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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Is Canseco Credible?

Jose Canseco's 60 minutes interview aired today. In it he made serious allegations of steroid use by some prominent MLB players. These allegations are also mentioned in his new book "Juiced". Canseco has been in jail, has violated his parole, has been a substance abuser, has been called a greedy man (at one point charging $2,500 a day for fans to spend a day with him in his South Florida home during his house arrest), and is considered by many as scum. So after all this, is he credible? Maybe, maybe not. But if there is anything that this man could possibly have any credibility remaining on, it would be this. He is an admitted steroid user and still encourages it for certain individuals. We have seen in the last year all these allegations surface and some proven true. None have been more ridiculous than Barry Bonds' claim that he did not know he was using them. Jason Giambi of the Yankees admitted to a grand jury that he used them. Others, mainly Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez have been named and have categorically denied the allegations. This is to be expected. But are we to believe that some of these players have not used steroids? In a time when MLB did not test its players? When Commissioner Bud Selig and club owners turned a blind eye to the stories? When the difference between a good season and a great season could mean millions? When the consequences of getting caught were minimal and the potential benefits could make you rich? Does that sound crazy to you? When we see the performance of some of these players spike suddenly in a particular year and then return to his averages the next (look at Bonds' numbers in '01 when he hit 73 HRs and then '02 and '03), you start asking yourself what was different that year? Canseco might be a scumbag and a snitch, but he is only bringing an inside voice to this MLB embarrassment. A lot of people are not surprised by his allegations. The real question about Canseco is what are his motivations? Why now? Is he broke? Is he desperate for money? Why has he decided to break the bond of his Major League fraternity? The allegations have always been suspected, but his coming out says more about him than it does about the people he is accusing, whether they used steroids or not. For a man that has been very high, he has fallen so low.

More on this story:
Canseco Insists He, McGwire Used Steroids(AP)
Canseco on 60 Minutes: Steroids made career possible(CNNSI)

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