Gossage targets Roger Clemens

NEW YORK -- Hall of Famer Rich "Goose" Gossage says Roger Clemens should never make it to Cooperstown.

Gossage said Thursday during a radio interview that he believes Clemens has lied about his steroid use, labeling the seven-time Cy Young Award winner as a cheater unworthy of the Hall of Fame.

"Are we going to reward these guys for cheating?" Gossage asked Michael Kay and Don La Greca on ESPN New York 98.7. "Even though he was found innocent, it was because of the bad testimony. No one believed (Brian) McNamee and (Andy) Pettitte kind of changed his thing, 'Did I really hear what he told me.' "

Clemens has yet to respond to Gossage's comments.

Clemens was acquitted Monday on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used performance-enhancing drugs. However, the verdict has not settled the matter in sports circles as to whether Clemens cheated in the latter stages of his career.

A crucial barometer comes this fall, when Clemens' name appears on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. Gossage clearly is not convinced of Clemens' innocence, comparing the trial's outcome to the controversial 1995 verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

"O.J. Simpson, did you believe he didn't kill those two people?" Gossage said Thursday.

Gossage also wants Congress to release the list of 104 names from the anonymous 2003 player survey. Although it would break civil liberty rights, Gossage is in favor of finding out who used steroids and who didn't during the anonymous testing period.

"Release the whole list and let's get it out there on the table and see who tested positive for these things," Gossage said. "I saw bat speeds of Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire. Mark was a great teammate. I couldn't have asked for a better teammate when I played out in Oakland.

"Jose Canseco, I lockered next to him. Canseco is the only guy who has come clean. Like him or not, he is telling the truth. These guys lie, lie, lie and lie. Roger, I think, is in the same boat. I think there is validity to him using and absolutely not do they belong in the Hall of Fame."

Gossage remembers sitting around the bullpen with Dennis Eckersley as they watched McGwire and Canseco take batting practice in 1993.

"We used to look at each other and say, 'What the (heck) is going on here?'" Gossage said. "It was not human is what I'm saying.

"Cheaters? Does a test count when you get busted for cheating on a test. No and neither should steroids. There is no place for them in the Hall of Fame."

With all this said, Gossage admitted he "probably would have" taken performance-enhancing drugs if the circumstances and timing of his career and the steroid era had been different.

"I probably would have," Gossage said. "Steroids weren't a part of the game when I was playing. Toward the end, we wondered what was going on. We knew something was going on. Absolutely, I probably would have.

"The peer pressure is what is so dangerous about steroids. It is affecting our kids in high school and into college. These things are bad for you and they have got to get rid of them. If you are lying, shame on you."