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The party hasn't started until Canseco shows up

Jan 12, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

I’m surprised it took him a day to find a microphone.  Anyway, you’ve been right more than you’ve been wrong about this Jose, so you’re probably entitled to a few minutes of the floor:

“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. 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. There is something very strange going on here, and I’m wondering what
it is. I even polygraphed that subject matter, that I injected him, and
passed it completely. 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.”

Maybe Canseco is telling the truth about this, but allow me to ask: does anyone, even the most passionate anti-steroid crusader, care about the specific mode of injection?  I’m willing to live with a half-truth regarding one man injecting another in a bathroom stall. Aren’t you?  And I think Jose said too much with the national TV thing. His biggest weakness in all of his truth telling is that he’s been seen as being far more interested in making a buck and getting attention out of it than in doing what’s right for baseball.  He pretty much admits that here.

Canseco is also miffed at La Russa’s claim that he didn’t know McGwire did steroids until yesterday:

“That’s a blatant lie.  Tony La Russa was quoted as
saying that I was using steroids back then, and I was talking about it
in the clubhouse, openly. That’s a blatant lie. There are
some things here that are so ridiculous, and so disrespectful for the
public and the media to believe. I just can’t believe it. I’m in total
shock. These guys remind me of politicians that go up and just lie to
the public and expect to get elected.”

I’m with Canseco here. La Russa had one of the most steroid-happy locker rooms around, in two cities no less, with the most brazen user of them all in Canseco under his supervision.  He has always played dumb and no one has ever taken him to task over it.  If a manager is as ignorant about what goes on in his clubhouse as La Russa claims to have been he wouldn’t be able to fill out a lineup card because the players would be total strangers to him. Good for Canseco for saying this. I wish someone who wasn’t such a freakshow would repeat it.

Canseco also hates having to defend himself over all of the claims he has made:

“I’m tired of justifying what I’ve said. I’ve
polygraphed, I’ve proven that I’m 100 percent accurate. I never
exaggerated. I told it the way it actually happened. I’m the only one
who has told it the way it actually happened. Major League Baseball is
still trying to defend itself. It’s strange. All I have is the truth,
and I’ve proven that.”

To my knowledge, nothing Canseco has said has been proven wrong. At least nothing major, so he has a point.  Still, as all of today’s outrage over McGwire’s apology makes plain, to most of the media and to a certain vocal brand of fan, it’s not what you say, it’s how and why you say it.

McGwire catches hell for only apologizing because he wants a job and for not following the specific remorse regimen that the public allegedly demands. By the same token, Canseco only came out with his steroids stuff when he was at the end of his career, found himself in desperate financial straits and needed to make some money.  It’s a free country, so he can do what he wants along those lines, but he shouldn’t act surprised when he’s not embraced with open arms.

Finally, Canseco takes on the Hall of Fame:

“This is
far from over. There’s a list out there of [103] players. The last five
to eight years there may have been some players elected to the Hall of
Fame that were on that list. Nonetheless, if that list is not divulged,
there will continuously be players who are inducted into the Hall of
Fame who will probably be on that list.”

I wonder if this isn’t some backtracking on Canseco’s part. He has said in the past that there is definitely someone in the Hall of Fame who has used steroids. I agree that the odds favor a PED user in Cooperstown, but Canseco has always acted like he’s known the player’s name. Now it sounds like maybe he doesn’t.

Oh well. I think my headline is wrong here. Canseco showing up doesn’t represent the start of the party. At least not anymore. He’s now more like the fat lady singing. He may have hit the right notes a few times here — but it’s over. What else more is there to say?

  1. ecp - Jan 12, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    That’s funny; I could have sworn that what McGwire categorically denied was that he and Canseco shot up together in a clubhouse bathroom stall. I didn’t hear him say that he and Canseco didn’t shoot up together. I didn’t hear him say that Canseco didn’t inject him. All I heard is that they didn’t do it in a clubhouse bathroom stall. It’s picking a nit, perhaps, but the only denial he gave in regard to Canseco sounded like a denial of the specific location to me.

  2. Ryan - Jan 12, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    It’s articles like these that make me realize baseball is just a sweatier version of mid-day soap operas.

  3. Phil - Jan 12, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    What I want to know is who’s the ringmaster for this circus?

  4. Kafka - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    I really don’t see what all the fuss is about unless everyone who watches baseball is totally ignorant. When MM first started putting on size and crushing the ball it was evident he was cycling.
    But at the time no one cared because they were being entertained. Everyone paid to see “the big guy” smash that ball to pieces and run neck and neck with Sosa and anyone else who was a contender.
    Now everyone wants to be surprised and act is if milk and honey dribble from their lips. I say, shut your collective traps, buy your tickets, (or watch the tube), enjoy the game and let professional athletes do what they do best…perform for our amusement and entertainment.

  5. ZebZ - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Canseco’s had is turn at bat, now go way!

  6. Mike - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    McGuire and others have sullied Roger Maris’ record. While the Maris family seems to be showing support for McGuire–because they are nice people, it is a shonda of the highest order to allow the steroid users to hold this , or any baseball record.

  7. Evil EmpireE 2010 - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    If you don’t believe Jose Conseco, you are a TOOL.
    The only think he lied about was Madonna being a Virgin, sorry
    that was her song.

  8. Phil - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Oh for God’s sake. You need me to pass you the smelling salts for that attack of the vapors? How do you know Maris’ record is clean? That 61 is a huge outlier in his career stats. Shouldn’t we be suspicious?
    Seriously, are you a proponent of revisionist history? Should we strip Henry Aaron of his record because of the prevalence of greenies? Remove Gaylord Perry’s record because he was a cheat who repeatedly broke baseball’s rules – rules in place since 1920? Throw out all pre-1947 records because of the color line? Erase Babe Ruth from the record book because he was a career criminal who repeatedly violated the Volstead Act?
    The career HR is 762 and is held by Barry Bonds. The single season HR record is 73, also belonging to Bonds. These things actually happened in real time and real space. Moral indignation can’t wish them away. Why is it hard for a thinking adult to recognize both these facts and the conditions under which they were achieved and interpret the events accordingly?

  9. Evil EmpireE 2010 - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    you said it.
    Ay Caramba ………

  10. mikeskii29 - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    OMG! you give Canseco enough time and money, and will say he injected the Virgin Mary with Steroids! I just wish everyone would STOP giving Steroid loving, hating, former, ex, baseball player, and still wanna be, Canseco, any text or smack time. Steroids dont make your hand eye any coordination better or see the ball any better. A hitter still has to pick up the ball, in the fraction of a second, out of the pitchers hand, then decide if how and when, he is going to swing. If it was all muscle and strength, then Arnold and Lou should be able to hit a baseball a mile! I don’t care how big and strong or juiced up you are, you still have to see it, to hit it.

  11. Fast Eddy - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Well, now that Conseco has spoken, what else is there to say? We know he is a truthful guy, only interested in what is right. Is there a book deal here anywhere? Did his gonads get back to the size of a walnut yet? Lets stop listening to all of these guys and get on with the game. Now that there seems to be some monitoring of these players, they may start playing an honest game (at least talent wise), like the old timers. People may start taking interest again.

  12. edgy1957 - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Or that the best hitters weren’t hitting against some of the best pitchers and vice versa because of the racist policy that kept them out of the major leagues..

  13. Phil - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    I covered that one with the pre-1947 thing.

  14. aztronut - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    McGwire is a fraud! Does he really expect people to buy into his victimhood? Oh poor Mark, if only he would have come along before the steroid era so that he didn’t have to endure all of this indignity.
    Canseco is right, and as far as I can tell he’s been right all along. In reward for his honesty he’s been pilloried by those reporters who should have provided the public with the same information before it came out in his book. Investigative journalism may be dead but sports writers gave away their integrity long before that, and the reaction to Jose can only be described as petty jealousy.

  15. rje49 - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    As it’s been said, although we don’t really care how these guys got their steroid shots, I think major leagers have been pissed at Canseco for his major part in opening this whole can of worms.
    By the way, doesn’t anyone recall the time that a bottle of “Andro” was spotted in McGwire’s locker during a post-game interview in ’98? I guess everybody but LaRussa heard about that one…

  16. Dan - Jan 12, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Canseco definitely knows a Hall of Famer who used steroids — Ricky Henderson. He just doesn’t know if Henderson is one of the 103 names on the list. There is no way in hell that Henderson didn’t use PEDs and this is another case of if you don’t believe that, you are not being honest with yourself.

  17. edgy1957 - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Pre-1947 still doesn’t cover it, which is why I said what i said unless anyone here believes that there were only a few blacks that were major league material.

  18. Phil - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    Yes, I know the gates didn’t open on April 15, 1947, but that date does mark the beginning of the change. Real equality wasn’t achieved until the Red Sox put the immortal Pumpsie Green on the roster. ;-)

  19. Spelling 101 - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    “McGuire and others have sullied Roger Maris’ record.”
    It’s been a rough day for Ryan McGuire. He has taken a lot of grief for stuff he never did.

  20. Max - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Sadly…when Canseco released his book, everyone slammed him and said steroids could never have been as prevalent as he is suggesting…turns out…he was accurate. Canseco is about the only player I do believe when it comes to steroid information.

  21. MilitaryManMC - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    I agree to a point Mike…HOWEVER, without roids, that ball would never have made it over the wall. Isn’t that the reason they all did roids to begin with? To make the ball go farther (for the home run) and faster (to get past the infield quicker). And didn’t pitchers do them to heal quicker so they can throw the ball faster when they got back to the mound after a shorter healing time?
    And they all did it for the money, so you and I would get our a$$es back to the ballpark after the strike. That is why the owners, agents and managers said nothing about it.

  22. db - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Hey, Canseco was right and everyone thought he was crazy. Give the man, no matter how crazy he may portray himself his due. We had no idea how right he was!

  23. David Pawlowski - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    I have come 180 degrees around Canseco and major league sports. I respect the guy now, and give major league sports nothing. Canseco is the only guy who ever came out and admitted to what was obvious since the mid 80’s and the “live ball” era. He’s being scap goated by the organizations who ran this side show. The use of steroids and speeders came to dominate the fields of play, followed by growth hormone. I now believe that professional sports (e.g. baseball, football, NBA) and track and field is nothing but another version of the world wrestling league, it’s just entertainment to sell sports equipment, cars, etc.. If major league baseball had any sense of “honor” it would install a new hall for the modern era (The Hall of Shame Wing) and put all the folks who deserve astericks by their name including the great Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose and Jose Canseco as object lessons for what greed, ambition and the profit motive bring to professional sports.

  24. 85260 - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    EVERYONE:
    1) McGuire took steroids
    2) Canseco took steroids
    3) Canseco lost every bit of MLB support after telling the TRUTH!
    4) McGuire is a terrific guy, lied through his teeth, still rich, and supported by his union.
    Wake up! A majority of MLB players have takes enhancer products. The fans are pretending to care. We dont. Stop kidding yourself!

  25. Fred - Brandon MB - Jan 12, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Canseco is this era’s Jim Bouton. He is telling the tales that nobody in baseball wants to hear. But in 20 years all will be forgiven and it will be water under the bridge.
    Whatever Canseco’s motives, it had to come out sometime, so what if he made some money from his books. Bigger sleazes have made money from their books.

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