Ex-teammate Stewart not happy Canseco's telling all
Posted: Tuesday February 8, 2005 12:21PM; Updated: Tuesday February 8, 2005 3:36PM
Jose Canseco's book isn't out yet, but it's already rocking the baseball world.
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I dropped in on Camp Leo last week, but first a few words about Jose Canseco's forthcoming tell-all. On Monday, a spokesperson for HarperCollins' Regan Books, the book's publisher, told me that they "were not aware" that Sunday's New York Daily News report -- that said Canseco's autobiography alleges steroid use by Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Juan Gonzalez -- was coming out. The spokesperson also said that because of the Daily News' front-page story, the publishing company decided Monday afternoon to move the release date up a week, from Feb. 21 to Feb. 14. So there you have it: Canseco's book will hit bookstores just in time for you last-minute Valentine's Day shoppers.
There wasn't much love when I talked to Canseco's former A's teammate Dave Stewart on Monday. Stewart was on the A's with Canseco and McGwire, and like most in baseball, he knew this book was coming. "When people started hearing about the book a year ago, there was a little talk about it but not a lot," he says. "I'm not shocked that this book is coming out -- he's been talking about it for a while -- I'm just shocked about some of the names that are included. There's been a rule in baseball, that what you do in the clubhouse and ballpark stays there. There should be anger and people who are pissed off when this book comes out."
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Adds Stewart, "I don't know Jose to be a liar, that's not one thing I'd call him. I liked him off the field, but I didn't like him as a teammate. He didn't work very hard at the game, he didn't really like baseball all that much. He had an "I don't give a damn" attitude. But that doesn't mean I can call him a liar. What he's saying, I can't deny it or verify it. We weren't in the same circles, and he probably knows what's going on in his circle. But he better be right. If this is made up, he'll suffer some serious damages."
A former Rangers official and close friend of Juan Gonzalez's wouldn't comment about the book's reported allegations, but he dismisses Canseco's reported contention that President Bush must have known about steroid use on the Rangers. "What surprised me was the comment about Mr. Bush," he says. "He was in the clubhouse maybe three times a week, and even then he'd just drop by the office for about 10 minutes. He didn't hang around the clubhouse, he really couldn't have known what was going on at all."
Lots more to come on this -- we haven't even touched the Daily News' juiciest revelation: "Canseco says he never slept with Madonna. They made out in her Manhattan apartment one night, he claims, but that's as far as it went," reports the paper. Stay tuned.