Wednesday, March 9, 2005

This should be interesting!

Former baseball player Jose Canseco's tell-all book continues to cause problems for Major League Baseball. In his book, he admits to steroid use and says he injected former teammate Mark McGwire with steroids when they played together on the Oakland Athletics. He also calls out several other players regarding their own steroid use.

I don't know if he's telling the truth or not, but it's obvious that baseball players have gotten much bigger the past few years.

A number of players mentioned in the book, including Rafael Palmiero, have threatened legal action. What's interesting is that they've threatened, but have not actually sued. This tells me that there's fire under the smoke and legal action will bring out things that players don't want brought out.

These threats may become irrelevant as the House Reform Committee wants to hold hearings on steroid use and has "invited" (subpoenaed?) Canseco and several other ballplayers to testify. The other players include McGwire, Palmiero, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa and Jason Giambi. For some reason, Barry Bonds has not been included. The testimony is voluntary and the players cannot be forced to testify. Canseco so far is the only one willing to testify under oath.

Too bad these players can't be compelled to testify. Wouldn't it be great theater to watch them testify? Can't you just see Sosa squirm under the bright lights when explaining how the source of his power is the Flintstone's vitamins he says he takes? Just seeing Canseco in the same room with these other players would be fun to watch. C-SPAN could make it a pay-per-view event.

Update (6:29 PM CST): There is now some disagreement whether or not the "invitations" are really subpoenas and thus the appearance is mandatory rather than voluntary. It was earlier reported that the players could testify on their own volition. (Canseco being the only one agreeing to testify; Schilling is considering it.) Now there is a question if it's Contempt of Congress should they fail to appear.

This is getting "interestinger and interestinger." Stay tuned!

Update (March 9, 2005 12:29 PM CST): Of the players invited to the hearing, only Jose Canseco and Frank Thomas have agreed to voluntarily appear. It appears now that the Committee will subpoena the other players and baseball officials (including Commissioner Bud Selig) to appear at the hearing on March 17.