Feigning a back injury and then spending the night playing poker at a Reno casino didn’t endear Jose Canseco to the folks at the Golden Baseball League, who signed him to a $60,000 personal-appearances contract for the 2006 season and then watched him renege on the deal. But the league has the last laugh after winning a big award in court.
When Jose Canseco signed a contract with the independent Golden Baseball League, he didn’t take his duties too seriously. We’re guessing he’ll be more serious about addressing a big loss in court, as the league announced the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles officially rendered a judgment in favor of the GBL and the Long Beach Armada in their lawsuit versus Canseco for an amount of $258,750.
The Golden Baseball League and the Long Beach Armada sued Canseco for breach of a marketing agreement entered into during the summer of 2006 when Canseco played for the Long Beach Armada. The lawsuit is attached as a PDF (click on Download Attachment to see a version); it was was served on Canseco in August 2008 after lack of response from Canseco and his attorneys over a two-year period.
"We are pleased that the court has ruled in our favor and has agreed with our position," said Golden Baseball League attorney Alexander M. Polyachenko. "We are sorry that Mr. Canseco chose not to honor his contractural obligations and that we had to pursue the damages through the courts, but that was his choice. The next step will be a formal Asset Verification and collection of the judgment."
Canseco was signed to a Uniform Players Contract and a Marketing Agreement by the Long Beach Armada and Golden Baseball League during the summer of 2006 in his attempt to launch a comeback to return to the major leagues as a knuckleball pitcher and designated hitter. That didn’t work out — one suspects he wasn’t too serious about pitching — and he left the Armada, citing custody issues with his daughter.
Basically, league officials argued they paid Canseco $60,000 to make appearances on behalf of the league, but he pocketed the money and never lived up to the terms of his contract. For instance, Canseco claimed a back injury prevented him from playing at a game in Reno and then spent the rest of the night playing poker at a local casino. He then claimed a family emergency required him to retun to Long Beach, only to spend the time gambling in Las Vegas. (We’d advise you to read the lawsuit. It is entertaining, to say the least.)
If it had worked out, paying Canseco would have been a sound move for the league: they claim Canseco’s antics cost the league $230,000 in gate receipts.