Jose Canseco: Life After Retirement
The newest cast of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice was announced last week. In addition to the usual slew of musicians, models and actors, a name familiar to sports fans -- Jose Canseco -- is among the contestants. Since last playing for the White Sox in 2001, the former Bash Brother has done anything but fade into the sunset. Here is a look at Canseco's antics since his retirement.
Canseco's once seemingly outrageous claims were proven legitimate when the 2007 Mitchell Report named 89 former and current MLB players who had used steroids or HGH. The Mitchell Report was released two years after this Congressional Hearing on Steroids in Baseball.
Canseco, a sucker for the Hollywood limelight, got a chance to star in a VH1 reality show in 2005. He was cast in the Surreal Life, where he lived in a mansion with D-List celebrities, including Sandi Denton of Salt n Pepa, Caprice Bourret, Bronson Pinchot and Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.
With the attention he was getting, Canseco decided to take another shot at a career in baseball. At 41, he signed a one-year deal with the Independent Golden Baseball League's San Diego Surf Dawgs. One game into the season he requested a trade to the Long Beach Armada for "family reasons." Over the past four years Canseco has also played for the Huntsville Stars, Medford A's, Pawtucket Red Sox, Newark Bears and Charlotte Knights.
After a flurry of revelations that steroids were prevalent in baseball, Canseco released a second book in 2008, Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and the Battle to Save Baseball . In the book Canseco proudly boasts that he launched the Steroid Era and changed the game more than any other player. He also claimed to be the first person to introduce Alex Rodriguez to a steroid distributor. Though A-Rod denied Canseco's claims, he later admitted his steroid use between 2001 and 2003.
Canseco has had several run-ins with the law, most for domestic issues. After hanging up his cleats, Jose and his brother Ozzie beat up two tourists at a Miami night club and were charged with aggravated battery. In 2008, Canseco was also caught by the Customs and Border Protection Agents for attempting to bring HcG, a form of steroids, without a prescription from Mexico into the United States. Canseco argued that he was using the drug for "his own use" to recover from low testosterone levels he incurred due to his past steroid abuse. He pled guilty in federal court and was sentenced to 12 months unsupervised probation.
Ostracized from the baseball community, Canseco turned to fighting. In May 2008, he challenged former Philadelphia Eagle Vai Sikahema to a $30,000 boxing match. Despite claiming he had martial arts experience, Canseco was hastily knocked out in the first round.
Canseco staged a battle of Celebrity D-Listers when he enlisted radio personality and former child-star Danny Bonaduce for a Celebrity Boxing Match in January 2009. Canseco, a foot taller and 80 pounds heavier at the time, donned a fake body tattoo shirt to further intimidate his counterpart. However, the three-round match ended in a majority draw.
Canseco was a guest player for the Yokohama BayStars in a ballgame in Tokyo in May 2009. He was visiting the country for his MMA debut against Korean fighter Hong Man Choi.
In his MMA debut, Canseco faced 7-foot-2 Hong Man Choi at the Dream 9 tournament in Japan. Canseco was battered and bruised before the match was called in just over a minute, ending his short stint in MMA fighting.
At 46, Canseco wasn't done with baseball just yet. In August 2010 he signed with the Laredo Broncos, a United League minor league baseball team in Texas. Canseco signed on not only to play, but also to pitch and serve as a bench coach. In his first at-bat, he had a pinch-hit, three run homer. UBL President Bryce Pierce was so enamored with Canseco that he called the signing "one of the highlights of our league."
Canseco has also been a fixture on the party circuit, showing up with a guest at the Stars and Stripes Party at the Playboy Mansion last May.
The New York Mets had a disappointing 2010 season, but contrary to Conseco's belief, Mets management does not see him as a solution. Over Twitter, Canseco pleaded New York's new GM Sandy Alderson in December 2010 to sign him to a contract. In an hour-long twitter rant, Canseco professed his love for baseball, claimed he had "hit the batting cages," but more importantly, needed to "show the world that steroids are overrated."
In his latest grasp at stardom, Canseco will appear on the new season of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice with La Toya Jackson, Dionne Warwick, Gary Busey, Lisa Rinna, former heartthrob David Cassidy, Survivor winner Richard Hatch, and … Meat Loaf?!