In Juicing the Game, award-winning journalist Howard Bryant offers the only big-picture look at the insidious manner in which performance-enhancing drugs infested baseball as the game’s leaders stood idly by, reaping the rewards.
Combining hard-hitting investigative journalism with interviews with baseball heavyweights such as Jason Giambi, Commissioner Bud Selig, union head Donald Fehr, and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson among many others, Juicing the Game is the definitive book on both the steroid scandal and the era it has irreversibly tainted. BACKCOVER: “A rich and measured tale of the last dishonest decade . . . No more comprehensive, balanced or fair account exists. Bryant carefully and powerfully builds his case. The self-inflicted catastrophe could have no better chronicler.”
—Los Angeles Times
“If there ever was a ‘must read’ sports book of its time, this is it. Because of the undeniable truths it tells, Bryant’s book is essential reading.”
—The Washington Post Book World
The title suggests an expos of baseball's steroid problem, but that's merely the surface layer of Bryant's pervasive critique of how the sport has changed over the past decade. After professional baseball was derailed by a bitter strike in 1994, team owners searched for ways to bring fans back into the stadiums. The incredible boom in home-run hitting over the next few seasons offered such a motivation, and Bryant accuses managers and owners of actively ignoring the open secret of steroid use to keep sluggers like Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco in action. He's especially hard on commissioner Bud Selig, who "had the moral authority" to invoke a stiffer antisteroids policy and "did not use it." But he also considers how the rules were applied differently to favor hitters over pitchers, and details the intense battle between umpires and Major League administrators that ensued over attempts to reform the shrinking strike zone. Bryant's comprehensive reporting, based on a series of Boston Herald articles, takes readers right up to the brink of the current season, when Canseco's tell-all, Juiced, inspired Congress to issue subpoenas to the game's biggest stars. As baseball struggles to restore its integrity, this is the essential explanation of how things got so far out of hand.