Tuesday, July 04, 2006
And more. That's just the start. I'm glad he's sticking up for himself and at a time when people seem to be against him for no good reason. I'm willing to bet he comes out as in the right. He says steroids have slowed the aging process for him -- I just want to know what kind?
CHICO, Calif. ESPN -- Jose Canseco wrote the book that helped persuade baseball to toughen its steroids policy, and he insists there's much more damaging information to come.
Canseco Drops More Bombs
Jose Canseco packed quite a wallop (of the verbal kind, at least) as he prepared to play for the San Diego Surf Dawgs of the independent Golden Baseball League. His final line Monday: 3 K's, one HBP in the Dawgs' 4-3 victory over the Chico Outlaws. But before the game, his first since 2001 ...
• Canseco accused baseball of cutting Rafael Palmeiro a deal to testify against him in March 2005, saying MLB then went ahead and leaked Palmeiro's positive test out of fear that Congress would find out anyway. "I know what I know" is all Canseco would say.
• Canseco said he will meet in the coming weeks with former Sen. George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader appointed in March by Selig to head the sport's investigation into steroids.
• He said that Alex Rodriguez told him about six years ago that Canseco was being "blackballed" by baseball.
• He noted that years of steroids use has helped slow the aging process for him.
• Canseco is working on a movie and two more books, saying he intends to "rectify" his tarnished image.
• "I feel one person can make a difference. I feel one person can change the world. I want Major League Baseball to know I'm not going away that easy."
"I think what we're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg," Canseco said Monday, about five hours before he was set to take the field for the first time with the San Diego Surf Dawgs in the independent Golden Baseball League. "I know for a fact that's what we're seeing."
Canseco received a smattering of boos and cheers before the game when he was announced as the designated hitter against the Chico Outlaws, then again when he stepped into the batter's box leading off the second inning.
Canseco, who said it had been at least four years since he last swung a wooden bat, struck out three times and was hit by a pitch in the Surf Dawgs' 4-3 victory. The game drew 4,501 fans for the largest crowd ever to watch a game in Nettleton Stadium.
"I don't know right now how to attack a breaking ball," he said while fireworks went off behind him. "The pitchers have the upper hand. It will take a week or so. I've struck out three times in the big leagues when hitting hot as ever and come back the next day and hit a home run."
He struck out swinging on four pitches leading off the second and again in the third on five pitches, getting razzed in the process.
"Juiced!" one fan hollered, a reference to his book. "That's not a big league pitcher, Jose," another man yelled.
Earlier, Canseco called Major League Baseball "the mafia" for the way it has handled the game's steroids scandal and suggested that the sport will discipline only certain players and might even hide the truth when it comes to big-name stars and positive tests.
He plans to fight baseball to bring out the truth.
"They're mafia, point blank, they're mafia," Canseco said. "I don't think Major League Baseball is enthused about finding out the truth. There needs to be a major cleanup in Major League Baseball. I think they are treading on very thin ice, and [commissioner] Bud Selig has to be very careful what he's doing because his job is on the line."
When contacted about Canseco's comments, baseball spokesman Pat Courtney said, "We wouldn't comment on anything he said."
One day after his 42nd birthday, Canseco showed up at the ballpark tanned and toned with his short, black hair slicked back. He sported tight jeans and a black button-down shirt, with several of those buttons open, exposing his muscular chest. And he noted that years of steroids use has helped slow the aging process for him. He weighs 230 pounds -- down significantly from his playing weight of between 255 and 260.
The league said Canseco has agreed to be subjected to its drug-testing policy "that immediately expels any players found using steroids or illegal drugs." The league said nine players, out of more than 200 tested, were tossed for illegal drug use last year.
"Jose will be treated consistent with all of our players regarding drug testing," league commissioner Kevin Outchalt said.
Canseco's return comes some 16 months after he attracted Congress' attention with an autobiography, "Juiced," that accused several top players of steroid use -- including fellow Cuban Rafael Palmeiro, who was suspended on Aug. 1 last season for violating baseball's new steroids policy and claimed he didn't know how the drug got in his body.
In a 2005 interview on the CBS television show "60 Minutes," Canseco also said he injected Rafael Palmeiro with steroids. Palmeiro is now out of baseball.
"The reason why I wrote this book is to fight Major League Baseball," Canseco said. "I feel one person can make a difference. I feel one person can change the world. I want Major League Baseball to know I'm not going away that easy."
Canseco accused baseball of cutting Palmeiro a deal to testify against him, saying MLB then went ahead and leaked Palmeiro's positive test out of fear that Congress would find out anyway.
How does he have that information?
"I know what I know," he said. "The majority of the reason why I wrote the book is to show Major League Baseball that they cannot try to destroy an athlete's career. I've seen them blackball many players and I can't believe none of these players has taken a stand and said anything about it."
In March 2005, Canseco testified before the House Government Reform committee that he used performance-enhancing drugs as a player.
He also said Monday that New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez told him after Dan Marino's Pro-Am golf tournament about six years ago that Canseco was being "blackballed" by baseball.
"I challenge him in a polygraph test to say no," Canseco said.
Canseco carried a fancy, red duffel bag when he made his entrance into the modest, 4,100-seat ballpark, home of the Chico Outlaws on the campus of rural Chico State University, some 170 miles north of the San Francisco Bay area. A sellout crowd was expected for Canseco's return.
The former slugger -- he has 462 career home runs -- is back in professional baseball for the first time since finishing his 17-year major league career with the Chicago White Sox in 2001. Canseco signed with the Surf Dawgs last week for the remaining two months of the season, set to earn the league's maximum salary of $2,500 a month. He even plans to pitch, featuring a knuckleball, and threw a bullpen session before Monday's game.
It is unclear when Canseco might take the mound for the first time.
"Will it be with a one-run lead in the ninth? No," Surf Dawgs manager Terry Kennedy said.
Before the game, the Outlaws gathered in the shade and watched Canseco hit about six homers during batting practice. Even concession stand workers left their posts to take a peek.
He was initially slated to bat cleanup, but Kennedy later moved him down to sixth. Canseco pulled on a navy blue Surf Dawgs cap and held up his No. 33 uniform in a 20-minute outdoor news conference held in front of about 50 people, including a couple of fans wearing Oakland Athletics gear -- his first club.
Canseco is working on a movie and two more books, saying he intends to "rectify" his tarnished image.
"The movie is going to be devastating, no ifs and buts about it," he said.
Canseco said he will meet in the coming weeks with former Sen. George Mitchell, the former Senate majority leader appointed in March by Selig to head the sport's investigation into steroids.
Baseball has toughened its drug policy several times in recent years, but Canseco isn't satisfied.
"They now realize it started with me and ends with me," he said. "The policy sounds great, but that's not the problem. There are major problems not with the policies but the individuals who are instituting this policy."
Posted by Zennie Abraham at 1:53 AM