Canseco saga all the rage
Finally, a lot of us have something in common with Bill Parcells.
The Dallas Cowboys coach has said that bad losses make him want to throw up in his mouth.
Well, the bile level was rising Sunday night while watching admitted doper Jose Canseco smirk his way through a "60 Minutes" interview with Mike Wallace.
Your gut tells you that there's a lot of truth to his charges about widespread steroid use in baseball. It also tells you there's a lot more than he chronicles.
Still: He has admitted cheating. He has admitted helping others cheat. He advocates cheating. And now he's making money by a selling a book in which he tells the world that he's a liar and a cheat. (
Some thoughts while watching Sunday's interview:
Don't shoot the messenger. The guy who's been in the sewer is the best one to tell you what it's like down there.
Wash your hands after buying the book. Think about who is profiting by it.
Don't you wish his revelations were self-incriminating so he could be thrown in jail for drug abuse?
Do you wonder if anyone offered Canseco a payoff to not write this book?
For encouraging future generations to follow him down the syringe-strewn path, you have to hope there's a very hot seat waiting for him in eternity.
If you think the Pete Rose Hall of Fame issue was thorny, what's going to happen when the folks named by Canseco come onto the ballot for Cooperstown?
What will Major League Baseball and the Players Association do to distance themselves from Canseco? "60 Minutes" did a 10.1 rating in Boston Sunday night, higher than any sports programming over the weekend.
What happens to baseball's record book? Suddenly, home runs don't mean much.
What must guys like Hank Aaron, whose home run record could be erased by Barry Bonds this season, think of this? And doesn't Roger Maris's 61-homer season seem like an even greater achievement in retrospect?
Don't expect the story to die off quickly. Canseco will be on WEEI's "The Big Show" this afternoon between 2-6 p.m., and more of his CBS interview will be on "60 Minutes" tomorrow (Channel 4, 8 p.m.), with a response from Major League Baseball.
Old news is new again
Timing is everything: HBO's Armen Keteyian did a segment titled "Steroids in Major League Baseball" for "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on Oct. 10, 2000. It remains topical today, even though it didn't get a lot of attention when it aired. The report featured two players, the Rangers' Chad Curtis and Gabe Kapler, who stood up against performance-enhancing substances and took drug tests for the program. The show aired in the fall of the season when police discovered steroids and syringes in the glove compartment of Red Sox utility infielder Manny Alexander's car.
"What was remarkable was that I knew we had news when we aired the piece," said HBO spokesman Raymond Stallone. "I couldn't get any of the baseball press to focus on it since we aired during October, and they were all absorbed with the playoffs."
Three excerpts from that program.
Curtis: "Are there players in baseball, Major League Baseball, using steroids? Absolutely. Have I heard it from their mouths? Yes I have . . . They're doing something they shouldn't be doing and taking money out of my family's pocket because they're better than me now. I'm sick and tired of competing against guys that are juiced up on illegal stuff. Now, am I going to make some enemies by saying that? Yeah. The enemies that I'm going to make are the guys that are cheating. Do I really care if they don't like what I say? No, because they're cheating."
Gene Orza, now the chief operating officer of the players' union: "I believe it is an open question, whether or not -- even if there were the taking of steroids in baseball -- that it would contribute to performance enhancement. There might be other consequences to it. You might be able to hit a ball that otherwise would have been a double, a home run. But your batting average might drop 40 points. You might spend three times more time on the disabled list than you otherwise would and as a result be less productive because the anabolic steroid you were taking didn't help your tendons or your ligaments very much and as a result made you more prone to injury."
Sandy Alderson, former Oakland A's general manager, and now executive vice president of baseball operations for MLB: "My concern being public perception and credibility of the game, I think the integrity of the game is absolutely critical. Without integrity, we don't really have a game."
TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley, in his fifth season on the job, has extended his deal through the 2007-08 season . . . USA Network, home of the Westminster Dog Show since 1984, has agreed to continue airing the event for another 12 years. This year's coverage continues tonight (8-11) . . . The Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont and Bob Ryan join Tom Caron on "Sports Plus" tomorrow (NESN, 6:30 and 10:30 p.m.) to discuss a cancellation of the NHL season. In addition, Shira Springer has a one-on-one interview with Celtics coach Doc Rivers and producer Alan Miller has a one-on-one with Boston College basketball coach Al Skinner . . . Mo Vaughn, appearing with Steve Burton and Michael Smith on WEEI Friday morning, indirectly connected former Red Sox teammate Nomar Garciaparra with steroid usage. Vaughn noted that when you get big and have those kinds of injuries (wrist, heel) at a young age, you open yourself up to questions.
Bill Griffith's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org