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Canseco cashing in again

by Matt Smith

I don’t think the world either wants or needs another Jose Canseco book, but it looks like we’re getting one.

I guess you have to grudgingly admit that his brazen arrogance has at least forced MLB to do something about the issue of performance-enhancing drugs. Sadly, I don’t believe for a minute that Canseco is motivated by doing things for the good of the game. The good of his ego maybe, certainly for the good of his bank balance, but not to help MLB repair its image.

Indeed, Canseco apparently believes there is absolutely nothing wrong with a professional athlete taking steroids and that the sport would be better off in allowing players to use them.

I say apparently as the above is taken from second-hand evidence. I haven’t read his “Juiced …” book, mainly because I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of lining his pockets. I can only go on what has been reported and it hasn’t exactly changed my mind over whether I want to hand over good money to read his tales of self-justification and gossip.

That his follow up book has a working title of “Vindicated” says it all. Canseco wants to right the wrongs of the Mitchell report by naming players who should have been in it. Not least of these is Alex Rodriguez. It will be interesting to see whether he has any actual evidence to back up his claims. As with most of these things, no doubt the lawyers will be the only real winners in the end.

It’s scheduled to hit the shops by opening day, just in time to take our attention away from the start of what will hopefully be another great season of baseball action. Still, it’s hard to feel too sorry for MLB. Canseco was able to earn a living playing in the Majors between 1985 and 2001 despite the fact that pretty much everyone who employed him knew he was taking steroids. Teams were still giving him a job and MLB was still happy to make money selling tickets and TV rights on the back of the exploits of Canseco and others like him.

MLB created this monster by wilfully turning a blind eye to what was going on when it suited them. Perhaps the consequences that they are dealing with now, and will continue to deal with for years to come in relation to the Hall of Fame, will prove to be the big incentive for the sport to clean up its act?

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