2005-02-18 / Sports

Jose Canseco Doesn’t Admit To Being A Rat On MLB Steroids Issue

By Joe McDonald Sports Columnist

By Joe McDonald
Sports Columnist

If he was in the mafia, he would be whacked.

In his new book, “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits, And How Baseball Got Big,” Jose Canseco describes his time in baseball and how he used steroids regularly. The former outfielder proclaimed himself the “Godfather of Steroids” and goes into detail on how the illegal substances made him into the star.

Oh yeah, he also named names.

By implicating Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmiero, Canseco has broken the first unwritten rule of baseball. “Whatever is done in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.”

Whether you believe him or not, Canseco’s actions in this book are disgraceful. He has thrown his former teammates under the bus and has shadowed doubt on their legacies.

That alone makes him the proverbial rat.

And he is not doing it for self-preservation, Canseco wrote the book for the money. That makes him the worst kind of rat of them all.

Canseco couldn’t just admit he took steroids. No one would bother buying the book, since he already admitted it. So the former MVP needed to come up with some more and naming his teammates was the only thing he could do.

The slugger finished his career with 462 home runs. If the slugger had 38 more homers, this book probably would not have been written or at least the author would have waited until he would have become the first person to have 500 homers and not make the Hall of Fame.

To make matters worse, there have been some inconsistencies. When interviewed on 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace pointed out that Canseco claimed he injected McGwire “often” when they were teammates on the Oakland A’s. But the former outfielder refuted Wallace saying he only did it “once or twice.”

What is it? “Often,” “once or twice,” or not at all?

Outside of Giambi, who admitted to a grand jury that he took the juice, none of the other players implemented have come forward or investigated. Sure there have been whispers about McGwire and Gonzalez, but neither of these players should have their reputations tarnished because of a dubious character like Canseco.

When you look at a line drive hitter like Palmiero, you wonder if the author is telling the truth. Even with all his home run, the future Hall of Famer has always been a great hitter, with a good eye at the plate. He has also played most of his home games in hitter’s parks.

Furthermore, as a catcher, Rodriguez would have had great stress on his joints by taking steroids and would probably have broken down years ago if he was on the juice.

Even if all these players “’roided up” on a daily basis, Canseco has no business exploiting their digressions for money.

If he was out for the betterment of the game, the former slugger would have come clean and encouraged other to do the same without profiteering off of it. Rather Canseco chose the money route and hung his former teammates out to dry. He claims he’s a “Godfather,” but he is no “Goodfella.” Canseco is nothing but a rat.

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