Archive for Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Canseco book big hit at bookstores

Autobiography, which implicates players as steroid users and promotes the drug, third on Amazon.com

February 15, 2005

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— Jose Canseco's autobiography accusing several top players of steroid use and charging that baseball long ignored peformance-enhancing drugs appeared to be a hit on its first day in bookstores.

Amazon.com listed "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big" as third on its best-seller list Monday.

"I don't think it's a good thing, obviously, because it's bringing a bad light to the game," New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter said Monday. "This is a time, obviously, baseball is in a negative light, and Jose is not helping out. In terms of his accusations, the only people that know are him and whoever he is accusing. The unfortunate thing is, if it's not true, you're looking at guys having to defend themselves over something they haven't done."

Mark McGwire, one of the former teammates Canseco accused of using steroids, issued a denial.

In the book, Canseco is an unabashed advocate of performance-enhancing drugs.

"By the time my 8-year-old daughter, Josie, has graduated from high school, a majority of all professional athletes -- in all sports -- will be taking steroids. And believe it or not, that's good news," he writes. "I have no doubt whatsoever that intelligent, informed use of steroids, combined with Human Growth Hormone, will one day be so accepted that everybody will be doing it. Steroid use will be more common than Botox is now. Every baseball player and pro athlete will be using at least low levels of steroids. As a result, baseball and other sports will be more exciting and more entertaining."

Canseco calls himself the "godfather of steroids in baseball," saying "I singlehandedly changed the game of baseball by introducing them into the game."

He says baseball management and the union tried to ignore steroid use and expresses resentment at the way he was treated by management and the media.

"There was a huge double standard in baseball, and white athletes like Mark McGwire, Cal Ripken Jr. and Brady Anderson were protected and coddled in a way that an outspoken Latino like me never would be," he wrote. "Canseco the Cuban was left out in the cold, where racism and double standards rule."

Canseco took aim at Jason Giambi, a former A's teammate.

"Giambi had the most obvious steroid physique I've ever seen in my life," Canseco wrote. "He was so bloated, it was unbelievable. There was definition to his body at all. You could see the retention of liquids, especially in his neck and face."

He also devotes sections to players' womanizing -- including his own -- and to umpires he calls "the most vengeful people you'll ever meet."

Canseco spent 17 seasons in the major leagues and clearly has a high opinion of his performance.

"I was hands down the best player in the world. No one even came close," he wrote. "I was created by the media. Back in the 1980s, I was like a rock star. Everywhere I went, I had to have bodyguards. I had it all: the body, the personality, everything. I was Hollywood."

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