Jose Canseco

One of the best parts about growing up in the Bay Area was its professional sports teams, most notably the Oakland Athletics of the late ’80s and early ’90s. The Major League Baseball universe revolved around the club for a few years, and at its center was slugger Jose Canseco, baseball’s first example of what hard work and talent can achieve when mixed with an explosive steroid cocktail. Canseco first outed MLB’s steroid problem in his 2005 book, Juiced. In his follow-up, Vindicated, he thumbs his nose to his critics, the media and other ballplayers by saying, “I told you so.” However, the book is little more than sour grapes. Canseco gripes about coming up just short of 500 career home runs (the unofficial number for Hall of Fame consideration), blasts baseball’s Mitchell Report and shows sophomoric vitriol for Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez, who Canseco accuses of trying to sleep with his ex-wife. While Vindicated probably was meant to be an engaging follow-up to an eye-opening first book, in the end Canseco just comes off as a blowhard who revels in taking perhaps too much credit in helping to save the game long after he helped ruin it.