Schilling takes aim at Bonds, McGwire

Schilling takes aim at Bonds, McGwire

CLEVELAND -- In an interview on HBO with Bob Costas, right-hander Curt Schilling was outspoken when asked about Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and the issue of steroids.

"If someone wrote that stuff about me and I didn't sue, am I not admitting that there's some legitimacy to it?" Schilling said on the "Costas Now" program.

In March 2006, Bonds did sue two San Francisco Chronicle reporters who published a book claiming the Giants slugger used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, but Bonds dropped the lawsuit three months later.

"It goes to the Mark McGwire thing in Congress," said Schilling. "I mean, I'm a huge Mark McGwire fan. But I just always thought it was very simple: If you did something and someone asks you if you did it and you didn't do it, you say no. Any other answer than no is some form of yes, isn't it?"

Schilling also had some choice things to say about Jose Canseco, the former Major League All-Star who has freely admitted to using steroids, and who detailed his usage in a 2005 book.

"Jose Canseco admitted he cheated his entire career," said Schilling. "Everything he ever did should be wiped clean. I think his MVP should go back and should go to the runnerup."

Former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell, who finished second in the 1988 American League MVP race, has stated numerous times that he thinks the trophy should be taken away from Canseco and given to him.

Schilling added that "this will be the steroids era forever," and also suggested that Rafael Palmeiro be punished for steroids use.

"The year he tested positive [2005], nothing he did that year should count, which I think would take away 3,000 hits for him," he said.

Schilling was one of several players who appeared at a congressional hearing in March 2005 to discuss steroids. Costas asked Schilling why he wasn't as outspoken on that platform as he had been many times previous and has been many times since.

"When you're sitting in front of Congress and you're under oath, you'd better be damn sure if you're going to mention a name that you are 100 percent guaranteed sure somebody did something," he replied.

Are players still using performance-enhancing drugs?

"There were teams that had a subculture of it," Schilling said. "Obviously, guys are still getting caught, which shows me that even with all of the safety nets in place, people are still doing it. My understanding is that steroids and HGH, one of the main benefits of them, is regeneration. If I can show up Sept. 1 and feel April fresh, I've got a huge advantage, not just that day but on everybody. And I think that's why a lot of pitchers have been caught."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.