Former Cardinal bashes McGwire
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Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Jack Clark apparently isn't enamored of the current hitting coach, especially in light of Mark McGwire's admission a few days ago that he had used steroids in 1998-99 when he played for the Cardinals and before that with Oakland.
Clark, who spoke whatever was on his mind when he played and occasionally when he hasn't been playing, said Thursday he was disgusted with the whole steroids issue and McGwire's now confirmed involvement in it.
"A lot of them should be banned from baseball, including Mark McGwire," Clark said.
"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.
"They're all creeps. All these guys have been liars.
"I don't know. I'd rather take my 340 home runs (11 seasons of more than 20) legitimately instead of taking that stuff to be phony."
Former Cardinals outfielder Andy Van Slyke, agreeing in part with Clark, said: "I never condoned a player who used steroids while they played, but I've never been mad at a player. 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. He blames it on not being tested and he blames it on the era. Why would you blame baseball for taking steroids?"
Clark criticized McGwire's initial statements that McGwire's swing and mechanics were good enough that they would have allowed him to hit the record-setting 70-homer total he achieved in 1998 without the aid of steroids.
As if he were speaking to McGwire, Clark said: "No, because your hand-eye coordination was not good enough. You're kind of a big goof. You had one thing. If you uppercut a ball, you might hit it.
"If his hand-eye coordination was so good, why did he feel the need to apologize to the (Roger) Maris family?"
Arbitration eligible: Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum highlighted the list of 128 players who filed for salary arbitration yesterday.
Lincecum earned $405,000 from the San Francisco Giants in 2008 and $650,000 last season.
Lincecum is eligible for the first time and figures to earn $10 million or more this year after going 33-12 over the past two seasons.
Other notable players eligible for the first time include Tampa Bay pitcher Matt Garza, Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton, Chicago White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin and Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton.
Dodgers: Outfielder Matt Kemp and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a $10.95 million, two-year contract. Kemp batted .297 with 26 homers, 101 RBIs and 34 steals last season.
The Dodgers also avoided arbitration with right-hander Chad Billingsley, who agreed to a$3.85 million, one-year deal.
Trade: A person familiar with the deal says the San Diego Padres have agreed to trade third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and a minor leaguer to the Oakland Athletics for outfielders Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham.
Padres: Closer Heath Bell and San Diego agreed to a $4 million, one-year contract to avoid salary arbitration.
Bell led the NL with 42 saves last year, when he took over the closer's role from Trevor Hoffman.