Most players would cringe upon learning they were mentioned in “Juiced,” Jose Canseco’s tell-all book about steroids in baseball.
Almost all of them would be intensely curious as to what was written.
Ben Grieve (above), befitting his laid-back personality, did not bother to open the book until the past weekend. While driving from his home in Flower Mound, Texas, to attend spring training with the Pirates, he stopped at a Barnes & Noble, picked up a copy and flipped to the page devoted almost entirely to him.
To his satisfaction, he saw that Canseco accused him only of being misguided for staying away from steroids while both were members of the Oakland Athletics in the late 1990s.
“Let me tell you, Ben Grieve was a kid who needed to take steroids,” Canseco wrote. “He had a slow bat, slow feet and average ability.”
Grieve had a few laughs about his inclusion after a round of batting practice at McKechnie Field yesterday, when position players were required to report to Bradenton.
“At first, I thought it was good,” Grieve said with a wide smile. “He wasn’t accusing me of anything. He was saying I didn’t do steroids, so that kind of made me look good. But then he said something about the A’s doing a favor to my dad by drafting me. It made my dad pretty mad. It made me a little ticked off, too. But, you know, Jose is Jose. That’s just his opinion. It’s just kind of silly, really.”
This is the same Ben Grieve, mind you, that Lou Piniella went nuclear on for not showing adequate cooler-smashing ‘tude.