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Call to action (cont.)

Posted: Tuesday April 1, 2008 12:43PM; Updated: Tuesday April 1, 2008 5:16PM
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"It can be an observation, a third party allegation or an anecdote," said Bob Dupuy, MLB's president and chief operating officer, adding, "The threshold for an investigation is any information that deals with the security of the game and integrity of the game."

MLB isn't saying whether Vindicated's A-Rod allegations have rung the alarms of its investigators, but Canseco wasn't aware of any sleuthing by baseball's investigative branch.

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"No one has spoken to me," Canseco said. "It's the strangest thing. If baseball had come to me from Day One and said, 'Jose, we know you're doing steroids and others are, too; help us get it out of the game,' I would have helped."

Canseco is freighted by motives, but so far most of his allegations (see Rafael Palmeiro and Co.) have been proven true. Baseball might have preserved some dignity and at least offered the illusion of caring about doping by reaching out to Canseco long ago in an attempt to stop the loon in his path.

Attention is as good as currency to Canseco. He craves the power of relevance. True, there is no doubt that his Bentley lifestyle has been downgraded to BMW after two divorces, brushes with the law and a civil suit over a fight that cost him, according to court records, $376,064.

But his two gotcha novels -- with Vindicated as 240 pages of self-glorification wrapped around 20 pages of note about the holes in the Mitchell Report, the steroid injection he says he gave Magglio Ordonez and the tawdry A-Rod accounts -- are less about Canseco's greed than his grievances.

"I'm dangerous, and baseball knows it," Canseco said.

Danger can be mitigated. Clemens played to Canseco's ego perfectly. After Clemens appeared on 60 Minutes in January, Canseco wrote in his book that he was contacted by Roger's lawyers to talk with him about Brian McNamee's allegations. Team Rocket wanted Canseco, who had always doubted Clemens' purity through implication, to sign an affidavit saying Clemens had not attended a 1998 party at Canseco's house and discussed steroids, as McNamee claimed.

Canseco flew to Houston and as he writes in Vindicated, "When I got there, Roger picked me up at the airport." He had Canseco at "Hello." As Canseco wrote, the more he spent time with Roger "the more I came to believe that I'd been wrong about him. So I signed the affidavit."

In other words, he flipped. Just like that. A little lovin' on Canseco's psyche -- no matter how contrived -- went a long way. Baseball officials should try that, because if they don't value Canseco's insider information -- even if some of it is dubious, even if they've had a longtime rift with him -- he'll just spew more of it in his next book. And you can already see him licking a pencil tip for No. 3, on what the game's general managers, trainers and owners knew.

And he knows a lot of owners -- including a former Rangers owner named George W. Bush.

"I'd assume he knew, yes," Canseco says. "They all knew what was going on: Their players were using steroids."

It's up to baseball's new detective squad to unearth the truth about A-Rod, about Ordonez, about their owners, before Canseco makes it a trilogy.

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