Saturday, September 27, 2008

Juiced - By: Jose Canseco

This book started it all: The Mitchell Report, the steroid scandal,
the Congressional hearings, everything. This is book zero, if you will. While it plays out as an autobiography, its main intent is to list names. It’s a collection of events in Canseco’s life, mostly involving other major league players, and mostly involving steroids. It shows how and why he started using steroids, and how he was able to pass his techniques on to others. It contains several references to how major leagues baseball has it out for him, whether it’s because he’s Cuban or because he’s an ex juicer. By the end the reader is supposed to realize that Jose has just been misunderstood and misrepresented over the years. That’s he’s a great guy, and deserves our respect.

I first read this book as a paperback. It had been out for a while, and all the juicy details had long since been splashed over the news. So, I wasn’t reading to book to see what it said, more how it said it. I also wasn’t skeptical like early readers might have been. By the time I opened it, most of the information in it was assumed to be true. So, instead of reacting, “McGwire? This guys NUTS!” I was more “McGwire…that’s how”. Naturally, this book isn’t going to win a Pulitzer. And, at this point, it’s not going to reveal any new information. But, it’s an easy read. It gives a lot of insight into a baseball player’s life. If you’re going to talk about the steroid era, you should probably read book. It was hard to put down when I picked it up. That has to mean something.

Rating: 3 bases.

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