working, he got bigger than ever, and the coaches and I got suspicious and actually confronted him."196 Similarly, Dave McKay, an Oakland coach from 1984 to 1995, told the New York Times that Canseco would speak openly about steroids and ignore advice to stop using them.197 He was also quoted in the Toronto Sun as having said that: "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?'"198
But when La Russa and McKay were interviewed in connection with this investigation, they both denied having direct knowledge that Canseco had used steroids. La Russa claimed that he had "exaggerated" in his CBS interview, that Canseco had never used the word "helper," and that, in fact, La Russa had never confronted Canseco about his use of steroids. When asked why he would "exaggerate" on national television, La Russa said that he questioned Canseco's motives in making the statements he had made and he felt that Canseco was trying to impugn the achievements of his former Oakland teammate Mark McGwire and the Oakland teams of the late 1980s. McKay did not deny the accuracy of his reported statements, but he claimed that the statements did not amount to an acknowledgment that he had first-hand knowledge of Canseco's use of steroids. McKay said that when he stated that "we had one guy who talked about steroids and that was Jose," he meant only that if any player might have used steroids it was Canseco. McKay also heard other people mention that Canseco might have used steroids.
196 Bernie Miklasz, Previous Defense of Canseco Hurts La Russa's Case, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 14, 2005, at D1.
197 Tyler Kepner, La Russa Disputes Claims in Canseco's Book, N.Y. Times, Feb. 7, 2005, at D1.
198 Bob Elliot, McKay: Anger to Pity: Ex-A's Coach Tells Bob Elliot that He Expects to Be Named in Canseco's Controversial Book, Toronto Sun, Feb. 10, 2005, at Sports 6.