February 21, 2005

A story of life, love and buttocks


You probably haven't heard, but Jose Canseco authored a new book about injecting high-profile athletes in the butt with steroids. The BPF offers some quick thoughts on the controversial best-seller, "Juiced."

I had a chance to read "Juiced" this weekend. Despite the contradictions, wrong dates, and at least one misspelling of "McGwire," it's not that bad, story-wise. I only believe about 75 percent of it, but fact or fiction, I'm right there with him inside the Oakland Coliseum bathroom stall, with Mark McGwire's big, white behind in plain sight.

What impressed me most about Canseco the writer (kind of like saying Incaviglia the dancer) is he maintains a logical flow. That's more than you can say about some sports books. For instance, I'm reading "The Last Season" by Phil Jackson. Jackson is supposedly an academic of the sports world. I dare anyone to tell me the point of this horrible book.

On the steroid issue, I haven't posted anything on the subject, and it's not that I'm disinterested. I've kept silent for the same reason professional writers have been silent about it for years. It breaks our understanding of the game, and our illusion of what is real. Ask Mike Lupica in hindsight if the "Summer of '98" is still the magical season that inspired his best-selling book.

So a juicy thumbs up for "Juiced," for challenging conventional wisdom the way Jim Bouton did in "Ball Four," and for spinning an enjoyable yarn.

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