The Top 79 Cub Killers of My Time #38: Mark McGwire “Gwire Pants on Fire”


Milk. It does a body good.

I need to get a quick confession off my chest right up front here. When I was a kid, I loved Mark McGwire. I don’t know if it was because he was a first baseman like me, because his team had actually won a World Series in my lifetime, or because I felt bad that he was a soulless ginger. But until Greg Maddux left town, McGwire was inexplicably my favorite non-Cub of my childhood. I was a dumb kid. But it’s because of the following EXCLUSIVE(!) HJE interview that Mark McGwire injects himself into the Top 79 Cub Killers of My Time at #38.

Hire Jim Essian: Mr. McGwire, thanks so much for meeting with me here today to discuss your placement on the Top 79 Cub Killers of My Time.

Mark McGwire: I’m not here to talk about the list.

HJE: Actually, you’re here specifically to talk about the list. Why the hell else do you think we’d invite your face? I need a space to keep my keys?

MM: I have never once used keys in my life.

HJE: I saw you get out of the car that you drove here.

MM: I’m not here to talk about my car.

HJE: You’re damn right you’re not. You’re here to talk about your history of Cub-killing.

MM: I don’t know anything about that.

HJE: I bet you don’t, you behemoth. Allow me to refresh your memory.

MM: I’m not here to talk about my memory.

HJE: Fact. You were drafted by the Oakland Athletics as the 10th pick of the amateur draft on June 4, 1984.

MM: Is 1984 in the past?

HJE: Y- Yes, of course.

MM: Then I am not here to talk about it.

HJE: Very well. You made your Major League debut on August 22, 1986, in a 3-2 loss to the Yankees. You somehow started at third base, possibly because at that point in your career you could still put your arms together in front of you.

MM: (Accidentally suffocates puppy while reaching for a drink of water) What?

HJE: You went 0-3 on that day and ended up hitting a measly .189 in 1986. However, you rebounded quite a bit in your first full year in 1987. At the age of 23, you hit a very suspicious 49 home runs, drove in 118 RBIs, and slugged .618, winning the American League Rookie of the Year.

MM: (Cries and apologizes)

HJE: Throughout the course of your 12 years in Oakland, you hit 363 home runs and drove in 941 RBIs. In 1996, you hit 52 home runs in only 130 games. In 1997, despite a trade deadline deal to the St. Louis Cardinals, you managed to hit 58 home runs, just 3 shy of the then-MLB record.

MM: That was a long time ago.

HJE: Indeed. Your trade to the National League Central meant that, for the first time in your career, you would face the Chicago Cubs. It finally happened on September 17, 1997. Matt Morris faced Miguel Batista at Wrigley Field. Batista got only 1 out and gave up 5 earned runs. Morris, too, gave up 5, but lasted 7 innings. In only your second at-bat versus the Cubs, you lofted an opposite-field bomb off Rodney Myers.

MM: I’m not bombed on anything.

HJE: I was talking about your home run. You also drew a walk and scored 2 runs that day. The home run would be the first of 23 you launched against the Cubs in your short National League career.

MM: That’s not many.

HJE: In 125 at-bats?

MM: I’m not here to talk about the at-bats.

HJE: You also had 41 RBIs against the Cubs. You averaged only 535 at-bats per season throughout your career. If we extrapolate those-

MM: Extrapo-whatsit?

HJE: Never mind. If we try to figure out how many homers and RBIs you’d hit in a season if you just played the Cubs, that would be 98 home runs and 175 RBIs. And that’s assuming you can’t stay healthy by supplementing your “creatine” regimen with your Tony-LaRussa-endorsed HGH cycle.

MM: I’m not here to talk about that fucking monster- I mean, Coach LaRussa. ALL HAIL TONY LARUSSA.

HJE: In your short career against the Cubs, you had a bloated .272/.453/.832 slash line, even though your BABIP was an anemic .200. You drew nearly as many walks (44) as you had strikeouts (50), and you even managed to steal a base.

MM: Milk. It does a body good.

HJE: I bet. Of course, you went on to hit 583 home runs in your career, and you electrified the world by breaking Roger Maris’ home run record with your 70 home runs during the 1998 season. That 1998 home run race against Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa even helped reawaken a lot of interest in baseball after the 1994 strike.

MM: Is Sammy the guy who doesn’t speak English?

HJE: That’s the one. Some people have been quoted saying that you and Sosa were good for baseball when, in fact, you are both berry, berry bad. You know why I hate you?

MM: (Hangs head) I know. Because I’m a ginger.

HJE: That too. And also because the Maris family hasn’t run you over with a cement roller, burned your flattened corpse, drank the ashes, and pissed them out on Jose Canseco’s face. And ALSO because your acne-ridden ass waited until you were playing the Cubs to break the record, so we had to listen to Joe Buck’s retarded cock-slobbering call of it. And ALSO because of August 19, 1998. Your Cardinals were in Wrigley Field, and the Cubs jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind Mark Clark. As so often happens, the Cardinals kept chipping away and chipping away until you tied it 6-6 in the top of the 8th with a solo home run off Matt Karchner. In the top of the 10th, with the score still tied 6-6, you hit another solo shot off Terry Mulholland. You guys won 8-6, despite Juan Acevedo loading the bases in the bottom of the 10th.

MM: (Puts on glasses) You wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses, would ya?

HJE: I would. But no time for that. Tell us something we might not know about you, you fucking ruiner of baseball and disgrace to the game.

MM: Well, everyone knows I’m a bit of an actor because I played myself on The Simpsons.

HJE: For which I hate you.

MM: But I was also on Mad About You!

HJE: I- I didn’t think there was a way to make that show worse.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/liberalclass Santo10

    Speaking of roided up crazies, I would like to thank you for introducing me to Jose Canseco’s twitter. The epic love story of Jose and Leila will told for generations.

  • Swaz46

    I had forgotten about Mark Clark’s illustrious Cubs career. You reminded me. Fuck you, Kermit.

    • http://hirejimessian.com Bad Kermit

      So had I. So had I.