April 2nd, 2008

Vindicated or vindictive?

Jose Canseco, who wrote in his latest book that he injected Magglio Ordonez with steroids, said in a radio interview on the Frank Beckmann show today that he included Ordonez in his book to get back at Ordonez for accusing Canseco of extortion.

“He was a very, very, very late addition to my book,” Canseco said, “because of what he did with that article [in the New York Times]. He would’ve never been in my book if he would’ve just not done anything at all, or not written or had this article somehow placed in the newspaper about me. That was ridiculous.”

When Beckmann asked Canseco why he wasn’t originally going to include Ordonez, Canseco said, “Because I didn’t need any more players to justify my position. But he basically slit his own throat.”

When Beckmann suggested he vindictively included Ordonez in his book, Canseco said, “Just as he vindictively said to the media, or indirectly said to the media, or somehow fixed this to say I was trying to extort money from him. Are you kidding me? That’s ridiculous.”

Canseco tried to explain the extortion issue earlier in the interview.

“I tried to contact Magglio and his agent and a few other people for an opportunity for an investment. I called them constantly. No one ever returned my phone call. The next thing I hear in the paper is that I’m trying to extort money from Magglio Ordonez. …

“I truly believe that Magglio is covering his butt. And then it says in the paper that Magglio automatically went to his organization and Major League Baseball and told them I was trying to get a hold of them. Listen, if I was trying to extort money from Magglio, it’s very simple. All Magglio would have to do is call the FBI, call Major League Baseball, and record a phone conversation.

“Common sense, let’s use it now and then, people. It never happened.”

It was a strange recollection, considering he has said before that he hadn’t tried to contact Ordonez. The only time he had tried to reach Ordonez, he wrote in the book, was after his first book came out and he was looking for support from someone.

All in all, it was a very strange interview, and it ended abruptly when Beckmann tried to put together a timeline. Canseco and Ordonez were teammates in 2001. Beckmann pointed out that it was the third of four straight 30-homer seasons for Ordonez, and wondered aloud why there wasn’t a statistical performance increase.

Canseco’s response: “Are you calling me a liar? Are you calling me a liar? Later.”

I flipped through Canseco’s book over the weekend, and the reference to Ordonez was relatively short, a few pages in the last or next-to-last chapter. Canseco recounted the conversation he says they had when Ordonez asked him about steroids and then when he injected Ordonez.

Wednesday: Tigers vs. Royals

It’s a bright, sunny day in downtown Detroit, albeit still chilly. The ice that was brushed off of the tarp Wednesday morning has melted, but not by much.

Here’s the Tigers lineup, same as Monday:

  1. Renteria, SS
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 3B
  6. Guillen, 1B
  7. Rodriguez, C
  8. Jones, LF
  9. Inge, CF

David DeJesus is still dealing with a sprained ankle, so that means a change atop the Royals order. Other than that, Kansas City’s lineup is the same:

  1. Gathright, CF
  2. Grudzielanek, 2B
  3. Gordon, 3B
  4. Guillen, RF
  5. Butler, DH
  6. Teahen, LF
  7. Gload, 1B
  8. Buck, C
  9. Pena, SS

After looking back on the opener — and he had plenty of time to do that, since he drove home to Pittsburgh after the game and back on the off day — Leyland suggested the bullpen wasn’t as big of a factor as the offense. “We can’t go too often four or five innings without scoring. With our kind of offense, we need to score if we’re going to win those games.” It’ll be interesting to see how this lineup fares against Bannister. He had one good start, another very good start and a mediocre outing in three appearances against the Tigers last season.