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Just when I thought nothing more shocking could happen this off-season than the Cardinals signing Matt Holliday to a seven-year, $120-million contract, Mark McGwire not only admits that he used steroids ... He said he was sorry about it.

Apparently prodded by the Cardinals, McGwire issued a shockingly detailed statement giving a timeline of his steroid use -- including an admission that he used performance enhancing drugs during the 1998 season when he broke the single season home run record held since 1961 by Roger Maris.

I was absolutely certain that McGwire wouldn't admit using roids even if it meant that he would have to give up his new job as the Cardinals hitting coach.

I guess it's a good thing that he is serious enough about the job to take the heat for it. I think McGwire has the potential to be a good hitting coach if he can get past all the distractions. Now all we have to do is wait to see what the fallout will be. Not only with the upcoming season but the lingering unpleasantness about the Hall of Fame.

McGwire has been getting about 1/3 of the votes he needed to get into the Hall and his re-entry into baseball with the Cardinals seemed to do little or nothing for his candidacy this year. It's funny how a guy like Alex Rodriguez was able to move on with his life with little or no fallout after a steroids admission, but McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro have become pariahs.

What's the difference. A-Rod and Sammy Sosa both denied using steroids. Sosa was at the same Congressional hearings where whle McGwire said point blank that he wouldn't talk about it, while Sosa claimed he couldn't understand the questions because he didn't speak English.

I hate to hear that McGwire used. But we all had a pretty good idea for the last five years at least. It's not really a great day for baseball or for the Cardinals. But maybe now that it is out in the open, the game can begin to heal.