Thursday, June 18, 2009

MLB's Best Steroid Investigator Suing to Collect Bill

Today, we wake to hear that Jose Canseco has decided to sue Major League Baseball for "blackballing" him over his steroid tales. At first pooh-poohed, Jose's books "Juiced" and "Vindicated" are now required reading for anyone seeking the frequently-sordid details of certain players' chemical exploits, while also giving the readers the benefit of Jose's undoubtedly educated eye for fellow users. At times, it seems that Jose's the best steroid investigator MLB has. And now, he's looking to get back on the payroll for those services, one way or another.

I'll admit that Jose raises one good point. Steroids weren't banned by MLB when Mark and Sammy were lighting up subpar fastballs in 1998. Mark McGwire's poison of choice, androstenedione, was available over the counter, even.

But, in the end, it boils down to one simple motive: Jose getting paid. His book sales are tailing off, so where's the next golden goose to slaughter?

His two biggest complaints are:

1) that his not getting inducted into the Hall of Fame is depriving him of lucrative "appearances";


2) that baseball will not provide a reference for him as relates to jobs, specifically coaching jobs.

He claims to have been "kicked out" of baseball, ignoring the fact that by the time he was done, he was a creaky 36-year-old DH who had little value aside from the occasional long ball. Of his 17 seasons, he only played 130 games in six of them.

His numbers would most certainly be Hall-of-Fame-worthy...over a 13-year career. The fact that he was the steroid poster boy as far back as 1987 and still could not break 500 home runs casts a little doubt over those credentials. And for a guy known for both titanic home-runs and extra-base speed, his career slugging percentage ranks 72nd all-time, behind such legendary bangers as...Wally Berger, Hal Trosky, and Edgar Martinez.

This is the same man who regularly dropped balls in the outfield (the ones that didn't plonk him on the head, at least).

The guy who got thrown under the bus by former teammate Dave Stewart for repeatedly disregarding defensive positioning assignments, then watching balls get hit right to where he was supposed to be.

The guy who repeatedly brushed off Tony LaRussa asking him to move the runner over, saying "Tony, they're here to see me hit home runs."

The guy who spent his offseasons bashing cars together and beating his womenfolk. I don't think a guy with that rap sheet has much chance of getting into coaching at any level, even if he'd never heard the word steroids.

He's surly about not getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, but that's not exactly Major League Baseball's fault. Baseball writers have to vote him in, and as far as many of them are concerned...well, he's an asshole.

Jose's welcome to blow whatever money he has left on a likely-hopeless lawsuit to try and get MLB to pay him something for services rendered to the steroid-watchdog community. If he can catch Bud Selig on the right day, when Bud's feeling particularly anxious to deny that steroids have ever existed anywhere on Earth, maybe he'll strike oil.

At least he's smarter than Sammy. Trying to bullshit MLB out of some spare jack is a lot different from trying to bullshit Congress.

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