Jose Canseco is
having another typical night on the road. It's Cleveland, Esther is with him,
they've been asleep in their hotel room since 3 a.m. (They like to watch
late-night TV and sleep until one or two o'clock in the afternoon.) But now
somebody is trying to kick in their door. KA-THUNK, KA-THUNK. The door is
aching to come off its hinges. Outside, a voice wails, "Come out here,
Canseco! Get out here, you scumbag!"
Canseco is used
to it. Almost without breaking out of REM, he turns to his wife and says,
Later, he offers
a simple explanation for the incident: "Probably a reporter."
can't stand Will Clark. "Somebody on television the other day called Clark
the best player in baseball," Canseco says in Cleveland about the San
Francisco Giants first baseman. "I almost threw up. I know at least 10
players who are better than him."
Later he will
say: "Tell me how a first baseman can be the best player in baseball. He
doesn't have to run, and he doesn't have to throw. How many first basemen steal
bases? Name one. I dare you. You can't."
pretty much the same thing about Don Mattingly: "Can't run, no arm." Of
Angel first baseman Wally Joyner he once said, "Talentwise, he can't carry
my jock." But he saves his best stuff for Clark. "Will Clark, you big
dummy," he says in Milwaukee. "I'm making a million more than you are.
You overrated, slow, three-toed sloth with no arms. You hear me, boy?"
The next day,
Canseco is heard explaining to his teammates what a sloth is.
knows from sloths. He is the Marlin Perkins of major league baseball. He
devours National Geographic, any science fiction novel, and anything PBS cares
to throw him about animals, especially Jacques Cousteau specials.
His favorite sea
creature? "Sharks," he says. "Because they're prehistoric."
cried the first time he got a B. He and Ozzie were both straight-A students
through junior high school. When Jose got the B in high school, it didn't
register. "I didn't understand B's," he says.