Jose Canseco said he couldn't believe that Alex Rodriguez wasn't named in the Mitchell report. But A-Rod says in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" he's never even been tempted to use performance-enhancing drugs.
In the interview, scheduled to air Sunday, when asked by Katie Couric if he had used steroids, human growth hormone or another performance-enhancing drug, Rodriguez said, "No."
"I think baseball's done a fine job of implementing some very strict rules," Rodriguez said in the interview. "I mean, I got tested eight or nine times. I know some of my teammates got tested, you know, seven, eight ... times and, you know, if you think about where the game is today versus where it was six years ago, I think Major League Baseball has made some nice strides."
The comments were expected to air days after Canseco, an admitted steroid user, said he was unimpressed with the Mitchell report. The former Oakland Athletics slugger tried to get into the Mitchell
report news conference Thursday but was barred by Major League Baseball officials, who said it was a "media only" event.
"[The report is] a slap on the hand," he told Fox Business Network on Thursday. "The
report proved nothing. It just proved what we already knew."
Canseco's name appears 105 times in the Mitchell report, more
than that of Barry Bonds (103) or Roger Clemens (82). In all, the 409-page report identified 86 names to differing degrees, but Clemens clearly was the symbol.
"I saw the list of players, and there are definitely a lot of
players missing," he told Fox Business Network. "I don't know
what they accomplished or what they are trying to prove."
Prodded further about players not included, Canseco said this of
A-Rod: "All I can say is the Mitchell report is
incomplete. I could not believe that his name was not in the
The 32-year-old Rodriguez won his third AL Most Valuable Player
award last month after hitting .314 with 54 homers and 156 RBIs. He
finalized a $275 million, 10-year contract with New York last week
after opting out of his deal on Oct. 28.
"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field," Rodriguez said.
"... I felt that if I did my, my work as I've done since I was,
you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem
competing at any level."
Rodriguez said the way the opt out was handled was a nightmare,
and he understood why baseball fans and officials were upset with
how it was handled.
Canseco was one of the first to admit using steroids in his 2005
book "Juiced." There, he gave specific names of other players who
allegedly used, including teammate Mark McGwire.
In Mitchell's report, Canseco is reported as the first target of
public speculation about steroids in baseball. In 1988, Washington
Post writer Thomas Boswell claimed Canseco was "the most
conspicuous example of a player who has made himself great with
Canseco, coming off the first 40 home run-40 steal season in
baseball history, denied using steroids at the time. He won the MVP
award that year.
He changed his tune in his book, in which he recounts his use of
anabolic steroids and human growth hormone, and claimed widespread
use throughout the league.
According to Mitchell's report, former Oakland manager Tony La
Russa told "60 Minutes" in 2005 that Canseco used to laugh about
how other players were spending time in the gym, and how he didn't
have to, because he was doing the other 'helper.'
"You know, the easy way," La Russa had said.
Dave McKay, an Oakland coach from 1984 to 1995, told the Toronto
Sun at the time: "We had one guy who talked about steroids and
that was Jose. ... The most common question I was asked was: 'I
won't get too big, will I?" '
When interviewed in connection with the report, however, La
Russa and McKay said they had no direct knowledge Canseco used
After Canseco's book came out, he and McGwire were among the
players subpoenaed to appear before the House Committee on
Government Reform. McGwire refused to answer specific questions.
In the course of the Mitchell investigation, a number of people
who knew McGwire were interviewed. No one other than Canseco
alleged use by McGwire.
Barry Bonds, already under indictment on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroids, Miguel Tejada and Andy Pettitte also showed up in the Mitchell report. Others include 2003 Cy Young winner Eric Gagne and 2000 AL MVP Jason Giambi.
There were also lesser-known players named, such as outfielder F.P. Santangelo. Now a morning radio host in Sacramento, Santangelo was named in the report as a user of performance-enhancing drugs.
In an interview with the Sacramento Bee, he said he took human growth hormone but denied using Deca-Durabolin, an anabolic steroid, and testosterone, which the report claimed he did.
"I don't know where that came from," said Santangelo, who played from 1995 to 2001 with Montreal, San Francisco, the Dodgers and Oakland. "I never did any of that.
"But I did growth hormones. I was at a point of my career when I took it -- twice -- because I panicked. I didn't want my career to end. I can't justify it and say it was right, because cheating is wrong, but I admit, I did it."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.