The self-professed Godfather of Steroids is off the juice and embracing a new view. Jose Canseco told me on KGO Radio this week he no longer uses anabolic steroids or human growth hormone and regrets relying on chemicals to advance his major-league career.
But the former American League MVP has no qualms about fingering alleged steroid users in his new book, “Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars and the Battle to Save Baseball.” Convinced he was blackballed from the game for his candor about the rampant use of steroids, which he claims was upwards of 80 percent of major-league players, Jose attacks fellow steroid users with a vengeance.
Canseco says Barry Bonds knew he was using and thinks Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez, among dozens of All-Stars, were also on performance-enhancing drugs. If you don’t believe it, just check out results of his lie-detector tests outlined in the book. Bottom line, whatever his motivation, while the commissioner and team owners turned a blind eye to the growing problem, Jose exposed the lie.
Unfortunately, Canseco can’t escape his past either. He frequently dreams of hitting mammoth home runs in front of roaring crowds only to awaken from his rock-star-like flashbacks to realize he is a lonely, twice-divorced 42-year-old living with tarnished memories. Jose returns to the Bay Area for book signings April 9 at Barnes and Noble in Oakland and April 10 at Books Inc. in The City.
» Oddsmakers gave Giants fans a great way to make money on their team’s pitiful prospects for 2008. Las Vegas bookies set the over/under for S.F. victories this season at 73. Does anyone really believe this year’s team is better than last year’s 71-91 club?
The current lineup is not only the worst in baseball, it is also the most power-challenged in franchise history. Don’t be surprised if the Giants lose 100 games (which would tie the team record for futility with the 1985 club) and fail to hit 100 home runs.
» The A’s won’t make a run at the two AL West Division favorites — the Los Angeles Angels or Seattle Mariners — but at least they have legitimate big-leaguers at every position with a bunch of promising young players very close to making Oakland baseball exciting again. By the way, how much would it cost the giants to pry Dan Johnson away from the A’s? Johnson’s lost his starting job to rookie hot shot Daric Barton, but he’d be a lock to start at first base in S.F.
» As Cal continues its search for a new men’s basketball coach did anyone in Berkeley ever think of calling Tara VanDerveer?
All VanDerveer has done is lead the Stanford women into the NCAA Tournament for a 20th consecutive season, chasing a third national championship this weekend in Tampa, Fla., to go along with a gold medal. She won for coaching the 1996 U.S. Olympic team. She was a student at Indiana when Bob Knight was the king of the court and took his coaching classes for three years.
Although she would welcome the challenge, Tara told me she believes it would be more difficult for male college players to adapt because they never played for female coaches in high school or other youth leagues. Tara also said she likes the way she looks in red, but for the right amount of green she would do just fine in blue and gold.
Rich Walcoff is the sports director at KGO Radio (810 AM) and can be heard weekdays between 5-9a.m. on the “KGO Morning News.” He can also be reached at email@example.com.