Raindrops in New York prevented the Blue Jays from opening their regular season yesterday, but they couldn’t prevent me from opening Jose Canseco’s newest book.
Vindicated, published by Simon and Schuster, hits book stores this week, but unless you’re interested in reading a whole lot of self-serving drivel, I suggest you save yourself the sort of time I wasted yesterday, not to mention $30.
Vindicated doesn’t come close to matching the groundbreaking information produced by Canseco in his first book, Juiced, which rocked MLB’s establishment in 2005 by identifying a bevy of big leaguers who accompanied him at the steroids’ buffet. He even finked on his fellow Bash Brother, Mark McGwire.
Despite widespread dismissals of Canseco as a bitter ex-player, and despite adamant denials of steroid use by Rafael Palmeiro and others he squealed on, his claims gradually were confirmed. Juiced became the blueprint for this winter’s Mitchell Report, which implicated dozens of players.
And so Canseco was vindicated, as he reminds us in Vindicated over and over and over. It’s as though he recalls every individual who publicly questioned the veracity of Juiced and uses the 200-plus pages in Vindicated to embarrass the dirty liars. He even mentions the late-night talk-show guys — Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel, who derided him in monologues.
But his I-was-right approach — and his assurance that he’s happy now playing poker instead of baseball — makes for dull reading material. He practically negates what he achieved in Juiced by coming across as a self-centred braggart in Vindicated.
Turns out MLB organizations were unnecessarily worried about Vindicated. The Jays, for instance, were concerned their former designated hitter would reveal the identities of steroid users who played for them.
And, indeed, Canseco did mention an ex-Jay in connection with steroids, but raise your hand if you remember Dave Martinez in Toronto. Canseco writes he personally injected and “educated” the ex-outfielder, now the Tampa Bay Rays’ bench coach. Canseco says he did the same with the Detroit Tigers’ Magglio Ordonez. He mentions he suspected Roger Clemens of using steroids and he directs plenty of venom at Alex Rodriguez, the details of which were leaked over the Internet last week.
Mainly, Canseco’s new book is boring, much like the entire steroids-in-baseball issue has become.