Souhan: Canseco is no Saint, but it might not be a bad idea

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 28, 2013 - 11:34 PM

Former slugger would fit right in with St. Paul team; he might even be interested.


Carlos Lee (45) congratulates teammate Jose Canseco at the Metrodome in 2001.

Photo: Tom Olmscheid, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

HARLINGEN, TEXAS - I've got a couple of choice words for Mike Veeck:

You're welcome.

I inadvertently made a scouting trip for Veeck's St. Paul Saints last weekend. While in Texas on other business, I stumbled into Jose Canseco playing in the Winter Baseball League.

Canseco would be perfect for the St. Paul Saints. He'd bring attention whether he played well or not. He'd probably say or do something crazy. And he might occasionally make contact with a fastball.

He's even willing to pitch, so the Saints' biggest worry might be keeping the Twins from signing him.

There were about 100 people in the stands. Between games, Canseco stood by the clubhouse signing autographs.

At 48, he looks as massive and fit as he did in his prime, when he was one of baseball's best sluggers. How does he do it?

"Steroids!'' he yells. Then he laughs.

This is why Canseco is a natural for the Saints. He's at once an oddity and the ultimate baseball anti-establishment bogeyman, and how do the Saints promote themselves? As wacky and anti-establishment.

They've put uniforms on a woman (Ila Borders), a man without legs (Dave Stevens), an elderly man (Minnie Minoso) and a mute (J.D. Drew). Why not add a combination whistleblower/Greek (OK, Cuban) god?

"I stay active,'' he said. "I eat right. I don't drink, I don't smoke, none of that crazy stuff. I love sports. I love baseball. Having good genetics doesn't hurt.''

Canseco has the unique distinction of being unofficially banned from a game for being right. However distasteful he may be to the professional baseball establishment, however irresponsible his accusations seemed initially, he turned out to be right about baseball's problem with performance-enhancing drugs.

I ask if he's been blackballed because of his book, partly entitled "Juiced.'' He places a hand on my shoulder, turns to the autograph-seekers and announces, "We have our winner!

"I don't think affiliated baseball would ever consider me, so I don't have high hopes for that, because I wrote a book against baseball. I'm probably their No. 1 enemy, period.''

Does he stay in touch with former teammates? "They're not supposed to talk to me,'' he said. "I'm unique because I wrote a book blowing the lid off everything.''

Follow him on Twitter or via gossip media, and Canseco's life can seem ridiculous or sad. That's why he's perfect for the Saints. He's become a baseball Kardashian. He's famous for being famous.

That's not as lucrative an endeavor as it used to be for Canseco. He signed with the WBL to play six games, alternating teams, in three days. The one ticket-taker on site charged $5 a head. Canseco's was the only name that drew audible cheers.

He's signed on for a few gigs like this, playing in independent leagues. He says he's working on a couple of movies but that his heart remains in baseball and that he would like to help an independent league market itself.

I ask if he's talked to the St. Paul Saints. Canseco looks at his manager, Jose Melendez, and asks, "What do you say, agent?''

"That's where you should be playing,'' Melendez said. "That's the best. I don't know if they would take us.''

Canseco went 3-for-20 in his weekend in Harlingen, although he did hit a long fly to left that the wind blew foul on Saturday afternoon.

"He's one of the few people who doesn't regret his life,'' Melendez said. "He lived through everything and he said he would do it again, because he had fun doing it.

"Usually people in his situation, who were up there and now are down here, have thoughts of suicide. He doesn't. He's happy-go-lucky. He'll go anywhere to play baseball. He makes so much money doing appearances and reality shows, and here he makes peanuts, but he loves baseball. I don't think Barry Bonds would do this.''

Barry Bonds. Hmm. I've got a couple of choice words for Mike Veeck ...

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 86 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
Phoenix 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 108
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM


question of the day

Poll: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters