Steve Kettman, confirmed ghostwriter of Jose Canseco’s “Juiced” claims in today’s New York Times, “serious thought was given to including Canseco™s recollections of golf course conversations with Clemens about steroids”, but saves his most harsh critique for former Yankee trainer Brian McNamee.

As a young beat reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle starting in 1994, I had been on friendly terms with Mark McGwire of the Oakland Athletics. I remember being startled the first time I talked to him at any length. He wheeled around from his locker with a smile and encouraged me to try MET-Rx, which he said would help me put on muscle, adding, œI don™t know if you work out, but …

A couple of years later, I was covering the team when Jason Giambi became buddies with McGwire and almost swelled before our eyes. But like most baseball writers, I never found a way to get a word into print alerting the general fan to what was taking place behind the scenes.

It felt like too little too late in 2000 when I submitted a piece to The Times, which it published in Aug. 20, 2000, headlined, œBaseball Must Come Clean on Its Darkest Secret.

œIt won™t be easy, but baseball has to find a way to crack down on steroids, which more and more big leaguers appear to be using every year and which could threaten to turn the game into a freak show, the article began, continuing with the assertion that, œMark McGwire has used steroids. This is now clear to any person who looks at the facts about androstenedione, the testosterone-booster McGwire was taking two seasons ago when he broke Roger Maris™s single-season home run record. It™s a steroid. That™s what most scientists say ” and what the government will most likely say sometime soon.

The most fascinating reply was the article-length response published in The Times six weeks later, by McNamee, headlined, œDon™t Be So Quick to Prejudge All That Power.

œKettmann alleges steroid use, McNamee wrote. œHe marks today™s players as cheaters, and not the role models we want them to be. I beg to differ. Players today are so much smarter when it comes to their bodies: how they work them, and what they put in them.

œKettmann™s article insults the players, the teams™ medical staffs and the teams™ organizations.

It was jarring, then, to read in the Mitchell report that: œAccording to McNamee, during the middle of the 2000 season Clemens made it clear that he was ready to use steroids again. During the latter part of the regular season, McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times.

John Hoberman, a University of Texas expert on steroids who was cited at length in œJuicing the Game, mentioned that 2000 Times article in his book, œTestosterone Dreams, and now describes the McNamee rejoinder as œrank hypocrisy.

œIt is one more sign of the pervasive dishonesty that pervades doping subcultures, Hoberman said this week in an e-mail message.