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Friday, January 25, 2008

Jose Canseco Sought Investment to Omit Magglio Ordonez from New Book, Vindicated

The New York Times is reporting that Jose Canseco wanted Magglio Ordonez to invest in a movie project in exchange for leaving him out of Canseco’s upcoming book, Vindicated. Canseco was reportedly trying to raise funds for a documentary based on his first book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big.

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.

According to the Times, separate complaints were referred to the FBI, one by Major League Baseball and the other by Ordonez’s agent, Scott Boras.

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.

Another complaint was filed with the F.B.I. in California by Ordóñez’s agent, Scott Boras, after Canseco called Boras’s office and spoke to one of Boras’s associates, saying Ordóñez would be “clear” in Canseco’s next book if he invested money in a $5 million movie project Canseco was promoting, according to a person in baseball with knowledge of the situation.

“I have received calls from José Canseco but I have not talked to him personally about anything related to my clients or his books,” Boras said Wednesday.

Canseco said he tried to contact Ordonez to talk about his books, but Ordonez didn’t respond. Ordonez confirmed that Canseco had tried to contact him, but said Canseco had not specifically asked for money.

“One of José’s friends was leaving me messages,” Ordóñez said. “I told (Tiger’s GM, Dave) Dombrowski because I didn’t know why he was calling me.”

The Times report suggests that the FBI didn’t take action because Ordonez didn’t want to pursue the matter.

“I didn’t want to press charges against him… I don’t want any problems. He is probably desperate for money. I don’t understand why he is trying to put people down.”

Canseco wouldn’t confirm or deny whether Ordonez would be mentioned in “Vindicated” saying only, “you are going to have to buy the book to see that.” Canseco’s former ghost writer, Don Yeager, said that Canseco had indeed planned to name Ordonez.

A former ghostwriter on “Vindicated,” which is scheduled to be published at the start of the baseball season, said Canseco planned to name Ordóñez. “He was the most prominent,” said Don Yaeger, a former Sports Illustrated associate editor who reviewed all of Canseco’s materials in December. Yaeger quit the book project with Canseco at the end of December, and the book was dropped by one publisher last week, only to be picked up by another.

Vindicated, Big Names, Big Liars and the Battle to Save Baseball is set to be released April 1, 2008.


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