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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 13, 2014

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Today on The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast, I give thanks to Jose Canseco.

No really, I do.
If he didn’t write that book and expose the steroid era, we could have a bigger Hall of Fame fiasco than we do now.

Sick of the talk about not voting in juicers?
Imagine the cry to kick them out after they were voted in!

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 13, 2014

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Top Ten Stat of the Week: Players with 40 HRs on 4 Different Teams Or More

Monday July.02/2012

Gary Sheffield hit 30 HRs and 120 RBI in both 2004 and 2005 for the Yankees before injuries held him to just 39 games in 2006. Sheffield also hit 40+HRs on 5 other teams (per stay) besides the Bronx Bombers in his career. –Photo courtesy of exposay.com

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)- As the world of Twitter and Facebook has invaded the internet these days, I am brainstorming about all sorts of stats I have had in my head for years.  This stat came to my head because of Gary Sheffield.  A few years back, I watched a game on my birthday at Safeco Field.  It was the New York Yankees and Sheffield visiting.  There are players that you are sure to watch live in person.  Gary Sheffield was one of these hitters.   Not only is he one of 25 player in history to hit 500 HRs, but he had one of the fiercest swings ever.  The man would wiggle that bat back and forth like a toothpick before striding and swinging with daunting ferocity.  It was an unorthodox style that must have made Little League coaches cringe, yet it was effective.  Sheffield was a bit of a hot head though, this may have led to him being traded or not re-signed by several teams.  Hitting 40 HRs for 6 different teams is definitely impressive and may never be duplicated.  I knew he had played on several teams already so the seed of today’s article was planted back in 2005.

Fred McGriff was the exact opposite of Gary Sheffield when it came to temperament.  This man was traded several times in his career because he could flat-out hit.  Jose Canseco is the only other player besides McGriff and Sheffield to hit 40 HRs with 5 different teams.  The reason many older players are not on this list is because free agency never arrived in the MLB until the early 70’s when Curt Flood challenged a trade and the Players Union saw it through.  Now player movement has enabled more players switching teams each season than ever before.  Rusty Staub was the 1st to make this list and Alfonso Soriano is the last player to make this list and the only current player left.  I have a feeling we will see more players arrive on this list in the next 25 years.

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Jose Canseco: MLB Hero or Villain?

Thursday June 14, 2012

John Burns (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  The “Godfather” of steroids Jose Canseco has been through the depths of baseball controversy- from the start of his baseball career to this present day. 

Canseco is one of the few MLB players that admitted to using performance enhancing drugs during his career. He was definitely though not the only player in his era to use steroids. Canseco wrote a book titled: “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big”, where he “snitched” on a large number of MLB players that were juicing at the time. Some of the MLB players that Canseco stated that were steroids users in his book: Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan González, and Roger Clemens to name a few.

Jose Canseco was a fan favorite in Oakland from 1985-1992 and then had another stint with the A’s in 1997. Canseco received many awards and achieved a number of milestones during his 16 years in the MLB; First player ever to join 40-40 club, 6 time All-Star, 2 time World Series Champion, 4 time Silver Slugger Award, AL MVP, AL Rookie of the Year, and AL Comeback Player of the Year. Of course most of those awards are now tainted because of his use of steroids.

As crazy as this might sound I consider Jose Canseco a hero for cleaning up the game of baseball. Yes, he cheated- but he is one of the few who admitted it. In the process, he virtually cleaned up baseball by “ratting out” other MLB players. Most of the past or present MLB players highlighted by Canseco do not admit to taking steroids, even though there is sufficient evidence that many of them did. I believe Jose Canseco is great for baseball and he is the reason for baseball being clean. Or at least cleaner.

There are many people who believe that Jose Canseco is a bum who turned his back on the game of baseball. Everyone has a right to their opinion, as even Canseco himself on occasion has said that he would not have written his books had he known the long-term effects of the decision. But believe it or not, I strongly disagree with the Canseco critics. Don’t get me wrong, steroids are terrible for baseball and nobody should use them. But Jose Canseco admitted to his mistakes. Like I said earlier, many players still do not admit their errors to this day. This is one of the reasons why Jose Canseco has my respect. For not only telling the truth, but by cleaning up the sport I love.

Jose Canseco should be remembered as one of the men who helped save the game of baseball. Just imagine if Canseco didn’t sell out the players named in his literary works. You can’t tell me that guys like Mark McGwire would admit to any wrongdoing if they weren’t accused. At the end of the day, Jose Canseco should have the legacy of a great player, who made some dumb decisions. But he was man enough to admit when he was wrong and ended up fixing the game that he helped break in the first place.

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