January 13, 2010

Jose Canseco should be in the Hall of Fame

I promise, I'll never tell a soul.

Oh, you pretty things, don't you know you're driving the mothers and fathers insane?

Take note 1987-1990 Oakland A's fans (of which I am sure there are many reading this): the Bash Brothers are bashing each other. In one corner, Jose Canseco: juiced, tanned, handsome, and the poster-boy for how to admit steroid abuse, get over it, and turn it into money. In the other, Mark McGwire: The Willie to Sammy Sosa's Lester, the brutal apology maker, the poster-boy for how not to admit steroid abuse (until Barry Bonds finally gets on with it—honestly Barry, you're drawing this thing out more than the Sam and Diane will they/won't they).

Willie and Lester. Get it?

Like a late New Years’ baby, Mark McGwire's recent admission to steroids has arrived, though Canseco’s claim that when they were teammates, he and McGwire would inject each other with steroids, is one McGwire still denies…for now.

McGwire’s teary confession does little for me. His apology sucks. His tears fall as though he’s jockeying for a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame and even in the admission, he can’t cop to using them to hit homeruns; rather, they were used to recover from injuries. If you’re a professional athlete, claiming you took steroids solely for recovery is like saying you have sex solely for procreation.

(For the record, I have nothing against steroid use. Very little convinces me that they are worse for the organs than Jack Daniels, KFC, or Sandra Bullock movies. If someone paid for a cycle for me (p.s. my birthday is in a month), I would probably try them, just to see what the big deal is.)

As yet another baseball player admits to steroid use (that McGwire was outted years ago is, I suppose, academic) it confirms for me that Jose Canseco belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. If his steroid-stats aren’t enough to convince you (at least 1985-1994), then he should be nominated in the builder category. His admission and his telling of truths when that wasn’t in style have certainly done more to positively change baseball’s future than teary Mark McGwire ever will. Were I in a second year politics class, I might decide to write an essay entitled “Cuban/American Relations: why McGwire will Get into the Hall of Fame, and Canseco won’t”—but I don’t really believe his being Cuban has anything to do with anything (false activism be damned). Canseco was the first big league player of any note to admit he juiced and McGwire was thirty-fifth or something. We always remember our first. Sadly, this means that Canseco will seem like the first to do them.

I propose that the Baseball Hall of Fame adopt the same rules for entry as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Parents who have to find a lesson in this should probably look to the way Jose Canseco has come clean regarding his drug use, rather than Mark McGwire, who, even in admitting he did steroids, still lies. That said, I’m not a parent, and if end up being one, my baby-mama would probably make little Quenton play soccer; in which case, Quenton, Daddy offers this advice: Don't do drugs that aren't glamourous, don't drink and drive, and please, son...don't watch the Miss Congeniality movies.

The Gateway Drug to Renee Zellweger: Talk to Your Kids

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