Top positive review
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Objective, thorough, enlightening look at PEDs
on May 16, 2005
I've been a follower of Will Carroll's work on Baseball Prospectus for a while now, and got a great deal of knowledge out of his last book "Saving the Pitcher".
"The Juice" is an excellent introduction to the ever-expanding and rapidly-changing world of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Mr. Carroll presents a brief history of how athletes (and their trainers) have been seeking versions of magic elixirs for centuries, and then details the physiological changes and risks (and potential benefits) associated with use of PEDs.
Those readers looking for a tell-all on Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco should look elsewhere. "The Juice" DOES devote a chapter to the BALCO investigation, but it is presented in terms of the legal pathways that are being pursued, and who is being targeted and why. Bonds DOES get mentioned, but the book thankfully does not to jump to conclusions.
The chapter that "made" the book for me detailed the use of HGH by a high school pitcher who was told by a scout that he wasn't tall enough. The interviews of the kid and his parents was amazing and thought-provoking.
Well done Will!