Jose Canseco was Right

 

                    
 
 

When Jose Canseco first came out with his book  Juiced  on February 14, 2005 “, we had no idea of the extent and the lengths that steroids and illegal drugs were being used in the MLB. We all knew of certain players that were suspected of use or under investigations, but nothing concrete was brought up to support  any of Canseco’s claims at the time. With the recent revelation of Alex Rodriguez using PED’s during his 2001-2003 Texas Ranger days, it is finally showing just cause that Canseco might have been right the entire time> And maybe it was the American baseball fans that were the ones naive to the entire extent of the steroid scene.
 

 

If Jose Canseco was seeking revenge,  or even a ” I told you so.” moment, he finally got the last laugh or justified response. In both of his books, Canseco was exploring the culture and trying to educate us as to the extent and the flagrant usage problems in baseball’s past. All this from a guy who was in the drivers seat of using himself, and has never denied the fact, to gain an edge in the competitive arena of professional baseball. How enlightening it is to me right now that for years people in the media and in the high ranks in baseball have tried to prove him wrong, to say he was trying to extract revenge over the so-called “blackballing” of him out of the major leagues because of his outward voice towards the problem. And to this day, no one had proven him wrong yet.

 

                
 
 
I am not trying to paste Canseco up here as a saint in a room of devils, but he was right, and he has gained a huge amount of respect recently on the incidents he has written about, and the players he has been quoted about in both of his books.  I know that Amazon.com reviewed his book back in 2005, and called it the ” Ball Four” for the new millennium,  Canseco’s Juiced  was intentionally written to show the rampant use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball (with steroids replacing the amphetamines of Bouton’s day). Canseco is a self admitted steroid devotee since his 20’s, and he goes beyond admitting his own usage to claim that he acted as baseball’s ambassador of steroids and is therefore indirectly responsible for “saving” the game.
 

 

Canseco says he was nice enough to educate Alex Rodriguez about steroids and even introduced him to a friendly steroids dealer in the late 1990s, but A-Rod returned the favor by trying to bed his wife, the former Bash Brother alleges in his new book, Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars and the Battle to Save Baseball. Whatever his motivation, Canseco writes that he is “confident” the Yankees star and three-time MVP used steroids and stated it in his book published in  March 2008. “I did everything but inject the guy myself,” Canseco says in the book. Canseco said he introduced the future Yankee to a trainer named “Max.” 
 

 

 

But despite the headline-grabbing claims in his  first book, whether Canseco really knows anything about the problem beyond his own use was viewed as opinion and total speculation at the time. He was viewed as a ” teller of tales”, and with no one coming forth to back him up, or even claim “off the record” of steroid usage in the majors, he was discounted as a bitter former player looking for his last series of hurrah’s.  Most shocking at the time of both of the books release dates  that Canseco remains an unabashed booster of steroids, claiming they’ll one day be used safely under medical supervision to propel humans to better health and great feats. Doctors disagree, and it should be noted that doctors did not administer Canseco’s steroid use. “Is it cheating,” Canseco asks in a revealing moment of moral relativism, “to do what everyone wants you to do?” If that very question were asked by a Little Leaguer, its answer could not be more obvious. 

 

 

So here we are a few days removed from the A-Rod fiasco, in which he might have truly come clean and began the healing process for himself and his team. But what about the holy integrity of baseball? Is the fact that since nothing in either of his books have been disproved, should we again read them both and look for other answers. Could there be other hidden facts and players within its pages that are still to be bought out into the light of day and discounted, or even shunned like Canseco has endured for so long. Or is the fact that the biggest star in the game today was caught be a indicator to others  to come forward before they are also brought to light. That is the question before baseballs’ higher powers right now. Should the rest of the world know their business, that happened 6 years ago, or should we just let time and league handle the situation. 

 

 

 


 

 

Here are a few passages taken from Canseco’s book Vindicated  that talked directly about  current Yankee Alex Rodriguez and former Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens with Canseco’s personal observations on their careers and steriods :
 

“I’m confident it was the ‘roids ( that made A-Rod buff ). I believed it then, and I believe it now. I’ve been down this road too many times with too many guys. I know my ( stuff ), and I know the way it works. I may not have seen ( A-Rod ) do the deed, but I set the whole thing up for him, just like he wanted. I saw the changes in his body in a short time. Hell, if you ask me, I did everything but inject the guy myself.”
 

“I admitted to Mike ( Wallace, in 2005 ) that I had never seen Clemens shoot up, but that I had my suspicions. All those Cy Young Awards. The way he was throwing, hard and fast and steady, without seeming to break a sweat. The way he seemed to be getting stronger as he got older. What else could it be? Good genes? Hell, while most of Clemens’s peers were sitting on porches, in rocking chairs, with old dogs at their feet, he was still pitching rockets.”
 

 

Both the above quoted players by Canseco have been linked, or subjectively linked to steroids in the last few years.  Clemens is currently fighting for his Hall of Fame career life among allegations and evidence that he has either used, or lied under oath about his past usage. The only difference in these two gentlemen is that one knows that by admitting it now, he can still regain some of his credibility in the next 9 years under his current New York Yankees contract. The other has been basically left in a lepers colony by baseball’s fraternity to fester and rot within his own misguided statements and falsehoods. I give Alex Rodriguez a lot of credit for coming clean and admitting and showing his true nature by not dodging the issue, but taking it head on, even if it garners him a suspension or even public ridicule for years.
 

 

 

Canseco talked about both of these players in his books, and the last few months have shown that more and more he is correct on all counts concerning them. But will the baseball community ever acknowledge that he was right?, or will it just conclude that the truth came out and Canseco got lucky in his estimations and accusations. Will he ever get the due credit for trying to soften the blow that was the extent of the steroid scandal and its short-lived era. Isn’t it about time that we all wised up to the fact that we were lied to, and manipulated to see the evil in what Canseco was writing at the time, but now he is coming out smelling like a rose after years of badgering and misinformation by baseball and the media.
 

 

 

But the current fact that the 103 other players might be listed on a document obtained by Sports Illustrated.  Should their names also be leaked to the media, or would that collapse the entire foundation of integrity of the game to its core.  And will it’s leadership be able to rebuild it quickly to keeps its fans and sponsors happy and coming back to the ballparks. Canseco will never be known as a prophet, but he did try and educate us to the darker side of the game that we did not want to see, or even realize until a  top tier player’s name got put out there for everyone to see firsthand. So will this recent reveal make people again take notice of his two novels. I know I am personally going to re-read both novels and see if I can gain more understanding, or even investigate for myself that the game at that time was not clean, but  it had a dirty underbelly that now must be cleaned to save what is left of its purity.
 

 

Canseco is not a trying to be a poster boy for baseball. To the contrary, he is the one player who had admitted and showed no remorse in his choices to use performance enhancing drugs to better himself and his abilities in baseball. Not unlike a pitcher who relied on spitballs and scuffed balls in the past to produce movement on the ball coming into batters, Canseco found and edge and used it to its fullest. But it was his knowledge and his frank honesty about the rampant usage throughout the major leagues that condemned him for years. I am not saying that he should be given a chance for the Hall of Fame.  We all know the actions he took to get that edge will condemn him to baseball purgatory, but could his upfront honestly and revelations at least gain him some respect now with baseball fans?

 

                         
 

 

I believe in Jose Canseco. I saw him as a memeber of the Rays highly touted ” Hit Show” in the late 90’s. He did garner some great moments in a Rays jersey, but the fact that he also tainted those multi-colored jerseys by using PED’s in that clubhouse takes him off my Rays favorite player list. I admire him more today knowing that he tried to warn us of a storm that was brewing off our bows. He also got us ready for the facts to finally come clean and the truth be known in baseball……………….that there will always be evil within all that is good with the game.
 
 
 

Photos obtained from http://www.FoxNews.com,www.Amazon.com and http://www.oddball-mall.com for today’s blog.

22 Comments

Did Canseco really try “to warn us” in order to rescue the game? You make him sound awfully noble. I always figured he needed money after all the trouble he got into and was using the books as an income source. But you’re right – he’s been a truth teller. I guess we do have him to thank. Begrudgingly.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

I truly think he tried to basically educate us to the extent of it all, but noble was not a word I would use for him.

The best thing about his books is that people like me are going to go re-read them and look for conspiracy theories and other incriminating evidence about the past.

It might be a good thing, it might be a bad thing, but it will bring about a lot of great discussions for the next few months in the ball parks around the country. Now if only Mark McGuire could find the courage…………

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

You raise one of the most logical “arguments”, if you will, for Canseco. I will admit that I didn’t read his books. Not because I didn’t believe him. But because I just couldn’t stomach what he was saying in them. But you are right. I need to read them. Canseco tried to let us all know about the problems of drug use in baseball. We were all just to naive to see that he was telling us the truth. We didn’t want to know that he was telling us the truth. And look at where that got us. I too will be reading his books. Thanks for helping this baseball fan to finally see the truth.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Another good blog. I always look forward to reading your blogs. I just wrote a blog about Darryl Strawberry coming out with a book now. Check it out!

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

I think it was some of Column A, some of Column B with Canseco. You really did not want to believe it was that wide open a drug use.

But you still have to also view him a bit as a whistle blower to the real state of the steroid uses in baseball. I just wish he was credited with some good knowledge back then instead of treating him like a has-been and as a disgruntled ballplayer.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Ahhhhhhhhhh

A book by may favorite Tampa crack addict. Let me tell you that will be some story. I hope he chats about the time he and Dwight Gooden might have been up to no good while they were with the New York Mets, or about his meltdown in Tampa outside the rehab facility.

I always wanted that guy to get his life in order and play again somewhere, or at least coach a full season team.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Crazy how our man of truth is stinking Jose Canseco, but it takes that kind of slime to be able to let us know what the other slime are doing. Either way, he certainly looks like he ratted people out for sure. I don’t know how offended you are so much by the steroid controversy, but it certainly seems like we have one guy who told us “Some” of the truth (basically so he can continue to reveal piece by piece and make more money off it in parts).
-Carl
http://crystalbaseball.mlblogs.com/

I am one of those people who sensed something was not right, but I did not try and dig into it. Most people were willing to give the players and the league the leeway to clean their own house before striking out and accusing people.

In some ways, the MLB leadership and the MLB players union did some good, but to what extent did they hone in the problem. I have suspected a few ballplayers of this, the first name on my list after Canseco was former Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson, but like a majority of the public, it is letters in the sand right now.

More names will leak out in the next few months. Hopefully they are bit players and no huge name will get dragged through what A -Rod is experiencing right now. But the public also has a short memory at times and this all might just die down like Andy Pettitte’s steroid announcement in late 2008.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Rays Renegade,
Great post. I would really like to read Canseco’s books, and try and analyze everything. I honestly don’t know much about Canseco besides the fact that he did steroids, but didn’t he admit it without any reports coming out about him? He openly admitted it instead of denying it for years like A-Rod did? Maybe he’s saving the game in the most opposite way possible (if you know what I mean), and people are ostracizing him for being honest. The truth hurts. It must have hurt for you as a Rays fan, it hurts for Yankee fans, and my dad was hurt when he found out about Pete Rose. There has to be some evil in the game so we can see what really is good. Because without evil, how would we know what good is?
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Yes, Canseco has proven to be straight-forward and correct on these matters but I still question his true intentions. In the meantime, I choose to remember him by that homerun ball that went off his head :-)
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

I hate it when Jose is right. I did enjoy Juiced though it was interesting.

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Elizabeth,

Canseco has always been upfront about his usage. He has said he began it because of a medical condition. And yes, he is one of those guys who has always been candid about the usage of steroids, and has implicated a few players who have not come out yet.

In his second book he gave an account on A-Rod, which now seems to be bearing fruit. But in all, he has tried to be the ambassador of steriods, which might not be a good thing.

Pete Rose hurt me too, but I was more upset with the Shoeless Joe and Buck Weaver B S of the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Bob,

I have a feeling he will be right about more in the near future. I actually liked the guy as a player, and he has never harped about missing out on anything in life because of it all.
It is just sad that it cost him a shot at the Hall of Fame because of his usage. He did murder the ball for a long time, and some of that had to be done with natural ability.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Jeff,

That play and the one where the player gave the fan the ball ands gave Bengie Molina an inside-the-park-homer are my two favorite moments in baseball so far in my life.

I always found it a nice homage to that play that they used that in the movie “For the Love of the Game” where the young player had in pop off his head into the glove in Fenway Park. We all know that can not happen in Fenway unless it is right field, but it was a nice moment cuaght forever on DVD.

Old school baby, old school.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Who could forget Canseco wanting to pitch and getting hurt in the process! He’s not a saint but had he not brought it up steroids may still be plagueing baseball.
Tom
http://rockymountainway.mlblogs.com

There have been worse people who tried to pitch. I remember Wade Boggs pitching his knuckleball for the Rays one season.

It was so funny seeing him toe the rubber. But he also did a pretty good job. Canseco just wanted to do something for people to remember him by, the ball of the head as a Texas Ranger was not enough for him I guess.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Somehow I think Canseco ‘over-did’ steroids in his career. You look at his best year 1988 when he had the 40HR/40SB year. Yes he was on roids that year, but he was much leaner and had more speed.

I think he started juicing more heavily when he went to Texas. The guy turned into a monster that wanted to hit a homer on every pitch! When Canseco played for Toronto, he looked like one of those characters from that Michael Jordan movie ‘Space Jam. He could only DH because he had so much body mass!
http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

He did get bigger in Texas, but isn’t everything bigger in Texas?
I did notice a huge increase in his size and his deameanor after he left the Oakland A’s. He was on hid downside both in career and setroid use probably when he was with the Chicago White Sox in 2001.

I like watching the guy take B P . He did hava great swing and the power was there. Too bad it was from unnatural elements. He could of had a great career, but the ‘roids did have a huge effect on him.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

We live in a sad world where Jose Canseco is right. Who ever thought that would happen? He’s still a bum.
http://themax.mlblogs.com

I know what you mean there.

But he was right, just like Sonny the Bull was about John Gotti. Some of the best remembered figures are the villians who got it right sometime.

He deserves to at least get a nod of correctness, and now after this blog is about forgotten, so will he again until the next guy tests positive or the list becomes public.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Good blog. I read both books for the first time last month. I thought it was good to see some light shed on the steroid era. I’d love to see baseball and the fans able to move on at some point and I think this helped with that. Unfortunately, with the recent A-Rod incident and the 103 names still out there, I think we’re a long ways off from putting this behind us. I also thought it was interesting to learn why he used steroids and how he seems to consider himself almost more of an entertainer than an athlete.
-Mark
http://babypaul.mlblogs.com

Baby Paul,

Always glad to see you writing on here.
Hopefully when you are older we might have a better grip on what is right and wrong with stimulants in baseball and other sports.

Not to say there will not be people who will try to run under the radar.there will always be that type of player, but hopefully they will get caught quicker and with more punishment.

But then again when you are my age, the yearly home run total will be closer to 100 than 50 with player development and not synthetic stimulants or useless drugs. I hope baseball is cleaner in the future……….but I might be a dreamer.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlbogs.com

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