Canseco playing for the Long Beach Armada in 2006 (Photo by Christian Petersen, Getty Images)
Laredo Broncos Sign Canseco as Bench Coach and Designated Hitter
Laredo, Texas (Saturday, August 14, 2010) – Former Major League Baseball (MLB) slugger and infamous steroid user Jose Canseco is back in the news again, and potentially back in the batter’s box as well. It was announced today by the Laredo Broncos of independent United League Baseball that Canseco has been signed by the team for the players’ minimum salary in a deal that will have him double up as a designated hitter and bench coach.
“Yes, I did sign with the Laredo Broncos,” Canseco stated on his Twitter page today. “I miss and love the game. Will be with them on Monday.”
Monday is the scheduled day for an official press conference between Canseco and the Broncos. The time and location of the event have yet to be announced.
“We gave him this option,” Laredo General Manager Jose Melendez stated. “He felt baseball was over with. We’re the ones who encouraged him to come back and return to the game of baseball and back to where his beloved fans can see him again.”
Canseco, who hit 462 homeruns in 17 MLB seasons, will suit up for Laredo in an upcoming home stand with the Rio Grande Valley White Wings from August 16-18th, and he will again join the team when it returns to Laredo from August 28-30th to host the Coastal Bend Thunder.
“He’s going to do a lot of work with kids, doing a lot of camps,” Melendez continued. “Doing all this for an independent team is a lot of sacrifice on his part. Jose is an amazing baseball player and accomplished so much in his baseball career. It would be great for the rest of the Broncos players to learn from him as well.”
The Broncos have planned a pair of one-day camps in which Canseco will take part, both of them being during the two Laredo home series that he will be in uniform. During his entire stay with the Broncos, the former Surreal Life star will also be filming a reality series. No further details regarding the show were available at the time of this story’s release.
This trip to the minor leagues is not the first for the 1985 American League Rookie of the Year and 1988 American League Most Valuable Player. Since 2006, Canseco has played for seven different minor league clubs. He received arguably the most notoriety of his professional career with the 2005 release of Juiced, a tell-all book about steroids in baseball. Accusations in the book were quickly dismissed when the book came out, but history has shown that it was actually quite accurate. Since that time, Canseco has gone in and out of the headlines with publicity stunts such a celebrity boxing and Mixed Martial Arts fights, none of which turned out particularly well.
As a side note to this signing, United League Baseball does not implement a drug testing policy.