While some of the prominent former players he named in “Juiced” have made their apologies and found their way back into baseball as players or coaches, Canseco has essentially been blackballed by the baseball establishment.
The book was published 10 years ago. In it, Canseco, who hit 462 home runs over a 17-year career spent with seven teams, acknowledged his own steroid use. The book also included the names of various teammates who’d used performance-enhancing drugs, at least according to the author.
I can understand why Mr. Canseco, who turned 51 on Thursday, might regret writing the book. While some of the prominent former players he named in "Juiced" have made their apologies and found their way back into baseball as players or coaches, Canseco has essentially been blackballed by the baseball establishment.
This is not hard to understand, for reasons that go beyond Canseco’s book. Jose Canseco also shot his finger off. By accident, to be sure, but still. Shooting your finger off is no way to land a job in Major League Baseball. Neither is illegally transporting drugs across the border from Mexico, reckless driving, aggravated battery, domestic violence, or illegal possession of a handgun, or violating one’s parole. Canseco has been charged with all of these things and convicted of some of them. As Casey Stengel used to say, “You could look it up.”
Beyond that, it took Canseco a while to regret "Juiced." In fact, four years after the book came out, he said, “What I speak out of my mouth is the truth. It burns like fire.” It’s not Flaubert, but it’s not bad.
That assertion didn’t help him any with Major League Baseball, but who can deny that the lexicon would be poorer without Jose Canseco’s contribution?
This segment aired on July 4, 2015.