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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unbelieveable at first
I read this book when it first came out and I am glad I did not review it then. Like many others I was skeptical about what Canseco was saying. I just couldn't believe that all the famous athletes that he named took steriods or HGH. The idea that he personal injected many of them seemed ludicrous. The media put it down as a bunch of lies to sell books. Canseco also...
Published on March 31, 2008 by Michael R. Chernick

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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jose Can Shoot Drugs.
Any sports fan who lived through the late eighties and early nineties remembers the unworldly talent fielded by the Oakland A's. They seemed to be the favorite every year, but, regardless of reputation, the team managed to let their fans down all but once. Perhaps no individual symbolized the team's mix of flair and underachievement better than their Right Fielder, Jose...
Published on July 4, 2005 by Bernard Chapin


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unbelieveable at first, March 31, 2008
I read this book when it first came out and I am glad I did not review it then. Like many others I was skeptical about what Canseco was saying. I just couldn't believe that all the famous athletes that he named took steriods or HGH. The idea that he personal injected many of them seemed ludicrous. The media put it down as a bunch of lies to sell books. Canseco also had his ups and downs and did not have a great reputation in baseball. After the hearings things looked even worse. But what came out in the long run was that everything he said became highly plausible or confirmed by drug testing or further investigation. This book is now a landmark book in the history of major league baseball. The only thing I disagree with Canseco on in this book is the idea that taking steroids was good for the game of baseball even though it led to more home runs and excitement for the fans. At least in his new book based on the accumulated medical evidence he has changed his tune. No one can deny that this was one of the major books to blow the lid on the use of steriods in baseball.

I believe that Canseco wrote this book for the noteriety and the money and that his selective choice of names to name was deliberate to sensationalize the book and sell copies. He now freely admits to naming people to make the book marketable in his new book vindicated. Also I think the book was intended to provide a rationalization for his own use of steroid and for turning so many others onto it. But the Mitchell report and other investigations has confirmed that those named were really users!
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164 of 184 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deluded? Truthful? Sad? Fascinating? Yes..., February 14, 2005
By 
Robert Wellen (CHICAGO, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This, unlike, say, Pete Rose's book last year, is one book I had to read as soon as it came out. Simply written (no co-author is noted, but he must not have been very good), the book flies by. Of course, the media has leaked much of the good stuff already. As with any memoir (again, a stretch to use that word), truth is often muddled. Here it is worse. Did baseball really blackball Jose? Did Roger Clemens use steroids? Dave Martinez (that was funny--he was so mediocore)? Jose is clearly bitter for the way he was treated over the years. I can't possibly understand what it was like for a Latino ballplayer in the mid-80s. When he describes the racism involved in the game, much of it rings true. His bittnerness toward Cal Ripken (I'm assuming details were left out to avoid libel suits--common throughout the book) seems more mysterious. He is right that media (and the umps) play favorites sometimes. There is no question he is right about certain players and their steriod use. His digs at Mark McGwire are not cheap shots (pun intended). Mac was never the nice guy that we often heard about. He was surly, angry, and quite possibly a fraud. Same with Sammy "The Diva" Sosa. Each of these guys did a ton of stuff for charity. So did Canseco (which, immodestly, he points out)...but who knew that about Canseco? Not me.

Where he runs into trouble, at least for this reader, is his insistence on how good steroids are. The only steroids I ever took were for an infection and hope I never have to take them again. They can be great (look at how they saved Jerry Lewis--and how puffy he got) as medicine perhaps. But, his insistence on their goodness is a bit scary. Still, the man is a true believer. I just hope kids don't read this as the gospel. And the fact is, Canseco, Mac, etc, all cheated. He doesn't seem to care. Then again, I think the service he is doing to baseball is far more important. His book won't let the Barry Bonds' of the world keep fooling us.

Canseco also brushes over his marriages and the vast majority of his playing career (this is not a book that talks about the game between the lines). He claims to be unfairly persecuted by the Florida DA...the truth? Who knows? He claims to have had a nervous breakdown, but doesn't back it up. Who knows?

Finally, I think what might stay with me (besides the steroid stories) are the geniune moments. His hilariously overblown "affair" with Madonna. His near-suicide is poignant. I have no doubt he loves his daughter deeply. His pain over his break up with his second wife (everyone feels this kind of pain, even stars). The saddest part is the that deep inside his massive body, he is still a little hurting boy. He is very cautious about how he describes his father, but reading between the lines, we see a sad little boy and sad man. His father was incredibly tough on him. His mother died when he was barely out of his teens and she was his protector. Much of his career and incidents can be seen as a man looking for his fathers protection (his constant mentions of his insecurity) and the love of his mother (which he so sadly lost when she passed away). He has made some bad choices, but, in the end, he needs so much attention, because he never got it from the most important man in his life. All very sad. I think this book will serve an important purpose for our nation's past time and maybe help Canseco grow...maybe.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steroids in Baseball, February 14, 2005
Halfway through reading Jose Canseco's new book "Juiced", it occurred to me that my opinion of this man was changing with every page I turned. I went into this book thinking that this was a man simply out to make a buck at the expense of others. What I've learned is that this book isn't about Jose Canseco or any of the many run-in's with the law that tarnished the amazing persona he gave of in his hey-day. This book is about a story that no one in Major League Baseball wants told......This book is about the TRUTH. We've all heard the rumors from reporters about how steroids have been killing baseball for years......now hear the story from a man who knows what he's talking about from being there in the trenches. This is no different than what Jim Bouton went through in the 1970's with his book "Ball Four". It took until 1988 to invite Bouton back to Yankee Stadium. Canseco is being treated like a social leper, just like Bouton was. I hope it won't take 18 years for the world's eyes to be opened and focused on what Canseco is saying here. He may very well be the key to returning baseball as America's Pastime.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jose Can Shoot Drugs., July 4, 2005
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Any sports fan who lived through the late eighties and early nineties remembers the unworldly talent fielded by the Oakland A's. They seemed to be the favorite every year, but, regardless of reputation, the team managed to let their fans down all but once. Perhaps no individual symbolized the team's mix of flair and underachievement better than their Right Fielder, Jose Canseco. He was a showy combination of size, speed, strength, and possessed the looks of a muscle-headed matinee idol, but, as a player, he was often the butt of jokes. He was nicknamed "Jose Can-strikeout," and the image of an outfield fly bouncing off his head before leaving the ball park is not something that most of us will ever forget.

They'll be no Hall of Fame for Jose Canseco as his career peaked at age 24 with his winning the American League's MVP Award. This year, perhaps in the hopes of keeping his name alive, he released Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big. The book is combination of autobiography, baseball analysis, advocacy paper for the widespread use of steroids (seriously), and a dedicated attempt by one individual to blame every negative life event on racist America-a racist America that made him unbelievably rich.

The reason that most people buy a book like this is to troll through celebrity dirt. Well, certainly, there is some of that here. Canseco documents personally administering and injecting steroids to Mark McGwire, Raphael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, and Ivan Rodriguez. Speculation is offered concerning the possible usage of Brady Anderson, Sammy Sosa, and Bret Boone. Perhaps the only section of the book which will be of interest to the Entertainment Tonight types is his description of his relations with Madonna. This is the only humorous tale told, and our laughter is mostly directed at him.

What is most annoying about this book is that Jose regards himself to be Joe Latino. He sees himself as just another victim regardless of his opulence. Time after time he states that he never thought he'd make it because America was too racist to accept Cubans as big league players but then he belies his position by noting that Tony Perez and Luis Tiant played in the show well into their forties. More likely, his apprehensions about being a pro can be attributed to his tremendous insecurities and feelings of inferiority. His father publicly humiliated from little league on by yelling at him in public whenever he made a mistake.

Our steroid enthusiast regards guys like Cal Ripken and Mark McGwire as being bullet proof because they are white. Due to his Cuban background, everyone supposedly wanted him to fail in the bigs...except of course for the police who, after pulling him over going 202 mph in his Lamborghini Diablo, said, "Don't worry, Mr. Canseco, we're not going to arrest you. We just wanted to see the inside of your car." Despite my light skin, if I were going 90 in my Kia, and resisted arrest, I sincerely doubt the troopers would be quite that understanding. It's rants and whines like these that make one suddenly long to put down the book. How can you relate to a guy resentful about our nation after he tells us in the same chapter that he now lives simply by only owning a Bentley, a Porsche, and a Lamborghini?

The real constant in this book is Canseco's narcissism and inability to be grateful for the blessed lifestyle he has been given. In the end, all the cars and the women are not enough for Jose. It seems that the fans let him down. He had only one simple demand and we did not meet it. The public failed to describe him with the words, "Jose Canseco, the All-American boy. Jose, the national icon."

Really, now, don't laugh. I mean he has a valid point. Just last week I had to complain to the manager at the local grocery store that a couple of his clerks failed to greet me on the way in with, "Hello, Mr. National Icon." Such behavior cannot be tolerated. The next thing you know those produce guys are going to want the right to vote. Just imagine what Canseco's reaction would be when if he found out that the local growth hormone dealer had been incarcerated. Then he'll really unleash the conspiracy theories.

Being Jose Canseco would make for some very easy running over the bases of life, but, after 285 pages with this guy, you'll be grateful to be yourself.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jose Conseco is right on, May 23, 2007
This review is from: Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big (Paperback)
Jose Conseco writes an excellent article as life in the Major leagues. His stories are concise and to the point. The object of this book, it not to tell someone how to play better, but rather what life can be like in the Majors. Also, Jose is not the bad guy he is now days considered to be. He was a scapegoat for the commissioner of baseball, cold Bud Selig. His chapter on umpires is, in fact, exactly how I found it to be when I played and very informative. The book is entertaining and forthright and explains how the "haves" and "have nots" fare in the Majors. Highly recommended reading. His excuse for using steroids is weak, but overall, you can see how things basically destroyed one of the best Cuban hitters to ever step in the batter' box. Recently Conseco has said publicly he wished he had not written it. Why I wonder. I promise you that except for the personal parts in there, the actual game nuances are 99% accurate. There are inner parts of the game that even in my time, were not to be proud of. But I have an idea ALL sports are like that once a player goes past LL (little league). For all of you that don't know, even the greatest player of all time (Babe Ruth) was humilated and treated like a bum until the crowds saw him play a few months. I am telling you that if you can just forget all of the steroid junk in the book for a second, you will like it. The news media can make your life terrible, being like sharks and biting at anything that moves. This magnifies everything. Conseco was crushed and shamed by the fact that a 15 year old kid took his book and used it. This same kid killed himself by accident using steroids--or this is the analysis of our new gathering professionals. I recommend this book to all parents having kids in high school (or higher) that play any sport. I am glad this guy wrote it. Read it and learn something. guyairey
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112 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Controversial, entertaining, and exciting, February 14, 2005
Jose Canseco is best known for several things: A fly ball bouncing off his noggin and landing over the fence, dating Madonna, having numerous run-ins with the law, being the first man to ever hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season, his tape measure home runs, and his bulging biceps. Even before the steroid craze in baseball's public eye began, we all knew he was a juicehead. But to actually come out like this, and admit that he was only a major league calibur player because of the juice was a pretty bold move.

I couldn't wait to get this book, and I dove right into it, and read it cover to cover as soon as I got back home from the bookstore. I don't know what I was expecting, but I wanted some dirt... and dirt I received. The book doesn't name as many names as I thought it would, but it did enough to damage the reputations of a select few to last a lifetime.

While the book is controversial, it points things out that have been pretty obvious, if you know anything about steroids, what they do, and how they work. As Jose points out, if you looked at McGwire and Sosa during their home run hitting peaks, they were very bloated, as they gained weight too quickly (water weight).

Many say Canseco's credibility is shot (or non-existant), but I believe this book to be pretty much right on the money. Several issues may have been exaggerated to help sell more books, but overall, I believe it 100%. Excellent read, and I urge any baseball fan to take a look.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let The Discussions Begin, February 15, 2005
Jose Canseco released this book with intentions of doing two things: turning a huge profit and shedding some light on the role steriods play in major league baseball. Will he accomplish both? As much as some would hate to admit it, yes he will.

The book starts with Canseco's childhood and leads to the current landscape of baseball. There are all kinds of allegations made against some notable players:

Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Brady Anderson, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Dave Martinez, Tony Saunders, Bret Boone, and Wilson Alvarez

Honestly, I believe him to a certain extent. You have to take it all with a grain of salt because we're talking about Jose Canseco. To put it in mild terms, his credibility is completely shot. But we all know that steroid use is running wild in Major League Baseball. I think some of the facts have been overblown in order to make for a more captivating read, but those with any kind of common sense will quickly pick up on it when it happens. I also didn't agree with his endorsement of steroid use; that is most definitely a bad signal to send to the kids that will read this book. Canseco even goes as far as to suggest that it would be harder to find an elite player who hasn't used steroids than it would be to find one who has. My point: All it takes is a long hard look at the facts.

One of the facts is that numbers don't lie. I'm a huge Orioles fan and even I have to admit that Brady Anderson (who was implicated by Canseco) was RIPPED when he hit 50 home runs for the Orioles in 1996 (his previous best, 21...his best since '96, 24). He had never been that size before in his ENTIRE career and he hasn't been that big ever since. I don't know if he decided to quit using or what, I just know the guy had put on an alarming amount of bulk since the previous season.

Will all the questions get answered? Probably not. Will speculation ever cease? Not any time soon. Did the players accused actually juice up? Probably. Is Canseco exaggerating the facts? To an extent, I believe he is, but there's a strain of truth to his accusations that is VERY hard to disregard. Is the new policy tough enough (4 violations = 1 year ban)? Not even close. Will we ever know the entire truth? Definitely not. MLB stands to lose a significant amount of revenue if we do learn the whole truth. I know one thing though, reading this book will either confirm or completely change your perception of Jose Canseco AND Major League Baseball. No matter what your opinion of him is, you'll have a new and broader perspective of the entire steroid soap opera after reading this book. Some of this stuff you just can't make up, but you don't need a book to tell you what your eyes have already seen. The fact is some of your favorite baseball players have put on alarming amounts of muscle in very short amounts of time and that cannot be blamed on Jose Canseco's monetary lust. I reccomend drawing your own conclusion based on facts and nothing more. I highly reccomend this book though.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unfortunate Standard, February 15, 2005
By 
I am forced to give a better than average review to this book despite Canseco's inconsistent storytelling between the book itself and both previous and subsequent interviews. The reason? Because due to the lack of forthright dialogue on the subject of doping in baseball by both the league and the players, Jose has been allowed to set the standard on openness. Can we believe he injected McGwire with steroids--especially after his 60 Minutes interview? Maybe not. But at least Jose admits that he used them himself, and this is more honest and forthcoming than any of the other interested parties. And speaking of interested parties, should we accept his view that President Bush had to have known about steroid use in baseball when he was an owner? Again, maybe not. But Bush should at least have been asking. He and John McCain have both voiced opinions on steroids and other performance enhancers in past months, but they certainly have less business policing this issue than an owner at the time had responsibility for protecting the integrity of the sport and ensuring a safe and level playing field for its participants. And baseball's testing policy? Reportedly between 5 and 7 percent of players tested positive for banned drugs last pre-season. Why the range? Do they not know how many were positive, or don't they know how many took the test? Or can't they use a calculator to divide one by the other? Lost among all of this is not only the idea of sportsmanship, but also the dream of competing at any level without being willing to not only cheat, but also endanger oneself. And this is what we are teaching our kids. That, and the fact that a guy who is clearly out to make a buck and is about as believable as any other drug pusher you might meet is as reliable source as any in this disgusting episode. This book should be read by anyone interested in this topic simply because he levels the charges that remain to be answered by others. Until they do, apologies of the sort Jason Giambi offered this past week ring hollow. Canseco's allegations can only be reliably refuted with facts. And facts would be a welcome contribution to this discourse. Let's see if baseball can step up to the plate.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's about time someone stated the obvious, February 19, 2005
By 
Donald Capone "Donald Capone" (Hastings on Hudson, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I couldn't wait to read this book, and bought it the first day it came out. A lot of people are giving Canseco flak for writing this book, even to the point of claiming that he made stuff up. But think about this: Take a look at some of these gargantuan baseball players over the last decade or so. Notice anything? They all look like monsters! Why do you think homerun records that have lasted years were suddenly broken? More than broken, shattered.

Here's the deal: people are saying Canseco wrote this book just because he needed the money. So what? That doesn't mean it's not true. Canseco didn't have to fabricate anything. McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Giambi, Brady Anderson (remember him? Hit 50 homers one year batting leadoff after hitting a total of 41 the previous three years combined), Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmiero, Juan Gonzales, Bret Boone, etc. all looked more like bodybuilders than ballplayers. It's no secret these guys were juiced. People shouldn't shoot the messenger because they don't like the message or the messenger. Want further proof? Ivan Rodriguez showed up at spring training camp 23 lbs lighter this year. Hmm...I wonder why? Maybe because of the new MLB steroid policy?

Canseco had nothing to lose by coming out about the issue of steroids. He has no ties anymore to MLB, and he has no reputation to protect. (Someone like a McGwire is retired, but he still wants to keep his good reputation). Only someone in Canseco's position could have written this book.

My only criticism of this book is that Canseco tries to cover too much in its 284 pages. He could have stuck to the steroid issue only; or he could have just written a longer book, and given us more details about other parts of his career and life. An example-in the chapter about umpires, Canseco mentions the incident between the umpire and Robbie Alomar (Alomar spit in the ump's face). Then Canseco writes: "There was a lot more to that confrontation than people know." Well, Jose, how about TELLING US?!

All in all, I recommend this book. It's also interesting to follow the reactions of the players and managers in the newspapers. It was priceless to see Bonds freak out the other day when he faced the media. He'll deny it to the grave.

MLB can't hide their collective heads in the sand any longer.
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38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JOSE IS THE SOURCE, February 15, 2005
I probably have as unique a view of Jose Canseco and steroids in sports as anybody. I played minor league baseball in the A's organization with Jose. I coached at USC when Mark McGwire played there. I wrote the biography "Barry Bonds: Baseball's Superman", and I am also working on a follow-up, which re-assesses Bonds' place in history in light of the BALCO revelations. I have also spent countless hours in the gym with body builders, and have seen how they buy steroids, cycle it, and "benefit" from it.

I first saw Jose when we were fellow minor leaguers at the A's Spring Training in Arizona, 1982. He was about 17, right out of Miami-Dade CC, of average size, and interestingly, not yet tall.

When I was a classmate of McGwire's at USC, he was tall like me, but never overly bulked.

In 1991, I was coaching at Cal-Berkeley when we played an exhibition vs. the Canseco-McGwire-Henderson A's at the Coliseum. Canseco was flaunting his muscles during batting practice, posing, everybody was acting like it was a body building contest, and they openly joked about "juice." McGwire was still relatively lean, and he hit only 21 homers and .201 that year, which was his "wake-up call."

I also used to see Jose at a gym in San Ramon. My experience as an athlete who lifted weights and dedicated himself to getting big through power lifting and diet was that average people do not bulk up like Jose and Big Mac did eventually.

Covering the Giants for the Examiner and in research for my book, I saw Bonds wearing only spandex shorts in the Pac Bell club house. He was bulked, highly bloated, had acne, and his head was utterly uge. To the trained eye, he had all the tell-tale signs of a steroid user.

The only reason I did not absolutely conclude steroid use, based on Bonds' and McGwire's post-1991 appearance, was that I was not a scientist with knowledge of all the new dietary supplements. My guess was that maybe there were new, over-the-counter products that, combined with hard work, could produce these results.

At this point, after BALCO, I am more or less convinced that Bonds, McGwire and many others were on steroids. Canseco is not the world's most honorable man, but he is the original source when it comes to this isse. He is the Lourdes of baseball juicers. Maybe he exaggerates and names names, assuming certain things that he is not 100 percent sure of, but I basically believe his allegations of McGwire and others.

STEVEN TRAVERS IS THE AUTHOR OF "BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN". HE IS ALSO WORKING ON A BOOK ABOUT HOW THE 1970 USC-ALABAMA FOOTBALL GAME ENDED SEGREGATION IN THE SOUTH, AND A FOLLOW-UP TO HIS BONDS BOOK RE-ASSESSING HIS ROLE IN HISTORY BASED ON THE BALCO REVELATIONS. HE CAN BE REACHED AT USCSTEVE1@aol.com
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Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big
Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big by Jose Canseco (Paperback - February 28, 2006)
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