Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big

Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big

by Jose Canseco


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When Jose Canseco burst into the Major Leagues in the 1980s, he changed the sport -- in more ways than one. No player before him possessed his mixture of speed and power, which allowed him to become the first man in history to belt more than forty home runs and swipe more than forty bases in the same season. He won Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and a World Series ring.

Canseco shattered the mold of the out-of-shape baseball player and ushered in a new era of superathletes who looked like bodybuilders, made outrageous salaries, and enjoyed rock-star lifestyles. And the ticket for this ride? Steroids. Behind the gaudy stats and the glamour of his public life, Canseco cultivated a secret just about everyone in MLB knew about, one that would alter the game of baseball and the way we view our heroes forever. Canseco made himself a guinea pig of the performance-enhancing drugs that were only just beginning to infiltrate the American underground. Anabolic steroids, human growth hormones -- Canseco mixed, matched, and experimented to such a degree that he became known throughout the league as "The Chemist." He passed his knowledge on to trainers and fellow players, and before long, performance-enhancing drugs were running rampant throughout Major League Baseball. Sluggers scooping up pitches at their ankles and blasting them out of the park, pitchers cranking fastballs inning after inning -- Canseco showed the players how to customize their doses to sculpt the bodies they wanted, and baseball as we know it was the result.

Today, this issue has crept out of the closet and burst into the headlines as players balloon to herculean proportions and hundred-year-old records are not only broken, but also demolished. In this shocking memoir, Canseco sheds light on a life of dizzying highs and debilitating lows, provides the answers to questions about steroids that millions of fans are only now beginning to ask -- and suggests that, far from being a passing trend, the steroid revolution is only a taste of things to come.

Who's juiced? According to Canseco's authoritative account, more than you think. And baseball will never be the same.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060746414
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/28/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 367,110
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Jose Canseco was born in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to Miami in the 1970s. After being drafted by the Oakland Athletics, he went on to win Rookie of the Year, the American League MVP Award, and a World Series ring. In all, he played for seven different teams and ended his baseball career with a total of 462 home runs. Today, Canseco lives a quiet life in California with his daughter, Josie.

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Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big

Chapter One

"You'll Never Add Up to Anything"

I always told Jose and Ozzie,
"Do better next time."
I'm obviously a very serious man.
I never fool around with anything.
But I was never stern or a dictator.
Jose Canseco Sr.,
My father

My dad earned a good living in Cuba during the Batista years, working as a territory manager for Esso Standard Oil. He also picked up a little extra cash working nights as an English teacher at the Professional School of Commerce in Havana. He worked hard and was a good provider for our family. As soon as Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, though, my father was smart enough to know that before long the new leftist system would control the entire country, and that would not be a good thing for people like my father. He figured that everything he had worked for in Cuba would be lost, and he was right, too. Soon after Castro came to power, my father lost his job. Then he lost his house. And then his car.

He was in an unusual position in that he had already spent time in the United States studying English. He had gone to Shreveport, Louisiana, as a teenager and lived with an uncle there for several years, starting in 1940, and his time in American schools gave him enough of a grounding in the language to teach it in Cuba. As much as he would have liked to stay in Cuba, his country, he was also comfortable with the idea of diving into a new life in the United States -- if that was his only choice.

So my father notified the Cuban government that he wanted to leave the country, and the government basically answered: Tough luck. There was a serious shortage of skilled professionals, and Castro could not afford to lose white-collar workers like my father. The government announced that such workers would only be allowed to emigrate if a specific replacement could be found to handle their particular job. But no one was available who was qualified to take over my father's job with the oil company. The government wrote him a letter saying that because of his professional ability and expertise, he was not allowed to leave the country until further notice. He would have to wait years for them to change their minds.

My dad was born in 1929, in a town called Regla, on the outskirts of Havana. Both my father's parents had come over from Spain and his father, Inocente, had a big, light-green Packard car that he used to earn a good livelihood. He would load six or seven tourists into the Packard and drive them all over the place showing them the sights of Havana. Back then, baseball and boxing were the top sports in Cuba. My dad used to listen to New York Yankee games on the radio; his favorite players were Babe Ruth and, later, Roger Maris and Joe DiMaggio. But my father was not much of a baseball player himself. He shagged a few balls when he was a boy, but that was about it.

My father met my mother, Barbara, when they were both teenagers in Regla. He had come back from Louisiana and was studying at the Institute of Havana, from which he graduated with a degree in English. They used to go ballroom dancing or take strolls together around the town's central park. Sometimes they would go to the movies to catch the latest Errol Flynn picture or sweeping sagas like Gone With the Wind.

My parents and older sister, Teresa, were living in Regla in July 1964 when my mother gave birth to me and my twin brother, Osvaldo. People like to say that Ozzie and I were like pocket-sized atom bombs when we were babies, but my father says we were actually nice and quiet. People were always fussing over us. They usually had trouble telling the two of us apart because we looked the same and were the exact same size and weight. But I had a birthmark on the back of my hand, so that helped family members know which of us was which.

Those were bad times to be living in Cuba, especially since the government knew my father did not support their system. My father had to wait until the year after Ozzie and I were born for a chance to leave. The Castro government announced in 1965 that it would allow an airlift of people from Varadero, Cuba, to Miami. Ozzie and I were just babies when my parents took us and Teresa to the airport, where we climbed into a small propeller plane. There was only room for about twenty people inside, and apparently it was stuffy. I don't remember any of that, but it was an important day for the family and we heard about it later.

"It was very, very hot inside the plane,"my father used to tell us, looking back on that momentous day.

He would always tell us how sad he was, leaving behind his home country and his parents, and the rest of his family. But he knew he had to do it, and he was eager to start a new life, making the most of his knowledge of English. We were also lucky to have family members living in south Florida, ready to help us out. My Aunt Lilia was there at the airport, waiting to meet us, but first my parents had to go through an inspection. They had no money or identification, but they stripped my father and searched him, and then stripped my mother and searched her, too.

"We had nothing,"my father would tell us.

But he had English, and the work experience to land a good job soon after he arrived in America. He found work as a territory manager for Amoco Oil, which was a good position, but to him it was only a start, and he was always looking for other ways to bring in extra income ...

Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big
. Copyright © by Jose Canseco. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
DonCapone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the Amazon review I wrote on Feb. 20, 2005, back when this book was released. A lot of steroid stuff has gone down in MLB since then:I couldn't wait to read this book, and bought it the first day it came out. A lot of people are giving Canseco flak for writing this book, even to the point of claiming that he made stuff up. But think about this: Take a look at some of these gargantuan baseball players over the last decade or so. Notice anything? They all look like monsters! Why do you think homerun records that have lasted years were suddenly broken? More than broken, shattered. Here's the deal: people are saying Canseco wrote this book just because he needed the money. So what? That doesn't mean it's not true. Canseco didn't have to fabricate anything. McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Giambi, Brady Anderson (remember him? Hit 50 homers one year batting leadoff after hitting a total of 41 the previous three years combined), Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmiero, Juan Gonzales, Bret Boone, etc. all looked more like bodybuilders than ballplayers. It's no secret these guys were juiced. People shouldn't shoot the messenger because they don't like the message or the messenger. Want further proof? Ivan Rodriguez showed up at spring training camp 23 lbs lighter this year. Hmm...I wonder why? Maybe because of the new MLB steroid policy? Canseco had nothing to lose by coming out about the issue of steroids. He has no ties anymore to MLB, and he has no reputation to protect. (Someone like a McGwire is retired, but he still wants to keep his good reputation). Only someone in Canseco's position could have written this book. My only criticism of this book is that Canseco tries to cover too much in its 284 pages. He could have stuck to the steroid issue only; or he could have just written a longer book, and given us more details about other parts of his career and life. An example-in the chapter about umpires, Canseco mentions the incident between the umpire and Robbie Alomar (Alomar spit in the ump's face). Then Canseco writes: "There was a lot more to that confrontation than people know." Well, Jose, how about TELLING US?! All in all, I recommend this book. It's also interesting to follow the reactions of the players and managers in the newspapers. It was priceless to see Bonds freak out the other day when he faced the media. He'll deny it to the grave. MLB can't hide their collective heads in the sand any longer.
MsGlock on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A heart-wrenching peek at Canseco's life. He pours his heart out to you, the good and the bad. This is a tough look into the world or steroids in baseball. I'm sure the other players are not happy with Canseco's candor. Major League Baseball isn't happy that everyone now knows THEY KNEW, THEY LOOKED THE OTHER WAY, all in the interest of making money. Sad topic, great book.
JaredBorneman More than 1 year ago
From the very first day of training camp Jose knew he needed to become bigger, faster and stronger. He turned to his friend for steroids and he could tell that they were going to be great for him. In this epic novel about the rampant use of steroids Jose Canseco tells us all about how he used them, how often, and who else in the league did too. Jose holds nothing back in this book he tells the media everything. From losing his mother and how emotional it was or when he thought about killing himself. He tells us about how his daughter saved his life and why he drove himself to be the best he could be. The part of this book that got to me the most was when he told us his mother is the only reason he became the athlete he did. He said when his mother was dying "I will be the greatest baseball player I can be". After she died Jose worked harder and harder and didn’t settle for anything but perfection. Although even after Jose made it big in the MLB he still doubted his talents he thought "wow I am not good enough to play with players such as Mark McGwire”. Jose Canseco talks about how steroids made him not only a better athlete but a less socially awkward man. He says steroids gave him the confidence to talk to women and go out in public and not be embarrassed about anything. Jose Canseco went from being a tiny and wimpy kid, to becoming a ripped and tough man. He started out being ok at baseball to becoming a 6 time MVP, winning the rookie of the year award and coming close to being inducted into the hall of fame (which I hope he does). Canseco is this book refers to himself as a “steroids expert” he tells us how he has studied steroids and tested different kinds. I highly recommend picking this book up and give it a try. I love baseball and this book was a bit of a wakeup call to what is really going on in the MLB. Jose Canseco is a man I admire not because he uses steroids but the way he carries himself with pride and integrity. He has gone through a lot in his life and I highly respect him for that. So give this book a try, you won’t regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
C-Ro More than 1 year ago
Juiced, by Jose Canseco is an interesting account of Canseco's life in Major League Baseball during the steroid era. In between his accounts of injecting people with steroids or educating them about steroids are endless displays of how much Canseco thinks of himself. It is an endless stream of stats and stories of why he was treated unfairly in the Majors and why he should be in the Hall Of Fame. Unfortunately for young baseball players like myself, the main message Canseco is sending is that he does not regret using steroids and he would do it again if given the chance. As a true baseball fan, with comments like these, I find it impossible to respect Canseco. His defense for using the steroids was simple; it made him better. This is obviously true. However, it is against the rules, so no matter how much better they make you or however many people around you are using them, the rules of baseball say it is cheating. If he had any respect for the game like he says, he would not be saying that he made the right decision. I really did like how brave he was to come out and tell everyone the truth; I like how he does this. If this was all he did, I'm sure I would have enjoyed the book much more, but with the additions of personal accolades I found it hard to get through. I do think it’s good to read this book, because it is important to hear all sides of a story; just be prepared to fight through the bogs of boasting. I have also read Canseco’s Vindicated, and it is very similar in the way it is written. It is also a good book to read, because it discusses the legal trials the players went through once the steroid scandal broke.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Lucas25 More than 1 year ago
To be 100% honest, I felt a tad bit saddened when I finally read the very last page of Juiced by Jose Canseco. The former Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and 6 time all star discusses in his book all about steroids, whether it was what kind, how much, or even who did them. Jose Canseco was really one of the first MLB player to admit to the media that he was using performance enhanceing drugs. The one big aspect that people didn't understand was that it was extremely popular at one time to use steriods only becasue it wasn't illegal. "During that era..." Canseco explains "...if you took steroids, it was almost as if you were to ice your arm after a game now a days.". Steriods actually changed Jose's life, once being a skinny mediocre ball player who fell in the shadows of his twin brother Ozzie to an Cuban version of the Hulk. As a top minor league prospect for the Oakland A's, he was convinced that- exspecially with arthritis, scoliosis, and other diseases - he never would have been a major-league caliber player without the drugs. Jose did do his fair amount of research before investing into steriods, and he also helped his fellow friends in the club house to get involved, like Mark McGwire. Jose not only tells us all about the MLB and its steriod use, but also the story behind his life and why he felt it was a necesity to use steriods. I absolutely loved reading this book. Being a huge baseball fan, I know a lot about the "dark ages" of baseball. To learn the truth from somebody who was there and witnessed everything going around him really intrigued me and made me realize the huge effect of steriods, both the good and bad. I would recommend this book to all sports fans out there. Yes, it does base most of the story in the Major League Baseball atmosphere, but it also makes you realize that a lot more people use it in a varietty of sports, from football to soccer to wresting. Juiced will get you so involved into this story that you will be reading for hours on end and not even realize it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mlb03 More than 1 year ago
The novel Juiced is a book written by Jose Canseco about his life. He was a great baseball player who devoted his life to becoming a professional baseball player. He did every thing he could do to make it to the Bigs. He had many issues in his life. People were always on him about his love life, also trouble with police and steroid use. As a young kid in the minors he realized that he needed a boost something to give him a edge. One day well at the gym he went and talked to his trainer. His trainer gave him some pills and it all started. He made it to the majors after gaining a lot of power in his swing. He was the first player to have both speed and power. He was the first player to hit 40+ home runs and steel 40+ bases in one season. He won rookie of the year and also a most valuable player award. His team won a world series to with his help. He talked a lot about the struggles of being in the minors and the bigs. I really liked this book because of how it was written it didn't hide things. He just said it strait what he did. He told you about how hard it was, which was very motivational to do better and work hard. He did say not to take steroids because that was going to far. That you could do it with out. Helped me feel better about being a small guy who plays tough ball. His writing style was fine because he went through the steps of his life. My dislikes were that he did talk much about what he did as a kid to get where he came to. It could have had more information about steroids and the dangers of taking them. I do not recommend this book for some one who does not know baseball or any sport ,only because they would not know the stress of needing to be bigger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Juiced, written by Jose Canseco, talks about things that happen in Major League Baseball. This book was specifically written about steroid use in baseball, and Jose talks about steroid use in baseball, and about players that he claimed used them, including Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Ivan Rodriguez. This book also talks about daily life on the road as an MLB player, and many of Jose¿s personal experiences in baseball, and life. Jose talks about what it felt like to sit on Madonna¿s lap, to have a ball bounce off his head for a homerun, and use steroids for the first time. He says that despite his hot-head reputation, he is a nice guy, and is fine despite having some bad experiences, like being in jail. The main character of Juiced is the author, Jose Canseco. He is a man who has been through a lot, good and bad, whose experiences make up the bulk of the book. Another important character in this book is Jose¿s father, Jose Canseco Sr. Jose Sr. was very hard on his sons because he wanted them to be their very best, and was very critical of Jose even during his MLB career. Jose¿s mother, Barbara, was the opposite of his father in that she was very nice and not very hard on her sons. Jose loved her very much, and as she was dying, he made a promise to her to become the best athlete in the world. An important passage in this book is when Jose shares his personal view on steroids. He claims,¿ Steroids are here to stay. That¿s a fact. I guarantee it. Steroids are the future. By the time my eight-year-old daughter, Josie, has graduated from high school, a majority of professional athletes- in all sports- will be taking steroids. And believe it or not, that¿s good news.¿ I believe this passage is important to understanding this book because it gives the author¿s opinion on the main topic of the book. Jose believes that steroids,¿ will make sports more exciting and entertaining¿, improve human life, and will make us,¿ live longer and better.¿ This explains the reasons why athletes use steroids: to entertain their fans, and to gain improved health. This idea is important because if you do not understand this, and do not look at Jose¿s opinion with an open mind, then you will not be able to read this book. Juiced is a book that shed a whole new light to the steroid era of baseball. I agree with Jose that in the future, steroids will be accepted, and can help you live a better life. I believe that this is good news, as increasing the quality and adding to the longevity of human life is great, and very important to our society. I also believe that Jose is a good person, who despite his reputation, is very kind and honest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew something was wrong with baseball and Jose confirms it with 'Juiced.' Usually, I'm a slow reader, but I couldn't put this book down and finished it in just two days. This is arguably the most important baseball book ever. I hope this book helps to rid steroids from baseball.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When first starting this autobiography by the great Jose Canseco, I was assuming, from the stories and reports I¿ve heard, that it was a low profile telling of the dark hidden secrets in Major League Baseball with him pointing out a few names of steroid users I was wrong. Many a times I had to put the book down to laugh out loud at the claims Jose Canseco was making. Though some may be true, often I ran over to a friend and said, ¿Hey, hey, look at what Jose Canseco said about steroids, isn¿t he hilarious.¿ Overall I found the stories to be highly entertaining, but also mostly believable. Certain parts of the book were a riot with Canseco making claims such as, ¿one day steroid use will be so accepted that everybody will be doing it¿¿(Canseco 2) and, ¿Every baseball player and pro athlete will be using at least some sort of low level steroids.¿(Canseco 2) Then on the other hand, certain parts of the book containing first-hand knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes in the locker room were very intriguing and opened my eyes to what lengths athletes will go to to enhance their abilities, albeit illegally. I could not fathom injecting a needle into a teammate¿s posterior, or having him return the favor just so my homeruns could go an extra forty or fifty feet, but the lure of the big money and big contracts is too tempting for many athletes to resist. Singles hitters don¿t get the big bucks, and even though it¿s wrong to think this way, some of them figured if the others guys are doing it and not getting caught, why shouldn¿t I do it and level the playing field.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a true fan of the game of baseball. I also was a big fan of Jose in his hayday. After reading his book, I do believe that he did get a bad deal from MLB. I don't agree with the fact that he used performance enhancing products to achieve the stats he compiled in his career. He already had tons of talent. You don't make it to the bigs without it. I respect Jose for coming clean about his career, but I think he should have not mentioned names the way he did. It's truly a good read if you want to know Jose's side of steriods.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like this book because it was about how steriods started off in professional baseball. I would recomend this book to anybody that has an interest in baseball, because it names off many baseball heros that have used steriods.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was very well written.I must admit,at the beginning of this steroid investigation,I wasnt fond of Canseco,however,he exposes a side of baseball that so many feared would eventually leak.Highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Eventhough Conseco is getting so much flak for this book, it truly is a great read. It opens your eyes to a side of baseball that most of us don't see but only hear rumors about. The book will make you sad, angry and happy all in one and you will be entralled from start to finish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this interesting and thought-provoking book, former slugger Jose Canseco takes the reader on a trip through his baseball life. From humble beginnings as a youngster in Cuba to the bright lights of major league baseball stadiums, Canseco lays everything on the line, including his use of anabolic steroids. Called ¿The Chemist¿, Canseco was known as the godfather of steroids. He freely passed his knowledge of steroids onto trainers and his fellow teammates such as Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Juan Gonzalez, even claiming to have personally injected the players himself. Canseco claims that many active players of today are using steroids. And with all of the added muscle and greatly improved stats these players are putting up, I would have to agree. Just compare Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire early in their careers and compare that to what they look like now and it is easy to see that Canseco has a reasonable argument. There were many things I exciting things in this book. I enjoyed reading about Canseco¿s rise to stardom from a difficult childhood and the support he offered towards his mother. Although, I think he became over exaggerated with the fact the media treated him differently due to him being Latino. There are many examples in the book where Canseco believes that racism was involved against him and even went as far as saying Mark McGwire was an ¿America¿s Boy¿. I believe that some sportswriters race may have been a factor to them but to believe that all of them were against him because he was Latino is just insane. Canseco also leads one to believe that if taken correctly, steroids can be beneficial. This may be true to some aspects, but Ken Caminiti a former player for the San Diego Padres, just recently died from the effects of steroids. Keeping this in mind, I¿m not sure if I would want to take that kind of a risk. As I scanned over others reviews to this book, I found there opinions tend to be mixed as mine, liking different parts of the book over other parts. Others found this book to be a total waste of time while many other people enjoyed reading this book and would give it a five stars rating if asked of their opinion. Publishers Weekly for example, write that ¿In this poorly written, controversial memoir, Canseco, a one-time American League MVP, reveals himself to be an unapologetic user of performance-enhancing drugs.¿ Proving that not everyone may enjoy this book. Reading over the reviews, the media seemed to criticize this book more so than the average fan did. It seems the fans are behind Canseco whereas the media is not. Overall, I concluded that this was a very interesting book that sheds light on a controversial issue. Baseball needs to clean up this steroid mess and put some hard and fast rules in place to stop the use of performance enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball has already moved in that direction by forcing a stronger penalty on the players who are caught taking steroids. Canseco does a great job of explaining how steroids work and gives the names of several suspected steroid users. You can choose to believe him yourself about injecting other players. The bottom line is there is a problem that needs to be addressed, and this book has finally shed some light on a topic that has been around for a long time and needs to be looked at by baseball.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not a huge Jose Canseco fan. But, although it may not have been his goal, he definitely deserves credit for forcing baseball -- and the country -- to give serious attention to the steroid problem that is transforming our national pastime. Way to come clean, Jose. A nice antidote to the scandal is Tom Stanton's book on a hero of a different time: Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you ever dream of having to do anything with the major leagues, you must read this book. It uncovers the dark side of America's pastime in more ways than one. I personaly was moved and forsed to think why players would do this. Baseball makes more sense after reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very good read. I could not put it down. I wish everyone read the book before they comment on it. No one likes a snitch, but somebody has to do it and it could do baseball some good to clean up the sport. People should also bear in minf that its about his life and experiences, not just who he named, as that would only take a page or two. You cant write a book just on naming names, so he tells a lot and I liked reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its a great book. It gives you the inside onto the baseball and proffesional sports world. It is very fast paced and sheds light into the taboo subject of performance enhancers. It is a great book! I enjoyed it very much.