Canseco gives baseball a black eye

Jose Canseco is an idiot. Dumb as a bag of hammers. But he used to be able to hit the baseball a country mile. He made a lot of money. He drove fast cars with a gun under the seat. He dated buxom blondes from Miami, and his mullet bounced around during his home run trot. Good for Jose.

Now he can’t hit anymore. He went broke MC Hammer style and whined that he was blackballed from the game. So, Jose decided to write a book. He admitted that he used steroids, and he was going to name others that did too. He was going to point the finger. He was going to expose them all, whether he came across as a jealous has-been or not. Um…not so good for Jose.

In his forthcoming book, Canseco accuses more than a few prominent players of steroid and performance-enhancing drug use. Convenient timing. With BALCO, Sheffield, Giambi and Bonds and the new testing policy, the readers are ripe for the picking. But, the problem with Canseco is his credibility. He’s broke, he feels slighted by the game and he’s jealous. But, is he lying? Maybe, maybe not.

The most prominent player named in the Canseco book is his former “Bash Brother” teammate Mark McGwire, whom Canseco says he injected personally with steroids. Alrighty then. Might be true. But let’s sort this accusation out with our little critical thinking hat, shall we.

First question: Was McGwire a juicer? Probably. Common sense leads us to that conclusion. Hulking massive man, with acne problems at the age of thirty-five. A head the size of a small moon. Uh-hum.

Second question: Is McGwire still admired and going to the Hall of Fame, while Canseco prepares for a life of burgeoning obscurity? Yes, absolutely. Jose may have a point in identifying the double standard, but he still comes across as a jealous man with an axe to grind. He wants to tear down the perceived greatness of other cheaters like himself. But, I’d bet my pinky toe that if he were headed to the Hall himself, you would never hear a word about any of this. There is no altruism going on there.

The same goes for Jason Giambi. He held a press conference last week to apologize to the fans, the media and the Yankees, but he couldn’t mention what he was apologizing for. Thanks for all of that then. He could mention his inclusion in Canseco’s book though. He claimed that he had not read the book, but that Canseco is clearly “delusional.” Well, who is lying then? The liar who wrote the book or the liar who denied his steroid use until he was legally bound. You make the call. Now everyone is suspect, and the numbers hardly matter. Baseball has another major image problem.

What a mess this is all turning into. I miss the days when half of the guys were fat and smoking in the dugout.