Former Washington Times’ columnist Thom Loverro has reviewed the allegations made by Mark McGwire’s estranged brother Jay, and while he’s careful to call Little Mac “a sleazeball”, it seems the bodybuilder-turned-author has more credibility than Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa (“his role in the steroid era is as large and loathsome as McGwire’s, Barry Bonds, or any of the high-profile cheaters”).  (ESPN, link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

If we believe La Russa, he was ignorant of any performance-enhancing substance use in both Oakland and St. Louis. This man — George Will’s example of brilliance in the book, “Men at Work,” a baseball manager with a law degree, the subject of the book, “Three Nights in August,” by Buzz Bissinger, a book that, according to Publisher’s Weekly, “reveals La Russa’s history and personality, conveying the manager’s intensity and his compulsive need to be prepared for any situation that might arise during ” ‘the war’ of each at-bat” — didn’t know the stars of his teams were using steroids.

Of all the absurdities of the steroid era, this might be the most absurd.

La Russa’s claim of ignorance smacks of arrogance, the very arrogance that has motivated him to bring McGwire, who had been a hermit since his embarrassing appearance before Congress in 2005, back into the game as the Cardinals hitting coach. The last thing baseball needs is one of the biggest remainders of one of its most shameful eras back in the game and in uniform. It is not good for the game, and certainly not good for the Cardinals franchise, which has become divided over McGwire’s presence.