Ex-slugger Clark takes swing at PED users

Don’t expect Jack Clark to return to major league baseball any time soon.

Clark seems too much of a straight talker for an era of baseball in which the hard answers are typically tap-danced around, especially when the subject is the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Clark didn’t hold back on the topic in an interview published Friday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The former St. Louis Cardinals power-hitting first baseman swung from his heels while addressing steroid use — especially former slugger and current St. Louis hitting coach Mark McGwire’s admission this week that he used PEDs.

“He should not be in baseball. He should be banned from baseball more than ever,” Clark said of McGwire.

“A lot of them should be banned from baseball,” said Clark, who helped the Cardinals win two National League pennants in the 1980s.

“He’s a sad excuse for a player. … Just seeing him in uniform makes me throw up.”

And it wasn’t just McGwire who drew Clark’s ire.

“All those guys are cheaters — A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez). Fake, phony. Rafael Palmeiro. Fake, a phony.

“(Roger) Clemens, (Barry) Bonds. (Sammy) Sosa. Fakes. Phonies. They don’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame,” Clark said.

“They should all be in the Hall of Shame. 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 also said he would rather “take my 340 home runs legitimately instead of taking that stuff to be phony.”

“It’s a shame (McGwire) thinks we’re all stupid, that he only did (steroids) because of injuries. That’s such a cop-out, such a lie,” Clark said. “These guys did (steroids) to take the money to pump up their egos and then take their consequences down the road.”

Clark also blasted Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who managed McGwire at Oakland before both moved on to St. Louis. He claimed La Russa and even baseball commissioner Bud Selig knew what was going on.

“This thing stretches a long way back, and it’s really ugly and just really shocking. …

“They go up there and shed a tear and they think all is forgotten. Well, it’s not forgotten, and it never will be.”

• TIGER TALK — Television station WJTV of Jackson, Miss., reports Tiger Woods is a patient at Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg, Miss., where he is being treated for sexual addiction.

First, reports put Woods in an Arizona facility to address his sexual appetite. Then it was possible rehab in South Africa.

Mississippi? Seems an odd locale for Woods to seek treatment — unless one of his trysts included a cousin.

• POWERFUL FLAVOR — CBS’s David Letterman, on Mark McGwire’s claims that steroids didn’t give him an unfair advantage: “He just liked the minty-fresh taste.”

COMPILED BY JEFF WOLF LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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