Sports Perspective: Canseco sheds light on baseball corruption

By Matt Donato
November 4, 2005

In Jose Canseco’s best selling novel, “Juiced,” he admits to repeatedly using steroids along side other baseball greats, such as Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez. He also claims that the three-year home-run race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire was fueled by these performance – enhancing drugs. He praises himself, adding that he brought the idea of steroid use to the league and then made that dream a reality. These steroids, almost single handedly, as he refers to himself as not talented, propeled him to great feats in baseball. In his career, he was named rookie of the year in 1986, MVP in 1988 and has had multiple trips to the World Series.

Yes, all these accomplishments are impressive, but the good times were sure to end. In 1993, while he was playing outfield for the A’s, he lost a fly ball in the lights; the ball went on to hit him in the head and go over the fence for a home run. That was about the time when his life and career came crumbling down.

His first wife, Esther Haddad, accused him of domestic violence. Canseco and Haddad were divorced in 1991, and he waited five years to remarry. When he finally remarried, it was to Jessica Sekely, who we can all see in the September 2005 issue of “Playboy.” Jessica Canseco tells and shows all in this candid article. She talked about their relationship that was filled with three-ways, jealousy and, above all, steroids.

If he wasn’t disgraced enough by his former wives, Canseco has had many run-ins with the law. These being for his reoccuring acts of domestic violence and aggravated battery. Insult to injury, in 1993, he asked to pitch the last innings of a blatant loss. While pitching, he injured his arm and had to receive surgery.

Clearly, Jose Canseco’s career is full of ups and downs. In the beginning, steroids jolted him to greatness, but in the end, they hurt him and everyone around him.

The MLB took a step back and looked at Canseco’s career, and, thankfully, they realized enough is enough. Their new policy on performance-enhancing drugs, makes athletes vulnerable to surprise tests both on and off season. They can test any player at any time as many times as they deem necessary. A first time offender will receive a ten-day penalty without pay. This is a huge change from the earlier consequence of a smack on the hand. Subsequent offenses will result in a 30-day, 60-day and one-year suspension. All of these charges more than double their predecessor. The new policy also bans other performance-enhancing drugs not tested for in the previous one.

The old agreement does not end until December 2006, and if the new policy is ratified, it will be in use through 2008.

As an avid sports fan, it is good to see that the MLB is finally cracking down on junkies like Canseco. It is a necessity to keep an eye on athletes because even if the MLB is not, children across the country are. Children need role models and many look to professional athletes. I just hope they look to someone other than Jose Canseco.

Posted to the web by Brian Coary

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Matt Donato

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