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Jose Canseco on Congress and the Steroid Investigation

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," Mar. 14, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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PAT HALPIN, GUEST HOST: Welcome back to "Hannity & Colmes." I'm Pat Halpin, sitting in tonight for Alan Colmes.

Former and current baseball players and officials have been subpoenaed to testify in Washington this Thursday at congressional hearings on steroid abuse. While some players haven't said whether they will or will not attend the hearings, our next guest says he'll be testifying and has asked for immunity so he can answer all the questions.

Joining us now is the author of "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big," Jose Canseco and his attorney, Rob Saunooke.

Jose, good to have you.

JOSE CANSECO, FORMER BASEBALL PLAYER: Great. Great being here.

HALPIN: So you're not going to do this if they don't give you immunity?

CANSECO: Well, I think my attorney can answer that question properly.

HALPIN: Sir?

ROBERT SAUNOOKE, JOSE CANSECO'S ATTORNEY: Well, we're going to show up whether they give us immunity or not.

HALPIN: If they don't, will you say you're not going to...

SAUNOOKE: If they don't give us immunity, we'll take one question at a time and answer those that we can. We've said already that, you know, Jose is willing, ready, we cooperated, we want to tell the story, we want people to know about baseball. But if they are going to ask questions that are going to expose him to possible criminal liability, we're not going to answer them.

HALPIN: OK. So there is a possibility he may take the Fifth Amendment?

SAUNOOKE: Correct.

HALPIN: OK. Will he testify to the facts in this case under oath?

SAUNOOKE: He will testify to every single thing in his book, in his life, under oath.

HALPIN: OK. Because in this book, you talk about the summer of 1998. If you recall, that's when Sosa (search) and McGwire (search) were in this great home run race to break Roger Maris' record. And you said at that time, McGwire was at 280 pounds. And you said, quote, "It took a lot of injections for him, McGwire, to get past Roger Maris (search) that summer." Tell us about that.

CANSECO: Well, I don't know if that's actually quoted in the book, what you're actually reading right there, it took many injections for him to get...

HALPIN: To get past Roger Maris.

CANSECO: Roger Maris...

HALPIN: But it took a lot of injections to get him past Roger Maris that summer, breaking the home run record of Roger Maris, of course, who didn't use steroids back in 1961?

CANSECO: Saying that, obviously, you know, I truly believe Mark McGwire continued using steroids at that time.

HALPIN: So he was using them?

CANSECO: I truly believe so, yes.

HALPIN: And Sosa, as well?

CANSECO: Yes.

HALPIN: Now what about when you were traded to the Texas Rangers (search) back in 1997? I mean, it was known you -- again, you mentioned in your book, in 1998, Tom Boswell (search) had written about the fact that you were connected with using steroids and one of the first players to really kind of perfect that.

CANSECO: I think that was in 1988?

HALPIN: That was in 1988, he wrote about that?

CANSECO: Yes. He wrote an article saying that Jose Canseco was an obvious steroid user, before the playoffs the fourth game of the playoffs against the Boston Red Sox (search). And, you know, I remember that night vividly because all the fans were chanting, "Steroids, steroids." I think it was a full capacity crowd, maybe 40,000 at one time.

And, you know, I definitely believed that I was always the entertainer. I just flexed at the fans and they just loved it.

HALPIN: And it was good for baseball, all of that, all of that, all of that bulk, all of that power.

But let's go back to 1997. Nine years later, George W. Bush (search) is the managing partner of the Texas Rangers. And you said there is no way that he could have not known that you were using steroids.

CANSECO: There was an article written just prior to myself coming over to the Texas Rangers obviously saying that George W. Bush had to have known that Jose Canseco was linked with steroids. And I just elaborated on it.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Jose, first of all, congratulations, number one, New York Times best-seller. When you were starting in baseball, I'm not sure if you thought that that was going to be your future. Congratulations.

CANSECO: Thank you.

HANNITY: You said in the book, "I don't know Sammy Sosa personally." And you can't say for a fact he took steroids, "but I remember thinking his transformation was more dramatic than Mark's." You feel with 100 percent certainty you can spot a steroid user?

CANSECO: I think probably with about, you know, 90 percent. There are certain things you obviously look for, especially a large gain in weight in a short period of time.

HANNITY: Can they do it naturally? Can they do it with protein powders and some of the more natural -- and I'm speaking out of ignorance, I don't know. -- Is it possible?

CANSECO: Well, the body physically -- you would have to be an incredible genetic specimen to do that. And just a human body alone can't really do that.

HANNITY: Everybody in baseball now seems to hate you. You saw the reaction. For example, [Jason] Giambi, all the other players that you talked about in the book, they are all angry with you. What's been the reaction elsewhere? Have you heard from any of these guys?

CANSECO: Well, I definitely believe there are a lot of players in Major League Baseball (search), those that are not doing steroids, are probably saying it's about time someone comes out and talks about this. Steroids in the game really need to be cleared out completely and the competitive balance will be a lot even.

HANNITY: If Mark McGwire goes before Congress and denies every using steroids, he's lying before Congress?

CANSECO: Absolutely. He knows it. Absolutely.

HANNITY: Giambi would be lying before Congress?

CANSECO: Well, I think he's already admitted that he's used steroids.

HANNITY: That's what the report has been. You don't think he would do that?

CANSECO: Absolutely not, especially when he's already admitted using steroids.

HANNITY: Yes, what's the point?

CANSECO: What's the point?

HANNITY: One thing that may come up with Mark McGwire is -- you said in the "60 Minutes" interview that you might have injected him once or twice, but you said in the book you did it many times. How will you answer that question, between many times and once or twice?

CANSECO: Meaning, you know, we did it in the clubhouse many times. Whether I did it or he did it, I think people are kind of taking that out of context a little bit.

HANNITY: Why do you think, if this is what everybody did -- I interviewed Governor Schwarzenegger last week. -- He said, "Yes, I did it. I did it with a doctor's supervision. We didn't know much as much about it then as we know now. Now, with all that I know, I wouldn't do it. And I would urge other people not to do it because it will affect their health."

Why is there resistance to just admit the truth about this? Is there a shame in it? Is there... What is it?

CANSECO: I think for right now, I think these players are banking on the fact that it's their word against mine. And they believe that the way the media has portrayed me for the last 17 years that I would not have any weight with what I have to say. But, you know, lying to the public is one story. Lying in front of Congress is a it's a whole different world.

HANNITY: Do you think they are setting themselves up because if somebody can come in and prove that they are lying before Congress, that's a crime at that point. You're an attorney?

SAUNOOKE: That's the big concern we have right now. And it would be foolish for them to think they can walk in under oath and that Congress is going to permit them to -- Congressman Davis has already made it clear that they're not going to tolerate that. They want these subpoenas to be treated very seriously. And they are prepared to take action if they are not.

But you said something earlier about, you know, people in baseball hating Jose for what he's done. And it seems like just the opposite is now coming full circle.

HANNITY: No, I'm talking about the players. I was not -- some of the players...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: So some are coming to your defense? Some are saying, Jose, privately, they're saying, "Good job, it's important we clean up baseball"?

CANSECO: Not privately. But you can kind of feel that. I knew back then that there were some players who were really into physical fitness that were complaining about...

HALPIN: Jose, hold on for a second. We're going to continue with this on the other end of the break. So stay tuned, more with Jose Canseco.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: We continue now with Jose Canseco and his attorney.

All right. You were here last time. And you said, "In 30 days, the world is going to know I'm telling the truth." What were you telling me?

CANSECO: More or less 30 days. We're still structuring right now. It takes a little bit longer than what we thought, but we'll still hold on that.

HANNITY: You're not going to tell me?

CANSECO: Not yet.

HANNITY: I heard it's a lie-detector test.

CANSECO: It could be something related to that.

HANNITY: OK. I'm not going to push you on that.

Are you going to sue baseball?

CANSECO: I think my attorney can answer that.

SAUNOOKE: We're looking at all of our options right now. Baseball is an employer. These are employees. If an employer behaved the way Major League Baseball has, knowing and with complicity participating in the steroid use, they would be sued, just like an asbestos...

(CROSSTALK)

HALPIN: How does the antitrust play in this? We only have 45 seconds. Because baseball has a special legal status in this country.

SAUNOOKE: You know, recently, though, Brown vs. The National Football League (search) has changed a lot of the antitrust status cases and the protection that baseball may have had. And that will be a factor. But depending on what happens in Congress, it very well could change for everybody.

HANNITY: All right. One last question. You're going to testify before Congress. What do you want to tell them, real quick, in 15 seconds?

CANSECO: I think they just want to verify that everything I'm saying in the book is the actual truth.

HANNITY: So you're going to confirm the book at Congress?

CANSECO: Absolutely, yes.

HANNITY: And you'll stand behind it, as long as you get an immunity?

CANSECO: No, as long as it pertains to the book.

HANNITY: OK. We'll be watching this week. Thank you guys for being with us. We appreciate it.

CANSECO: Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: That is all the time we have left this evening. Our thanks to Pat Halpin, again, for filling in for Alan.

Good to see you, Pat.

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