Thursday, December 30, 2004
Updated: February 9, 12:04 PM ET
Jose's juicy secrets
By David Schoenfield
Put it this way: Jose Canseco's new book, to be released Monday, promises to set off a slightly larger firestorm than Jesse Orosco's new book, "Memoirs of a Left-Handed Relief Specialist," in which he details how the pressure of facing one batter per game once made him lash out at Tony La Russa for "ruining the game of baseball!"
In "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big," Canseco alleges that he personally injected Mark McGwire with steroids, that he introduced Texas Rangers teammates to steroids when he joined the team in 1992, and that he saw McGwire and Jason Giambi inject each other.
Most shockingly, however, while he writes that he had sex with hundreds of women, he says he did not sleep with Madonna, instead merely making out with her in her Manhattan apartment.
Apparently, Canseco's career strikeout total needs to be adjusted up to 1,943.
Critics were quick to jump on Canseco's allegations, but as always, Page 2 thinks you should decide the validity of Canseco's claims. In order to make a more informed judgment, however, we think you should be aware of a few more excerpts from the book. Luckily, we "secured an advance copy," also known as "making it up."
Decide for yourself:
Page 14: Orel Hershiser scuffed the ball in the 1988 World Series.
Writes Canseco, "That geeky little nerd sharpened his belt buckle and would rub the ball on it. We all knew it was going on. We were the freakin' Bash Brothers and me and McGwire only got one hit apiece that World Series. But baseball didn't care. They didn't want a bunch of Latin and black players like me and Stew and Hendu winning the World Series. It's really a shame Hershiser had to resort to cheating to win, though. It tarnishes his legacy, if you ask me. And Gibson corked his bat. Just another cheater."
Page 41: Ran numbers for Pete Rose.
Writes Canseco, "I met Pete at the horse tracks in Miami in the offseason. That's where I used to get some of my stuff. I'd take the same stuff they shot horses up with. Anyway, I bumped into him once there and found out about his gambling habits. Truth is, I felt a little sorry for Pete. I knew he never bet against the Reds, so when we played Cincinnati in the 1990 World Series, I knew Pete had gone with the Reds. That's why I went 1-for-12 in the Series. I threw it for Pete so he could win a little cash."
Page 107: Denies giving steroids to NFL players.
Writes Canseco, "I know a lot of people think it's impossible that NFL players don't juice up, because some of those guys are even more ripped than I am! But they have steroid testing in the NFL. Those guys are all clean. In fact, I had NFL players ask me about steroids, but I said, 'Don't do it if you can get caught. Just play the game by the rules. You don't want your reputation to be ruined.'"
Page 235: Says he saved baseball after the World Series was cancelled in 1994.
Writes Canseco, "People like to credit Cal Ripken for helping save baseball or maybe Mac and Sammy for the great home run chase of 1998. Well, you already know about the steroids I gave Mac, without which he would have been lucky to hit 25 bombs a year, but I also helped keep Cal's streak alive. True story: We were playing the Orioles in 1994 and Cal gave me a call at my hotel. 'Jose,' he says, 'you gotta help me out. Kevin Costner is trying to make some moves on my wife and I wanna beat him up. But I don't want to break my hand or anything. Would you mind stopping by his movie set on the way to the ballpark and roughing him for up me?' Since Cal is such a great guy, I did just that. It's pretty easy to rough somebody up when you're in the middle of a 'roid rage, so I just injected myself before my little meeting with Mr. Costner. And Cal was able to keep his streak alive. And the next year when he broke the record and ran around Camden Yards, high-fiving all the fans? That was my idea."
Page 396: Says he made out with Tara Reid.
Writes Canseco, "Seriously. That's all we did. I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Page 443: Says he's the reason for the demise of the Yankees.
Writes Canseco, "After I joined the Yankees late in the 2000 season and led them to their third straight World Series title, I was sure we had a dynasty on our hands. But that winter, well, this is hard for me to admit, but I stole Derek Jeter's girlfriend from him. I think I was jealous about all the attention he was getting and wanted to get some revenge. I felt bad about it -- heck, I even went to therapy to help me better understand the inner feelings of inadequacy I've always felt which lead to my self-destructive behavior. Bottom line: Jeter got mad, complained to Steinbrenner, and that's why I wasn't brought back the next year. And of course the Yankees haven't won a World Series since."
Page 618: Gave Sammy Sosa his corked bat.
Writes Canseco, "I met Sammy while I was playing with the White Sox. We used to meet after games at Harry Caray's bar and trade recipes. Sammy was in a little slump that year and was starting to worry that he was losing some bat speed. I said, 'Sammy, remember, cheating is part of the game. I mean, how do you think I hit 814 career home runs?' ... Give or take a few. So I showed him how to cork his bat and gave him the bat I used to hit 42 home runs in 1988."
Page 891: Worked as an advisor to Theo Epstein and helped the Red Sox win the World Series.
Writes Canseco, "I've always wanted to stay in the game and run an organization, so after the Red Sox hired Theo, I studied all this 'Moneyball' stuff and learned about OPS and VORP and EQA and DIPS ERA and so on. I wrote a couple computer programs to help evaluate players, showed Theo the software and he hired me as a consultant. It was my advice to acquire Schilling and get Bellhorn and trade Nomar. Next thing you know, the Sox are World Series champs! I hadn't felt that good since the night I spent with Madonna in her Manhattan apartment! I think this is the first step in me becoming a GM someday. Hopefully some of things I've written in this book won't come back to haunt me and get me blackballed from the sport I love."