|Thursday, June 6
Updated: June 7, 2:36 PM ET
Literary agent: Canseco said he used steroids
ESPN.com news services
Jose Canseco admitted in meetings with potential book publishers this week in New York that he used steroids while he was playing in the majors, his literary agent confirmed in a story in Friday's Wall Street Journal.
It is the first admission that Canseco has made regarding his own steroid use, although it's long been rumored. It comes less than a week after former National League MVP Ken Caminiti told Sports Illustrated that he used steroids as well.
Canseco said he used two varieties of steroids -- including pills and needle injections. He also told publishers he used steroids with, and helped obtain them for, other players, Ronald Laitsch, Canseco's literary agent, confirmed to Wall Street Journal reporter Sam Walker, a regular contributor to ESPNEWS. Canseco also added that some of the major leaguers he helped procure the drugs for were still playing.
The Journal's story does not name these other players, but says that according to publishing insiders, Canseco in the book will admit for the first time his own extensive steroid use and will "name names" of other major leaguers who used the drug as well.
When he announced his retirement last month, Canseco suggested that 85 percent of all major leaguers took steroids. He initially would not admit if he took steroids, himself, saying he would give details in his book.
Caminiti had estimated to Sports Illustrated that at least 50 percent of major league players took steroids, but later backed off those estimates.
Laitsch, who required book editors to sign confidentiality agreements before meeting with Canseco, says his client has already started putting material together for the book with Florida sportswriter Bill Chastain and expects to have a manuscript ready by late August. The agent also said Canseco implicated other major leaguers by name in these private meetings with book editors.
"Jose doesn't plan to pull any punches," Laitsch told The Journal.
Other topics Canseco said he would cover in his book are his relationship with Madonna, failed marriages, and his suspicion that he was "exiled" from baseball.
"I've had a lot of athletes in different sports and I know a lot of people in the acting field that all told me I've been exiled, basically blackballed," Canseco told The Associated Press. . Canseco announced his retirement May 14, leaving the game with 462 home runs, 1,407 RBI and a .266 batting average in 1,887 games with seven teams. He was hitting .172 with five homers and nine RBI in 18 games for Triple-A Charlotte when he quit.
The 37-year-old Canseco was one of the game's most colorful figures, on and off the field. He assured co-author Chastain that no aspect of his private life will be off-limits.
"Jose has led a very interesting life, and he has a story to tell," said Chastain, a former Tampa Tribune sports writer.
"People have always been fascinated by him."
Canseco isn't concerned about what other players might think of the way they're portrayed in the book.
"It's just going to be part of my life," Canseco said. "In a lot of ways, my life wasn't perfect, either. I made a lot of mistakes. I'm going to talk about that also."
He says he hasn't spent much time thinking about whether he deserves to make the Hall of Fame.
"That's not for me to judge," he said. "I know I was injured a lot, and I know if I would have been given the opportunity to play baseball more, I would have easily hit 500 home runs, maybe even 600."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.