Not so fast, Canseco says

Did Jose Canseco inject Mark McGwire with steroids in clubhouse bathroom stalls?

Canseco says yes.

McGwire says no.

In Canseco’s mind, there’s only one way to break the deadlock.

A live televised polygraph test!

In an interview with a Chicago ESPN radio station Tuesday, Canseco took issue with his former “Bash Brother,” insisting that McGwire has faulty memories of their days together in Oakland.

“I’ve got no problems with a few of the things he’s saying, but again, it’s ironic and strange that Mark McGwire denies that I injected him with steroids,” Canseco said. “He’s calling me a liar again. I’ve defended Mark, I’ve said a lot of good things about him, but I can’t believe he just called me a liar.

“… So I want to challenge him on national TV to a polygraph examination. I want to see him call me a liar under a polygraph examination.”

The story of Canseco and McGwire injecting each other before games in the late 1980s was just one of many steroid accusations Canseco made in his 2005 book, “Juiced,” which ultimately proved to be a turning point for steroids and baseball.

McGwire, however, said on MLB Network on Monday night that Canseco made up that passage. “There’s absolutely no truth to that whatsoever ... I couldn’t be more adamant about that,” he said. Asked why Canseco would then include that, McGwire said, “He had to sell a book.”

Canseco also criticized Tony La Russa, his former manager with the Athletics, for saying he didn’t know McGwire did steroids until Monday morning. Said Canseco: “That’s a blatant lie.”

Gossage takes hard line

Goose Gossage watched McGwire’s televised confession to steroids use and was happy his former teammate came clean. That’s where the praise ended, with the Hall of Fame reliever saying there should be no place in Cooperstown for McGwire or any other player who used performance-enhancing drugs.

“I definitely think that they cheated,” Gossage said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “And what does the Hall of Fame consist of? Integrity. Cheating is not part of integrity.”

For Gossage, Hank Aaron still holds the career record of 755 home runs and Roger Maris owns the season record of 61. The Goose tosses out the fantastic figures posted by Barry Bonds, McGwire, Sammy Sosa as part of a “cheating era,” dismissing them out of hand.

“The integrity of the Hall of Fame and the numbers and the history are all in jeopardy,” Gossage said.

Short hops

The perennially frugal Florida Marlins have reached an agreement with the players’ union to increase spending in the wake of complaints the team payroll has been so small as to violate baseball’s revenue sharing provisions. …Pitcher Brett Myers and the Houston Astros finalized a one-year contract that guarantees him $5.1 million. The 29-year-old Myers became a free agent after spending his first eight seasons with Philadelphia, and he promised to “stick it to” the Phillies. … Free-agent catcher Ramon Castro has agreed to return to the Chicago White Sox for a $1 million, one-year contract.