Book Review: Juiced by Jose Canseco

Note: Lots of non-baseball topics recently. So I’m posting a baseball book review today and tomorrow. I’m also going to an Angels game Wednesday, so I’ll have some solid baseball stuff from that.

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This is not a good book at all. I guess it’s kind of a fun read. What struck me most about reading it is what a complete asshole Jose Canseco comes across as. Considering it’s his book, you’d think he could portray himself better, but the guy can’t seem to help himself.

But here’s the thing about this book. It is universally scoffed at, and Canseco is thought of as a complete buffoon with no credibility whatsoever. He’s a total outcaste from baseball. But in spite of all that, this is the book that blew the lid off the steroid era. In fact, everything the guy said turned out to be the truth.

Canseco claimed Mark McGuire did steroids. McGuire denied it up and down and everyone stood up to say what a no-good liar Canseco was.

But soon thereafter, there’s McGuire in front of Congress, getting choked up and refusing to answer questions about steroid use because he doesn’t want to incriminate himself. [sidenote: I loathe Mark McGuire]

Canseco claimed A-Rod took steroids. A-Rod responds all over the news with denial, denial, denial. All the baseball talking heads are laughing it off and saying that Canseco is lying.

Then suddenly, there’s A-Rod on ESPN confessing to steroid use in a hard-hitting interview.

But here’s the thing about steroids. People ask: who cares? What does it matter if some of these assholes are taking steroids? Why is this worth Congress’s time?

Here’s the domino effect of unchecked steroids:

  • If some players are taking steroids, then they have a competitive advantage. Which means all players have to take them if they want to keep up (and make millions more).
  • And if all major league players take steroids, then all minor league players have to take them if they want to make it to the majors.
  • And if you want to make it into the minors? All the college and high school kids hoping to be good enough to get drafted are probably going to want to think about taking steroids too.

And that’s just baseball.

So it’s not about giving rats ass about the long-term health of dickwads like McGuire and A-Rod. I hope their kidneys explode. But steroids have the potential for thousands and thousands of athletes to be putting that awful shit into their bodies.

Juiced isn’t really worth reading unless you feel like a study in human assholery. But historically, it’s a pretty fascinating book.

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