Sorry Jose

I was among the first to note that Jose Canseco, for all of his issues, has been right about most of what he has said about steroids, but this is a bridge too far:

Jose Canseco believes he was the only player telling the whole truth about steroids. Who used and when. For how long.

He was called a liar and a huckster for admitting in two books he juiced for nearly the entire length of a 462 home run career and describing how he injected teammates with illegal anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

Now that players he named in his tell-all memoirs, like Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro, have admitted using performance-enhancing drugs or flunked drug tests, Canseco wants an apology from baseball for treating him as an outcast.

“It’s time for somebody in baseball to say to Jose Canseco, ‘We’re sorry you got treated the way you did,”‘ said Canseco’s attorney, Dennis Holahan.

The former Bash Brother wants more than forgiveness from baseball. He wants to educate the sport, too. Canseco offered to help baseball move on from the steroid era and end the use of banned substances with education about the dangers of drugs, starting at the high school level.

Holahan sent a letter last week to union head Donald Fehr and Gene Orza, the union’s chief operating officer, offering the former slugger’s assistance.

Holahan’s letter explained how Canseco regretted writing his 2005 book, “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big,” and wanted to restore his “good name.”

“Nevertheless, after being vilified and labelled an informant and a liar, all allegations, in both of his books, have now been proven to be truthful, including the recent news about Alex Rodriguez,” Holahan said in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.

There’s a big difference between wanting to be acknowledged as having told the truth on the one hand, and expecting an apology and asking to be embraced and given a job on the other. I’m fine with the former, but the latter? Please. If Jose Canseco is telling the truth — and so far he has been — he is responsible for turning on loads of players to steroids in the first place. In this he is not unlike the arsonist who wants a medal for telling the fire department that the gas station on the corner is burning.

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  1. The Common Man said...

    My favorite part of the story is that he’s trying to get work through the Players’ Association after turning in its members. Yeah, Jose, I’m sure Don Fehr is very excited to have you back in the fold.  “Hey Fat Tony, Johnny Snitches wants to get back in good with the family.  What should we do with him?”

  2. Tony Antonielli said...

    Craig’s and Common Man’s comments are right on…
    You gotta’ admit, all those people that accused Canseco of just spouting nonsense to make an extra buck on his book sales are starting to look like the real idiots…

  3. Pete Toms said...

    Canseco is a buffoon but I am sympathetic to him on the juice thing.  He told the truth.  Yes you can nitpick over the details of his allegations but he told everybody that the game was dirty, top to bottom, and he was right.  But if I were a Fehr, no way I would hire him, he’s not a “company man”.

    I think the best part of the story is that he boxed Danny Bonaduce.  Didn’t know that.

  4. Derek Scott said...

    I fail to see why Canseco’s “honesty” is considered a virtue in some circles.  He’s getting credit for telling the truth when he did so only because it was a last-ditch avenue to the fame and fortune he lost when his playing days ended.  He basically plea-bargained his way out of Irrelevancy Prison, and did so by turning stool pigeon on people who—however stupidly—trusted him as a friend and teammate.

    This is not virtue.  This is not behavior that is to be rewarded in any way.  It’s merely the last desperate play of the vilest form of self-involved douchebag.  It’s a strange crossroads we’ve come to as a society when somebody like Canseco can successfully position himself morally above those whose equal frailty he has exploited simply by lacking even the basic honor we’d normally associate with thieves.

    Baseball should not apologize to Canseco.  Baseball should not even grant him forgiveness, for he has displayed absolutely no shame for or in his actions.  All baseball should do with respect to Jose Canseco is cordially invite him to shut up and go away.  Whatever accidental service he has provided to the game while pursuing his own ends has certainly run its course.

  5. MooseinOhio said...

    Amen Derek. 

    If anything Jose needs to apologize to MLB, the PA and most importantly to all the players he educated, trained and encouraged to use steroids as he was a major part of the problem.  Had he not used in the first place others may not have felt so compelled to use as they would have been competing on a level playing field.  Had he not been so good at using them he would not have been sought out for advice and guidance on using them. 

    I think he gets too much credit for exposing baseball as much of what he shared would have been, was in the process of or was already revealed.  His stories are more about getting money or attention and change as needed.  As I recall he wrote one thing about Clemens visiting his home but changed the story for the Congressional investigation, of course lies, half truths and made up stories are harder to remember than the truth.

    Jose is smart enough to know that no players would sue him for libel because he knew none wanted to open that Pandora’s box as everything seen and known about the locker room and what players may or may not have known about PEDs is fair game in the discovery process.  His book was similar to a claymore mine in that when it exploded it spread shrapnel in lots of directions, managed to hits some targets, did some collateral damage but should not be considered as either a reliable or valid tool in the efforts to rid baseball of PEDs.

  6. Pete Toms said...

    Ok, Canseco’s motives in exposing how roids permeated MLB are entirely self serving, agreed.

    But, McGwire’s “I’m not here to talk about the past” defense isn’t self serving?  Clemens lying to Congress wasn’t self serving?  Selig, the PA, the agents, managers, coaches, GMs, baseball writers, all wilfully ignored the obvious juicing of MLB….their motives weren’t selfish?

  7. kranky kritter said...

    I dunno Derek, I don’t think there’s much evidence that Canseco HAS positioned himself that successfully. The stories he told have turned out to be largely true, so he’s rightfully been vindicated of charges that he was a liar. In my eyes, that’s about it.

    His motives were in no respects selfless or virtuously driven. And I don’t think he has fooled a single soul on that count, even if he can get airtime here and there to pat himself on the back.

    In other words, while he was once viewed as a cementhead, a shameless opportunist, and a liar, we now know he wasn’t a liar.

    FWIW, I hope that when we get round to giving people jobs ridding sports of PED and counseling kids against them, we hire people who didn’t use them. This seems like a simple idea to me. If cheaters like Canseco, McGwire, Clemens, Bonds, and ARod (jesus what a list!) want to do penance, let them do it without collecting a F^%%#$%kin salary or a medal for it.

  8. Richard Dansky said...

    How many of the specific stories he told have been confirmed versus a general perception of “he called out guys using steroids”? I seem to recall BP doing a pretty thorough takedown of all of the inaccuracies in Canseco’s book that then got pulled off the site.

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