Jack 'the Ripper' Clark busts out whoopin' stick on Mark McGwire

Whatever the Cardinals do in the wake of Mark McGwire's recent steroid admissions, they probably should not invite him and former slugger Jack Clark to the same event.

Oh, dear. Too late.

Clark, the team's big power hitter in the mid-'80s, swung a loaded metaphorical bat at McGwire and other players of his generation who have indulged in performance-enhancing drugs.

"They're all creeps," says Clark, who hit 340 career homers from 1976-1992.

Clark and McGwire are among those scheduled to appear at the Cardinals' Winter Warmup this weekend at a hotel in downtown St. Louis. It's supposed to be a feel-good get-together for fans of Cardinals past and present.

Just don't expect two Cardinals in particular to get their bear hug on.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"I'm not even going to say hello to him." Clark said of McGwire. "I'm not going to shake his hand."

Well! Clark calls players such as McGwire and Alex Rodriguez(notes) "cheaters." And that's Clark being kind.

"A-Rod: Fake, phony," Clark said. "Rafael Palmeiro: Fake, a phony.

"[Roger] Clemens, [Barry] Bonds: Fakes. Phonies. They don't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. They should all be in the Hall of Shame. They can afford to build it. They've all got so much money."

Ah, yes, money. Clark's comments seem like those of a straight shooter. You might agree. He might even be right (aside from the pejorative "creeps"). But he also might be a little bitter, missing out on baseball's era of really big money.

Clarks spent a lot of his own money on cars, cars, cars — which is not illegal, or even necessarily wrong, though it did lead to bankruptcy. Did Clark ever take amphetamines or some other PED of his time? No idea.

But give Clark credit for this: He's charging only $5 for his signature at the Winter Warmup. Matt Holliday(notes) is charging $100! (Hang on, here's a couple more "!!!!!" for that.) Albert Pujols'(notes) autograph tickets went for $175 before selling out.

Andy and Alan Benes? Free, baby! And they might even hug, being brothers and all.

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