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Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and the Battle to Save Baseball Hardcover – March 26, 2008

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About the Author

Jose Canseco was born in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to Miami with his family in the 1970s. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics, eventually playing for seven different major-league teams, winning several awards, and hitting 462 home runs in his seventeen-year career. Today, Canseco lives a quiet life in California with his daughter, Josie.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


The Godfatherof Steroids

In early February 2005, some years after I left Major League Baseball, I was getting ready to launch a second career, this time as a writer. My debut book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big, was about to be published, and I guess I was as excited as any first-time author. Maybe more excited, to be honest, because I had some pretty controversial things to say about the game, and I knew I was about to really stir things up. In the book, I admitted that I had been a frequent user of anabolic steroids, a performance-enhancing drug, and I made no apologies for it. I said that 80 percent of my fellow players also did steroids, and I named names: Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, and others.

I talked about how I taught many of the guys, named and unnamed, everything they needed to know about steroids, and said I shared my knowledge freely as I moved from one team to the next. Whenever anyone wanted to know anything about steroids, he always got the same answer: "Talk to Jose. Jose knows. Jose's your man." So they came, and talked, and asked questions. And I shared everything I knew, with friend and foe alike.

"The first thing you will notice is an increase in strength," I would tell them. "But you won't see much difference at the beginning. You'll feel it, though, and that'll give you a psychological edge. Then, in about four or five weeks, you'll start seeing some real, physical changes, and at that point, hell -- the sky's the limit."

I was like a goodwill ambassador, the Godfather of Steroids, and I was genuinely glad to be of help. Why? Because I was a huge fan of the stuff. I thought steroids were the future. As far as I was concerned, steroids were a miracle drug, and I thought everyone should be on them. You could build strength, heal faster, and live longer. You'd have to be crazy not to try them.

Did I think I was giving away some kind of trade secret? Was I worried about helping the other guys, guys who would compete against me on the field or try to take my job? Hell, no! Steroids didn't make me a great baseball player. I was already a great player. Steroids simply gave me an edge, physical and psychological, and I loved that about them. I loved the whole idea. So I spread the wealth. I was happy to do it. I wanted to share and I did so hundreds of times, too many times to count.

A couple of weeks before my book was scheduled to appear, I got a call from HarperCollins, the publisher. One of the names I was naming had to go, they said. That name was Roger Clemens.

"Why?" I asked. I didn't understand. This guy was a huge star. He belonged in the book.

They didn't have an answer. I asked my agent. He didn't know. My manager didn't know either. And the publisher couldn't, or wouldn't, explain it to me. I asked my book editor, the publisher herself, even the publisher's attorney -- no one could give me a decent reason.

Still, Roger Clemens was effectively excised from my book. One of the greatest players of all time, and what I really wanted to say about him and steroids was taken out of my book. Somebody, somewhere, had decided, for reasons that were never fully explained to any of us, that Roger Clemens, arguably the greatest pitcher in Major League Baseball history, seven-time winner of the Cy Young Award, the reigning Cy Young champion, was not going to be connected, in any way, to the steroid scandal.

"But why?" I protested. "All I said is that I thought Roger might have been dabbling. It's not like the other guys, the ones I saw with my own eyes."

Nobody knew why. That was essentially the answer: We don't know.

If there was a lesson to be learned from the experience, it was a pretty simple one: that stuff about the truth setting you free? It's bullshit.

I thought back to some of the lighter moments I'd shared with Roger over the years. I would hit a 500-foot homer, and his head would snap back in wonderment and awe. "Man!" he'd say. "You must have had your juice this morning!" One day, in the field, he took a look at the veins popping out of my arms, big as plow lines, and he shook his head in amazement. "I bet if I sliced that vein, Deca would fly out and hit me in the face!" (He meant Deca-Durabolin, a tissue-building steroid that manages to keep swelling to a minimum.)

On other occasions, casual as you please, Roger might say, "I think I need a B-twelve shot right about now." And off he'd go into the sunset. I didn't follow him into the sunset, or into the locker room, for that matter, but at the time I figured he was going off to juice up. That was the way baseball players commonly referred to steroids, as B12. On the other hand, for all I knew, Roger really was a fan of vitamins.

"I still don't get it," I said. "Why can't I name Clemens, when I can name all the other guys? Don't they believe me?"

"No, no, no," my lawyer told me. "They believe you. They know it's just you and a guy in a room, your word against his, which is the case with all of these players. But with Clemens, well -- it's different."

"How is it different?"

"We don't know, Jose. It just is, okay?"

"No, it's not okay. I'm not claiming I saw him juice up. I didn't. I'm talking about connecting the dots, about an educated guess."

"Well, I guess it still bothers them. You're implying that he might have taken steroids. They don't like it, and it's not going in the book."

That made no sense at all. None of it made any sense, on any level, but I couldn't do anything about it. Roger Clemens was out, and no amount of arguing was going to change that. The "offending" sections were removed, and the book quickly marched toward publication.

At that point, it was time to start the press junket. My first stop was New York City, to meet Mike Wallace and the 60 Minutes crew. They were waiting for me in a spacious loft in downtown Manhattan, empty except for a couple of chairs. As soon as they got the lighting figured out, the cameras began to roll. I looked at Wallace and plunged right in. I told him about my book, I told him about steroids and how they had taken over the game. I told him how I thought the owners had condoned steroids because they made the game more exciting and sold more tickets. I told him I used steroids while I played. And I named names. Again. I went through all the same names I'd mentioned in the book, including the one name the publisher had left out: Roger Clemens.

I admitted to Mike that I had never seen Clemens shoot up, but that I had my suspicions. All those Cy Young Awards. The way he was throwing, hard and fast and steady, without seeming to break a sweat. The way he seemed to be getting stronger as he got older. What else could it be? Good genes? Hell, while most of Clemens's peers were sitting on porches, in rocking chairs, with old dogs at their feet, he was still pitching rockets.

I went on to tell Wallace that I was a fan of steroids, within reason: "I truly believe that because I've experimented with it for so many years that it can make an average athlete a superathlete. It can make a superathlete incredible; just legendary." I also told him that I didn't think I would have hit 462 home runs or become the first player to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season, back in 1988, if I hadn't juiced up. But you still needed talent. Steroids couldn't do anything for you if you didn't already have talent.

When Wallace asked me if I was ashamed of what I had done, I was honest about that, too: "That's a tough question. I tried to do everything possible to become the best player in the world. Do I believe that steroids and growth hormones helped me achieve that? Yes. Were there a lot of players doing it that I had to compete against? Yes."

I guess I never answered the question, so maybe I should try to answer it now. I wanted to be the best baseball player in the world. That was my goal, my only goal, really, and I never let things stand in the way of my goals. So in that sense, no, I'm not ashamed of it. I cared so much about winning, and about making the game more exciting for the fans, that I did what I had to do. Let's face it, when people come to the ballpark, or watch us on TV, they want to be entertained. I took steroids to make myself the greatest entertainer I could be, and that didn't seem like too high a price to pay.

Wallace went back to the names. I told him that I, personally, had injected Mark McGwire, and that I'd counseled Jason Giambi on the proper use of steroids. I also described Giambi as "the biggest juicer in baseball."

I talked about Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, juicers all. I had injected each of those men myself, on numerous occasions, and I had also watched them do the deed themselves.

"And what you're doing to baseball now -- you're taking on the whole establishment?" Wallace asked.

"I don't know if I'm directly trying to take on the whole baseball establishment," I replied. "I'm just basically telling the story of my life."

"How much of your entire career's success do you attribute to the use of steroids?"

"Maybe not accomplish [sic] the things I did, the freakish things I did. [But] who knows? A lot of it is psychological. I mean, you really believe you have the edge. You feel the strength, and the stamina." This is exactly what I always told my fellow players when they asked me about steroids. The psychological edge is a huge component. You believe in steroids to such a degree that it changes the way you play. Confidence is a huge part of the game. Confidence intimidates your opponents. And it could be argued that the psychological benefits are even more significant than the physical.

Wallace went on, "Did you give some of the steroids to other players?"

"Not mine, no. No. Did I put them in contact with people to acquire them? Yes. Did I educate them on how to use them properly, in what way, shape, or form, and when, and with what supplements? Yes. Absolutely."

When the cameras stopp... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1st Simon Spotlight Entertainment Hardcover Ed edition (March 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416591877
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416591870
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,370,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I happened to be at Barnes and Noble the day it came out and I just finished reading it during a 5 and 1/2 hour train ride to Boston. As the first to review this, I will be careful to write a fair and honest review.
I read Juiced and eventually began to believe Canseco only recently. As the title and one chapter suggests he is vindicated and what he says is now taken very seriously.

Because of the Mitchell report and live congressional investigation with McNamee and Clemens, I think this book was rushed to press and it includes information from events that are only a few weeks old at the time of publication. It is not a long book but of course it is absorbing and hard to put down. Canseco starts out reviewing the events that took place around the time Juiced came out. The most interesting part of the book is what he says about Roger Clemens and Alex Rodiguez. Much of this came out in the media before the book hit the presses and will undoubtably make it another best seller

On Clemens and the Mitchell report Canseco thinks things are not as they appear. He feels that the Mitchell report although good for describing the severity of the problem and naming some names missed quite a bit and was biased in favor of the Red Sox. Also the story by McNamee that Clemens was at Canseco's party Jose asserts is false Interestingly he tells us in this book that he originally named Clemens in Juiced and in his 60 minutes interview but Clemens name was the only one removed from the book and cut from the interview. Canseco speculates about it.

Also Canseco had no direct proof with regard to Clemens and after meeting with Clemens and his attorney recently he actually was persuaded to sign a petition saying that he did not think Clemens took steroids.
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Format: Hardcover
Jose Canseco has said himself that he wrote this book and Juiced to exact revenge against MLB for blackballing him. His reasoning was that because he was the guy to bring steroids into the game, players improved by leaps and bounds and that caused the salary structure to explode over the years. Is that true? I don't know but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it was. In my OPINION, I think Jose is upset that his own body betrayed him...fell apart...and he was forced from the game. At one time, Jose was the talk of the town. HE was going to hit 62 home runs in a season. HE was going to hit 756 for his career. And now...with a career that included more trips on the DL than to the All Star game, and finishing with 462 home runs,he was removed from the Hall of Fame ballot after the 2007 voting and his career has been reduced to a footnote. He's watched from the sidelines as Mark McGwire & Sammy Sosa broke records and were cheered and it ate at him (something he alluded to in Juiced).So now he decided to do something about this. Again, my OPINION is that he felt "if I can't have the addoration of the fans anymore,neither can they"

I don't think he wrote this book as a cash grab. He made $50 million dollars in his career. I also don't think he wrote this to "save" the game. If Jose was able to play out his career as he wanted, was able to be elected to the Hall of Fame and was able to feel vindicated by his playing, he wouldn't have written these books.

But I will say this. Shortly after Juiced came out, his former teammate Dave Stewart had said "You can call Jose a lot of things...but you can never call him a liar" and I think he proved that. I also believe that a lot of what he wrote in this book will prove true in the long run.

But as far as his motives go...they're suspect at best. This book is for him and nobody else. Not MLB, not the players union or the players themselves. But for Jose Canseco and his bruised ego.
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Format: Hardcover
When I watch Jose Canseco give interviews, I don't like the guy. He strikes me as slimy and manipulative in almost all of his statements. But you know what? None of that matters. When "Juiced" came out, I heard and read everyone panning the guy (including myself) as someone who just wanted to make a buck. Slowly, he became the only one in the whole ordeal telling the truth. Palmeiro went from a strong a trustworthy guy to the biggest bold-faced liar in all of baseball. McGwire and Sosa went from lovable first-ballot Hall of Famers to jokes overnight. Canseco came out looking great, despite all of the doubt that first circled around him.
Therefore, when this new book came out, I wanted to read it right away. I still don't like the guy, but I don't doubt that every word in here is also true and will eventually be proven as such. I don't necessarily agree with his motives on some things, but his first-hand knowledge has been credible so far, and having transcripts of polygraph tests in there seal the deal for me.
I don't know how MLB will respond to the information in this book, but flat denials from accused players shouldn't be enough for the public anymore. Jose calls himself "The Godfather of Steroids" in the book, and like him or not, I agree with all of his assessments. The book is a good and fast read, and if you like the game of baseball at all, you'll get a lot out of it.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like Conseco's first book about "Roids" that was exciting and all about the inner circles of baseball, be ready that this is not more of the same. In "Vindicated", there is much more direct finger pointing and name calling than anything else. It is like the author is screaming for people to believe him. We do, Jose, you passed 2 polygraphs with absolutely "no chance of being disceptive." This book was written in a hurry, as there is no index, and the stories are not nearly as good as in his first. But the details are much better. There are several more memorial facts that one could find quite disturbing. The fact that HarperCollins(publisher of his first book) made Conseco remove the name of Roger Clemens from that text or they would refuse to print it, is quite curious. It appears that naming good ole Roger in any bad light, is not good for this world. And I like Roger Clemens!! I did enjoy those reenactments of Sosa suddenly forgetting English before Congress, and McGwire not wanting to mention the past, totally hiliarious. Jose also has issue with A-Rod and terms him "Stray Rod" for reasons you should read about. The photos of the players being buffed up, is not completely atune with the fact of steroid use, but later you learn they all, including Clemens, A-Rod, Sosa, and mosty all Yankees (except D. Jeter) do use them. For some odd reason, most Boston Red Sox players are not even mentioned?? Even the great holier than thou Andy Petitt seems to have been punched by the needle a few times. The biggest hypocrite of them all has to be the $18million -a- year commissioner Bud Selig and his court. While they pretend to dispise the use of Growth Hormone and steroids, they surely knew its presence was throughout all aspects of the game.Read more ›
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