DIBIASE: Light wallet forces Canseco antics

Justin Dibiase

In my three years here at The Villanovan, I have had my share of sports-related things that really bugged me. However, I cannot remember an instance in which I was so angry, so full of disgust, that I yearned to toss my computer across the room.

It sickens me when this man’s name springs up in the news. Every time I hear his name mentioned in conversation, my blood boils. When I see his face in the newspaper and in magazines, I feel the need to revert to my learned elementary school skill of drawing on his face. The man I speak of is the one, the only, the prophet Jose Canseco.

I thought we were done with him. I really believed that the only time I would see Canseco again would be on a blooper reel featuring his hilarious head butt homerun. Boy, was I wrong.

The Canseco story goes a little something like this. The Cuban-born Canseco moved to the United States when he was young, and his baseball talent got him drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1982. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1986 and had a great overall career, blasting over 460 home runs for eight different teams.

The positives stop there. In an era when steroids inflated players’ arms as well as their statistics, Canseco was a ringleader in the drug circus. Given the era and the circumstances, it is a forgivable offense.

After retirement, Canseco was down on his luck with money. Carrying a light wallet, he saw a golden opportunity with the growing suspicion of steroids in baseball. The former “Bash Brother” decided to write a tell-all book titled “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘oids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big.” In his book, he ratted out several of his old teammates and friends, claiming without evidence that they too were steroid users. The book reached The New York Times’ Bestseller List, and Canseco basked in the media spotlight. Canseco felt as if his book liberated baseball from its dark secret. This, of course, is entirely false. Rumors and speculations of performance-enhancing drugs floated around dugouts like the aroma of chewing tobacco on a midsummer day.

Canseco’s wallet once again dried up in 2007, and he decided to write a tell-all sequel titled “Vindicated.” The book was never published due to its thin factual content, but Canseco’s accusations were once again documented, and he was the topic of the day yet again.

In a recent publicity stunt, Canseco boxed former NFL wideout Vai Sikahema in Atlantic City, once again earning himself a nice paycheck. Mercifully, Canseco was knocked out by the much smaller Sikahema in the opening round.

Then the sky fell. During a one-hour A&E special on Canseco, the slugger regretted naming his old teammates in his book and stated his apologies to his former friends that he hurt. Boo-hoo, Jose. It is a complete joke that this man thinks that he can fool anyone into believing his sob story.

How sorry are you for the book, Jose? Why don’t you sell a few syringes and gather up the money you earned from backstabbing your friends and donate it to drug-awareness programs for youths? If you really feel terrible for losing your friends, why don’t you privately apologize and beg for their forgiveness?

Most people forget that Canseco was twice accused of domestic violence by his first two wives. It’s obvious that he does not care about anyone besides himself. Maybe he’s bitter about major league teams shunning him late in his career.

Canseco may feel that his book was the catalyst that led the effort to clean up baseball. He may feel that his cause was noble and just. Behind all of his tears and apologies, there is one thing, greed. And who fuels this man’s celebrity status? That would be you and I.

We provide the TV ratings for his celebrity boxing bouts. We buy his scandalous books. We gossip about the recent news. Like so many other immoral figures in the public eye, the Canseco machine is fueled by the same people who wish to destroy it.

So let’s you and I do our part to ensure that Canseco never makes another measly dollar from the interested public. Let’s not watch any of his celebrity TV appearances. Let’s not Google his name in order to find out his latest antics. Let’s just not talk about this guy ever again. Starting now.

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Justin DiBiase is a senior civil engineering major from Franklinville, N.J. He can be reached at [email protected]