Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Some Truth to Canseco's 'Roid Rage

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Some Truth to Canseco's 'Roid Rage

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

The best thing that could happen to the sleazy, rat fink that is Jose Canseco would be to sign a minor-league contract and actually report for one more spring training. Just to see how many brush-back or knockdown pitches would come his way.

Wouldn't it great if the slimeball who is, in effect, turning state's evidence on his alleged fellow steroid users actually had to stand in a batter's box and face Roger Clemens? Or Tony La Russa's St. Louis Cardinals?

There's just one problem with this scenario: The Bashing Brother will never again be given a big-league uniform. The uglier truth is Canseco is likely not being a complete liar in his tell-all book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, or 60 Minutes interview.

We just don't know for sure where to separate truth from fiction in the sordid details of baseball's ongoing he said-he said ballgame. Because without confessions under oath such as Jason Giambi's in the BALCO investigation, there's no way to know with 100 percent certainty who used steroids to inflate their home run totals.

Canseco targets ex-teammate Mark McGwire in his book, along with Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez. But those players, along with Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield, are only suspects. They get the raised eyebrows because of the BALCO investigation, Canseco outing them or the public believing a player's physique cannot change drastically (as in Bonds' case) without pharmaceutical assistance.

Any verdict on who knowingly took steroids remains in question for everyone but Canseco and Giambi. Don't say you know because all we have to defend those who have been thrown under the steroid bus is the denials of the accused. Yet how many times have drug users, gamblers (Pete Rose) and others suspected of wrongdoing come clean after years of denial? …

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