The Dynastic Ambitions of Jose Canseco


It won’t surprise you to learn that I’m an opinionated fellow. After all, I am on the Internet pretty much constantly, and roughly 95 percent of the Internet is powered by misguided righteous indignation. And I’m proud to say that few, if any, are more misguided than I am.

But for all of my many misguided opinions, perhaps none of them were so misguided as my belief that dynasties were typically measured in years and accomplishments. I mean, sure, we can measure them in those things. But if we do, then the winner invariably ends up being the 4th Egyptian Dynasty because “ooh, look at me, I built some pyramids.” Or the Japanese Emperors because their line dates back to at least 500 AD. How boring. We need new criteria!

But what to choose? We could measure a dynasty in seasons on television, or duck calls sold, or albums sold, or games won, or descendents who wind up ruling nation-states.

Fortunately, Internet philosopher Jose Canseco is an expert on a great many things, only some of which are related to hitting round objects with other round objects. One of those other things on which Canseco can wax poetically is the founding and maintenence of a dynasty. For Canseco was there from 1988-1990, when the Oakland A’s had an unbroken reign over the American League. He saw what it took to carve out that top spot and to hold it. And that is:

See friends? You don’t measure a dynasty in years or in accomplishments. You measure it in fear. Fear and knowing that your opponent knows you know the fear he has…or something. But mostly in fear. You don’t rule and then force your children upon your subjects because you’re inherently better than anyone else, but because the thought of the hammer you (and your spawn) might bring down on any who challenge you is debilitating.

And thus is it that I nominate Dayn Perry, drunk and naked after nine adult beverages, as the greatest dynasty there has ever been, or ever will be, as that’s the scariest thing I can think of. It’s either him or the offensive prowess of Jim Rice.

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Mike Bates used to have a stupid pseudonym. Now he doesn't because people want to pay him to write about baseball on the Internet and he's really a sell out that way. He is also a Designated Columnist at SBNation, co-founder of The Platoon Advantage, and is an American Carpetbagger on Getting Blanked, the finest in Canadian baseball-type sites. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter here:

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