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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. i am whaleman - Jan 13, 2010 at 9:29 AM


  2. Evil EmpireE 2010 - Jan 13, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Mark McGwire released a statement blaming Jose Conseco
    for sticking him with needles full of Steroids while he
    was facing the opposite direction and not paying attention.
    Bud Selig announced that if Mark recites 5 Hail Marys he will
    be elected The Hall of Shame and all will be forgiven.

  3. Evil EmpireE 2010 - Jan 13, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    when the truth about Albert is finally revealed
    you will sheet your pants man

  4. -z- - Jan 13, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Enough of the “steroids don’t improve your hand/eye coordination,” bull. Steroids make you stronger therefore there is less effort in swinging a bat, therefore speeding up the bat, therefore improving your hand/eye coordination. Got it?

  5. mlnberger - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Of course, none of this occurs without the approval of the owners. The players play — they will do all that is allowed to win, to succeed. Wooden bats? OK if everyone uses wooden bats. Oversize gloves? Same thing. Video replay in dugouts. You get the picture. Owners set and enforce the rules and, of course, profit mightily when their players break all-time records. LaRussa in this case is acting as a representative of management — I don’t blame Bonds, Canseco, and the rest for stretching the rules (which, remember, where non-existant at the time) — I merely think this conversation (witchhunt) is incomplete without mentioning the owners and their key role in setting up this environment. Let us ask, say, the former owner of the Texas Rangers when Juan Gonzalez was on the team what he knew.

  6. raleigh55 - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    If MLB bans Pete Rose from the HOF for gambling then how can they not ban steroid users like bonds, mcquire, sosa, arod and the like? At least Rose accomplished what he did on the field without performance enhancement drugs.

  7. edgy1957 - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Wow, an expert on all of this. Tell, did it come from being a major league baseball player or from reading a bunch of articles from wanna-bes, who swear on a stack of Bibles that they’d have made the majors like their high school teammates if they had used ‘roids?
    Got a lot more to say but too much for this post:

  8. Skids - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    Kind of hard to be sympathetic to Barry Bonds, even though he was and is such as nice guy.

  9. edgy1957 - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Oh, like Ty Cobb….
    Really, I could really care less about what Bonds is or isn’t. He’s like T.O., what you see is what you get. There are a lot of phonies out there and all you ever get out of them is the Nuke LaLoosh interview (I’m just here to help the team and God willing, blah blah, blah, bs…). Back in his day, Hank Aaron was called uppity and Jackie Robinson was called worse. Barry’s dad was treated like crap by the press and that didn’t create a very good impression him at the early of an age.

  10. Fast Eddy - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Do you want this all to be true? What gives you the right to condemn people you don’t like? If Albert is using, why then does he pass all of the tests to show he is clean? Does he have a magic formula now that the screening can’t detect. You guys have to quiet down and stop showing your racist feelings. Just because he is good, means that something is wrong. RIGHT? Y0U ARE TOO STUPID FOR FURTHER COMMENT!!!

  11. edgy1957 - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    First of all, I happen to like Albert but unlike his BLIND FANS like you, I realize that he’s used before and genius, there’s NO test for HGH that’s going to catch him and if he’s changed to it or a newer steroid, you wouldn’t know. I called it on the other Dominicans long before they were outed and that’s the only thing that’s saved him.

  12. Jay Ess - Jan 13, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    One thing Canseco said, at least, was proven wrong. He claimed to share a wink with Bret Boone over their mutual steroid use when he found himself on second base after a double in spring training. Box scores proved he never doubled in a game Boone played that year.

  13. Randy - Jan 13, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Damn I miss those days when Canseco was roided up and rolling with automatic weapons in the back of an exotic car he used to turn a California Freeway into a demolition derby… Ahhh, the American pastime of my youth. “…Where have you gone Jose Canseco, Jesus loves you more than you will know…”

  14. You speak the truth - Jan 13, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Do you actually believe the garbage you are writing?

  15. Mike N - Jan 14, 2010 at 11:12 AM

    I’ve never understood using that as some sort of excuse for juicing. Yeah, you still need to be able to hit it, but the additional bat speed and power from juicing allows you to make more contact, have more power and turn more fly outs in to home runs and singles in to line-drive doubles and triples. It makes a huge difference in overall production. Anyone at the ML level of baseball has the requisite skill and coordination to hit a ball to some degree, or they wouldn’t be there – but juicing gives those guys a ridiculous advantage.

  16. Shari Gaumond - Jan 14, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Only want to say your article is stunning. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can take for granted you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with incoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the ac complished work.

  17. mike white - Jan 14, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    i know of 1 for sure who is in cooperstown, Ricky Henderson, no doubt about it!!!

  18. Chris Humpherys - Jan 16, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Speaking of the McGwire-Canseco drama, I have a pay-per-view event we’d ALL like to see.

  19. GOOFUS - Jan 18, 2010 at 12:33 PM


  20. GOOFUS - Jan 18, 2010 at 12:37 PM


  21. college degree paper - Jan 18, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    I am taking a college degree in finance. I am completely uninterested. I am consideing a college degree in geology. Is the switch easy?

  22. GOOFUS - Jan 19, 2010 at 5:16 AM


  23. Joey B - Jan 19, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    “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?”
    It would go to his believibility. If he said that Canseco never shot him up, and he did, then McGwire is lying, which makes the rest of his statement unreliable. Not like anyone beleived him anyway, but still, it’s like ARod telling us stories that absolutely no one, outside of Yankee fans, beleived.

  24. Joey B - Jan 19, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    “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 this was true, then why would so many players take a potentially dangerous substance? Why would the same players that avoid coke, speed, even pot in most cases, take PEDs, unless it helped them?

  25. cheaters justice - Jan 20, 2010 at 11:52 PM

    I think the fact there is ‘roid rage’ shows that steroids can put you on edge. It might not directly improve hand-eye coordination but by increasing your metoblism your alertness level probably increases.
    And the thing with steroids I think is that even if you don’t bulk up to become an Arnold steroids help build muscle and that includes all the ones involved in your swing or throw. If nothing else those muscles are working more efficiently because they are highly maintained through the steroids.

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