he was sincere," Hunter said today by phone from his home in Texas. "When you love this game, you will do whatever it takes to play it. It might have something to do with the money, but the love of this game can be crazy. Some guys love this game more than their wives, their mothers.
"He already had the power, but he wanted to stay on the field. And when you love something, you make sacrifices. If you feel you're injured, or your game is on the decline, I can see where you might feel pressured to take steroids when you're told it will heal your body. It was illegal in the world, but not banned by baseball; who's to say I wouldn't have done it?"
Hunter, who is entering the third year of a five-year, $90-million contract with the Angels, said he was very pleased with his recovery from a November procedure to repair a sports hernia, an injury that nagged him for much of the 2009 season. After working out on cardio machines for about three weeks, Hunter ran on turf today for the first time. He will begin physical therapy later this week.
"It feels good, I'm all right," Hunter said. "I'm confident I will be 100% by the time the season starts. I'm not going to push it before spring training, but I should be about 90% by the time camp starts."
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Torii Hunter. Credit: Nick Laham, Getty Images.