Baseball, steroids and identity

You could do worse than watch some of the testimony on baseball and steroids taking place in Washington. As we PR folks prepare our clients for public speaking opportunities, we often suggest they "just be themselves." Relax! You're presenting your point of view! You're an expert in the field! You've got this nailed!

And then we emphasize bridging to key messages. Staying on track. Avoiding the knockdown punch.

Jose Canseco - whether you believe him or not - seems to have moved beyond this artifice. Michael Chabon, writing in an NYT Op/Ed, observed:

    I've never seen a man who seems more comfortable with who he is than Jose Canseco. Not with who we think he is, like our current president, or with his best idea of himself, like our president's predecessor, but with himself: charmer and snake, clown and thoroughbred.

That's because he's laid his entire identity on the line. And that was something Mark McGwire, lawyered up and seemingly concerned for the future, was not willing to do.

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