What is with Major League Baseball and its inability to distance itself from pariahs, other than Pete Rose? First, the San Francisco Giants bring Barroid Bonds back into the fold, and now it looks as though Jose Canseco is going to be a “journalist” covering the Oakland Athletics. In baseball, there is basically no sin (other than gambling) that gets you banned for life.
At least the A’s aren’t hiring Canseco, but this is still just wrong. NBC Sports California should know better, as Canseco was one of the first known users of steroids in MLB. Even though the use of steroids wasn’t officially banned until 1991 by then-Commissioner Fay Vincent, the use of such performance-enhancing drugs was never the right thing to do.
During the 1988 American League playoffs, the fans at Fenway Park taunted Canseco for his 40-40, MVP season with the A’s that year. They believed he was on steroids, thanks to an accusation from Washington Post writer Tom Boswell. Of course, Oakland won three straight AL pennants and the 1989 World Series thanks to Canseco and fellow “Bash Brother” Mark McGwire (not to mention an untainted pitching staff that was pretty darn good, etc.).
We all know how this story evolved: The A’s dumped both Canseco (in August 1992) and McGwire (in July 1997) eventually, as the PED use became obvious. Canseco wrote a book that made him persona non grata in MLB circles, while McGwire rehabilitated his image by apologizing for his actions as he joined the St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff for the 2010 season.
Canseco has never bothered to rehabilitate his image, and we can both admire and admonish him for that. But he was the trendsetter, so to speak, of a fraudulent generation in MLB, and if Bonds was the end result of this shameful era, then Canseco was the progenitor. Perhaps it’s fitting they both return to the Bay Area in 2017, since their joint decisions decades ago shamed both Northern California MLB teams so thoroughly.
While both players may have expertise and knowledge to impart on the game of baseball, neither should be allowed anywhere near the sport at this point in time, if ever, after they both so blatantly chose to disgrace the game that had given them both so much.