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I am genuinely worried about Jose Canseco

Dec 17, 2010, 6:29 AM EDT

Canseco book

I continue to watch Jose Canseco’s online meltdown. And as I said the other day, I don’t do so for mocking purposes. I’m genuinely worried about the guy. If you had a friend who spoke frequently about regret and anger and desperation the way Canseco has in the past week, you’d try to get them into counseling.

The latest, from early this morning:

I guess I wrote the book juiced out of blind anger cause baseball was taken away from me.I am truly sorry for that

This isn’t significant for the book’s sake. It stands on its own and, whatever motivated it, it has largely stood up, factually speaking.  But think about it: for the past seven or eight years, “Juiced” has been Canseco’s singular accomplishment and his primary reason for public existence. And he’s now apologizing for it. And downplaying the effects of steroids in multiple other tweets. And begging for a job in baseball. We’re in stages of grief territory here.

I know that playing armchair psychiatrist like this is fraught with peril, but is there anyone else out there worried about this guy? Anyone keeping an eye on him? Are there psychological services available to ex-players through the union or something?  Because really, I think this is starting to get a little scary.

  1. largebill - Dec 17, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    Is there any team that you could see even giving him an invite to camp? He’s delusional if he thinks there is a market for the skills he brings. Even at the major league minimum it’s just not going to happen. Sad case.

  2. stottsera - Dec 17, 2010 at 7:59 AM

    he is just striving to be liked by anyone

  3. Detroit Michael - Dec 17, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Craig wrote Juiced “has largely stood up, factually speaking.” I know it’s a common thing to say, but is it correct? Has anyone listed the various steroid use allegations and indicated whether it turned out to be true, false, or unverifiable?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 17, 2010 at 9:01 AM

      We can only know so much, but we can say this much: no one named in either of Canseco’s books has sued him. And several he did name who offered immediate denials were later found to have juiced.

      I’m sure he’s aggrandized his own role in the steroids-in-baseball story, and I’m sure he has distorted much of the flavor of the stories he’s told, but I don’t know anyone who has found serious factual problems with his account.

      The point, really, is that just because Canseco now says he regrets the book does not give anyone cover to go back and say “see, I knew he was lying.”

      • Detroit Michael - Dec 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM

        I partially agree and partially disagree.

        Just because no one has sued Canseco for libel doesn’t mean he was 100% truthful. That’s a pretty weak argument. Suing people is a major hassle and proving libel (considering baseball players are typically public figures) involves much more than just demonstrating that a statement was false.

        I agree with your last point but Canseco’s expression of regret has nothing to do with whether the book was truthful.

        I’ve checked Juiced out of my local library and will read it shortly.

  4. BC - Dec 17, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    Something’s not right upstairs with the guy. Why should he be sorry? He essentially started the whole PED investigation (which subsequently has been handled questionably to be generous). And he’s what now, like 47? He’s not getting an invite by any team.
    Mr. Canseco, meet Nardil. Nardil, Mr. Canseco.

  5. Old Gator - Dec 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

    Of course, we cannot know what really goes on inside Canseco’s head, no matter how much guessing or armchair analysis we do about it. Perhaps it is adversity that makes Canseco sound like an idiot, or perhaps he was doing so well for a while that he couldn’t stand himself anymore. Perhaps it really is stupidity, after all. Perhaps we’ve been too hasty in consigning “asshole” out of our demotic vocabulary and resolving it into a host of technical-sounding medical acrostics, the way we made “Brontosaurus” disappear by splitting the poor thing into two other species whose Linnaean names were totally lacking in romance. Perhaps the mice have eaten Jose’s eggs. The point is, we cannot know.

    What we do know, however, is that plenty of guys out there who while they may be mouthing sympathetic platitudes are just waiting for Canseco to go take a swan dive off the top of his building while wearing a couple of diving belts and with a noose around his neck that’s anchored to one of the ventilator hoods, preferably bowels out.

  6. Jonny 5 - Dec 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Yeah, I’m worried, I mentioned it before. People need to lay off him. He needs to get the hell off twitter, and get some people close to him to talk to. Being openly mocked is going to push this guy over the edge. He just doesn’t seem to be in a good place right now.

  7. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 17, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Given that he talked about nearly ending his life in Juiced it might be a good time to get this dude into some therapy sessions or at least keep him under 24/7 surveillance for a little while…

  8. bigbbfan - Dec 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    I do not wish any harm to come to Jose, but at the same time I cannot feel too much sympathy for him. He made the decision to write his first book based on one major factor…greed…he wanted and indeed needed the money. In so doing he stepped out of bounds and went where no player in the long history of the game went. Many people in various endeavors have been in his position to kinow some deep, darke secrets but did not choose his path. If you love the game, it is hard to love Jose.

  9. lessick - Dec 17, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    His meltdown on Twitter last summer was even more disturbing. I liked the guy as a player, in spite of everything, and it’s sad. I hope he works it out.

  10. shaggylocks - Dec 17, 2010 at 11:04 PM

    Recent Tweet: “Life is funny I only have you guys to talk to on twitter and I appreciate the emotions and honesty.this is like therapy for me thanks”

    Twitter as therapy? Wait until he sees a real, trained therapist (which I sincerely hope he does): it will blow his mind.

  11. brenkeller - Dec 19, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Instead of beating Jose up for his misstakes maybe someone should dig deep and help talk him down. When you start Tweeting stuff like ‘When perception becomes reality and the truth becomes irrelevant that means its time to shut this world down’
    And other guys are saying he’s a loser nothing else matter and he can’t see the good inside himself to make the right choices.
    I’m not a Dr. but I know when the guy is crying out for help and thats what he is doing, then its up to people to give him a hand not beat him into the hole and twitter is not the place for it. Faster someone can get to him the better I’m 2000 miles away or I would be down there. Yeah I’m worried.

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