Jose Canseco, whose stops after a promising and then disappointing stint in the major leagues have included the Atlantic League and the Golden League, has signed with United League Baseball’s Laredo Broncos.
Canseco has been one of the most controversial figures in baseball over the last 15 years; in his younger days he formed one of the most promising home-run tandems in Oakland with Mark McGuire, but the career deteriorated and he lobbed a j’accuse toward baseball’s way, throwing out allegations of drug use among many of the leading players of the day.
Since then he’s moved in and out of indy ball (a stint with the Atlantic League’s Newark Bears was a boost toward his last season in the majors), and his last contract with the Golden Baseball League’s Long Beach Armada ended badly, with the pair winning a $258,750 judgment against him after he failed to perform his contractual duties.
Still, for Laredo, the signing of Canseco is virtually risk-free. He’ll be pinch-hitting and performing the duties of a bench coach; he’ll also be leading baseball clinics in the city. With United League Baseball and the Broncos working hard to keep control of baseball in the city (the independent American Association gained control of a new ballpark set to open in two years after a bidding process with the city) the idea of bringing in a former major-leaguer with the notoriety factor of a Canseco was a no-brainer — but we doubt it will help keep the Broncos in a new Laredo ballpark.