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Friday, January 15, 2010
Ex-Cards slugger says ban McGwire

ESPN.com news services

Jack Clark's time in the spotlight fell mostly in the years before the so-called steroids era.

That didn't stop the former Cardinals and Giants All-Star slugger from revealing an extreme distaste for players who might have availed themselves of a performance-enhancing drug during their time in the big leagues.

"A lot of them should be banned from baseball, including Mark McGwire," Clark told the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Clark served as the Dodgers' hitting coach several years ago. He said McGwire, who will return to baseball this season as the Cardinals' hitting coach, was in a group of players that clearly didn't warrant consideration for Cooperstown.

"All those guys are cheaters -- A-Rod [Alex Rodriguez]. Fake, phony. Rafael Palmeiro. Fake, a phony," Clark told the newspaper. "[Roger] Clemens, [Barry] Bonds. [Sammy] Sosa. Fakes. Phonies. They don't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.

"They should all be in the Hall of Shame," Clark said. "They can afford to build it. They've all got so much money. And they could all go there and talk about the next way to rub something on your skin. The whole thing is creepy.

"They're all creeps. All these guys have been liars."

Clark, a four-time All-Star who hit .267 and belted 340 home runs in 18 seasons, mocked the apologetic and sorrowful tone of McGwire's Monday admission that he used steroids during much of his major league career.

"They're not really a man's man," Clark said. "They're just whimpering boys who are just sad to watch. They try to put it off on somebody else. I don't know how they sleep at night, looking at all their fame, let alone the money they took by faking everybody out and lying to everybody."

Clark's former Cardinals teammate, Andy Van Slyke, took a more subtle tack when speaking with the Post-Dispatch.

"I never condoned a player who used steroids while they played, but I've never been mad at a player," Van Slyke said. "But I think if you have an opportunity to tell the truth and you continue to be disingenuous and lie, then there's every right for people to be upset by the continued lying or finger-pointing.

"There's a lot of finger-pointing by Mark McGwire," Van Slyke continued. "He blames it on not being tested and he blames it on the era. Why would you blame baseball for taking steroids?

"That's like me saying the reason I was drunk-driving was because I knew that on this particular highway, they didn't have anything for me to blow into."

Van Slyke was also a teammate of Bonds. Van Slyke said he hoped the home run king would be truthful if he ever did reveal whether steroids played a role in his conditioning and performance.

"One thing about Barry -- he's not afraid to speak the truth," Van Slyke said. "For the last four years [since his appearance before a congressional committee], McGwire could have said something."