Jose Canseco Joins Fort Worth Cats
Former MLB slugger Jose Canseco is back in Texas to start the season with his new team as a player/coach. No it is not with the Texas Rangers (thank the lord) or for the Houston Astros (though he could be one of their more productive hitters) but rather with the Fort Worth Cats of the Independent United League. For those not familiar with the Cats, they are an independent baseball team (meaning they have no ties to Major League Baseball or their affiliates) and have been playing their home games at LaGrave Field, which is located just north of downtown Fort Worth, since 2001.
Although this does appear to be just a PR stunt by the Cats to draw some attention to a franchise that has beginning to show some signs of financial issues, it couldn’t make for a better fit between the couple.
Canseco has been out Major League Baseball since 2001 when he retired at the age of 36 after 17 seasons. Now 48, the former major leaguer faces many off-field issues. Since his retirement Canseco has ran into police on multiple occasions, resulting in multiple arrests for parole violation and even for trying to smuggle fertility drugs into the country from Mexico. He has also lost his home to foreclosure and burned many bridges throughout the MLB when he wrote his controversial book about steroid abuse and named former teammates such as Mark McGwire, Juan Gonzalez, and Ivan Rodriguez, as fellow users. Recently, he has become an alleged suspect in a sexual assault investigation in Las Vegas (oh my).
While Canseco has had his own issues off the field, so have the Fort Worth Cats. Canseco will be joining a team that already has had some financial hardships including falling behind in stadium payments and is rumored to even owe a local vendor in excess of $40,000 for baseballs that were provided to the team.
Although the former Texas Ranger will only be with the team for the season’s opening series, the Cats are hoping the oft-troubled slugger will help bring attention, and ultimately fans back to a cash strapped franchise. Between a 48 year-old steroid addicted former major leaguer and a minor league team that can’t make payments to its vendors, the pairing looks like a match made in heaven (or a place just a little south of there).