His new book entitled "Vindicated", Jose Canseco may well be 'vilified'. A report from the New York Times accuses Canseco of shaking down Magglio Ordonez for investment money. Allegedly Canseco -- or a surrogate -- offered a quid pro quid deal: if Ordonez invested in a Canseco movie project his name would not be brandished in the "Juiced" sequel "Vindicated", identified as a steroid user. Sounds like a blackmail scheme -- investment money or be named in a steroid expose book. Canseco denies the scheme, and Ordonez is equivocal.
As reported here, Canseco planned on penning a follow-up to his steroid expose "Juiced", due out by MLB opening day 2008. However Canseco lost his ghostwriter, then he lost his publisher. The Times reported less than 24 hours ago, Jose renegotiated a publisher for "Vindicated". Allegedly Canseco tried to negotiate more than that.
José Canseco, the former major league slugger and admitted steroid user who exposed other players in his 2005 best-selling book “Juiced,” offered to keep a Detroit Tigers outfielder “clear” in his next book if the player invested money in a film project Canseco was promoting, according to a person in baseball with knowledge of the situation.
Four people in baseball confirmed that referrals were made from Major League Baseball to the F.B.I. regarding Canseco’s actions relating to the six-time All-Star outfielder Magglio Ordóñez, who was not mentioned in Canseco’s earlier book or in any other report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. All four insisted on anonymity because they said they didn’t have authority to speak about the events.
The F.B.I. did not open a formal investigation because Ordóñez said he did not want to pursue the complaint.
Canseco denied that he — or any associate of his — ever asked Ordóñez for money to keep his name out of a book titled “Vindicated.”
A reticent Ordonez stated Canseco never actually shook him down. However Ordonez sought the counsel of Tiger's management:
He confirmed that he had talked about Canseco’s reaching out to him with Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski last summer. The Tigers passed the complaint on to the commissioner’s office in New York, which then filed a complaint with the F.B.I.
Asked whether Canseco had ever specifically asked him for money, Ordóñez said, “No.”
“One of José’s friends was leaving me messages,” Ordóñez said. “I told Dombrowski because I didn’t know why he was calling me.”
Dombrowski declined to comment. “Any of the conversations I have with players would be between me and players,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Ordonez's agent Steve Boros also lodged a complaint about Canseco's alleged strong armed tactics:
Asked whether Canseco’s alleged actions constitute extortion, Daniel C. Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School and a former federal prosecutor, said it would be a hard case to prove. “A demand for an investment isn’t as obvious of a threat, and a jury may be less likely to see it as extortion compared to a demand for hard cash,” he said.
The Times commented that 'extortion' would be a tough prove; however if Canseco allegedly threatened naming Ordonez's name, that would be more like 'blackmail' (the difference is in the legality of the vindictive action).
Canseco's version of juicing gained more credibility recently; any hints of hanky-panky on his part hurts credibility of his books, and perhaps even the Mitchell Report. If this report pans out, Canseco's reputation, always on a roller-coaster, would take a dive; however, the former A's slugger often pulls out of nosedives.
Interesting to see where this ride leads.