Jose Canseco may be approaching 50 years old and cast as a pariah throughout baseball, but there are two things he can still do very well: self-promote and hit bombs. In the same week that Erik and I celebrate the 7th anniversary of our 10-week cross-country ball tour, Canseco is embarking on one of his own in a 40-foot custom RV with his 4 dogs and 3 turtles to keep him company (which probably smells only marginally worse than Erik's shoes did). His management company is billing this as an attempt to break the longest officially recorded softball and baseball homerun records, currently standing at 510' and 570' respectively - the latter by none other than Babe Ruth. But I've seen enough of Pete Rose's antics the last 20 years to know when somebody is just trying to latch on to that remaining scrap of fame to make a few bucks. Whatever his reasons, there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to witness history when this spectacle rolled through Madison on Saturday.
Following a lackluster 3-1 Mallards loss to the Chinooks, Jose took on two Mallards players in a post-game homerun derby. He certainly looked the part, donning his old 2000 Yankees jersey and gray baseball pants, both stretched taut over his still bulky, juiced frame. However, a couple of practice swings in, and I could already tell that I would not be seeing anything close to his launching of an unofficial 572' homerun three years ago, which has since gone viral. A consistant 15-20 mph wind blowing in from left-center certainly didn't help him either. He put up a pretty good fight, making it to the final round and losing 10-8 to Joe...well, who really cares who won. I have to say I was pretty disappointed in the performance, but I was still glad I went. He still managed to hit one over the scoreboard and 8 homeruns for a 49-year old who just got in on a bus from Canada is still pretty damn good.
I absolutely love that Canseco is still living the credo he outlined in his famed book "Juiced" nearly 10 years ago - that baseball is more about entertainment than sport, and that once a player understands that, it's easier to come to terms with what he has done. And by that, I of course mean take lots of drugs and hit the ball really, really far. Since reading his book, I've had the stance that as long as you are honest about what you've done, it doesn't bother me that you took any steroids, because I still think the greatest players of any generation will rise above all others regardless of cheating, and it's safe to assume most players have cheated in one form or another. That's precisely why I and so many still love Jose Canseco and flock to a small stadium in Madison, Wisconsin to watch him hit homeruns against amateurs. If you would like to see if the CansecoMobile is making a stop at a city near you, click here for the schedule.
STANDINGS AND UPCOMING SERIES AS OF 07.01:Brewers 51-34, +6.0, (3 @ Reds, 4 v. Phillies)
Reds 43-39, -6.5 (3 v. Brewers, 5 v. Cubs)
Twins 38-44, -9.0 (4 v. Yankees, 4 @ Mariners)
2014 GAMES ATTENDED:
Erik - 3 (+14 worked)
Peter - 23