Jose Canseco has doubts. Not so much about the truthfulness or validity of what he revealed and said but whether if it truly was in the best interest of any of the parties involved, especially Jose Canseco.
It was back in 2005 when Canseco brazenly blew the whistle on teammates and Major League Baseball at large by detailing the identities of many of those he suspected of being some of the game’s biggest performance enhancing drug cheats in his 2005 tome “Juiced.”
“I regret writing the book,” Canseco told SF.Gate.com. “I regret putting my friends in the book even though it was a true account of what happened. The reason I did it was not a good reason. My anger toward Major League Baseball for not being able to find a job at the end of my playing career really overwhelmed me.”
It’s true everyone not named Bud Selig that somehow came to be connected with baseball’s darkest chapter seems to have paid a steep price for their association. One-time Canseco teammates Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez were all fingered by him and have never been able to quite live down the accusations, not to mention been asked to forward any of their personal memorabilia to a quaint but colorful museum nestled in Cooperstown.
“I looked up to McGwire,” Canseco reflected of his one-time Bash Brother as he prepared to take the field Friday to celebrate the team’s 25-year anniversary of their 1989 World Series title. “I idolized him for a lot of reasons, the guy who was on the field; the guy who was off the field. It haunts me till today that I actually said those things about him, even though they were true, but I could’ve gone about it a different way and got my point across.”
Later this month, Canseco is set to turn 50 years old, though to look at him you probably couldn’t tell it. The still muscular and somewhat athletic slugger is now on an eight-week tour of minor-league ballparks competing in home run hitting contests.
Still, the fast and accelerated lifestyle doesn’t stop Canseco from taking the time needed to ponder and reflect about all that’s been.
“I wish I never used chemicals or steroids,” he said. “But I don’t see how back then, when I was 19 or 20, how I could’ve avoided the situation. There was no testing. No rules about it. Teams, organizations and coaches never said don’t use it. I wish I never encountered the individual who said you’d be bigger, faster, and stronger if you use those chemicals.”