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Since no one else cares about the Olympics, I'll pretend not to as well. ;)
Part two of our series takes us to the man that broke it all open for the world of Baseball. Jose Canseco. No other person involved with this issue symbolizes the complexity as well as Jose. He's a hero, he woke us all up to what had been going on for decades in baseball. But he is probably the professional athlete with the leat credibility at the time his first book was released.
What do we make of him? MVP? Rat? A creation of the drugs he used? Whistle Blower? Idiot?
He's all of these.
Look if you are going to use drugs to get ahead and make millions of dollars, that is to some degree understandable. And considering the drug nature of our culture it not the worst choice one could make (Two words: Crystal Meth). People are using athletes all the time why shouldn't they take what they can get while the getting is good? But at least think before you act. If you have an identical twin brother and you are successful in the big leagues and he isn't, then questions are going to be asked. If you are a member of a batting tandem that has a nickname, The Bash Brothers, then your "buddy" is going to get looked at the moment that doubt is cast upon you. Cheating is cheating just try not to take anyone else out while you are trying to get ahead. That's bad form no matter what you are doing. We'll save the rest of this discussion for another day, he is a beast of his own and I won't even mention his name yet. Chicks dig the long ball!
Now when your career ends in a whimper, without the help of drug allegations, and then you have the balls to write a tell all book, people are going to doubt you. Even if you have a well written and well documented book there will be the shadow of your persona cast over it. It is a wonder that the Mitchell report came as a result of his words. Wait, after second thought it really isn't. Baseball's reaction truly was symbolic of Canseco's career. Hype, small notable results, then laughter by those who are watching. The lack of action after the Mitchell report could be the home run off the head (See Photo).
Bottom Line: This guy was accidentally brilliant. First member of the 40-40 club. Partner in crime to a 3-4 combo with a nickname. (How many of these have had nicknames?!?! Manny and Papi also won two titles and had nothing. No Dynamic Dominican Duo! Nothing!) Rookie of the year in 1986. Winner of the MVP in 1988. Six time all-star. These are Hall of Fame credentials, the real Hall of Fame! And then he goes and breaks the biggest scandal is baseball since Pete Rose, and possibly since the Black Sox. Congress acted because of the written word of Jose Canseco. How much money would you have given me in 1994 if I told you that Congress would take action based upon Jose Canseco's written words?
This guy is a legend for so many different reasons and he'll go down in history as one of the most bizarre characters of the game. There's hope for everyone, because if steroids can help Jose Canseco, they can help anyone. No that really isn't a good thing.