Alderson: 'This is a terrible thing for anyone to allege'

Updated: February 12, 2005, 3:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball likely will not follow up on any of the allegations of steroid use that Jose Canseco makes in his new book.

Canseco said in the book, which is being published next week, that he, Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi shot steroids together in the bathroom stall at the Oakland Coliseum, the New York Daily News reported last weekend.

When the ball bounced off of Jose's head and into the stands, not only was it a home run but it apparently knocked out his ability to distinguish between fact and fiction.
Jason Giambi, in a statement

ESPN's Pedro Gomez has seen a copy of Canseco's book. A few interesting excerpts:

  • On McGwire: "I was the godfather of the steroid revolution in baseball, but McGwire was right there with me as a living, thriving example of what steroids could do to make you a better ball player."

  • On Giambi: "But that year I witnessed what was almost the definitive case study in the difference between the careful, controlled use of steroids I've always advocated and sheer recklessness. I'm talking, of course, about Jason Giambi, who became my teammate that year. As surely as he went overboard with partying and chasing women, Giambi went overboard with steroids."

  • On the players' association: "I believe that plenty of people within the Players Association must have known exactly which players were on steroids. And they did not care. If all you care about is hiking up players' salaries, why would you try to stop the steroid groundswell? Don't rock the boat. Think about it this way: If Don Fehr really believed that his players weren't doing steroids, wouldn't he have said: Okay, let a true drug testing program begin? Nothing like the joke we had during the 2004 season, for example."

  • On Seattle Mariners second baseman Bret Boone: I remember one day during 2001 spring training, when I was with the Anaheim Angels in a game against the Seattle Mariners, Bret Boone's new team. I hit a double, and when I got out there to second base I got a good look at Boone. I couldn't believe my eyes. He was enormous. "Oh my God," I said to him. "What have you been doing?" "Shhh," he said. "Don't tell anybody."

    Boone's response has been one uttered by many: absolutely ridiculous.

    "I don't know him. He doesn't know me," Boone told The Seattle Times. "I don't think I've ever exchanged more than two, three words with him. The whole thing is absolutely ridiculous. End of story. I'm not going to comment beyond that. It's so ridiculous. That incident he writes about in the book is false. The most I've ever said to him is, 'What's up, Jose?' "

    Canseco also said he introduced Texas teammates Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez to steroids after being traded to the Rangers in 1992. All of the players he mentioned have denied the allegations.

    "I'd be surprised if there was any significant follow-up," Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office, said Friday. "This is a terrible thing for anyone to allege. It's hard to understand why anyone would make these allegations -- to sell a book? I don't know what constructive purpose Jose has in mind."

    Alderson, designated as baseball's spokesman on the Canseco book by commissioner Bud Selig, was general manager of the Oakland Athletics when Canseco and McGwire played for the team in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    Alderson said he saw no reason to believe Canseco's allegations about McGwire were true.

    "I did not suspect that McGwire was using steroids at the time," Alderson said. "That was for a host of reasons. Mark was working diligently with our coaches. His weight gain was far more gradual than one would suspect (if he had used steroids).

    "Jose made statements before that haven't been entirely true. It's possible that these are not. I don't think any of us in the commissioner's office intend to speculate on allegations he made regarding other people," Alderson said.

    Alderson said baseball's security department, headed by Kevin Hallinan, had not been contacted about checking into Canseco's allegations.

    "I'd be very surprised if that were to develop in the future," Alderson said.

    He also said the new agreement between players and owners for more frequent testing for performance-enhancing drugs and harsher penalties for positive tests will take care of the issue going forward.

    "We have made massive strides in this area, just in the last few weeks," Alderson said. "I'm not sure what the motivation is, other than to sell books, and I don't think Jose's admission would sell many books."

    Giambi, at a news conference Thursday, would not discuss whether he had used steroids but dismissed Canseco's charges as "delusional."

    Giambi again Friday made light of the allegations, bringing up the game on May 26, 1993, when Canseco allowed Carlos Martinez's fly ball in Cleveland to bounce off his head and over the wall for a home run against Texas.

    "The allegations in this book are absolutely false," Giambi said in a statement released by the office of his agent, Arn Tellem. "When the ball bounced off of Jose's head and into the stands, not only was it a home run but it apparently knocked out his ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. When the facts come out, it will be proven that this book is full of errors and if anything, it will end up on the best-selling fiction list."

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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