Steroids Don't Buzz the Book World for Baseball

by Suzie Raven

It takes some gall to sell out your older brother to make a quick buck, even if you aren’t close. This doesn’t bother Jay McGwire, younger brother of baseball slugger Mark McGwire, who broke Roger Maris’ single-season homerun record by hitting 70 in 1998. (Barry Bonds later broke McGwire’s record). Jay submitted a 58-page manuscript to publishers last week, in which he claims that he gave his brother his first steroid injection in 1994. It also includes details on Mark’s ‘roid rage and pleading the fifth at congressional hearings.

Several New York publishers have already passed on the manuscript. I’m sure the publisher’s decision to pass is financial. Too much time has elapsed since McGwire’s 2001 retirement from the St. Louis Cardinals and his 2005 congressional hearing, making the book less appealing.

It’s also not like the market lacks books on steroid confessions. In Jose Canseco’s 2005 memoir Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ’Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big, Canseco claimed he introduced McGwire to steroids in 1988, when they played for the Oakland A’s. Jay disputes this in his manuscript.

We also have Bases Loaded, a memoir by steroids dealer Kirk Radomski coming to bookstores today (Jan. 27) and Game of Shadows, a 2006 book about steroids in sports written by two journalists.

“The whole steroid thing has been done,” said Frank Sanchez, the head buyer at Kepler’s Books and Magazines.

It’s not just that the whole steroid confession thing has been done before — it’s also that someone beat Jay to capitalizing on McGwire’s alleged use.

Just like a player should not be inducted to the Hall of Fame if he needed steroids to break records, Jay McGwire should find a way to make money that does not involve taking advantage of his brother’s name. I hope no one picks up the book.

(The cover of Bases Loaded is from publishers Hudson Street Press who use it for promotional purposes.)

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kbgressitt said...

Wowy, between the familial craziness and the league crappola, I feel vindicated following only badminton. Interesting, though -- thanks!

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