[Scott Steiner welcomes Mark McGwire back to St. Louis and adoring Cardinal fansWhy can’t Jack Clark show as much class?]

Recovering Retired Cardinals mgr Whitey Herzog (1980-90) and former owner Augie Busch IV (his family sold the ‘Tards in ’96) are apparently not so welcoming of Big Mac’s post-‘roid confession and return to St. Louis nor La Russa.  What’s interesting here isn’t so much an old school hero like Whitey Herzog coming down on McGwire, but Augie Busch publicly calling La Russa a liar. As Augie puts it, “McGwire has chosen to come out of the closet at the perfect time — alongside a manager who also refuses to be honest, to the fans or to the game itself,” Busch said. “After all, why would Tony La Russa hire a hitting coach whose lifetime batting average was only .263?”

As a Cub fan, this reporter wholeheartedly supports a Redbird team average of .263, and wish Augie would give McGwire a chance to work that magic on the whole squad.   I can’t tell if La Russa was more in-denial about his ‘roided out A’s and Redbirds or that Mark McGwire’s return to MLB would actually be any more popular outside STL than Barry Bonds was outside San Francisco.  On Wednesday, Herzog went off at a Red Smith Sports Banquet in Appleton, WI, unloading thusly to the Appleton Post-Crescent:

“I’ve got nothing to do with him,” Herzog said, clearly annoyed. “I don’t want to comment on steroids because they’re all lying. And they’re still lying. They get on steroids because they say they want to get back on the field. The reason they’re on steroids is because they got injured because they were taking steroids. Because their muscles grow too fast, and every time they make a false move, they slip and pull something. It’s always a pulled muscle, rib cage, a minor something. That’s bull.”Let’s get to the bottom of this. It’s a health problem, but nothing’s going to happen. The people in St. Louis give Mark McGwire a standing ovation the other day, and (former major leaguer) Jack Clark said every steroid user should be banned for baseball, and they booed him. Now, what the hell is the matter with society when that happens?”

Actually Whitey, I think at this point the lovable Jack Clark would get booed handing out twenty-dollar bills on Opening Day.