NASCAR and poker might be tied for the stauts of America’s Pastime, but at CSTB HQ, Mushnick bashing is third only to breathing and rotissierre chicken eating. Which is why, on the rare occasion that the Bearded Conscience of All Things Sporting makes a valid point, I’ll quote him at length. Sir Phil, from today’s NY Post :

Off all the responses to Jose Canseco’s published claims, none seemed odder – or more disturbing – than Joe Torre’s. In an interview seen on Ch. 2’s Tuesday night newscast, Torre seemed to throw his support behind the darkness. He clearly suggested that steroid use in baseball – illegal steroid use – is a nobody’s-business issue.

“I’m put off by books,” said Torre, who in 1997 co-authored a revealing book about his life. “What goes on in the sanctity of the clubhouse,” he continued, “like the sanctity of the kitchen at home, needs to stay there.”

Coming from Torre, that’s bizarre. Through his Safe At Home Foundation, Torre has valiantly lent his name and private experiences to bringing the “sanctity” of domestic abuse out of the kitchen and into the light.

That he’s “put off by books” that violate both clubhouse and kitchen as secret-sanctified harbors flies in the face of his book and his very public personal stance against indulging domestic abuse as a behind-closed-doors, keep-out matter.

In fact, early in his book Torre details instances of his father’s abuse of his mother, writing that she was once driven to threaten his father with a knife. Might that have been a kitchen knife?

And when Torre writes of how his family gathered to ask his father to get out and stay out, the meeting is held in the family’s dining room, surely, next to the kitchen.

Torre lived with an old-world, traditionally secretive and illegal evil. He then nobly exploited his public stature to identify and combat that evil by meeting it head-on, dragging it, shoving it into the light.

That he would consider steroid use a what-happens-here, stays-here matter for the clubhouse or any house is shocking.

Will Carroll, who has his own steroids & baseball book coming out, has the following questions for Mr. Canseco :

1. Why no mention of your brother, Ozzie? Did you not help him the same way you allegedly helped others?

1a. Ozzie was good enough to make the majors, if not stay there, and to play in credible leagues until recently. Would you have been Ozzie without steroids?

2. How did you get access to hGH in 1985, just as it became available to the public as Humatrope? At an estimated cost of $30,000 for a therapeutic dose (presumably much smaller than used for performance enhancement), why would he share it?

3. A™s, Rays, Rangers – what about your time with the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and White Sox? Why no steroid lessons there?

4. After 1991, you only played 150 games or more once. Was THIS also an effect of your steroid use?

5. Why inject in the stadium? What™s the value?

5a. Why inject œbefore games or batting practice? There™s NO medical reason to do so.

6. If you used steroids regularly and with as much knowledge as you allege, what happened between 1992 and 1997?

6a. What changed in 1998?

6b. Why didn™t you keep doing that?

7. How much was the advance on your book? Why sell your World Series ring on Ebay just months before what you had to presume was going to be a big payday?

Here™s another thing ¦ when Mike Wallace shows up at your door, bad things are about to happen. Has anyone ever sat across from that man and come out looking good?